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September has come to an edge. It is a special month since everyone could celebrate the literacy day on September 8th. This is kind of a late post. Yet, it is better late than never really post this. I made this draft almost a month ago. How time flies. Now, it sounds like a farewell. Yet, it has been a long story to reflect upon. A quite long journey yet a quick one around Indonesia. Since I have never really had a chance to travel in my own country before, I could say, this is a blessing opportunity. Although, I do hope that in the next journey, there will be times to take my bapak and ibuk and mbak. That would be lovely, wouldn’t it?

All the way. Jogja-Bogor-Medan-Pekalongan-Jogja. Not in one time. So, it feels like back and forth. It started from Jogja and ended in Jogja. What did I learn? A lot. Yes. Until I have no idea where to start. But, here is a journey of my literacy days to share with. Because taking a journey, writing down our journey, and having a reflection upon it, means living up the whole journey. And, Anais Nin, said that we live our lives twice by writing down our journeys. Sometimes it is really hard to find time to write.

On the way to Bogor, it was my second time riding the train. And the first for me to try KRL. It reminds me on Taksaka Pagi, my first train to Jakarta during high school. I love the railway station. The railway lies upon the earth seems like a never ending way, recalling me for a journey of hope. And I learn truthfulness from people I met along the way. Mbak Dewi and Mas Mada and the little baby in the mommy’s tummy, thank you for treating us so well and even bought me doughnuts to bring back home when I had to ride the train back to Jogja all by my self. Thank you. May Allah rewards your goodness with more and more goodness. A lady on her 40s at Pasar Senen, thank you for reminding on my ibuk with your sacrifice to your child. The charging spot at the train station for giving me space to do my thesis while waiting for my train lols

In Bogor, I was with all the seniors attending a friend’s marriage. She is a good friend of mine. We are of the same age. Yet, she is my senior. Even if she is my senior in college, it never seems so. Because she is always humble and I am an egalitarian hehe, as if, I am to my juniors, I like to be treated as if we are at the same age with no seniority. She is ignorant yet caring at the same time. Well she is a good consultant for girly things. Since I am not the one who cares much about it before. I don’t really put make up which make people become astonished when they know this. I hate medicine and chemical things. I would probably never be able to swallow medicine if I never had typhoid in my life. I would rather use herbal and natural things rather than those medical and artificial things. I started using facial wash in my mid year of college because I learn that the composition of chemicals in regular soap isn’t good for face. One day last year, this girly consultant came to my home in such early morning. And she brought me some make up stuff to put on my face. Oh no. That day I was going to deliver a speech in front of the corporate executives and university stakeholders. See how much caring she is, and well how lucky is the young man who got the marry her. Their honeymoon picture in China is just adorable. Hey, anyway, starting last month I didn’t use facial wash or any kinds of artificial cream anymore hehe. I love the way I am. I will rethink again for only special time.

Medan, well it is a quick journey. I broke the record of having the lightest backpack with no luggage to survive for five days. It a quite serious program hehe. All things about accounting. And having to cope with all those administrative duties. I hope one day I could present my own piece.

What a life. I woke up in such early morning and when I got back it is already dark outside. It is interesting to know the harsh of life in such big city, the third biggest city in Indonesia. It is quite interesting to see the passenger-friendly facility to cross the roads. So, on the crossroads, you can find those buttons located on just below the traffic light to switch the timer for crossing the roads. I never find this facility in Jogja, I have found one in Walla Walla though. It is understandable because Medan is way more crowded and it seems like the vehicles never give you a stop for your way. For a new comer, it needs some adjustment.

For transportation, Medan has becak motor around the corner. But you know what, it is not recommended for your safety especially if you are alone or if you are new comer who is unfamiliar with the life there. People in Medan recommend that we use taxi instead. Choose Bluebird and they have the facility to book online for android users. The committee Universitas Sumatera Utara actually provides us with really big buses. Unfortunately, their schedules always run later than it is supposed to be. And for me and some other participants and committees, it is good to take a rest for tomorrow’s big day rather than spending the night for durian party and such. It was their hospitality but we decided to go back with taxi earlier. Luckily, as a youngest passenger, I always have a free ride, oops, free rider. Thank you Mr. Soni for your generosity, and for showing us how pen can really pay anything– he said that nowadays we could use pen to pay anything (means he gives us free check for the taxi fare so he borrowed my pen hehe).

There is an interesting fact about the way Medanese approach people. They are bold and approachable. So, there is a very lovely place called Merdeka walk. It is located on Jalan Merdeka where foodstalls are nicely set. Nelayan-an outdoor setting place where I could have my fave food (seafood) while enjoying the calmness atmosphere out of the roughness of the roads (escaping from the rough real roads and perhaps the rough roads of life hehe). So, they tend to bring to your tables and offer directly any kinds of food. How smart they are to market their products. They come to the customers. And the same thing happens when one day we had soto Medan in Sinar Pagi. Soto medan is very good indeed, better taste than the luxurious breakfast provided by the hotel, honestly. I am not a food enthusiast but since I stayed in one room with a food photographer I learn alot about culinary things as well.

Living in Japan on Track is the other gift of my literacy days. Occasionally Japan on Track is held in September as well. Learning Japanese and the corporate Japanese ways and cultures are very interesting. We had wonderful and beautiful teacher named Kato Sensei. And we had wonderful class and great friends. And I found some of my high school juniors. There is one who is four years younger than me. Oh well. Nobody believes in this fact. Me, neither. This shows how really an ancient I am. Anyway, I would recommend this program if you are passionate about knowing Japanese and the corporate culture. The learning environment, the shukudai (everyday homework), and the hilarious team are just hilarious for sure. Check for the info around June/July. This course is the beginning program and the selected candidates can have a three week internship in Toyota companies, and the two chosen students can have a visit to Toyota company in Japan.

I owed Kato sensei a Japanese letter and I would write one. I am kind of memorizing how to write one. Please help. But surely, the postcard is lovely. It has a picture of legendary Kyoto woman, Maiko. I learn interesting things about Maiko here:
http://thekyotoproject.org/english/japanese-beauty-maiko/
I didn’t have a message on it which I envy from other friends who got one from sensei. Because on the last day of the class, I had to come home directly to attend a funeral of my relative out of town. Thank you for this lovely post card and I hope to send one later on. Arigatou gozaimasu, Sensei 🙂

Last bust not least, dear readers check out this: http://www.projectlitearcy.com and support if you are a literacy geek. It is not my project I wish I had one but I had something else to do now. But I love this project and think it should be everyone’s project.

How is your literacy day? Be literate and be happy 🙂

Notes and Recordings:
I made some recordings which aren’t so good because I only use my mobile phone and I lost my voice–I literally am losing my voice since I am in the state of low immune having too much going on. I learn this from my friend who have my voice recorded for several good purposes making my little dream comes true (when I was little I want to be a voice over on TV or radios–what a dreamy wishful things). I recorded this almost a month ago. This is a riddle poetry. So, try to guess what the poetry is all about.

And here, Furusato, a Japanese folk song. I dedicated this to Kato sensei, all Japanese friends anywhere, and anyone who thinks of furusato. Kato sensei said that there is a different meaning between “furusato” and “shuusin”. Shuushin means the origin, where we come from, it has only a physical meaning. But, furusato, is a homeown and a heartland which makes us belong to somewhere giving the sense and emotion. I hope Yogyakarta is one of the furusato, a place where your heart belongs.

Last but not least, I had an important reminder which I would love to share for anyone’s reminder. Thank you for this reminder my true friends. If it feels like life becomes so heavy and it feels like you have to rush, you can find calmness in reciting this book. Another furusato, a home to always return because it is where the hearts belong. A place to find peace. http://houseofquran.com/
“Remember, only by the remambrance of Allah does the heart finds peace (rest)” (Al Quran). “Dari Ibnu Abbas, seseorang yang tidak ada Al Quran di dalam dirinya maka ia seperti rumah usang tua dan rusak” (al hadits, diriwayatkan oleh Tirmidzi).

Have a good rest. Hafe a good life.

Having this writing begun in the end of September, ended in the beginning of October.