12 March 2017

Hometown Series: Enjoying Salatiga's Market Like Never Before

One peaceful month in hometown, surrounded by greenery

This is definitely what sparked my homesick problem. One month spent so laid back, watching tv with mom, snacking tropical fruits, having spicy food as many times as I wanted everyday, waiting for mom to come back home from office, playing with my beautiful almost 2 year old cousin every weekend, watering the flowers every evening, reunion with best friend and the happy list goes on...

The fact is, ever since I attended uni seven years ago until before I went back to Japan in 2016, I was never really at home for a whole month. I had always been very busy with stuffs. So this was literally the first time after seven years for me to relax and chill at home without something serious bothering. This time, I did have a part time work during my holiday, that is assisting Malay language teacher's project. But it wasn't something that squeezes my mind and energy. So I could still 100% relax.

Aaand, what I was really enjoying during this holiday, is about going shopping at Salatiga's traditional market! Oh, how it's been a long time <3 Before I take you to the market stroll, let me show you something that is very common too in Indonesia:

The Moving Greengrocer

Mom was having some chilli shopping at the greengrocer stopping at our neighborhood. This kind of greengrocer is very common in Indonesia.They would move around from one to another neighborhood every morning! And I could say, that the vegetables they sell are still so fresh, despite the fact that they aren't refrigerated.
Anyway, we just moved to a new place starting mid of last year! And this is how the surroundings look. Surrounded by coconut trees, banana trees and even bamboos.
SO GREEN and breezy <3

In my hometown, Salatiga, it's pretty common to have cool and airy days, with the temperature ranging from 20-23 degrees celcius during rainy season. Of course, it's not in Indonesia if we're not living in hot days. During dry season, the temperature would shoot up and all you (or probably I) want to do is to stay at home, having a coconut ice straight from the coconut itself.

Enjoying Traditional Market a.ka"Pasar" Like Never Before 

"Pasar", the word that refers to "traditional markets" in opposite to  supermarkets or department stores. "Pasar" has always been my ultimate destination to find my number one favorite tropical fruit: "Salak", or also known as the "snake fruit" in English. Not only "salak", I could easily find the other tropical fruits that are still at their best conditions; fresh, crunchy and easy to peel.

I was so stoked during my "pasar" stroll this time, since I hadn't gone to one in sooo long. I was jumping in joy when I saw the fruits and the traditional snacks that I could only get at "pasar". 

See the brown colored fruits on the left side? Yep, they are my favorite "salak". You could see how scaly they are, just like snake, once you zoom them in! They have crunchy, white flesh with brown/black seeds as big as  baby's big toe, hehe.

The fruit stall. 
You know, I always enjoy staring at stacks of fruits, they're kind of my moodbooster

"Rambutan", one of the tropical fruits that was in season when I was home. By the way, we have plenty of rambutan trees in our grandpa's house!

Another type of greengrocer. This is the "pasar" style greengrocer

Fresh and sweet bananas!

I went to "pasar" two times during this holiday. Once with mom, and the other one with my best friend, Indah. I was super grateful to have them, the ones that have always been super cooperative. They just let me indulge myself in taking loads of "pasar" pics. And even encouraged me to explore even further! That's why, I was enjoying "pasar" like never before.

One of my favorite kiosks. The knick-knacks here blend so picturesquely in one frame.

I was in the hunt of wooden pestle and mortar and intended to bring them to Tokyo. But since my attempt to bargain didn't come up with a satisfying final price, I chose to dropped my intention and buying a bamboo strainer instead. Which was cheaper....

Faces I Met at "Pasar"

Nyaaw! Looking so fierce >:(

It was around 11 a.m., and most of the goods in this indoor section were sold out!!

Traditional markets are still winning Salatiga people's heart. We do have several supermarkets, but as long as I noticed, they pretty much struggle to win people's attention. Applying free parking, bigger parking lots, discounts on some products, better packaging... but those never really become a threat to the long existing traditional markets ("pasar").  

It feels like, "pasar" have secured their position in this tiny city. And I'm so looking forward to seeing a better or at least, a stable growth of "pasar" in Salatiga. Because I'm one of those people who loves to walk around "pasar", and gets caught in impulsive fruits/snacks shopping every time I'm here.

I can't wait to be back home in the (hopefully) near future, and back to this area!

 Last but not least, I would say a very special thanks to this girl, who has always accompanied me during this holiday! <3

Well, till the next post beautiful souls! Anyway, tomorrow is Monday again. And you know what? I'm super excited as I'll be going to a Junior High School in Tokyo for a program called "Ryugakusei ga Sensei". This program gives a chance for foreign students enrolled in any university in Tokyo to teach about their homeland to elementary till senior high school students in Tokyo! 

I have just got accepted to this program by the end of last year. The next step, is that I have to go through several preparation activities before eventually engage in the program as a teacher. As for tomorrow, I'll be observing two consecutive classes conducted by my senior and then write a report describing my impression about the class!

Hope you guys are having a superb Sunnday!



11 March 2017

Successfully Unleashing Myself from Being Homesick: Just a Personal Report on The Blog

Exactly a week ago, I set my feet on Tokyo's ground, back to this bustling city. Yes, I was away for exactly a month, spending almost the whole February and early March in hometown. To my surprise, I wasn't that much excited when the airplane landed in Narita airport. "Oh, hello again Tokyo...". I tried to greet the city, which at that time, was covered with clouds. Which made the melancholia within me grow even worse. At the point that I wasn't sure if I was happy or not to be back in the city. Luckily, I could still hold my tears and chose to burst them down once I did my evening prayer in the dorm.

The sleepy one year old me

So, here it goes the story about what happened lately...


I was suffering and battling this wicked mind disease for the first and second day after arriving here. I know, it's ultra common for someone to experience homesick. But it never crossed my mind that I would be that kind of someone. I had always thought that I was strong enough to deal with my decision to live far away from home,  most crucially from my mom.  I had always thought that I would instantly be happy, once I set my feet in Tokyo. But this time, I was so wrong.

What made me really surprise about being homesick is that, I never experienced it before. Trust me. During my one year of student exchange program, I was super okay. I was missing mom indeed, but still in a normal way. Last year, which was my second year living in Japan, I was super okay too. I had so much fun living my life here, along with the ups and downs the life had to offer. Turned out, I could still survive happily. Til I realized, I was away from home for nearly a year, even though in my mind I felt like it was only three months.

I wasn't the only one who was suffering. Mom was in the same situation. Just so you know, we both are extremely connected. Once I feel sad, she will definitely feel the same way. And vice versa. We could never lie to each other about our feelings. Because in the end we would just knew, even though we never put them in words.

She said, before, she has never felt that difficult to let me go. It's not that she could always handle my leaving easily, but at least she had always been so strong, so mentally prepared. But this time, none of us had an ample mental prep. During our phone call, we then analyzed what was really happening to us, why we felt so down, why we were so sad despite we both knew that I was leaving for the better, to pursue a higher education in an undeniably good place. Even, it wasn't my first time leaving home!

We then came into one conclusion, which then made us mentally stable again. And I couldn't be happier than being able to be back as the usual me and feeling this way :) I don't know, whether I should categorize "homesick" as a good thing or not. But at least, now I started to feel that home is always the best place, and being at home with mom has always been the best moment. Two things that I nearly took for granted before.

Now, I'm fully back in my normal condition, and back at making my daily to do list again. I couldn't even make one when I was feeling homesick. Since the only thing that I would possibly write is: go home and hug mom. lol.

I'm so glad that I'm able to think clearly again this time. The best part is when I finally found a new research topic yesterday! It was such a huge surprise to me, as I was casually reading a book on the train heading to Shinjuku. New idea came to me without me trying so hard to find one. What a miracle! I can't wait to meet my academic adviser in two weeks, and inform her about this. Hoping my communication with her will just go smoothly, and she agrees on this new topic! 

Anyways, I have some posts pending on the draft. Gotta finalize them as soon as possible, so that I can move on to the other new stories! *feeling energetic*

Guess I'll close this post with a happy birthday shout out to my dad that has just turned 52 yesterday!

Selamat ulang tahun, Papi! <3

Till the next post, guys ;)



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