Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Week After

It's been a week since my arrival in York. Not exactly a week, but I'm afraid I won't have time to write anymore. My new room is still a mess, with my clothes and luggage lying on the floor. Packing and unpacking are not my favorite thing, I guess.

My body's adapting really well, surprisingly. I don't experience jet lag at all, and it's starting to get used to the cold weather.

York is an old, mesmerizing city. It's quiet and it feels like home. It's serene and soothing. There's no traffic jam, no people walking fast to catch the train and bus, and no sound of horns. Most of the shops are even closed at 5! For a person who is tired of living in a populous, polluted city like Jakarta, falling in love with York is easy.

The City Center

The York Minster
The Clifford's Tower

Through connection from my friend and landlord (and fate, too, I guess), I met two nice Indonesian friends who got along really well with me. We go together practically everyday. These two people make York feels homier, and they help me not to (literally) get lost. 

With those who made it easier, Elsye and Fikri

Indonesian UoY Freshers 2014
My courses haven't started yet, so I go to city almost everyday to shop and to explore the city. As It's getting very cold here, I decided to buy some warming-equipment before it's too late. A proper knitwear, boots, duvet, and gloves. I haven't bought any coat for winter, but I guess I can do it later after I receive my monthly allowance.

Shopping Day

So far, the adjusting period is not as hard as I think. I know I need to be more independent, though. I tried to go home by myself from the city center once. But then I met a nice, young couple from Malaysia who lives just a couple of house away from mine, so it doesn't really count. But soon enough, I'll get used it, I promise.

I hope I'll be as happy for the rest of the year, regardless of the challenges that I might face (and subdue, hopefully). And I hope I will meet a lot of new friends from all over the world and have a close relationship with them as well. I'm immensely excited.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Week Before

I'll be leaving in less than a week. My room is a complete mess now, with my clothes and luggage lying on the floor. My visa, passport, and other documents are ready. It's getting real. 

I wish I could pretend that it's not a big deal, but it is. I enjoy being in solitude, but I have never been away from home and taken care of everything by myself. It's terrifying, yet exciting because I always wonder If I'm going to make it, living by myself. I'm even worrying about the long flight that I'm going to take in solitude. I don't know if I could spend more than 20 hours alone. 

Most of my scholarship-friends are already abroad. Some even has started their courses. And a lot of them complained about their current situation: Missing home, sleepless nights due to some tasks, and lousy food. Nevertheless, most of them also showed their happiness to finally do things that they have been dreaming of for years: visiting world-class museums and football stadiums, getting freedom that they won't get in their home country, and learning things at the best universities. 

Soon enough, those are going to be my day too. Both the good and the bad. I'm sure I'm going to feel the same excitement, as well as apprehension and sadness. I'm going to live in a city where no one knows me. I'm getting a fresh start, even tough it also means that I will have to work hard to start over. 

Whatever that is, I'm sure that there is no problem that He's going to give me that I can't overcome. And no matter how bad my worst experience is there, it's going to be something that matters a lot in my life, perhaps something that's going to change my life or worldview. 

I've been waiting for this for a year now, and now it's time to leave. I know it's not going to be easy, but everything that I have fought in the past was also not - yet I did it anyway. I'm just hoping that I won't be the stupidest in my class, given that I come from a country that doesn't have a great reputation for its education system and quality. 

To new start, new journey, new lessons, new friends. To new experiences and new challenges. Wish me luck? 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

About One Terrifying Week

I never really felt this scared. Dad's in hospital for Dengue Fever, and his thrombocytes concentration dropped to 8.000 (the normal count is over 150.000 - can you imagine how low was that?). He also has a high blood sugar level, so the doctor decided not to give him one of the most effective medicine to boost the thrombocytes (because it could also boost his blood level). Who would have thought that a single mosquito could ruin my family's whole week?

I underestimated "Dengue Fever" because a lot of people have had it and they're just fine. I have had it, and so has my brother. So I laugh at my super-sensitive sister who cried when she heard that my dad needed to spend a night at the hospital, because it is just Dengue Fever. But it turns out that the disease can get complicated for older people, even though my dad is not that old (at least not as old as most of my friends', anyway).

So I cried when my mom called me at 11 pm to tell that he needed thrombocytes transfusion. PMI (Indonesian Red Cross Society) ran out of type-A thrombocytes stock, so we needed to provide our own donors. My brother and I called a few relatives and friends to find suitable donors, then rushed to the hospital and PMI to take care of the blood donation. There were 10 donors that night and 4 the next night, but unfortunately, only 8 people are eligible. The blood donation and transfusion process was quite an emotional experience for someone who always fills her head with an abundance of "what-if" questions - for someone who always, always expects for the worst to happen. I was scared, but I was glad that I didn't have to do that alone.

Dad had 10 bags of platelets transfused, and today his platelet counts are getting better. He's still can't do anything but to stay in bed as he's still feel utterly dizzy and nauseous, but at least the critical period is over. At least he no longer needs transfusion. He still needs oxygen to breath and the low platelet counts did harm his liver, but at least he's feeling better now. At least I do not have to worry that much anymore.

As every other thing that has happened in my life, I know that there must be something to learn. And through this experience, I learned about my kin and friends. I realized that some of them are peculiarly kind and selfless, and even willing to help in the middle of the night, on short notice. There are also some of them who can't be there physically but checks on me and my family frequently - those who gives support occasionally. But there are some relatives who can't even empathize and are not willing to give any help. Who can only blame and talk without giving any comfort. This experience has clearly shown us who's to rely on, and who's to keep our distance with.

On the other hand, I also learned that I might also be a lousy friend sometimes. That I don't really show deep concern to those who might need it. Now that I know how it feels, I should be more caring and supportive. Because during your worst day, even a simple "how are you" would make you feel okay and not alone.

And lastly, even though sometimes I argue with my parents and say cruel things about them to myself, I realized that I'm not ready to live without them. I am aware that it's somehow inevitable, but I think it's not something that I could overcome right now. There's a saying about us being busy growing up that we forget our parents are also growing old, and I learned that it's true. But regardless, I learned the hard way - arduous, even - that I still need their presence in my life. So please Allah, please, keep my family in good health, and shower them with Your blessings and protection.

Everything will be okay. It will be.


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