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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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Home Sweet Home <3

Hello everyone!

This is my first post in Japan! So i have been here in Japan for 1 month (so approximately there is still 59 months left LOL!). So the first month was quite tough, adapting again with Japan, finding apartment, taking classes, and directly doing my research.

But now, finally I have settled in my new petite house! ❤ Say hello to my white-pink-shabby chic 25 square meters petite mansion!

 

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Finding an apartment in Japan is quite difficult, especially when you’re picky (like me). And it is just impossible to find house that suits your criteria by 100%

So now, i will share some points that i have gained from my experience to find an apartment.

1. Try to understand everything (although it’s damn hard)

I know that you can always find an agent that speaks English, or you can always ask your tutor to accompany you, or ask someone whose Japanese is pera pera to accompany you. But you will still have to be able to(try to) understand everything by yourself. You are the one who will live in that apartment.

My Japanese was of course not good but at least being in my level (passing JLPT N4) i could already find apartment by myself although i could hardly understand the contract. But at least i could do verbal communication with my agent and don’t be shy to ask the agent, you have paid a lot of money of them, you should use them! LOL.

2. Try to understand the apartment renting concept

Apartment renting system in Japan is quite complicated. You have agent that will introduce you the room and yet you will still have the apartment broker/realtor (不動産) for that particular area. On top of the chain there is still the owner or landlord of the apartment. Seems like there’s so many people involved -_-

Please also note the difference between apartment and mansion in Japan. Apartment usually refers to building less than 4 stories-high while mansion refers to building higher than 4-stories, usually safer (equipped with auto-lock system) and slightly more expensive, with better facilities. In my point of view, it’s better to live in a mansion especially when you’re a woman and you live alone.

If you are not Japanese, some owner requires you to have Japanese-citizen guarantor (奉書人) or even some of them are reluctant to rent you a room. The moving in fee is also generally quite high (especially when you rent a mansion). There are so many things included from agency fee, rental deposit or shikikin(敷金)to gratitude fee or reikin (礼金). But you can always find an apartment that omit those fees.

3. Know your needs

Finding an apartment depends on your own needs and you need to know your own needs very well. Some people don’t mind to walk quite far from the station because they consider it as an exercise. While some people prefer to have apartment closer to the station. Some people prefer quiet place some people prefer a little bit busy and bustling place. Some people want a separate bathroom some people want to keep pet some people don’t like morning sunshine while others want it. You should list your needs or kibou (希望) so that you can efficiently explain your criteria to the agent.

4. Be Careful about Garbage

Don’t forget to know about how to separate garbage, it could be problematic and i think they will not take the garbage if you put it out at the wrong day. You could get the English version on the local ward office!

 

So now let me share some pictures of my mansion. I bought all furnitures in Ikea Yokohama (there’s a free shuttle bus from Shin-Yokohama station to Ikea). Ikea also provided delivery service and assembly service as well 😀 My furnitures are all white and the small things are pink. My mansion is really petite but i love it! ❤ I really love the location as well, only 3 minutes walk from the station and it’s really near to shopping malls, convenience store, Daiso, and many restaurants ❤ I also haven’t tried the salon located on the first floor of this building ❤

 

Hallway.. Fresh air!

Hallway.. Fresh air!

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Hi I’m on 4th Floor!

 

Bed Area :)

Bed Area 🙂

My Little Kitchen :)

My Little Kitchen 🙂

Dining Table + Study Table :)

Dining Table + Study Table 🙂

Kitchen utilities trolley :)

Kitchen utilities trolley 🙂

Mini book shelf!

Mini book shelf!

I tried to decorate it as nicely as i could, because i hope i will not have to move out during my 5 years of stay… 🙂

 

 

With love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema