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a day off of PhD Students : Aobadai Review

Happy weekend! It is Satuday night here.

Saturday is always my no-academic and no-experiment day. I always spend it together with my bf (since he always work on Sunday, and I will do experiment also on Sunday).

A typical day off for two PhD students will be generally simple! We will either sing or play violin and he would accompany me record music video. Or, we would be out eating or he would accompany me shopping.

So let me tell you one by one.

[Outfit of the day]

One of the most important thing is outfit of the day. Although we don’t usually go really far but I will dress up, still! Today is really hot so I dress up like this!

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pink sunnies from Paris van Java, Bandung, Indonesia; basic black tops and kilted mini skirt from Topshop; a shocking pink Harrods bag; and platform Converse shoes.

I don’t have my bf ootd. He is just a normal boy, does not care much about fashion. lol.

Anyway, today we tried new restaurant and new menu!

[T’s Kitchen Steak : Aobadai]

https://tabelog.com/en/kanagawa/A1401/A140202/14061146/

This restaurant is located just around 3 minutes walk from Aobadai Station (walking out from the west exit towards Aobadai Tokyu Square). We always passed this restaurant everytime we go to Jonathan’s Aobadai. Just like the name, the restaurant specialized only on steak. The restaurant is quite small (only 9 seatings in a counter setting). But the food is delicious and fresh! We ordered the lunch set steak that already includes rice, salad, and miso shiru! (1280 JPY for ladies size 120 gr and 1680 JPY for men’s size 140 gr). They served salt, pepper, shoyu sauce, and mustard for seasoning.

One interesting thing we learned today that the black round block is actually a heating block. The steak will be served in medium rare, so if you want to make it well done, you can just press and grill your steak on the block!

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[Ueshima Coffee-ten Aobadai Shop]

It is definitely not my first time to go to this coffee shop but today I finally tried out the summer menu, kakigori (かき氷 Japanese shaved ice dessert). It comes in two flavor, strawberry and kuromitsu-houjicha (Japanese sugar and tea).

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Of course, I asked for the strawberry flavor, lol.

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What can I say about this? It is a perfect combination of finely shaved ice with strawberry sauce and chunked strawberry. It is combined with condensed milk and ice-cream on top! 🙂 Perfect for the hot summer day!

Caution, it looks small but actually it is quite big ^^ We had hard time to finish everything :p Next week, I would probably try the other flavor.

 

So that’s it for my review this week! 🙂

For those living in Japan, stay hydrated and safe from the scorching heat!

 

Love :*

 

Afifa

 

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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Hello good people!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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 🙂

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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.

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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim welcome 2018 ❤

 

 

With loads of love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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Daily Kawaii Review : Hands Cafe Chuorinkan

Hello! Back with me!

Writing again in the train after finishing the whole day doing enzyme structure refinement training, I guess I can do this, posting one blogpost every week J

 

Differs from the last topic which tends to deal with my inner struggle, this post is really light. Yes, I will only talk about a cute café near my place, Hands Café Chuo Rinkan.

Access : 2nd floor Etomo Shopping Mall, just outside Chuorinkan Station in the terminus of Tokyu Denentoshi Line

Price : 1500-2500 yen for one meal with drink, moderate for café type in Tokyo

Reservation : cannot be made

Website : https://www.handscafe.jp/chuorinkan/

 

What’s special about this cafe?

 

In normal day this café is just another western-style type of café, but once every one or two months this café has a collaboration with some cartoon character or set a certain theme to make a thematic café. I went to this café twice already during a collaboration with capybara-san character and Korilakkuma (a minor character in Rilakkuma series). Let me tell you about the story in detail!

 

Capybara Café

Period : April 2017

This visit was random and I did not even know that capybara exist in this world. So, if you guys also don’t know what capybara is, capybara is a kind of rodent (larger type compared to rabbit) ^^

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During this time, the whole café was decorated with capybara plushy, you will get one or two dolls in each table. Really, at first I thought it was a cat (blame the shape of the mouth, lol). And the shape of some of the plushy resembles rat in my opinion, but it’s cute, anyway.

Food was also decorated with capybara theme, but it is also possible in that time to order the normal café menu. I ordered beef stew with omu-rice (omelette rice, rice covered with thin slice of fried egg) which tasted really good. I really like the mash and hash-brown potato served on side.

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Korilakkuma Meets Chairoikoguma Cafe

Period : June 2017

So who are these bears? They are rilakkuma’s friends, lol. And why do they have the similar name as Rilakkuma?

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Ko (小) in Japanese means small and indeed korilakkuma (the white bear with pink outifit is small and cute). While chairo (茶色) in Japanese means brown, indeed the other bear is dark brown and I think probably still smaller than Rilakkuma. So that’s the origin of their name, I guess. Don’t ask me about more detail, I know nothing about rilakkuma’s story line.

Differs from the previous visit, this visit was planned with my best friend and I was able to do more makeup and styling to match the atmosphere of the café.

Compared to capybara café, I think that this theme is more popular, since I think every Japanese knows who rilakkuma is.

That time me and my best friend decided to order one main course and one dessert.

 

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Main course (right side)  : チャイロイコグマのがお〜!てりやきチキンバーガープレート(Chairoikoguma’s face shaped teriyaki chicken burger plate)

Dessert (left side) : なかよしストロベリーマウンテンパンケーキ (strawberry mountain pancake)

 

It was very nicely decorated and cute. Unfortunately, the main course did not taste as nice as the capybara’s menu.The chicken burger tastes a bit bland, and it really has a small piece of chicken >.<

It’s just full of vegetables only (maybe it’s designed for those petite Japanese girls, not for a meat-lover like me)

Ah, and I think for this theme they have more varieties of cute drink as well. We had fun doing our routines as well (dress up, eating small portion in a cute café, acting like a cute Japanese girls) but ended up eating again afterwards, as always.

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So, that’s it for now. I hope you guys enjoy reading this post ^^

And if you visit Japan don’t forget to visit thematic café like this, since it is so cute! (although it may not have the best food taste). I will keep you updated more about daily kawaii things and restaurant near where I live! See you!

 

 

xoxo, with love

 

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

 

 

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January Favorite Things!

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my blog. Yes, I haven’t written anything for such a long time I’m really sorry. Many things have happened, including me graduating from master program and now becoming a doctoral degree student~

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My graduation day!! – photo credit to Antonius Priyo

The last 6 months have been difficult in many aspects (study, lab-life, human relation, love relation, etc.) and apparently i am in a point where I feel to busy and cannot handle it until I decide to slow down a little bit >.< BUT, at least right now I only have 2 more deadlines : my grant final report and my publication.

 

 

So I am now trying to slow down myself by developing four habits : cooking, singing and playing violin, writing food journal, and… start to write in this blog again regularly.

Let’s start with something simple : JANUARY FAVORITE THINGS!!

So yes, as you maybe already know, I love kawaii (cute) things and it is such a heaven to live in Japan. Japan is full of cute things, and these are my favorite things in January!

  1. Pink sweets haul from school shop20170204-3i just love these! They are pink and super delicious! First, ふわふわ Pocky Midi (ストロベリーふローマジュ – Strawberry Fromage) — this is not the ordinary Pocky, Pocky Midi is shorter and a bit fatter (chibi, in my opinion). The taste of this? So delicious! ふわふわ means fluffy and this pocky tastes like fluffy strawberry cheesecake! 🍰 Chupa Chups ストロベリークリーム- Strawberry Cream  delightful old-fashioned lollipop! Tropicana Essentials 食物繊維 Peach Blend  食物繊維 means dietary fiber and this juice is really delicious! This is my favorite juice this month.

2.  Unicorn Iphone Case and Mobile Battery

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So well yes, I am obsessed with iphone case because I think phone case is also an important item for your fashion statement! Mainly I will go with book type case (it is super safe for your phone) with girly, pink and cute tone or elegant. My main themes as you can see are princess, disney or sanrio 😀

This month i bought a unicorn-motif case from Rakuten altogether with the unicorn mobile battery. I’m feeling pretty much like in a fairy-tale land.

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3. Purple Glitter Sailor Moon Nail Polish

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Sailor Moon Nail Polish JPY 700+tax, Nail Oil Stick JPY 1400+tax (all from Its Demo Aobadai Shop)

This nail polish comes from my favorite shop, Its Demo, located dangerously outside my train station (lol). I am already longing for this nail polish for long time because it’s sailor moon special series, for God’s sake! It’s purple, glossy, and glittery. As an addition to my nail polish, I also bought a nail oil stick. It is like a lipbalm for your nail and it will keep your nail moisturized especially during this cold and dry winter.

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And… above is my masterpiece by using this nailpolish!! Combining it with my 100 JPY light purple nail polish from Cando I can make a lame gradation imitation nail, lol. Quite beautiful isn’t it?

P.S : this kind of nail art will cost around 3000-4000 JPY in proper nail salon, lol.

 

So these are my January favorite things! Anyone want to share their favorite things to add up my kawaii Japan things?

 

 

With loads of love,

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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Sanrio Puroland!

Hello everyone and happy golden week! 🙂

So yesterday I went to Sanrio Puroland with my bestfriend Hilda. And since we are sort-of a Sanrio-addict we were really-really excited! We even managed time to get the same dress for this particular occasion.

Before I told you about our adventure there, let me give you a general information for this park.

So, what’s Sanrio Puroland?

Outer Look of Sanrio Puroland!

Inner look of Sanrio Puroland!

Definitely from the name it is an all Sanrio-character theme park located at Tama City, Tokyo. It is located just a short walk from the South Exit of Odakyu Tama Center Station (Odakyu-Tama Line). You can basically meet any Sanrio character there from the famous Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Stars, to the little known ones like Monkichi (or it’s just me that don’t know Monkichi?).

In my opinion this park is really popular for Japanese (but we spotted some foreigner, though) and popular for toddlers and children (though we also spotted other grown up women, mainly come in pair with twin dress, just like me and Hilda). It was Golden Week so the park was kinda fully packed with people, but it’s indoor and the queuing is nothing like Disneyland, so don’t worry!

What’s the main event currently held there?

When we came, Sanrio Puroland also celebrates My Melody 40th Anniversary (geez, she’s that old). So they made special shop for her and the theme is just all for her! Good for me as a huge Melody fans!

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What’s the main attraction there in Sanrio Puroland?

Character Boat Ride

The boat ride is the first thing you will see at the entrance. During the first half of the ride you will get an overall introduction of all Sanrio Characters. During the second half of the ride you will see them all inside Hello Kitty’s Party! The decoration and character are so cute, you can even smell cinnamon when you see the cinnamon roll!

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Lady Kitty House

Next thing up is Lady Kitty House. But please note that Lady Kitty is not Hello Kitty (Kitty White), Lady Kitty is actually Rose White, Hello Kitty’s Grandmother. How can you see the difference? Rose White wears rose instead of red ribbon!

But the house itself is super cute and magnificent! You can go inside the house, look around all the cute stuffs, take picture, and in the end take picture with Lady Kitty :3 (but you will have to pay 1600 Yen more to get your photo printed). You will be greeted by Lady Kitty’s baby grand piano upon arrival and after that you can see Lady Kitty’s huge teddybear, her make-up, her dress collection, her bed, and everything!

It’s definitely a perfect place to take pictures!

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And this is me and my twinnie official picture with Lady Kitty Rose ❤

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Kiki & Lala – Twinkling Tour

This adorable twin is also my favorite and they also have attraction related to Kiki and Lala! Inside the Twinkling Tour you will watched a video about their born and also why did they descend to earth 😀 You will also learn about Kiki and Lala’s magical power and about a cloud machine that can grant anything that you wish for!

After we’ve finished watching the video, we will walk inside Kiki and Lala’s cloud house, it’s very cute!

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And of course, a photo with Kiki and Lala 🙂

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My Melody and Kuromi – My Meroad Drive

My Meroad Drive is another attraction hosted by My Melody and Kuromi. You can ride a very cute melody vehicle and the attraction mainly tell you about My Melody’s birth. The ride itself is only about 3 minutes but we have to wait for 1 hour for that, however, it is still worth it.

Any Musical, Parade or Character Greeting?

Yes, they are. But we did miss the parade and character greeting, though. Due to golden week, they did not have character greeting for main character (Hello Kitty, Melody, etc.) but only for some minor unknown character. But the musical, Hello Kitty in Wonderland is really excellent! Kitty is helping Kyle to search for Heart Queen’s lost heart (which was stolen by Joker, but Jack was the culprit).

You can watch it in youtube just search for ‘Hello Kitty in Wonderland (Sanrio Puroland)’ (but I think the feeling will be different than watching it directly)

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What i love the most of the musical is the song with very touching lyrics : 君にがいる大好きな家族、どんなに喧嘩しても、愛してる :’) (You have your loving family and no matter how hard you fight or have quarrel with each other, you will still love each other :’)

How about the shopping experience?

It is definitely a shopping paradise for Sanrio lover! :3 They have so many stores, like store special for Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Stars. But we explored the biggest one located near the main entrance, it had the combination of all characters! They basically sold everything related to Sanrio. From common things like doll, accessories, until shoes, bag, and even trunk!

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I ended up buying three Melody-related things. One stuffed toy (but not the LLL size probably only the L size), one melody-shaped tupperware, and one Melody transparent bag 🙂

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So, in overall?

I rated it 10 out of 10 (because i’m a Sanrio maniac, lol) 😀 I really want to come again later when it’s not Golden week, so we can get more photos with the main character!

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See you sooner or later, Sanrio Puroland! ❤

Love,

Afifa Ayu Koesoema