26 October 2016

Once isn't enough. I'll be right back, India!

Exactly a month ago today, I was bubbling with all sorts of excitement that I couldn't even explain concretely. I wasn't able to sleep. I wanted morning to come faster. I giggled every time I looked at my packed suitcase and backpack.

But, side to side with the excitement, anxiety hit me hard at times. "Don't be too friendly. Never accept anything from stranger. Know when to cut unnecessary conversation. Don't go out without a clear destination. Don't bla, and don't bla, and don't bla bla bla." I set some rules for myself to obey with a help of some tips from Naomi, my Japanese friend who majors in Hindi.

Yep, India. You have no idea how flustered I was on the day before I started my journey towards you. This time, I literally traveled solo for the first time in my life. Yeah, I always have my friends or at least, one companion with me on every trip that I've been to. So that's why I felt challenged in a way that I couldn't even describe.

But the strange thing is that, mom was very very calm! Throughout our chats and phone calls, I didn't find any nervousness nor fear from her voice tone, as well as in her chat atmosphere. I mean, normally I could easily find out how she felt about me by examining several paralinguistic aspects that appear within our communication. But this time, I found zero. How unbelievable! Haha.

But this is a super good thing, when your mom believes that you can handle everything by yourself. This gives you an undeniably enormous amount of energy. So that the energy that you usually use to convince her that you'll be doing okay, can be allocated 100% to convince yourself that you'll just be (SUPER) fine.

So, after spending 5 hours laying in bed, here came the day that I had prepared everything since May. 5:20 am, I looked at every corner in my cozy room and told them, "I'll be back in a week." I pulled my suitcase, got out of my room and pressed the lock button.

"I'm coming to you, India!" :)

Sikh temple

Hindhu temple

Indians are so lovely

Those are some snaps that I managed to take on my second day, during a morning walk at a village in Chandigarh. Except that the first photo was taken on the sky, when I was sitting in Air India waiting eagerly for what kind of food I'd get for lunch. 

7 days, tons of memories, stories and encounters. Everything was beautifully surprising for me. You know, it's so hard for me to decide from where to start writing about my India journey. Even though right now, I'm dying to share every single thing  and detail. At least, while all the memories are still fresh in mind. Well, if I can't do it now, let's consider this post as a sneak peek then! I'll try to come up with a better story arrangement on the next post. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the photos!

Anyways, it's 00:07 in Tokyo. Gotta sleep asap, as I've made a deal with myself to sleep at no later than 1 am, lol. 

Will be right back on the next post, as soon as possible!
Good night from this side of universe :)



24 September 2016

Reminiscing Summer // Festivals

Three months of summer holiday's going to be over very soon. Whoa! It's obviously freaking long, but kind of short as well. Within that long but short school hiatus, I trained myself to juggle between weekly study group (and all of its assignments) + completing research plan + self studying for Master's entrance exam (this one only intensely started lately tho), + yet still making time for some exhibitions hopping (with Pixar Exhibition at Harajuku became the latest one). So yeah, it's pretty much jam-packed with serious stuffs, but I'm content with what I've been through. 

However, still, I'm trapped in that lust to get out of Tokyo for a little while, like away on a trip to Dinosaur Museum in Fukui, and then proceed to the 21st Century Museum in Kanazawa, or even flying further to Shikoku Island for Setouchi Trienalle in Naoshima... these activities have been waiting to be ticked from my Japan travel bucket list, but again, the timing still not allows. 

Hence, instead of lamenting my incapability to travel far, I guess it's wise enough to reminisce some of the happy memories I had earlier this summer holiday. Exactly when the day was longer and the humidity was unbearable. 

Chofu Asagao Festival
Sunday, July 3rd 2016

I remember participating in this festival just one day before the final exam week. Hahaha. Went here with my best girls, Afrin and Freezy. They're just the finest, craziest best friend you could ever ask for! As long as I remember, we decided to postpone writing our essays and prioritized this festival instead. 

Yeay, for world without stranger! This friendly Ojiichan (grandpa) greeted me in English, "How are you?" all of a sudden, with a supper energetic voice tone ever :D What a lovely occurrence to remember. Hope you always be healthy, happy and prosperous, dearest Ojiichan! 

So you know, one of the blessings living in Japan as a foreign student is that, the abundant opportunity to get invited to various events. And of course, not to mention a cultural event like this. With the permission from universities, organizers of such event will stick a poster or leave a pile of leaflet, advertising their events. Not just informing about when, where and what the event is about, but they will also offer a value-added activity that is specifically planned/targeted for foreign students. 

As for this festival, the organizer offered an experience of walking around in a local summer festival in yukata (summer kimono). Moreover, it came in a cheap deal: 500 yen! Well, if you're lucky enough, you can get the exactly same experience hosted by other organizer for free, but I guess 500 yen is still very very affordable! Because, if you do rent yukata in a famous tourist spot like Asakusa or Kamakura, they might charge you around 2000 yen or even more. So, by joining this kind of cultural exchange events, you can experience Japanese culture in a more economical way, haha.

Dancing together with a traditional female dance group! I just love how vibrant the colors turned out in this picture! Looking so summer <3

Wearing yukata in my favorite color: Blue! Pairing it with a bright yellow obi and a splash of red to make it more festive!

Paying a visit to a shrine. As you can see, I didn't come to this festival with Afrin and Freezy only. But also with other foreign students from different universities.

See those colorful paper decorations above? Those are for the celebration of Tanabata Matsuri or also known as the Star Festival. Summer is indeed the season of festivals! Aside from it being very humid and hot, I love how lively summer in Japan has to offer; festivals and firework competitions.
Here's my pose that was once I uploaded on instagram, meaning that I was ready to face the wicked final week. Ahaha.

Nishi Chofu Summer Festival
Sunday, July 24th 2016

This is another festival held around two weeks after the former one. This one took place in Nishi Chofu area and was held in a smaller scope. The festival itself didn't make any advertisement, since it was only targeting people living in Nishi Chofu neighborhood. But, Afrin and I managed to know about it from a kind uncle that we met at the Asagao Festival.

Hahaha, so Japan right? Power ranger sort of thing, appeared live in a show called the V-Mask Show!
I was literally jumping out of surprised when that fish monster came out, as it looked terrifying in real life, I swear.

Haha apparently kids love this show so much! xD

Enjoying kakigoori or shaved ice

Say "konnichiwa" to my new friend, Luna-chan, guys! Luna-chan cried when the fish monster from the V-show appeared. Poor, Luna-chan :(

Long time no cotton candy!

Even though not as packed as the Asagao Festival, Afrin and I had a really good and laid-back time at Nishi Chofu Festival. Spending an hour and a half, munching festival's sweets while enjoying various shows. Fyi, we were the only foreigners in this event xD

Done with the festival, we then having a pleasant time strolling Nishi Chofu neat and lovely neighborhood!

Oh! did I forget to tell you? That  you can get uchiwa (a round fan) for free during summer. You can get it anywhere, like literally anywhere! There was one day I got two uchiwas at the same time xD Usually they stick some advertisements on the uchiwa.

So, yeah, that was one of my summer highlights for this year. Anyway, 10 days left till normal uni life starts again. Mixed feelings. 

Hope you guys enjoy this post! ;)



Somehow, I miss the earsplitting chirp of cicadas, the natural background music for summer in Japan. But I'm so excited for Autumn as well! Seasonal dilemma? :p

05 September 2016

Summer Photo Roll En Route from Odaiba to Shinbashi Station

Not being able to zoom is such a pain in the ass (well, at first!). That's exactly what I felt when taking my 50mm lens out for a 31st August stroll. Here's some shots that I manage to take from the Yurikamome train window, en route from Odaiba to Shinbashi Station. This was on the way back from the starry and dreamy DMM.Planets exhibition. Promise, I'm gonna share about this exhibition later, but first please enjoy this photo roll! ;)

Bought this 50mm lens three years ago in Indonesia, but I barely got the chance to really shoot with it. The main reason is because it went crazily uncontrollable sometimes. I mean, for a person who relies too much to zoom ring like me, working with this gear isn't easy at all. I had always gone bananas every time I shot with this dude. I always felt irritated whenever the object always looked so damn big, no matter how far I had moved backward!

But this time, after stuck with tons of trials and errors, I started to get accustomed to it. Quite surprised to my perseverance this time, despite the fact that I actually brought the 18-55mm lens kit along as well. But I just didn't run to it at all! :D 

Whoop, what a major leap in shooting with 50mm! I promise, I'll try to take you on a stroll more often from now on, buddy! xx

Fuji Terebi / Fuji Television Building! One of the recommended place to check out if you're visiting Odaiba and especially if you're into television broadcasting industry!

Unintentional close-up look of rainbow bridge and I kinda loving it. Thanks to the 50mm lens for doing the job without having me to configure the zooming, lol.

Rainbow brigde again

Spot Tokyo Tower back there?

Oh, and talking about my biggest craving lately... I need a smaller camera. I already set my eye on Canon G7x Mark II! I can't fall in love more with this small but powerful camera after got the chance to touch and shoot with it when I called on Bic Camera, one of Japan's biggest electronic malls. I was a bit confused back then, whether to give it a go to another brand such as Fuji (XE series) or Sony (RX100 series). 

But, after comparing all those brands based on my hands-on experience in the store, Canon won my very attention! Not to mention that my current gear is Canon as well, so that it's not gonna be too hard for me to get familiar with it. And most importantly, it got all the quality that I wanted, either for shooting pictures or videos.

So excited to be back to the store and bring it home! xD

The famous Studio Ghibli Steam Punk Clock designed by Hayao Miyazaki, located just outside the Nippon Television Tower! They said that it will chime four times a day. Kinda curious to see/enjoy it chiming with a glockenspiel show! Oh, how cool is that? :D 

Gomennasai for this mischievous shot, Sir!

What a fun day with the 50mm buddy!

Now I just realized that the pictures above are my last day of Summer 2016. Well, Japanese do mark August 31st as the last day of Summer and 1st of September as the beginning of Autumn. Even though actually the temperature hasn't changed at all. That now is still hot. But, I just  realized that the humidity change is quite significant! Lately, I'm getting to get rid of the stickiness on the skin that we used to experience every day during summer.  And I'm very happy for this! No more beta-beta skin! (beta-beta means sticky or gooey in Japanese).

Oh and another significant difference lies on the sky! As I'm writing this post now, I look up back and forth to the sky and feel like, "ah, Autumn sky it is!". Do you realize this change too?

Anyway, I'm so excited for this month as I'll travel to India for a youth conference on the end of the month! Just so you know, I've been dying to visit India and the urge got stronger and stronger earlier this year. And voila! God opened the way for me to visit this country on this very month! Hopefully everything goes smoothly and well in terms of preparations. So relieved that I got the conference visa in my hand already. All I got to do now are of course to study the topics that will be discussed in the conference and prepare for packing things up! 

Ah, I'm so excited! I can't help no to smiling every day :D

Meanwhile waiting for my journey abroad, I got to work hard for my research plan. And also studying for the master entrance exam that's approaching as well! Guess September is a month full with piles of works. But I gotta be happy and ready! 

Hope you'll have a blast on this very month and enjoy every single day! 

See you on the next post ;)



30 August 2016

#HelloPaulSmith Tokyo Exhibition 2016 (Part II)

Whoop! Finally I'm back again after three weeks of hiatus. So good to be back with lots of stories and positive changes within myself. I guess I can proudly say that I nailed August to the fullest! I did many exciting things (summer camp with junior high school students is pretty much the highlight i guess?), met new friends and reunited with the old ones, back to pottery workshop and got my hand all dirty with clay (this time I made a plate! yeay!), played tourist around Tokyo and Yokohama with my best friends and lotsss more! Oops, did I forget to mention about the weekly study group for the incoming grad school entrance exam? Yeah, this one is also smoothly going on! :D How's your life update so far? Hope you're rolling well in this summer <3

Well, let's continue the #throwback post about my favorite exhibition by the oh-so-genius Sir Paul Smith, #HelloPaulSmith. If you're kinda losing track of what I wrote here, you might want to check the Part I post, here! :)

The ticket and pink earphones as the exhibition merchandise.

Please do enjoy scrolling this post down.

Section #5:

"I constantly strive for individuality - we never work to a formula" - Paul Smith

This explained why every of his masterpiece speaks differently. I'm not gonna lie, even a button in a Paul Smith shirt looks magically eccentric. Much kudos to this man of idiosyncrasy.

Section #6:

This section probably sits on my top three of most favorite parts in this exhibition. I just love how clever they showcase Paul's first show (1976) in a cartoon-like manner if that makes sense. Felt like enjoying a 4D comic strip!


"My first collection comprised of just six shirts, two jumpers and two suits..."

This modest show has been marked as Paul's stairway to success. By 1993, Paul had been consistently producing menswear. He was the key role in changing British society's perception towards "suit". In 1980, along with Italy's notable designer, Mr. Armani, Paul attempted to make a softer suit that could be worn more informally rather than juts for funerals and weddings. 

In regard of this, he then coined the term "classics with a twist".

After discovering that 15% of his collection were purchased by women, he then started a women's collection in 1995. But still, inspired by his menswear cutting! Menswear inspired womenswear? Because why not.

Still in this section, Paul narrated more about his then-girlfriend (now wife), Pauline Denyer. I found this area is extremely personal, romantic and touching at the same time. As if Paul invited us the visitors to sneak into the other side of him as a loyal lover to his partner, to whom he said he owed so much. I just love it when he linked his first show that is known as the starting point of his huge success to Pauline's involvement in his life. This is too sweet, period.

Oh, don't you remember that he also wrote about Pauline in Section #2: THE FIRST SHOP? Sir Paul Smith is defo my ideal man to marry. lol. Don't laugh, it's true! Let me know if there's another man who's brilliant at color combining and still incredibly gentlemen-like and romantic. 


Section #7:

See the installation above? It's what literally urged and brought me here to this exhibition.  It was all started when I happened to see someone's posting #HelloPaulSmith on instagram and I was like "omg, what's with this cute pinky thing with giant table lamp and huge yellow sticky note?"At that time, the exhibition was still held in Kyoto, so I got to wait for around two weeks before it finally came to Tokyo! <3 Ah, thank you instagram! Without you, I might never get updated to some cool events happening in town. Totally.

So pink, so Paul Smith! <3
(Truth be told, I'm dying to carry this set home!! I mean, who doesn't?)

Section #8:

In this section, Paul showcased his unending brilliant skill in designing and playing with colors. But this time, not with fabrics as what he usually does but with various range of products, such as car, motorbike, camera, radio, and many more! 

Paul Smith x Rover Mini

Thomas Goode Breakfast Collection (2001)

Triumph Motorbike (2006)

Roberts Radio (2008)
This collaboration of Paul Smith and Roberts was a celebration for Paul's Westbourne House 10th Anniversary. As you can see, each radio is encased in floral printed leather and only 30 were made!

Evian (2009)

Leica X2 (2012)

Amusing color block as always.

This Leica x Paul Smith edition was limited to just 1,500 pieces. The highlights of this product are of course, Paul's color choice for the body and a hand-drawn "light-bulb" doodle. Well, I myself not a particular fan of this green color shade, since I'm more into pastel colors and blue-hues. But I still found this product interesting, especially for the vivid orange application.



Section #9:

"I hate shops that all look the same - I love individuality.
We design all our own shops. I want each of the them to have its own character and one which reflects its setting in some way."- Paul Smith

So true. Every shop has their own character, color, and mood. Peculiarity is the key.

What's great about this section is that, he also exhibited some key pieces of the materials used in every shop. Interesting!

Just across this section, there was this huge button wall.... On which I feasted my eyes, that have always been in color-hunger!

Say hi to Maru-chan, guys! :p

Clumsy pose don't care xD

Section #10:

The suits above are my fave items! Looking bold and dapper at the same time <3


Impressive prints, bold and edgy cuttings, all in soft-shimmering materials. Awesome!

The Souvenir Shop:

Electric blue ftw!
All them cute pencils....

Some fancy Paul Smith Erasers?

So, that's all! Maru-chan and I really had a ball at this exhibition. Spending 2,5 hours to bunch of pleasing masterworks and now I'm completely admiring Sir Paul Smith-both as a designer, and as a man.
Totally the best exhibition I've been to so far. Cheers to more fascinating exhibitions to come! ;)

Till the next post, dear you beautiful souls!