It’s been a year!

It has been exactly a year since I first stepped my foot in the UK. 22 September 2012, I arrived in Manchester.

Excited, worried, and tired were my three first feelings when I came. I needed to go by myself from the airport to Hull – you know, finding my way, buying train tickets, carrying super big luggage. I am amazed now looking at myself back then. Haha. How on earth could I do all those things by myself. But yeah, when you are forced to do something, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Time flies so fast. It’s been a year and there’s been loads of things happened. It’s been a great experience for me to be here. I was worried that my life is going to change in a bad way but it turns out that I really really like it here. I think, living in such a different place than my hometown is priceless. It teaches me many things. Ask me the price of eggs in Jakarta and I won’t know a thing! Ask me the price of eggs in here, I can give you a list of egg prices from different stores. Seriously. I think I’ve become more independent.

Is a year enough? Never! The time is never enough. I wish I have more time to stay here, travel, and learn. Well, maybe some other time. I’m a bit sad that I have to leave. I’m half-sided now. I am looking forward to go back home but I am not looking forward to leave this place. This is annoying, I know.

Anyway, I was worried that I won’t be able to survive and won’t like living far from home but I’ve made a new home here. I have great friends, nice classmates, friendly housemates, and awesome life. I want to go back to Jakarta but I’m not too eager to live my life there anymore. I seriously want to travel around the world if I can. Send me anywhere and I’ll be there. Haha. But, for now that’s a bit of an imagination. I have to go home in a few days, but I hope I’ll be back here.

I’m grateful for this past year and I hope I’ll have a great year ahead.

 Sep 22, 2013
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My Last Few Weeks in UK

Time flies!

Indeed. It’s almost been a year since I came to UK for the first time. Now, it’s time to move on and face the real world. OH NO!

So, after the Ramadhan, almost a month traveling around western part of Europe, now it’s time to pack and pack and pack. I don’t know how on earth am I going to finally finish packing my stuffs. The first (and hopefully only – macem jodoh aja) package had just been sent this afternoon. I hope it’ll arrive in Indonesia well, without any problems. Aamiin!

Around two weeks ago, I submitted my dissertation. Yeay! After 3 months of research and more months writing I finally made it. I was so relieved that I finish it. However, that’s not the end of the challenge. Now I need to focus on finding job – and finding job in this economy is not easy.

What do I do then, that I’ve finished my study? I feel like my primary job nowadays is packing. My to do list changes from writing this and that to packing this and that. Oh! And also finishing all the food that I have in my freezer. It’s going to be unhealthy last few weeks in UK, really. Again, I don’t know how on earth am I going to finish all that food.

Anyway, I still have some more jobs to do as a student ambassador. I think I really am going to miss that. I also need to have a quick travel to Scotland. Yes! I have to go to Scotland! Then… finally finish all the unfinished business here – meeting friends and lecturers and stuffs like that.

I feel rather empty, really. I’m not that busy in a way but I feel like I have loads of things to do. I am half excited that I am going home but I am half sad that I am going to leave this place – not particularly Hull but yeah… I like living in the UK eventually.

So… yeah, looking forward for the last few weeks in the UK – I’m gonna make the most of it. And hopefully I can come back here again.

Sep 11, 2013

Please DO clean your stuffs!

After series of packing stuffs, a guy from accommodation office came and check the whole house. It’s not that I have to move out now, it just reminded me more that I need to move out soon. LOL.

There is only Stephanie and I in my house now. Just the two of us! So today we decided to clean our kitchen! Yes, the thing I would never do in Indonesia, I do it here. Cleaning the kitchen. Guess what we found.

We basically opened all the cupboard and decide what we are going to do with the ‘non-possessed stuffs’. There are three alternatives, whether we throw it out, keep it, or give it to charity. All the left over food – which is gross anyway – we throw it out. I don’t even think anyone would ever want the left-over food. We found oyster sauce, dried mushrooms, bottles of salt, bottles of vinegar, packs of sugar and guess what… tens of packs of flour! We’re gonna have to open a bakery to use all the flour, really. So other than the vinegar – which we’re going to use to clean other kitchen stuffs – we throw them all away.

BUT, it’s only half-clean. We needed to decide what we’re going to do with the cooking stuffs; you know, the pans, pots, and cutting boards. We literally can open a shop here to sell those stuffs. LOL. So finally we cleaned them all and put them in the separate cupboard for everybody who will come to use. How lucky you are if you’re coming to our house. It’s all clean and provided for you. Haha!

Another thing that we needed to take care of is eating utensils, such as plates, glasses, cups, spoons, and stuffs like that. The same thing happened with the eating utensils. We cleaned them all and put them in the separate cupboard. I can’t believe how many of them we have now.

Other than that, the detergent, laundry stuffs, and cleaning stuffs. We have a crate of them. Literally a crate. Three kettles, a rice cooker, and a toaster – yuhuuu I think our house is the most complete house among all the student houses. We also still have loads of tea bags, chocolate powder, baking soda, all the baking stuffs, and canned foods.

The thing is, why don’t you all clean up before you leave? You see, when you left all the foods and those stuffs, the people coming after you won’t know what to do with those things. They will either cleaned them all or worse, just left them there without knowing anything until a year later. Seriously. One year left over food is just gross. It reminds me though – that I will have to clean up my kitchen stuffs soon. The art of moving away…

Sep 11, 2013

Ramadhan in the UK

Finally, after thousands of reblogs (lebaaay), I got my urge to write back. I’m going to write in English now – again, finally after some mixed language entries, LOL. So, according to the theme nowadays for Muslims all around the world, I will write about Ramadhan.

This year’s Ramadhan is quite different for me, and probably my family as well. Why? Because we are separated! I am fasting here in the UK, my sister is fasting in Thailand and my parents are in Indonesia. Well, but I am grateful because I can have this kind of new experience to fast alone, far from home. Yeay! Anyway… how’s Ramadhan in the UK?

First of all, Ramadhan is Ramadhan. I mean, wherever you are, the essence will always be the same. So, although UK is not a Muslim-majority country, Muslim people here still fast and try to be close to Allah more than any other months (well, as long as I know). If you look at the mosques here, it’s almost the same with mosques in Indonesia. They have different kinds of programs for Ramadhan, they also provide ifthar and held tarawih prayer. The point is that in Muslim community, Ramadhan is still Ramadhan and we do what we usually do in Ramadhan with no difference (actually, this year’s Ramadhan must be better than the previous one!).

BUT, again as a non Muslim-majority country, Ramadhan here is different than Ramadhan back in my country, Indonesia. What’s different? LOTS! LOL. I am exaggerating. Okay, here’s the differences…

1. This year’s Ramadhan is in the middle of summer. Yes, you’re right! If you live in tropical areas, you may not experience the seasonal different which affect like your whole daily life. In here, in this Ramadhan, we fast in the middle of the summer in the UK and as we have to fast from the sunrise until the sunset, we have like around 19 hours to fast. Is it difficult? Well, if you think about it you will think that it is. However, if you do it… it’s not that bad, really… It is manageable.

2. As Ramadhan is in the middle of summer, it is HOT in here. It’s not like super hot as in Indonesia. At least I’m not that thirsty. But it is still hot. The temperature nowadays is more to over 20 degrees Celsius. If you’re Indonesian and live in Indonesia, you may think that WOW, that’s not hot. But trust me, when you spend months in the UK, over 15 degrees Celsius can feel really really hot.

3. Again, related to summer, the night time is very short. We have around 5 hours of night time that we have to use to pray and be close to Allah. Yes, I heard that we have to spend the most of our Ramadhan night to pray. So, within 5 hours you have sooooo many things to do from ifthar until suhoor. I personally choose not to sleep at night because I’m afraid I’ll sleepover. LOL. I don’t want to miss suhoor because it’s a barakah time and I want to pray Qiyamullail. So, in these past few days, I didn’t sleep at night and I slept later during the day. Your daily life literally flipped around! It is quite easy for me because I don’t really have to work everyday, but if you are working in the UK with like certain office hour… I don’t know what to do. Haha

4. The atmosphere.  Of course, different place has different atmosphere. As not so many Muslims in here (well, comparing to Indonesia), the Ramadhan atmosphere isn’t really obvious. People live their life as usual, there’s no difference with any other months. It’s neither positive or negative as I don’t really care about it but sometimes I miss the Ramadhan atmosphere in Indonesia. Anyway, it’s rather out of context but it is nice that this year, Channel4 have a special Ramadhan program everyday (Ramadhan reflection) and every week (Ramadhan in UK). So, at least we still have Ramadhan TV programs here. LOL (no Para Pencari Tuhan, though)

5. I am alone. This is personally about me. If you’re in the UK with your family then it’ll be alright. For me, I live alone here so I have to fast and arrange my Ramadhan alone (poor me, wkwkwk). For me, I am still getting used to the way I have to arrange my Ramadhan by myself. You know, life is so much easier in Indonesia regarding Ramadhan. I mean, in terms of food and you needs. You can just buy things anywhere, whenever. People even open their restaurants for suhoor. What a life! Here, you have to arrange it by yourself. I have to cook, think what to eat, think what to do and when I have to do that. I’ve learned a lot. I am lucky though because someone just moved in to my house and she is a Muslim. It’s nice to have someone around during ifthar and suhoor because our ifthar is at around 9.30 when everyone’s already having their night out or ready to sleep (I don’t think they’re asleep though) and the suhoor is at 1.30 because Subuh time is at 2.30 when people are asleep or still drunk in bars. Plus, I also have some Indonesian friends here so I can still come over and get together with them.

That’s pretty much all, I think – except the fact that we cannot have the ‘Ramadhan foods’ like in Indonesia (well, we can if we want to cook it by ourselves which… I don’t). See, Ramadhan is still Ramadhan, in whatever situation you are. What we, well I, have to do is to make the most of it; strive to conquer (caelah bahasanyaa) all obstacles to be a fully taqwa person at the end. Insha Allah.

Happy Ramadhan, everyone! Taqabbalallah! 🙂

Jul 13, 2013