It Has Been A Year

Today, a year ago, I left Singapore and the life that I had built there for 12 years.

I said goodbye to our helper who is so dear to us and our kids. Hoping that the new family she’s working after us is going to treat her kindly. She deserves that.

I said goodbye to my friends – without whom I would have not survived the grueling hours of the university and its assignments.

I said goodbye to the Indonesian community that always made me feeling like I am home – far away from home.

I said goodbye to the delicious halal food that is a plenty – easily reachable whenever I was bored with homemade food – and all of those hipster foods that I hadn’t had any chance to try.

I left the strong Muslim community I had – the weekly Sunday class with Ustadz Fatris, the chance to perform Ied prayer at open space – all the perks that I took for granted.

I took my boys away from the environment that they know so well – the friends that they have there, the comfortable weather all year, and all

We faced lots of hardships during our first few months here. I had emotional breakdowns – I needed to do so many things in a short time. Adjusting to the new job, new routines as a chef, housewife, and working employee, in a country which I have no idea of how to speak their language. I think I spent my first few weeks wanting to go back to Singapore and just to be done with Berlin.

I was miserable. We were miserable.

The adjustment period gave shocks to our relationship as couple, parents, and family, it tested our patience – but most importantly, it made us even closer to Allah.

Now, after a year, I am glad to say that things have taken a turn to better. The kids are finally adjusted with life in the childcare and more or less having a schedule. Both I and Husband have accepted that things are not going to be as smooth as they were – but there will always be helping hands everywhere.

Forced by the situation, I can finally cook edible (and sometimes good!) Indonesian food at home. I have learned (not mastered it – yet) how to adjust my schedule with the kids’ – long gone the days when I could sleep at 3 am and still could function during working hours.

We take the kids out on weekends to whatever is available around the city – despite not knowing much about the German language. Our eldest speaks German better than us and that’s a good sign since he’s going to primary school in 2 years time where all the lessons will be in German. We are still going to talk to him and his brother in English at home, so hopefully he’s not losing his roots. It will be a challenge to teach them Indonesian though – but for now, as long as they understand the instructions in Indonesian, that’s already enough.

Moving forward – I want to be able to at least speak conversational German. I also want to be able to multitask better without losing focus – that means less time for less important things, including social media. Some aspects of my life need to be fixed and upgraded too, especially when it comes to managing emotions and my quality of prayers.

With the kids, I want to be even more patient with them. I think they can sense when I am angry and while I do think it’s important for them to be able to asses the situation, I don’t want them to associate me with ‘anger’. There must be a way to talk to them and letting them know about the limits and have them obey that. I am still searching for ways to achieve this.

As for my husband, there are times in the past one year that I thought that we were too busy being a parent that we forgot about become a couple. Not sure how we are going to find some quality time with the hectic schedule that we haven’t been able to fully mastered yet – but we are going to take it easy and perhaps will start with watching a movie together haha.

There are still so many things that fill my mind – but I will process them as I go. Here’s for (hopefully) another blessed year in Berlin.

One evening in autumn, 

{Nostalgia} Favorite Mangaka

Aah, manga. Such a big part of me growing up. I will be forever grateful for it cause my childhood was so awesome thanks to anime and manga. Looking back, perhaps I would never have an interest in learning Japanese or Japan itself if it’s not because of liking manga and anime back then.

And of course, I have my favorite manga authors too. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I wasn’t exposed to a variety of mangas back then and I was (still am) pretty conservative too – so I didn’t have a long list to share. Anyway, without further ado, here is my list!

CLAMP

I guess they are on (almost) everyone’s list, cause come on, we are talking about CLAMP here. Magic Knight Rayearth, X, Tokyo Babylon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles – and the list goes on. Anyone who knows CLAMP’s work will instantly recognize their style and the way they tell the story in their pieces. I especially love the subtle message that can be found in most of their creations. Cardcaptor Sakura will forever remain my favorite anime – and even in it, we can find CLAMP’s subtle messages toward shonen-ai and shoujo-ai.

The other way to look at CLAMP’s creation is kinda… messed up. I mean, in what world a primary schooler is in love with her teacher AND the teacher reciprocates her feeling?

CLAMP is also famous for being super secretive even with showing their faces. They have very little interviews where they literally sit down while their pictures were being taken. But I guess this applies to most mangaka artists – the reason could be because they want people to focus on their works instead of their faces.

Recommended works: Cardcaptor Sakura, X, Tokyo Babylon

Hikawa Kyoko

Weirdly enough, I don’t really like Kanata Kara – her most famous work up to date. But! I really like her mini series instead. Her drawings are quite simple for the girls’ characters, but his boys’ characters are off the charts. The lead guy is always pictured as tall, small eyes (even close to squinted eyes), with a very pointed jawline. The girl, on the other side, more often than not, is clumsy but adorable.

What I like the most from her works is actually the simple storyline. There’s nothing fancy going on and mostly it’s about girl and boy meeting each other and somehow attracted to each other despite being in different leagues. It’s really your classic love story – one that you can easily found in any romantic manga. But Hikawa-sensei has a different way to incorporate subtle messages into her simple story (you might notice now that I am such a fan of hidden messages) and that makes her stories even more memorable.

And although her characters are quite predictable, her drawings are clean. She positioned everything in her manga appropriately – not too crowded and leaves plenty of white spaces so our eyes as the readers are not too tired. And that’s another skill!

Recommended works: Girls, Mr.Friday, Chizumi & Fujiomi series

Tachikawa Megumi

This might be an unusual choice considering Tachikawa Megumi’s work is not that known and not that many either (at least the ones that are translated in Indonesia) – but the ones that I know are good and just exactly my taste – sweet with not overly saccharine (is that even a word?)

Recommended works: Kaitou Saint Tail, Dream Saga

Fujiko F Fujio

It would be a sin to not include Fujiko F Fujio in this list. My generation grew up with Doraemon and friends – so him being in the list is a no-brainer. What’s great about his creations is that it’s just so pure (well, perhaps some are not *cough*Esper Mami*cough*) and it’s kinda out of there. When we were still in the 19th century, Fujiko F Fujio had traveled way beyond it. Thanks to Doraemon, perhaps there are kids that were inspired to be scientist or inventors.

As for me, Doraemon was such a big part of me growing up. My first manga was Doraemon vol 6. I didn’t know what manga was back then – all I knew was that I love Doraemon – he’s the most adorable cat mutant in the whole world.

Recommended works: Too many to list!

Ueda Masashi

Sometimes I wonder how on earth Ueda Masashi never seems to run out of the ideas for both Kobo-chan and Kariage-kun. Both are 4-strips comic and have so many volumes! I have stopped reading Kobo-chan and Kariage-kun years ago – but I have a very fond memory of both series. It’s light with a touch of silliness (I still don’t know if Kariage is just plain naive or just a prankster).

Recommended works: Kobo-chan, Kariage-kun

Gosho Aoyama

If there’s any poll for the

Recommended works: Meitantei Conan (Case Closed)

Meitantei Conan

Katou Motohiro

Recommended works: Q.E.D, C.M.B

Day 2 – Your current relationship

Bismillah,

Continuing on my 30-days blog challenge, I am moving to the second-day story. Relationship.

Oh well, I am currently married – and I hope to stay that way even until Jannah 🙂 I have been married for 6 years now. And Husband is my high school sweetheart. We met back when we were only junior high schooler. He was my senior. A super smart senior who once got a perfect score for Math national exam.

We dated for almost 9 years before we got married back in 2012. We graduated from the same junior high and senior high – and even university. Some people questioned if I followed him since young and that made me sound like a stalker haha. In all honesty though, he did have some influence with me choosing my university and my major. Not to mention that his support helped me a lot. But I do like my major so I guess everything fell into the right places.

I also have two kids – Z who is 4 years old and M, a two-year-old ball of energy. Every day most of my exhaustion is because of them – but I am not complaining (often). Would not trade it for anything.

So to sum it up, I am a housewife, an engineer, and a mother. I am still struggling with multitasking all of them, but I am getting better.

See you on day 3!

 

Day 1 – About You

Bismillah,

Entah gimana ceritanya – saya bisa nyasar ke blognya mbak Sali. Kayaknya kemaren cuma random ngeklik blog orang di fungsi readernya WordPress sih.

Dan setelah browsing-browsing beberapa artikelnya, mendaratlah saya di postingan beliau tentang 30-Day Blog Challenge.

30-day-blog-challenge

Wah, menarik. Kebetulan lagi kehabisan ide buat ngeblog haha. Tapi gaklah, saya kayaknya ga akan sanggup one day one post (uhuk, Reisha, uhuk), mungkin ga akan bener-bener 30 day straight ngerjain challenge ini. Mungkin juga diselang seling postingan yang lain. Let’s see how it goes :p.

For day 1, it’s about yourself and the most recent photo of yours.

Continue reading “Day 1 – About You”