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


Ski Trip to Naeba with ãƒžãƒ„ケン!

Hello all!

I’m happily reporting from my dormitory room, safe and sound and healthy with no injuries (beside minor bruises and common delayed onset muscle soreness) after… a SKI TRIP!

Thanks God, i’ve survived this ski trip *LOL

So, my wonderful laboratory 松田研究室 had just went to a ski trip to Naeba Ski Resort this thursday and friday (7-8 February 2013). Actually, i’ve heard some scary stories about ski and just for your information i am really absolutely not a sporty type of girl (in fact i am always flunking every sport and i have a lame strength, agility, dexterity, and anything you can named related to outdoor’s activity). But whatever, i’m at Japan, they have snow, my sensei agreed to teach me, my lab mates are very nice and they would not let me down, so i decided to follow this ski trip!

Naeba is a mountainous area around Niigata Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture, in winter it is famous for its ski area. It’s quite close from Tokyo and by Shinkansen we can reach it only in 1,5 hour. Rice and water in Naeba is said to be one of the best so the omiyage from this area is mainly sake (rice wine).

So we departed at 6.32 from Tokyo Station using Tanigawa Shinkansen to Echigoyuzawa Station. There were me,  Masuda-san, Kawaguchi-san, Matsuda Sensei, Cao-san, and Sugiyama-san. Later on at Omiya Station, Yamamoto-san also joined.

Actually, it was pretty much a struggle to get to Tokyo Station by 6.10. I had to walk from my dormitory from 4.50 to catch 5.10 train. But, i made it on time and we all ate breakfast on the train.

It only took 1,5 hour to reached Echigoyuzawa Station, the nearest station to the ski area. Just before we reached the station from the train’s window i could already see snow everywhere. Yes, it snowed the night before and everything were covered on a beautiful thick white blanket :’) When we reached the station it was really cold but the sun was shining very brightly. It was my first time to wear such a full gear winter clothing, from ear muffs, scarfs, until gloves :p at Tokyo it was never that cold.



After we arrived at the station, we took a shuttle bus to Naeba Ski Resort. We gonna spent this ski trip at Naeba Prince Hotel and Ski Resort. So this gigantic resort hotel with 4 buildings connected to each other is located just in front of the スキじょう. And you have everything ready there, from ski gear rental area, ski school, ski gear shops, plenty of restaurants, two onsen (Japanese Public Bath, and one of it has an open air area), souvenir shops, and European styled room.



Once we have arrived at the hotel we immediately rent the ski gear. From ski shoes, ski board and poles, ski wear, and goggles. We also had to wear woll hat and gloves. For the inside, we wore heat tech and sweater. I found out that the ski shoes is really the heaviest shoes i ever wear, ice-skating shoes is nothing compared to this heavy shoes.

When i have fully dressed up with ski gear i had this uncomfortable feeling because only walking around with this heavy layered clothes and shoes is already tiring for me. Can i really do ski?

But anyway,  i have no point of turning back.

We went out and wow, i was really astonished! The view was amazing. And it was really bright the sun shines shined brightly and the white snow reflect the lights so much. So that’s why we have to wear goggle.

Vast and Bright Ski Area ;)

Vast and Bright Ski Area 😉

The next thing i had to face is… the ski board which is really heavy (okay maybe this is a bit exaggerating but at least for me it is heavy) and even putting on the ski board to the ski shoes is difficult for me. And the degree of difficulty increased very much to walk with ski shoes and ski board. Now it was not only heavy but also slippery!



My 140 cm set, ski board, pole and shoes, killer tools for me :D

My 140 cm set, ski board, pole and shoes, killer tools for me 😀

Anyway my friends and sensei took me to the lift and it brought me uphill. And my sensei also convinced me that it would be alright. The view was astonishing from the ski lift but i was also a bit frightened to see the elevation of the hill, it was really steep for me. And, just like i have imagined, once i tried to ski down, i could not stop and once i fell down it was really hard for me to get up 😦

(the truth was everyone has to drag and pull me up everytime to get up >.< and sometimes because sensei was holding me tightly when i fall she also fall with me, i really really really feel bad for this, ごめなさい せんせい 😥 )

So, what i learned today? I learned how to get up. So when you fall and you still have your ski on you. At first you have to bring your ski together to one side and use your pole to help you stand up. Just like this picture.

Let's get up!

Let’s get up!

But since i was really terrible, and keep falling all over again, i went down the hill eventually by walking and even on that time walking was also difficult due to the steepness of the hill. And that was how my first ski day end. Bruises on my both hip and muscle pain everywhere. But at least after that we had a good rest by soaking ourselves at hot onsen, fulfilling our stomach with good Chinese dishes, and sleep for a long time 😀

The second day, snow was falling quite hard, but everyone decided to keep on skiing. It was really cold. And sensei took me to practice downhill because she was afraid of losing me in this little snow blizzard. So she taught me how to stop properly. I think this is the most important aspect of skiing, how to stop. Because actually when you are skiing downhill you will just move and even gaining speed, so you have to be able to stop, in case you gain speed to much, or someone is in front of you or a tree is in front of you.

And when i checked on the internet just now, actually she was teaching me how to do snowplough turn, a beginner technique. So when you are skiing downhill you have to make your ski parallel to each other and push with your pole. To stop, you have to bring the front of your skis together and the tails pushed wide away. Your knees should be put together also and you have to rolled it inward.

Basic Snowplough Technique

Basic Snowplough Technique

Well after sensei and my friends decided that i’m (a bit) ready to go, they decide to bring me uphill, this time to an easier course. But still i flunk and cannot stop. So Masuda-san was in couple meter in front of me and i had to ski to her and stop just before i hit her. But that was useless, since i cannot stop and i crash to her 😦 Me and Masuda-san were just screaming, とめない!!! all the time X)) and when i crash to Masuda san and we both fall or get entangled to each other and slipping downhill slowly, but at that time Kawaguchi-san was always there to help us! so thanks a lot Kawaguchi-san 😀

After lunch everyone brought me uphill again and this time during steep slope i hold on to sensei’s back while she skii downhill. I really appreciated her dedication to teach me and it really reminds me of how my Mom used to teach me swimming. And anyway, i’m really thankful to her and i bet she could be a real ski instructor :’) And during not so steep slope i tried to ski downhill by myself.

Ski lift!

Ski lift!

Me and ski, anyway this ski wear is cute, isn't it? At least i've managed to look feminine enough :p

Me and ski, anyway this ski wear is cute, isn’t it? At least i’ve managed to look feminine enough :p

At last when i got better i tried to ski downhill and slide for a longer time. But this was a nightmare because i could not stop. There were poles on the right side of the road and i had been trying with all of my power to turn left but i still could not. And i crash to a pole and i fell and i stop. I could only laugh and i decided to stop skiing, and anyway it was already 3 PM and we had to leave hotel by 5 PM. And i ended that day by having a bath again at onsen, and this time was the open air one. And it was really wonderful to feel the hot water altogether with snow falling on your hair :’) I bought omiyage for my friends and we went back to station to take the Shinkansen for Tokyo 🙂

Anyway, that was my first ski experience (and probably the last), quite fun, wondrous sceneries but hellish tiring and a bit frightening. I could only conclude that i am really not the type of girl for skiing 😀 and also, i advice you if you want to go ski, do exercise at least one month before it. Because you will use all of your body and for me the muscle pain last 2 days and it was not pleasant, at all :p

And also i would really say thank you to my sensei, Matsuda Sensei for the patience when teaching me, and my laboratory friends. Masuda-san for the kind teaching and also lending me some ski gear, Kawaguchi-san for getting me and Masuda-san out of trouble, Yamamoto-san, Cao-san, and Sugiyama-san for helping me, dragging, and pulling me up. Thank you マツケン without you all i will not feel this life time experience! :’)

マツケン!almost all team :)

マツケン!almost all team 🙂

See you at my next post! じゃね!

Afifa Ayu Koesoema


Tokyo and Snow!

Hello everyone!

Finally i can write again. Well since weeks before it was chaos (hectic experiment at the lab, progress report, several final reports, and Japanese language examination) i did not have the chance to write anything at this blog.

But now everything has loosen up a bit. I have finished all of my final reports, examination, and my laboratory work is not as hectic as several weeks ago. Well, i still have to come everyday, but basically i didn’t do as much. And i’m also currently waiting for my mutagenesis kit to arrive, so i can only practice Polymerase Chain Reaction, and do some validation on my screening methods.


Anyway i want to talk about the snow! Actually, i know that this topic is already outdated. Since the time when Tokyo was snowing heavily was about 2 weeks ago, but whatever, i just want to write about it :p

So, at 15th of January 2013, Tokyo experienced a heavy snowfall. It was public holiday, Coming of The Age Day (The day when youth that has passed 20 years old is considered fully an adult). At first i thought it would be just raining (because Weather Channel said so) but approximately at 10 AM it began to snow. Usually Tokyo doesn’t experienced such a heavy snowfall, so i just thought casually that the snow would stop immediately and would not pile up much and no problem would be caused.

It was so beautiful to saw the snow began!to pilled up on my dormitory’s backyard. And i was so thrilled!

Snowfall :)

Snowfall 🙂

As I also had to go out because i had already made an appointment with my friend and my bacteria still need care at the lab,  i really had to get out. And i realized that time the snow had pilled up quite much and the wind was blowing quite hard. Maybe i was really sucks, but i found it quite hard to walk on top of the snow and i hate that the wind made the snow fall almost horizontally not vertically. So i did not know which part of me should i protect first, my head (because at that time i did not wear a hat) or my body and bag. Feeling helpless with that situation, I decided to took a bus to Aobadai Station ^^

Anyway at that time i still managed to take a photo in front of Aobadai Station Bus Terminal 😀

Me and Snow :)

Me and Snow 🙂

So i accompanied my friend to buy the present and i also bought myself a hat at passage mignon to protect my head because after this i still had to venture to the lab.


By the time i reached Suzukakedai Station i thought the snow fall had changed into blizzard. The wind was so strong and it was really really cold. At least in my opinion, i considered the snow was very thic. It was as high as my ankle and that time  was only wearing an ankle boots. So you know how i felt, the inside of my boots became wet and it was really cold, i felt numb >.<

and i really had to struggle to reach my laboratory. It even became more difficult with Suzukakedai Campus topography. Hill and slopes and stairs everywhere >.<

the view from my lab building, Suzukakedai Campus had became a snowy hill!!!

the view from my lab building, Suzukakedai Campus had became a snowy hill!!!

After doing my bacteria cultivation, i rushed to get back home after receiving message from my room mate that there was some problem with our air conditioner. But going back home was much more difficult than i thought. The wind became stronger and stronger. My hat flew 3 times, my umbrella 2 times, and i also fell one time 😛

By the time i reached Fujigaoka Station, the snow there had changed into rain and the snow pilling up has melt a bit. So it became much more slippery to walk on >.< I did not know how, i finally reached my dormitory again.


At night, my parent called to my mobile phone, not my skype, so i thought there was something urgent. In fact they were talking about this snow and asking whether i’m alright or not and will the school be closed or not. I was quite surprised for this, but apparently those questions appeared because this snow was very heavy (for Tokyo) and really unusual. Some news said that this snow was the heaviest snow at Tokyo during this past 7 years. In my place train was delayed, but it is said that in other place Train was stopped, flight was cancelled, and hundreds of people got injured due to the snow ( i guess they’re falling ) and one man had died due to riding a bike on top of the icy road (scary) ^^

So thanks God, although i was out during the most windy and snowy time, i’m still alive and well! 🙂

But for me, the worst part was the next morning. The snow had became an ice, and it was extremely slippery. No one had clean the road yet nor the pedestrian walkway. And i really wish i didn’t have to go to the lab, do my progress presentation, attend lectures and special lectures that day!!


Actually this is not my first experience of heavy snowfall. I had experienced once at January 2013 at Beijing, China. On the night when my plane landed at Beijing Airport, a heavy snow fall had just finished falling. And the temperature plummet until -16 degree. Even inside the airport it was freezing cold. But the next morning, everything had came back to normal, snow covering walkways had been clean up and there was no big problem.

only my Dad had the courage of not wearing gloves >.<

only my Dad had the courage of not wearing gloves >.<

The Bird Nest Stadium and Snow!

The Bird Nest Stadium and Snow!

In the next morning even I went to The Great Wall of China although it was freezing cold, there were no slippery walkways because everything had been neatly cleaned up.

Great Wall of China and my alien little brother hahaha ^^

Great Wall of China and my alien little brother hahaha ^^


In this way, i think Beijing had a better preparation to deal with snow than Tokyo and Yokohama, but i think no one can blame Tokyo and Yokohama government for this. Because we all know that Tokyo rarely experience heavy snow, and Beijing always experience that every year.

But it was such a pity that Tokyo, as a very modern and metropolitan city could be paralyzed because of the snow :’)

Honestly, if you ask me about whether i still love snow or not, well, maybe i would still love snow. Who doesn’t? It is such a beautiful white and pure thing. I still hope that Tokyo will experienced more snowfall. But if you ask me about walking in the snow, i’m definitely not an expert about that 😀

However, next week i’m gonna go skiing with my laboratory mates and sensei 🙂 So i will meet more snow! Hope this time i can walk properly and also (miraculously) i could manage to play ski and have fun! (because you know i’m really flunking sport as well as balance)


Have a nice weekend all, let it snow again! 🙂



Afifa Ayu Koesoema