In a few days, for the first time, I will leave Japan for Indonesia. If you ask me why would you go home?, well I definitely say, “MUDIK“. Yes, as other years passed, one thing I never missed is being in the middle of my family at Idul Fitri day. No matter where I am, it is supposed to be my priority. So does this year. Preparing for that day suddenly leads me to a sensation of “1st chapter of Japan’s life: finished!”😀. Well, still a long way to go until I finished study in Japan, but for me it will be such movement from one chapter to another chapter in my Japan’s life. This first chapter has become the “introduction” or “adaptation” journey, so in the next chapter I expect more achievement by myself. Many hops must be created! Aamiin. I am writing that chapter 1 down in this post.
It can be said that I came to Japan in critical situation after big disaster on March 11. I greeted this country when many foreign people had left Japan or were packaging their luggage to go back to their home country. To be honest, actually I have a little experience to feel an earthquake, even have no knowledge about how to save myself if it happens. However, the reason they left Japan was not earthquake, but Fukushima nuclear accident. I departed with no soul. Chaos after chaos crammed in my mind and happened in my life before departure because of Japan’s condition, little preparation time, family’s problem, and the biggest one: my car was broken on the way to airport. Perfect😥. Later I realized that I don’t have any documentation (a.k.a. photo) at the moment moving to Japan. Haaa. Nonetheless, alhamdulillah there were a lot of help from Allah after that until today so I can enjoy well the new life here.
I am confused where I should start from. Okay, overall I have experienced two season in Japan: spring and summer. Spring was easier for me to be lived although the air was so cold even coldest ever for me. Summer is more challenging, but still fun. Japan has something special in every season. In spring, we can enjoy the blooming Sakura (Hanami 花見) together while having garden party in outdoor. In summer, we can enjoy the fireworks (Hanabi 花火) in many places and moments then get the sensation to be a Japanese by wearing yukata. I enjoyed each of them once and I believe that Maslow theory worked on my version as follows: the most satisfying time is the first time😛. I am looking forwards for the next special thing in fall, that is enjoying Momiji 紅葉. Back to the journey.. so five months of living here, I felt the lowest and the highest temperature in my life.
I am happy to be placed by God in the city which not as crowded as Tokyo. In Indonesia, I also avoid Jakarta as much as possible. As I told my friends, I have no desire to work there or perhaps I haven’t ready yet. That’s why, I chose to stay at Bandung and to chase the scholarship abroad as graduated last year. Really, I don’t like to see too many people, moreover with the busy behaviors such walking fast or strained face.. ugh, no no no. I am that kind of person (panic, serious, deadliners, etc.) so I don’t want to exacerbate myself by seeing other people act busy😮. Since my campus is located in Fujisawa, I live in this city too. I and sensei ever joked that my campus, included my apartment, is an inaka 田舎 or country side. We are surrounded by large paddy fields, mountain, and beach (sea).. even the “small forest” and river is the daily view from my room.
Not only from my room I can see the “forest”, but also from some spots in my campus.
Long time ago, I had a dream to live at the village that already advanced. Never imagined that dream was to be real just after in Japan🙂. The great transportation in Japan makes all points of this country can be reached easily. Of course, there are some differences in procedure and specification for transportation in certain regions, adjusted to need or profile of population. For example, in my city we pay bus ticket based on distance we traveled, but in Yokohama or Tokyo mostly we are charged with flat cost. Times of bus or train coming in a small city will be less than in the city. I ever watched on television that in a rural area, train only comes for twice in an hour. However, Japanese people are very organized. They, for example transportation companies, really respect the time and the customer. They provide schedule and route well either offline or online (both has been integrated), when the schedule changes they will update it as well. Furthermore, it always comes on time (note: no blackout, no suicide :razz:). That’s why I feel that my time becomes more efficient during my stay in Japan.
Next, let’s talk about yen and rupiah (ups..)
As the world knows, Tokyo is listed in highest cost of living cities in the world. Firstly, I thought it still be number one, but I just known it goes to the second position (more information). My current city only 50 km from Tokyo so there is no significant difference in prices. However, there will be significant value if we compare yen with rupiah which results rate 1 yen = Rp 100,00 in average. Pretty lame.. but somehow I used to think that goods in Indonesia are too cheap instead of remarking the high good cost in Japan. You shouldn’t have like this, Indonesia! . This habit looks to be influenced by the catchy warning from my seniors: when you already in Japan, don’t convert anything to rupiah!. Just enjoy it, worth is that much indeed . I follow the guide to determine quality of a product that says if the price is at least three times of price in Indonesia, so it’s a good product! LOL. Yeah, we could not deny most of products sold in Japan also MADE IN CHINA (now you know why!) so it could have the same price between Indonesia and Japan.
My biggest spending excluded the monthly expense (apartment, electricity, water, etc.) is for meal (food + drink) and transportation.
Transportation in Japan is sugoi.. any kind. I explained how it reaches all areas, but it will be more interesting if we talk about technology implemented on vehicles run in this country which being main member of World ITS (Intelligent Transport System) Standard forum.
Many countries all over the world directed their attention to move people from point A to point B more efficiently and safely. Specially Europe as well as the USA have spent millions of dollars for research, but it is in Japan where the commercial application of “Intelligent Transportation Systems” (ITS) technologies is established.
A professor at my college who involved in ITS research said that not less than 300 sensors exist within bus, taxi, etc. Haaa.. of course, nuclear energy also works on that greatness of their transportation.
Some of you may notice that we are, foreigner in Japan, (or only Indonesians?), love to travel around, to come to sightseeing spots, and so on. Well, even Japanese love it too😮. I think it just because Japan manages their tourism spots well while preserves the culture strongly. I come to three pleasure places (Odaiba, Kamakura-Enoshima, and Asakusa), but then found that it is just unique sides of Japan.
Nothing special compared to other countries (at least to my country) because every country always has the unique side, right? It’s all about packaging, dudes! Japan may be one country who has mastered how to package our tourism treasures. Not traveling too much is one way to save my money so I don’t really obsessed to explore all spots. I try to enjoy the view and to delve the people’s life wherever I go. It can’t be denied that I learn many things from Japanese people. A big change in me is I become more patient when being in the middle of them although it is still be difficult for me to keep this habit when gathering with other Indonesians (someone-I-spend-time-much-with may notice it! oops.. ). Lesson from this part is don’t be jealous to your friends who often upload photos about their trip to many places in Japan because we can think that:
– we may do the same if we are in their position
– it spends a lot of money (and time :razz:)
– tourism spots in our country is more beautiful and unique
– there are many similarities among some places so going once to one representing place is enough
– if we are not a professional photographer, we don’t need to go many spots just for taking more photos😮
Oh yeah, I have written so long. I want to remind you about my reason to be here. My visa shows that I am a college student with permission to live in Japan as long two years. I am okay with my study, but have not okay yet with my research. Haha. I will write about the research later. BTW, an ‘horror story’ I heard when I was undergraduate has not been proven until now, namely you must be already in the lab before your professor came and go home after your professor went home. In reality, as I asked my friends, most of us manage the research independently and professor only roles as consultant. It may be different for each professor and study program, but an anecdote below seems general for all college students. I got it from my senior.
Suppose that student is the driver and lecturer is the navigator.
professor: “go ahead, turn left 100 m, bla bla bla..”
undergraduate student: (driving based on instruction)
master student: “sensei, where should I go after this traffic light”
professor: “turn right”
doctoral student: (driving)
professor: (sleeping on the backseat)
So, you need to be initiative!
Overall, I love my life in Japan, but no bliss without pain. I am still struggling for the more bliss and also to make my family and friends gaining that bliss too. Now I need to charge my spirit at home, at the country I always miss.. oh can’t wait for the day after tomorrow! I am going home!