Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Hello good people!


Today is the last day of winter holiday. I really just want to spend it lazily. Well, we (me and Mas Yu) will have afternoon tea double date together with my bestfriend and her husband 🙂 But; in the morning I am free, I almost finished my abstract for March conference so I decide to wake up late and spend the morning writing about 2017. A dramatic year full of drama, I guess. What happened in 2017? Let me just give me a quick review!


2017 started with mega drama number one. Since everything is over now and I have made peace with the main actor, I really cannot mention the content of the drama here (however, I have a little review about that here).

That time everything was quite blurred I guess. I would not make it without my best friend and in total four times visit from my parent and my sister. During spring and summer, I had a little stolen holiday to Kyoto and Osaka, as well as Izu and Nagoya with good friends.


In terms of academic, actually nothing changed much. I am right now Doctoral Second year student, first semester. This year I managed to attend 3 conferences (2 national (Chemical Society of Japan and Biocatalysis Symposium) and 1 international, Biotrans at Hungary). I also try to speak about science in Science なう event! I also found myself a new interesting topic about synthesizing drug derivatives.

In lab? It is getting more complicated but still very fun, as one of the oldest right now I have 12 kouhai in total with 2 directly under my supervision. Challenging but still happy! I wish we all can do research with love and dedication, and I can somehow be a good role model 🙂

My focus next year will be more of computational study (crystal structure refinement) and docking study; plus writing my publication! I will have to start thinking as well about my future career, meaning searching for a faculty position or post-doctoral position in Japanese university.


This year I tried also to post more on my youtube channel and do vlogging (which I found to be quite fun!). I know what I am doing in youtube is not that “trending” or so called eye-catching, I am just doing it for fun (but with my heart into it). Ah, I also learn to wear hijab more often, trying to incorporate it with my own style 🙂


All of these things happened together with mega drama number two and mega drama number three. Really cannot mention the content of the mega drama number two however I have a little snippet here and there. I guess I am quite content with the problem solving of mega drama number two right now.


And mega drama number three? Finally I am completely releasing myself from my toxic love relationship for 4 years! Here is the snippet, yes, Mas Yu found me 😀 together with wonderful friends from Kanagawa International Student Music Festival!!


although we are so far away from settling down. We need gazillion works to be done to face our huge barriers. But to be honest, I am completely at peace. We learn something new everyday, kudos for him for his patience and willingness to learn.


In the end, I wrap up this year with a peaceful state of mind.

What are the keys?


  1. Self acceptance

I am accepting myself right now, I am not the smartest and I am slow at doing things. But whatever, I keep moving forward slowly everyday. I mean, my dear family, bf, and best friends, they are all able to accept me with my strength and especially, weakness. Why should I be reluctant to accept myself?

  1. Not trying to please everyone

I learned the hard way this year no matter how hard you try to make someone like you; they will not do that if they do not feel that way! So don’t try to please people, be yourself. They will love you if they love you.

  1. Listen and care only to those who really love you

Not all things should be heard and be put into the deepest core of our heart. Follow your heart, listen only to those who matters the most.

Critic will always come to your life. If they come and bother you, just ask yourself two questions. 1) Have I put my heart while doing it? Have I done my best? 2) Do I have good intention on doing this? If the answers are yes, just proceed. It’s the right thing for you.

(Yu, 2017)

Actually actually, those beautiful words in point number 1 to 3 is not mine. I should put some reference…. thank you Yu Teguh golden ways, lol.



So that is all for my 2017.

I do not have big and detailed resolution for 2018. I am only taking baby steps cherishing everyday and be grateful to Allah for all of His blessings.

Well, I have to publish a paper and search for job this year, hopefully postdoc or academic position in Japan. These are the only focus.


Goodbye, 2017.


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim welcome 2018 ❤



With loads of love,


Afifa Ayu Koesoema


May Allah leads us all the way

Hello everyone!


How was life? Here in Japan, it’s getting colder and colder because it’s already in the end of November. However, lately things are getting better and better, in my opinion. Nothing change much in the terms of academic, instead I found myself a new (quite cool) topic of synthesizing cool drugs. But in the case of my heart? Dramatic change happened.


So i guess i found myself in a wrong relationship for 4 years, idk. For long. And to be honest i was kinda losing myself and my grip, and even my trust to everyone during those times. Imagine?

But finally I have the courage to let go of what’s not good for me.

Start fresh and suddenly unexpectedly God has turned my faith and gave me a leap of destiny *okay exaggerating mode of talking : on*


Honestly i never felt this better in life. Finally i have got the contentment of life, like, finally be able to love myself and think that I am good enough. Finally feeling that I am being loved by so many people, my family, my best friends, my lab mates, and everyone. World is of course not perfect, but it is so wonderful right now.

And more wonderfully, I think I have developed a better connection and relation with God, Allah SWT.

I was put in a situation where I have to combine my favorite activity (teaching) with Islam. And yes, as always, to be able to teach someone, the thing that you should do is to learn more about the things. Just like teaching enzymology or how to do experiment 🙂 So I am trying hard to fix my Salah (more punctual and so on, especially now someone is somehow reminding me to do it, although he’s not yet doing it), improve my understanding about the basic principle of Islam as well as reading Al Quran more studiously.

Trying to put it together, explaining how Islamic principle is wonderful and very applicable in the modern life. And of course how it can be explained in the scientific way #becausewearePhDcandidates #nerdleague


So I would like to put my utmost gratitude from God to send me a catalyst that can make me see myself as a better person, pursue my career to be better, fixing my relation with everyone, and at the same time make me try to know God better 🙂

To put it simple, make me happy, thank you Nerd and Mr. Nerd (the violin).



Are we out of the woods yet?

Of course not, this is a big and serious challenge. We have no intention to hide or avoid it, the difference that we have. Kudos for him to put himself in this situation and his willingness to try, fight, and learn. Baby steps everyday, it will be okay.


May Allah leads us all the way.



With loads of love,



Afifa Ayu Koesoema


I will be myself

Hello all!

Getting cold now and it’s been raining since yesterday, probably until the end of next week. So, i’ve just spent my super late summer holiday in Indonesia. Coming back to the lab, everything is just pretty much the same. Experiment and writing my manuscript.

Just gonna write a little before sleeping.

My heart is feeling unwell today. (lately).

That’s probably what happen if you try to cut yourself from your comfort zone of 5 years already >.< *geez that’s quite long, uh?* but that’s not the main point!!



So, lately I have this feeling again of everyone’s moving away so fast. People keep moving forward with their wonderful and full of accomplishment/achievements life (that they show in their social media, i do not know the real struggle, though).

Talking about social media, probably I am always honest at my social media. When I felt sad i will say that I’m sad. I am not really filtering my post so that my life will look perfect or fairy-tale-ish.

And the truth is now like this : people are super fast and shining and sparkling, while I am here with my baby steps and my matte color, lol.

But I guess it’s okay. It’s okay to always be the silent one. Silently works behind everything. Harmless and underdog. Has nothing to be brag about. Not a cool kid? That’s okay, as long as you’re still alive and moving forward, it’s completely okay.



The most important thing?

I have my goals (and reaching it with my baby steps, lol) and I have to make peace with myself. Probably I have my plus point as well compared to those shining creatures, lol.

But I guess I will just be myself and make peace with myself.


There are a lot of wonderful little things in front of me now.

Might not be as shining as what they have but at least I have secured myself a topic for my publication, and… I will talk about DNA to public in November.. and I will play piano in a concert in December, will dance and sing as well… and I will be in charge of my favorite class, International Communication Biology stuffs 🙂


Just record this quickly to uplift my mood.



With a load of love,



Afifa Ayu Koesoema




missbunny’s cooking time 1 : GyÅ«don ç‰›ä¸¼

Hello! ♡

Back with me! Right now actually I’m enjoying my (super late) summer holiday here in Indonesia. I guess it’s autumn already actually in Japan, but anyway, this summer holiday is just full of food~

I guess I will write some new restaurant review as well later on.

However, today I will share a recipe in this blog! Well not only the recipe! Actually I am making my first…. COOKING VIDEO! Yay!



*so, yes, I like cooking and it’s actually really fun to share how to cook delicious food in a simple way*


My first time is a very easy and simple Japanese food called… GyÅ«don (牛丼), beef over rice bowl. This is a very famous Japanese food, if you are living in Indonesia maybe you can easily find this food in Yoshinoya. But since this food is simple but very fulfilling and delicious, why don’t we try to make it by myself? *wink



SO LET’S GET STARTED!! (thanks Mom for lending the kitchen, lol)


This is the video…



  • Sliced beef
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • Dashi (fish broth) : you can make it by boiling 120 mL of water with dashi no moto powder
  • Japanese soy sauce (Kikkoman)
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • Green onion/leek (chopped)



  • Brings dashi mixture to boil over medium heat and add Kikkoman and sugar
  • Soften the onion by putting it inside the dashi soup mixture, cover the lid while waiting to prevent evaporation of the soup
  • Once it’s soften, put sliced beef one by one
  • Make sure everything is evenly cooked
  • Serve over warm rice with chopped leek and warm miso soup!


Simple isn’t it? Anyway, I hope that I can be consistent in making this cooking video!



With loads of love ♡



Afifa Ayu Koesoema




Hello all!

I haven’t written anything in this blog for a month, I guess. The summer holiday was quite busy (doing experiment and doing experiment alone). However today, our laboratory has just finished rearranging the student room for the upcoming new students.

I got a very cool new place where I managed to put all my dolls, photographs, files, datas, and a monitor to assist me doing the protein structure study.

FullSizeRender 15


Now 8 PM, I am sitting here alone looking at this particular room with a lot of memories and I just want to share a little bit about my lab here 🙂

I just changed the attendance list on the door, and realizing that there will be 14 students now, it was 7, back then. So many memories, right?


Okay, my laboratory.

2012-2013 ようこそ

I’ve known this place from September 2012, yes, 5 years ago. At that time they just moved in to this place from the previous old building and I was an innocent (lol) exchange student knowing so little thing about Japan.

I was startled at first. I received an e-mail from Sensei saying that the topic of research will be green chemistry. At that point i did not even know what green chemistry is.

I came here and  the first experiment they made me do here is of course, organic chemistry, the thing i used to hate the most. But somehow I survive my exchange year and it became one of the happiest year in my life.

To be honest, I knew nothing about my research back then. I did random mutagenesis and if I saw my bachelor thesis again now I would laugh pretty hard to read my own methodology of library screening. But that year was very fruitful. Despite of knowing very little Japanese word, I managed to develop a deep friendship with everyone here.

写真 2013-06-27 16 09 23IMAG0260



2014-2015 so this is graduate school

Coming back here to start my master program, i was super optimistic for a month, probably. And then my experiment started to fail and fail and fail for months. I was pretty shock, since I used to be the girl who can finish everything  related to academic perfectly. So i guess, welcome to graduate school and real research life! ^^

I was pretty clueless, still, about my research. But i had a very kind senior that taught me everything so meticulously. He was nice but sometimes very strict, but he was nice, the nicest :’)

I will always remember what he said when he finally left the laboratory. I will always remember that he was proud of me that I can finally do the experiment according to his teaching. Really, I would not know how to survive my initial months without him by my side :’) After he left, I started to obtain good datas and I started to love my research so much. I could attend a conference and even applying for grant.

I remember saying to myself, “Let’s get it rolling!!”

Friendship was marvelous at that time, the good old days, with a lot of party and games!


2015-2016 Establishing myself

I was in full throttle. Not only I had more and more promising results, my Japanese language gets better, and I could start teaching my juniors, and even do administrative things inside the lab. I was like a flowering flower bud, i guess. I would do my research non -stop and feeling happy about it. I would be very active in lab discussion. Even more, I got the grant that i applied for. I was also sent to represent my laboratory in more conferences, even 2 international ones. That was my very first solo trip to Europe :’)


But of course, along with the joy, there were some drawbacks.

At that time it was still bearable, I guess. Work place rivalry and misunderstanding that turned into working place b*l*y*ng? I guess that was the right word to sum it up for short. That was hard. I did not remember how many times I would also sit on the laboratory’s floor crying by myself. Or to think how worthless I am for not being able to publish paper, yet, despite the promising result that I got.

But then, my mood was lifted up again by more good results, or more trust from Sensei or being able to teach my junior more. At that time, probably i thought things will get better from now on, but…..

2016-2017 To the hell of Ph.D Program, and life.

Welcome to hell, i mean, Ph.D program. It started with a month of uncanny behavior of my bacterias and maybe a month of uncanny behavior of myself. My reasons to cry bounced from research to a guy to research to a guy, everyday. It was tiring because at the same time, i had to put a brave and proper face as a Ph.D students. I would stay until late to finish my thing and try to fix my bacteria, and I would pretend nothing happen in front of my juniors in the other day.

It was also difficult to divide thoughts. I would stay in the morning and afternoon not doing my things fully but also assisting many people. At night I will have time for myself. I started thinking that maybe I did everything wrong,  I focused too much on other people and the laboratory well-being. But I also did not want to be that kind of unapproachable and ignorant senpai (senior).

To make things worse, a mega problem and misunderstanding happened in the lab. It was tiring and scary and stuffs. But I guess all of us learned something from that 🙂 It did not end there, though. Another problem arose from this Spring, a problem that made me question myself, as a human being. A problem that taught me to be independent and be brave enough to forgive and let go of toxic people from my life 🙂


But now, here I am. through thick and thin, i am still here 🙂


I am a second year doctoral student, quite happy and well. I haven’t published anything yet but I’m pursuing for it. I am aiming for two kind of papers with combination of enzymology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, crystallography, and structure analysis.

I love my research so much, I even talk with my enzyme when no one’s around and give them honorifics like alanine-chan or tryptophan-kun, lol. My love of teaching and research grew more and more. It is more like a calling to solve all of this enzyme mechanism mystery (lol).

Am I still childish? Yes I guess. But definitely I am more mature than my 2012-version of me. My lab has a lot of freedom as well, but I guess it shaped me. I had to push myself to be obedient, to do research passionately without anyone telling me or scolding me; to be punctual and responsible for your work, to teach well, to respect other people, to be tough and continue working despite of the acknowledgment, most importantly, to love yourself and your research :’)



And, yes, uhm. This lab and Matsuda Sensei, thank you very much 🙂


I hope I can make the remaining 2 years here more fruitful and I can contribute more for this lab :’)


With loads of love



Afifa Ayu Koesoema (almost D2)