A Transition

Minggu, 19 Februari 2017
Fifth day in Gatton
There was a warning about storm earlier this afternoon. When they said storm, I was thinking about heavy rain and strong wind. As the matter of fact, it turned out to be a shower with breeze. I even let my window open. It was nothing close to what I imagined.
So far, everything is nice. I stayed at Mbak Nurul’s at Gaul street, close to everywhere because this town is very small! 8000 population, 4.993 ha area. I think I have seen most of it in just 5 days! Well, I didn’t expect it to be this small, and at first I was a little bit concerned because, well, might be I’ll get bored. It might be true. May be I’ll get bored sooner than I thought, but the most important thing is this place is so quiet and calm. It looks so similar to my village so I don’t have hard time to adapt. And in case I need some entertainment, I can go to the city if I want to see things but for now, I believe this is pretty nice.
Unlike the calm location transition, the lifestyle transition still overwhelms me. I am suddenly a rich posh and it shocked me! my point is, all my life I had always depended on my parents. My allowance was small and I have to calculate everything just to survive until the next allowance. Well, my parents always give me anything I need when I tell them, but I don’t always tell them because I am too old to ask for money. I wrote about how ugly and dirty my rented room in padang was, I mostly ate eggs and vegetables because I couldn’t afford chicken or meat. my laundry supplies are the cheapest ones, and I don’t really wear make up because it’s too expensive. All was because I was so poor (I was poor, but my family is doing okay, in fact better than most of people in my village, so don’t worry :D). Now, LPDP gives me waaaaay more than I need. I can buy all food I want and all the clothes I need. But I am stil hesitant to spend my money because just can’t get over my old lifestyle yet. gosh! This is so funny. I am literally laughing right now because I can’t believe myself being in this position! Really! No manually doing my laundry, no extreme financial policy and self-restriction. I don’t have to buy secondhand outfit anymore. I have to say, it shocked me I still can’t properly be grateful and thank Allah for how lucky I am. Astaghfirullah.
Well, I am grateful. I am extremely grateful. I know people who want to get the scholarship, they more than deserve it, but the honor come to me first. Allah loves me with a very unique and delightful approach. But I remind myself too that examination doesn’t always come in the form of difficulties, but also the beautiful thing.

Hello Melbourne

Selasa, 14 Februari 2017
Terminal 2, Melbourne International Airport

Here I am, Melbourne, which is surprisingly cold. Isn’t it summer right now in Australia? Well, it’s not actually cold, just 16-18 degree celcius but still.

So I am finally leave to Brisbane. Yesterday was a long day and I didn’t even think about writing a journal, I usually write something on the plane though. But first, the flight was at midnight and I was tired. Second, I boarded Garuda Indonesia and they have screen where you can play movies, play games, and music. Bear with me, I am being so norak right now. but the first experience is always fascinating and and I am not going to pretend that I was not awed of literally everything. The food on board is also delicious.

My mom and brother come along with me to Jakarta, but my dad can only say goodbye in BIM. I took him see the airplanes and everything. Then after an hour he said goodbye without tears. He went home directly after. My mom was a little bit more emotional. She cried when I hugged my dad in BIM. I mean, it’s always my dad who asked me about a lot of stuff over and over again, and my mom is more like the quiet type. My brother was also somehow emotional. It’s not every day to see him like that. 

Jo come to BIM before I took off. She gave me a pair of earmuff as farewell gift and then said goodbye. At 6:45 PM, the plane to Jakarta took off. We arrive at 8:30 PM at Soetta and right after we get off the plane, my mom and brother go to Kebon Kacang. Mom somehow regret she didn’t see me leaving but I guess it’s easier that way because it’ll be too late if they wait for me.

The flight from Jakarta to Melbourne took 6 hours, more or less. I have been in a long trip before but this flight is somehow hard. I couldn’t sleep and my knees were aching. I tried to sleep but can only for two hours, I slept better in the bus ride to Bengkulu. So, I spent time watching movie, they have Dr. Strange, Troll, The dark Night, and some Indonesian movies.
At 4 am, western Indonesian time, I saw from the plane window that the horizon was already bright. I couldn’t close my eyes anymore. The flight attendant served breakfast then and I know there would be no more sleep for me today. 

When we arrived at the Melbourne airport, the first thing I did was turning on my wifi and text my mom that I am save and sound. I texted some other friend when I was I the queue for the immigration, which people describe as somehow intimidating but I really didn’t feel nervous whatsoever. Was I really relax, or I just forgot how important it is again, I can’t tell. The most important thing is I made it. I went thought the passport check, the luggage check, and finally I am in waiting room for my flight to Brisbane now, have no problem in getting into Australia. 

I don’t know. The only difference I feel is there is a lot of white people and everyone speaks English. Well, of course they are, so silly of me to mention that. But, what I really mean is other than being awed by how the Garuda Indonesia’s flight attendant could still look fresh after a whole night serving people, or how long the queue of the passport check, or how great that we have to do self-check in for the domestic flight, everything else feels like Jakarta, feels so familiar. Well, the building are different but people are still people, they are the same, either Indonesian, Chinese, Australian. I used to feel this clear distinction between me and “everyone else”, like when I first visit Semarang I can feel all those Javanese are really different from MInangnese. I am not that little girl who is amazed seeing blonde hair anymore. i see pass skin color, hair color, I see pass language and cultures. Deep inside, we’re just the same and it doesn’t amaze me anymore.

I am not sure if this means I grow up and getting wise, or simply already get used to it. when I first visit Jakarta, I excitedly text my mom saying “moom, your daughter is in Jakarta!” but I don’t feel like doing it now. I just text my mom I was okay and she doesn’t have to worry.
That’s for now. I’ll write about Gatton next. thanks for reading J

Last Day at Home

Sabtu, 11 Februari 2017
Home, February 12th, 2017
Here I am, in the place where I have spent most of my time in the last 8 month. Gosh, if I were pregnant in the first day I started this routine, my belly would had be very big right now and small kicks would come from within me. I don’t know why I think of being pregnant as the analogy. But anyhow, apparently, 8 month is not a long time. It feels like yesterday when I rushed my way from Suwarnadwipa. Today, I am in the last day of that phase, and I will start a new phase tomorrow. 

I have finished 75% of my packing. I have put all the clothes I need in my suitcase, including a winter coat my SO gave me as birthday gift (thank you, dear), bed sheet, praying mat, mukena and sarung, towel, and even a rice cooker. I’ll be staying with mbak nurul in Gatton, and she suggested me to get a rice cooker from Indonesia because the ones they sell in Australia make the rice too dry. I have no problem stuffing everything in that big red suitcase I recently bought for this journey. I only need to put a bath kit in there and my suitcase is all set. Everything else will be in my backpack.

I am excited with mixed feeling of every other emotion. I can feel fear, worry, freaking out, sad, and exhilaration in the bowl of my fruit salad. Seeing that red suitcase, I imagine miles and miles that will separate me with life as I know it. and in just 18 hours or so, LPDP will launch me to land I never imagined I’ll step my feet on, with a whole new life, a whole new people, a whole new home and neighborhood, A WHOLE NEW EVERYTHING! No wonder I freak out, right? Well, all my life has been a series of getting to a new school with all new friends. I mean, I was the only student in my junior high from my elementary school, and the same condition repeated until university. I have no old friend (or there are only one or two who I didn’t really knew) from the previous education level. But this one? It is not only a new school, it’s a new country. I’ll start alone and I’ll start clueless. And I know that everything is really different from everything I know.

But the thing I am scared of the most is also what I really want the most. I want this scary change because I need it. I have been dreaming about a life changing journey and experiences and it all are spread in front of me. and like the scary rides in the amusement park where everyone scream at the top of their lung, I’ll scream at the top of my lung too. I’ll work hard for this and enjoy the ride while it lasts.