{Short Story} Separated

As we stood there, remembering everything from all the way back.
My tears rolled down one by one, and yet you said nothing.
I understood, that your silence meant, “I am sorry.”
And I knew you knew, that my tears were “It’s time to say goodbye.”

Our memories were never meant to be our destination.
Our laughters and tears were never meant to be kept forever.
Our journey together was never meant to be continued.
And our future was never meant to happen in the same vow.

Hearts broke, smiles were gone.
We never really said it, but we just knew.
Our feelings slowly disappeared.
And we drifted away.

Phone calls started to feel dry.
And conversations turned cold.
The lines started to be blurred.
And we just weren’t sure where and what we had anymore.

And that’s why, we were THERE.
To give ourselves one closure.
To make sure everything is going to be fine.
And to give each other a pat in the back.

“Take care.”
“You too.”

*

I remember I wrote that poem above when I was pregnant with Zal. I was in the middle of a hormone roller coaster that even a mellow song lyrics can make me cry. Now that I think about it again, it was too melodramatic haha.

But, it’s a sweet memory. So, here I present to you one song that inspired this poem.

The feelings I’ve hidden still remain as a painful secret memory
The photos that can’t define our relationship is a heartbreaking story
I’m sorry, summer, now goodbye

[Tokyo Day 2] Fail Hakone :(

One of Husband’s dream destinations in Japan is to visit Hakone and to see Mt Fuji. But sadly, it failed big time..

First, we woke up quite late. Second, we struggled to find the ticketing place that sells one round trip to Hakone (Shinjuku IS confusing. I should have learned my lesson). And third.. it rained the whole day and when we reached Kawaguchi-ko, the last ship already left since sun was already set really early. We wasted 20,000 JPY just like that. So heartbroken.

That’s why we only have few pictures from day 2 – since we couldn’t really see anything.

tumblr_inline_o2e0vfeqxr1qjgv69_1280

tumblr_inline_o2e0iupdmp1qjgv69_500
Shinjuku-bound
image
Hakone bound.

We were really hungry but we didn’t really bring anything to eat. Little guy survived the day through some oranges and onigiri, and he nursed a lot.

See. This trip is so fail that we don’t have even pictures from Kawaguchi-ko. Sigh.

tumblr_inline_o2e0jseusw1qjgv69_500
He’s not supposed to be doing this, gosh. But I didn’t have energy left to chase him 🙁

 

image
Happy guy – completely unaware of other things. On our train back to Tokyo.

*

We were so tired at night that we didn’t even bother to look for Halal restaurant. Luckily, there was a Turkish restaurant Husband found accidentally. So he spent 3,000 JPY for a set of kebab (I guess?). We finally had a decent dinner.

It was a very disappointing day.

I still feel bad until now that I make a promise to myself: next time we come to Japan again, we HAVE TO see Mount Fuji.

[Tokyo Day 1] Tokyo Tower and Meeting Kak Dian

(previously here)

After some walking-back-the-memory-lane moments at Toudai, off we go to our next stop: Ueno Park and Ameyoko for some oh-very-delicious kebab!

image

image
tumblr_inline_o28irft5wf1qjgv69_500
tumblr_inline_o28is9pid31qjgv69_500

Nothing much to do in Ueno Park. It was a bit chilly for us tropical creatures.

Then because we’re already hungry – and because I want Husband to try my all time favorite kebab – off we went to Ameyoko!

(Seriously, I never had any kebab that is as delicious as the one in Ueno!)

tumblr_inline_o28itxipwx1qjgv69_500
Kebab, kebab, kebab! *chants*
tumblr_inline_o29eh0t0yf1qjgv69_1280
Pardon my face. The kebab is still as spicy as I remember.

And then, because some people *cough* were still hungry, we went to Chicken Man to dabao lunch. (Heh, even in Japan I still brought my Singlish thing)

tumblr_inline_o28in35mxz1qjgv69_500

tumblr_inline_o29ejitoii1qjgv69_500
Zal waited impatiently for Chicken Man. Thank you Adek for the cute picture!

*

After everyone had their shares of Chicken Man, we said our goodbyes to Afwa and Adek. Going to miss them a lot. Hopefully they are coming to Singapore one day and if we’re still here, we’re going to treat them with awesome food as well! 🙂

Our next stop was actually to visit Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Sky Tree. But eventually, we dropped the Sky Tree because … it looks boring. I was curious to see it because well, my love for Itazura na Kiss ~ Love in Tokyo is that much, but after I saw it with my own eyes from a far, I decided it’s not worth it.

Hence, we walked to Tokyo Tower!

image
The majestic red tower! *sigh* *super in love*
image
image

There was some kind of bazaar in front of Tokyo Tower – and the garden was decorated with everything about mini Tokyo Tower. So cute, no?

Mandatory wefie!
image

And poor boy had no idea that he’s standing right in front of Tokyo icon.

Initially we had no plan on going up to the observatory, but Husband went and checked the price which was not as expensive as we thought. So we bought the tickets!

(FYI, I had never been to Tokyo Tower before. Heh. Yes, I was a hermit during my 1.5 years of staying in Tokyo)

image

Tadaaa! Tokyo from the eyes of Tokyo Tower.

image

The little guy just wanted a view from Tokyo Tower.

tumblr_inline_o29kfgyux31qjgv69_500

When we walked around the observatory, we saw this info robot (?) circled around! Wanted to take picture with it, but this is the closest thing we could get.

We were only there for like half an hour. And one thing I need to note is how troublesome it was to bring your stroller to the observatory! Going up was not really difficult, but going down was another story. There was no direct elevator going down from the observatory to the ground level – instead we needed to take some stairs two level down and then from there we could take an elevator.

It’s so troublesome. Imagine if it’s a baby sleeping inside the stroller!

tumblr_inline_o2ccyc7qlk1qjgv69_1280

Anyway, since it was autumn, night came so fast. It was only 4.30 pm, and it was already this dark!

image

Cue Sailor Moon catch phrase, “With the power of Moon, I will punish you!”

image

And I swear my inner otaku tingled when I saw this shot. As a CLAMP fan, this brought back so many memories! The battle of earth from X (was supposed to) happened here. The final judgment from Card Captor Sakura also took place here. CLAMP is famous with their love affair with Tokyo Tower, and not gonna lie, I felt giddy just seeing it.

Ah well. Let’s get back to reality.

*

After saying goodbye to Tokyo Tower *sobs*, we went to Roppongi. We had a dinner appointment with Kak Dian, Husband’s (and my as well) high school friends at one of Halal yakiniku restaurant around that area.

Ah, Roppongi. So many memories there.

When I was in Japan, the only place I could watch an English movie is Toho Cinema at Roppongi Hills. And it was also where I had my very first experience gazing at the stars.

There is also this famous sculpture called “Maman” in front of Roppongi Hills. It’s a giant spider that’s often used as a meeting point.

tumblr_inline_o29l9flhn41qjgv69_500

(photo from here)

We were a bit late for meeting Kak Dian, so we thought about letting her know and have the dinner reservation to be shifted 30 mins later. But horror oh horror, our pocket wifi was running out of battery and our powerbank apparently didn’t work! We didn’t have local number so we were lost on how to contact her to know where she was.

Luckily, coin phone in Japan is still usable. And by usable, I mean it’s really really useful. With only 100 yen, I can call her mobile!

tumblr_inline_o29lcednok1qjgv69_500
Saver of our dinner. *applause*

So we called Kak Dian and yay, finally we met near ‘Maman’ 😡

*

We had dinner at a yakiniku restaurant named Sumiyaki-ya. You can read my review on our Halal Food in Japan review. All I can say is that the food is awesome~ It’s a bit on pricier side but it’s totally worth it! The waiter is sooo nice and kind to Zal 🙂

We chit-chatted for about an hour then we called it a day. Final picture of the day!

tumblr_inline_o2b3ibubnf1qjgv69_500

Thank you, Kak Dian! Hopefully we can meet again if we’re visiting Tokyo in the future 🙂

[Tokyo Day 1] University of Tokyo with Friends

I was once a research student at University of Tokyo for 1.5 years. And although I didn’t pass the entrance exam for Master program, this place still holds special place in my heart. So we went there on our first day in Tokyo and met some friends 🙂

tumblr_inline_o0a95bax361qjgv69_500

tumblr_inline_o0a96bi5ou1qjgv69_500

tumblr_inline_o0a97auwny1qjgv69_500

image
image
image
image
image

We also had picnics with friends 🙂

image

Zal enjoyed playing around! He even made friends with some Japanese kids 🙂

tumblr_inline_o0a9wwpepa1qjgv69_500

tumblr_inline_o0a9xbikaz1qjgv69_500
image
tumblr_inline_o0a9ydebkx1qjgv69_500
tumblr_inline_o0aa3dxgok1qjgv69_500

And while we’re there and surrounded by friends who are amazing photographers, they took some pictures for our family shoot as well. Love them!

tumblr_inline_o0aa5thspa1qjgv69_500

tumblr_inline_o0aa5vj2lx1qjgv69_500
image
tumblr_inline_o0aa7flwzs1qjgv69_500
image
tumblr_inline_o0aa93p7sl1qjgv69_500
tumblr_inline_o0aaafpbmm1qjgv69_500
image
tumblr_inline_o0aac3xz731qjgv69_500
tumblr_inline_o0aacak34v1qjgv69_500
tumblr_inline_o0aaceuaso1qjgv69_500
image
tumblr_inline_o0aacqxecn1qjgv69_500
tumblr_inline_o0aacv8imu1qjgv69_500
tumblr_inline_o0aadimjc41qjgv69_500

The scenery is really really beautiful. Husband really loves the ambience.

tumblr_inline_o0aasvfw0f1qjgv69_500
image
image
image

It was really an enriching moment 🙂 And we were also happy to meet our friends again. Hopefully we will be back to Toudai again someday.

[Tokyo Day 0] Narita-bound

Our flight to Tokyo took off at 7 am, so we should be at Changi about 5 am for check in.

Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to be ready at 4 am when you have a very active toddler who refuses to sleep early. We ended up only slept at 1 am, and woke up around 3 am.

We didn’t really plan to wake Zal up, but we really needed him to put on some extra clothes for the flight. Well, he ended up being awake anyway.. so off we went to Changi!

Changi!

We checked in quite early and we were told that we will be getting the bassinet later. The lady also said that we were not guaranteed bassinet on our way home. Eh. We would think about it later. We’re not even sure if we’re going to use the bassinet anyway.

Once we checked in everything, off we went to find some food! The only 24 hour around Terminal 1 is… Texas Chicken. It’s OK. Some chicken and some biscuits plus hot Milo.

image

And some wefie while waiting for Papa who went for Subuh.

image

When we were finally done with Subuh, we rushed to our gate. Oh, and I changed Zal’s diaper before we boarded the plane. We were kind of nervous on handling toddler with a 7 hours flight, but hopefully some of tricks we gathered earlier would work.

On The Plane

Our flight was tiring. We were lacking of sleep and sleeping on the plane was not really satisfying for both of us. The in-flight meal was also horrible I really wished I had brought food onboard. It was some sort of very very fried curry rice. Sounds weird but trust me it tasted that way.

Ah well. What we needed was some sleep anyway.

Good thing was, Zal was asleep most of the time! I guess the combination of white noise and being sleepy really helped. I got a pretty good sleep about 2 hours as well. Not sure about Husband but he didn’t look really tired when our plane finally landed.

Narita!

It hasn’t changed a lot since the last time I saw it back in 2011. Still looks old and cold.

image

(Please excuse my super tired face)

After a long immigration (should have had our embarkation card filled in the plane to save time), we waited for our baggage. I really can’t remember if Narita has signs near the belts to let us know which belts belongs to what airplane. After we waited for 15 minutes, our baggage is nowhere to be found. I became really suspicious that we were waiting at the wrong belt omg.

After a while, someone approached us and asked us which plane we came with. And apparently, our baggage was separated from others since we were not transit passengers! Oh, how should we know that? 🙁

The staff escorted us to the corner area and there we found our turquoise suitcase.

After saying thank you to the staff, off we go to our next stop!

Breakfast and Pocket Wi-Fi

We didn’t really eat anything on the plane, so of course we needed our breakfast. After did some research before going to Japan, we decided to head to halal Udon at Terminal 2! More on that on our separate Halal Food in Japan review!

After we were finished eating (omg, I am salivating thinking about the udon. It was so yummylicious!), we headed towards Post Office. And no, we weren’t going to send anything from Japan (yet). We were going there to pick up our pocket wifi!

Yes, people. Pocket wifi is a must when you are a foreigner in Japan who can’t read Kanji. You will be lost so many times. When I was in Japan, I relied a LOT on online route finder like Hyperdia cause really, you don’t want to spend your time figuring out train routes and where you have to change trains and etc and etc. Trust me, internet is your best friend.

By the way, we ordered ours from here. We chose standard 75 mb package that can connect up to 10 devices since we’re bringing our iPad as well.

image
image

The post office is located at the same level at the Halal Udon restaurant. So convenient! When talked to the lady in the counter, I used my very very veryyyy basic Japanese to let her know that I was there to pick up my pocket wifi. As instructed in my email, I gave her my passport to be checked. 10 minutes later, I was out with our package.

Prayer Room

Next stop was prayer room.

Oh this one was very tricky to be found 🙁 We thought it would be easy based on the map we saw earlier, but when we reached the level and place we thought it is, there was nothing!

Confused, Husband reached what looked like a tourist center (?). After 10 minutes, he was not back yet so I finally came and I saw a Japanese man tried his best to explain to Husband on where to find a prayer room. My very very veryyyy basic Japanese didn’t help either. Until the guy finally talked to a lady, and the lady said in broken English, “Please follow me”.

She escorted us to the elevator and brought us to… the same level where we ate and took our pocket wi-fi.

T___T

It’s very sweet of her but I really think we wouldn’t need to disturb her if Narita had a better map.

image

As I entered the prayer room, I suddenly remembered why this place felt so familiar. Then I thought, “Oh hey, I prayed here before!”.

image

Super clean ablution space!

image

And here’s Zal after he changed clothes. We put extra inner and legging and also flanel shirt. The journey to our airbnb place was going to be a long one.

Taking Direct Bus to Tokyo

We were discussing on how we should get to our rented place from Narita. It’s going to be something convenient and spacious since we’re bringing a toddler and one big luggage. I proposed taking a train, but it’s not convenient with our luggage. Taxi was definitely out of option. That left us with a bus.

Then, Husband found this website. One of its stops is Ginza, which is just a few stations from where we were going to stay. We still need to change trains, but it’s not going to take long and still manageable. And most importantly, the fee is quite reasonable! 1000 JPY per person, and since Zal was not going to get his own seats, he didn’t have to pay. So yay!

The stop for this bus for Terminal 2 is bus stop no.31. So after we finished praying, we went to look for the bus stop, and there it was, just outside the terminal!

image

It was only 5 pm, but it was already so dark! (sorry no picture of the bus cause we were quite busy making our selves warm, bbbr~)

We didn’t have to wait long for the bus. As expected from Japan service, the attendant helped us storing our luggage and our stroller to the compartment. So touched.

We paid the fee on the spot. Luckily we have small notes from buying food earlier (tip: always prepare small notes!)

Then, off we went to our home for the next 6 days!

image

Good night, Tokyo!

Silence

… is powerful.

It suppresses your anger in a way you never thought it would be.

It calms you down and gives yourself some time to think.

*

OK yeah, I am not really good in writing poem or soothing words. So here it goes.

Today I am so angry. I am angry beyond words. And at the same time, I feel hopeless. I am angry and hurt because something that I really wish for is not being respected at all. And hopeless because deep inside my heart, I know that it’s -being respected- not going to happen. At all.

I could cry, of course. In fact, I felt like crying. But I didn’t.

Crying won’t solve anything. I know, I know. A lot of researches already said that crying can release the anger and frustration. But not for me.

Crying will just make myself more angry.

I considered to shout as well. Shouting at someone who made me feel this way. But I didn’t.

Shouting will just hurt my throat. And my pride.

So I did the only option I have.

Keep silent. 

Doesn’t mean that I lost my battle though. I am just doing it differently now. This means business. And stop messing with me.