Tuhan dan aku

Terkadang hati gelisah, gulana, mengingat umur yang makin berkurang dan amal buruk yang terus dilakukan. Apakah kita akan terus bergantung pada hidayah atau kita harus benar-benar berjuang agar tetep di jalan yang baik, benar dan lurus?

Hidup di dunia hanya 60 tahun, 100 tahun, dan mungkin 150 tahun jika kita cukup beruntung. Namun apalah artinya umur yang sebentar itu jika dibanding kehidupan beribu tahun di alam kubur dan selamanya di alam akhirat?

Lalu bagaimana? Apa yang sebaiknya harus dilakukan? Untuk menyatakan cinta kepada Nya? Sang Khalik? Sang Maha Pencipta? Sumber segala cinta?

Apakah ibadah kita sudah cukup? Apakah sholat kita sudah sempurna? Apakah puasa kita sudah baik? Apakah hati dan pikiran kita sudah bersih? Atau malah selalu disibukan oleh urusan duniawi yang tak ada habisnya?

Mungkin saatnya kita untuk kembali kepada fitrah kita, bahwa kewajiban kita di dunia adalah untuk beribadah kepada Gusti Allah. Maka mari jadikan semua pikiran, tingkah laku dan aktivitas kita sebagai ibadah kepada-Nya.

Semoga Allah Yang Maha Pengasih dan Maha Penyayang selalu mencintai dan mengasihi kita. Diberikan petunjuk. Dan semoga kita cukup beruntung diberi kemuliaan sebagai salah satu hamba pilihan yang selalu dijaga-Nya di dunia dan akhirat. Aamiin ya robbal alamiin.


Afrina Karenina Rizal

Jakarta, 12 May 2016

I am now

It’s been a while since the last time i posted something on my blog.
Well, I am 31 years old now, happily married and currently working as a headhunter.
Being 31 is something i really really think deeply. I mean it’s basically how we differenciate ourselves from our 20s. How we act and react. I dont take people’s opinion any longer as much as I did in my 20s. Of course it means i have lesser friends. Yup, pretty proud of it, though. I am happy that I am surrounded by caring, thoughtful and kind best friends.
I am a married woman, very happily. In fact, next Monday is our first anniversary. I met my husband like 13 years ago and guess what? We have been best friends. I myself did not have any idea that he has been having a crush in me all this time. He was about to propose me 6 years ago. But when he saw me happy with my young and traveling life at that time, he kept that proposal on his own. My husband is an introvert and caring man. He understands me very well. I think he can also read my mind. While for me, it’s otherwise. I cant read him at all. I realize I did not know him quite well. I was the dominant all the time, and I am still. But after we got married, the more I learned about him, the more I feel how lucky I am to have or to be his life partner. We are now waiting that hopefully we could have children someday, but not in a hurry. When God say we are ready, then we are. Living a life is about enjoying the moment and that’s what we do now.
I used to work as a teacher. I taught English to children, teenagers, and adults. I even taught English to European adults in my teaching practice when I was doing my CELTA in London. After sometime, I realize that I dont want to earn money by educating people. Education should be free. I continue teaching yet as a volunteer.
My current job is a headhunter. I could say that this job is the most lovable profession in the world, hehe.. Guess what? By practice and few years of experience, I am getting better on it (i think, hehe..). I learn many things from this job, like plastic extrusion, CNC, PET, furniture production, export and import, tyre, FMCG, and so on and so on. It’s pretty cool job. Lucky for me, my boss is kind enough letting me working flexible hour. So I can keep my professional job and taking care of my family life at the same time.
I am happy human being. Thank you, Allah. Fabiayyi ala i robbikuma tukaziban. 
Afrina Karenina Rizal

Jakarta, 10 May 2016

Interview with Sarah Joseph

Islam bukan hanya tentang ritual tapi juga tentang tindakan/kebaikan yang kita lakukan selama 24 jam dalam 1 hari, 7 hari dalam seminggu, setiap bulan dan setiap tahunnya.
Sarah Joseph memeluk agama Islam ketika beliau masih sangat muda belia. Berawal dari saudara laki-lakinya yang memeluk agama Islam karena jatuh cinta dengan seorang muslimah. Awalnya Sarah merasa marah, karena Sarah dibesarkan dengan budaya Nasrani dan beliau sangat taat beragama. Sejak itu, Sarah mulai mencari-cari Islam itu seperti apa. Mulai membaca Al-Quran dan mendalami isinya. Tapi sedikitpun dia tidak pernah berkeinginan untuk menjadi muslim. Sampai pada suatu hari, dia mengikuti acara yang diadakan untuk menyambut bayi sang kakak. Dan seorang teman mengajaknya berkeliling dan kemudian mengatakan bahwa dia harus melakukan sholat ashar. Sarah hanya melihat dari kejauhan dan ketika sang teman melakukan sujud, Sarah terpaku, dan berpikir bahwa itulah berserah diri. Hal tersebut menjadi tolak awal bagi semuanya. Dengan intuisi remajanya yang keras, Sarah mendeklarasikan keislamannya kepada keluarganya. Ibunya yang seorang pimpinan top model agency terkenal di Inggris bertanya mengapa dia harus menutup kecantikannya. Dengan berbekal intelektualitas dan ilmu yang diperolehnya dari Al-Quran, Sarah bisa menjawab semua pertanyaan dari keluarganya. Masa yang sangat sulit bagi Sarah. Neneknya adalah sosok yang sangat penting bagi Sarah. Neneknya mengatakan bahwa Sarah adalah seorang orang asing atau alien pada saat itu. Sarah maklum, karena hijrah dari satu hal ke hal yang lain butuh proses. Dari seorang perokok menjadi bukan perokok juga cukup berat. Apalagi berpindah keyakinan. Seiring dengan waktu keluarganya mulai menyadari bahwa Sarah masih individu yang sama. 5 tahun kemudian, Sarah menikah dengan seorang muslim. Pada saat itu neneknya mengatakan bahwa beliau menyayangi Sarah apa adanya dan juga gaya hidupnya. Dan menurut Sarah itulah dukungan terbesar baginya.

 

Ditanya mengenai perbedaan antara Islam dan keyakinan yang lain. Sarah mengatakan terdapat banyak kesamaan antara satu dan yang lain. Umat manusia lebih banyak memiliki kesamaan daripada perbedaan. Tak ada satu pun manusia yang tidak menginginkan perdamaian, kebahagiaan, stabilitas, penghormatan dan nilai sosial yang lain. Bagaimanapun, kita ada di dunia ini dengan cara yang berbeda-beda, termasuk dalam hal beragama. Menyinggung tentang 3 agama monoteistik: Islam, Nasrani dan Yahudi. Ketiga agama ini lebih banyak lagi memiliki kesamaan, seperti: nama nabi, nama malaikat, sejarah, dan lain-lain. Namun ada beberapa perbedaan yang sangat fundamental. Misalnya: tentang cerita Nabi Adam AS. Dikatakan di AlQuran bahwa Iblis menggoda Adam dan Hawa untuk memakan buah khuldi. Tetapi pada ajaran agama yang lain, Siti Hawa-lah yang menggoda Nabi Adam untuk memakan buah khuldi. Pada sejarah Nabi Nuh, ajaran agama lain mengatakan bahwa keluarga Nabi Nuh adalah orang-orang pilihan untuk diselamatkan Tuhan pada banjir besar, tetapi pada AlQuran dikatakan bahwa Nabi Nuh memberi peringatan kepada kaumnya mengenai banjir besar dan untuk patuh kepada Tuhan. Dan siapa pun bisa mendengar peringatan itu, memilih jalan Tuhan dan selamat. Berkaitan dengan cerita Nabi Isa AS, sudah banyak diketahui perbedaan ini. Penganut agama Nasrani mengatakan bahwa Jesus adalah anak Tuhan. Tapi pada ajaran agama Islam, Jesus lahir dari Maryam tanpa seorang Bapak karena Tuhan inging menunjukkan kekuasaannya, “Jadilah, maka jadilah.” Pada akhirnya, terdapat perbedaan yang penting, khususnya mengenai terpilih dan memilih. Karena dalam Islam, kita yang harus membuka hati untuk menerima hidayah yang akan diberikan Tuhan kepada kita.  Walaupun kita lahir dari keluarga Islam, tapi perasaan berserah diri kepada Allah tidak bisa diwarisi. Kita harus banyak belajar dan membuka hati untuk memperbaiki hubungan kita dengan Allah sepanjang hidup kita.

 

Menyikapi perbedaan budaya Islam di seluruh dunia, Sarah menekankan bahwa Islam adalah keyakinan bukan budaya. Tetapi adanya akulturasi antara Islam dan budaya di negara bersangkutan bukanlah suatu hal yang negatif. Karena ketika kita mendatangi mesjid di Cina, Rusia, Afrika, Indonesia, untuk sholat 5 waktu, kita akan melakukan cara sholat dan jumlah rakaat yang sama. Bahkan adanya keberagaman ini yang menunjukkan keindahan Islam dan kreatifitas Sang Pencipta. Bahkan Allah mengatakan dalam AlQuran bahwa Dia menciptakan kita dari bangsa, suku dan ras yang berbeda-beda untuk mengenal satu sama lain. Daripada kita mencari perbedaan, sebaiknya kita mencari kesamaan dari Islam di setiap negara itu sendiri. Namun akulturasi akan menjadi negatif ketika kita mulai menganggap bahwa budaya inilah Tuhan kita.

 

Sarah juga mengatakan bahwa Islam adalah rahmat bagi seluruh manusia, tidak terbatas jarak dan waktu. Rosulullah SAW sendiri adalah pembawa pesan bagi seluruh umat manusia. Beliau tidak mengatakan bahwa Beliau datang dengan sesuatu yang baru, tapi Beliau datang sebagai pemberi peringatan. Sarah menekankan bahwa Rosulullah bukan trend-setter dan kemudian kita harus mengikuti cara berpakaiannya pada zaman sekarang. Atau kita berkendara dengan unta untuk mengikuti beliau. Bagi Sarah, Islam bukan replikasi, tapi generasi.  Kita sebagai muslim bisa menyesuaikan dengan budaya, tempat dan waktu dengan tidak meninggalkan prinsip Islam dan nilai-nilai yang dibangun oleh Rosulullah SAW. Dan yang paling penting adalah menjalankan pesan yang dibawa Rosulullah SAW, untuk kembali kepada Allah, membersihkan hati, berbuat baik, bagaimana kita hidup satu sama lain dengan cara yang baik dan nilai-nilai positif lainnya.

 

Berkaitan dengan akulturasi Islam pada budaya barat, Sarah berkomentar bahwa masyarakat timur yang datang ke dunia barat bisa jadi terkejut. Mereka akan menemukan hal-hal yang sangat berbeda, khususnya apabila di negara asal mereka tidak menemukan akses ke alkohol, lawan jenis, dan lain-lain. Dan mereka akan dihujani banyak pertanyaan tentang Islam. Menurut Sarah, cara terbaik adalah beradaptasi dengan masyarakat lokal dengan memiliki pengertian bahwa mereka adalah saudara kita sesama manusia, karena kita semua adalah Bani Adam. Islam bukan hanya tentang rukun Islam yang kita jalankan, karena syahadat, sholat, puasa, zakat, dan haji adalah cara kita berhubungan dengan Tuhan. Itulah inputnya. Outputnya adalah apa yang kita lakukan selama 24 jam sehari, 7 hari seminggu untuk berbuat baik kepada siapapun, muslim dan non-muslim, di sekitar kita, bermoral baik, dan menghormati orang lain. Dan jika itu dilakukan, kita akan bisa hidup dengan nyaman, bukan hanya di negara barat, tapi juga kemana pun kita pergi.

Mengenai muslimah berkerudung di budaya Barat, bisa jadi mereka akan menemui kesulitan, khususnya dalam mencari pekerjaan. Tapi terus yakin dan jangan putus asa. Kita harus beranggapan bahwa ini adalah ujian dari Allah SWT dan segala sesuatu terjadi karena ada hikmahnya. Yakinlah bahwa Allah akan membantu kita. Dan  terus membuktikan bahwa kita, muslimah, adalah individu yang professional, cerdas, tepat waktu, tegas, berkomitmen dan terus berusaha untuk belajar dan maju.

 

Disinggung mengenai efek 9/11 di London khususnya, dan di seluruh dunia pada umumnya, Sarah mengatakan 9/11 benar-benar menjadi masa-masa kegelapan bagi dunia Islam. Karena Islamopfobia semakin meningkat. Dan ini juga berhubungan dengan ribuan nyawa yang terenggut di Afganistan dan Irak. Karena Amerika bisa berbuat lebih untuk itu. Diharapkan ada musyawarah antara Islam dan pihak-pihak yang bersangkutan untuk kembali membenahi hubungan baik. Dan Sarah juga menegaskan bahwa ini adalah tugas seluruh muslim untuk membuktikan kepada sekitar kita dan seluruh dunia bahwa Islam adalah agama yang baik. Tapi bukan dengan kata-kata, kita membuktikan dengan tindakan. Karena ketika kita mengatakan Islam adalah agama terbaik, tapi tidak ada bukti untuk itu, khususnya jika kita tidak memberikan contoh yang baik bagi sekitar kita, hal itu akan menjadi sia-sia.

 

London, 17 Oktober 2011

Afrina Karenina Rizal

C’est la vie

I was living in a place for few years. I can say that it was such a comfort zone for me. I had everything there. But all I did was taking care of people, keeping positive images of other people. While I didn’t have time for myself and sad thing that mostly people think bad about me. But still, it was such a comfort zone for me. 

Then I decided to get out of that comfort zone. To give myself more time, to see outer world.

 

Now here I am, stranded in a land that I called it a dream land. But as always, it’s not easy to start something from zero as what I have been doing since I arrived. Some people say that I will be alright in 2 or 3 months. But I have a friend who has been struggling for 6 months and got nothing.

 

Many problems happened that I should put a lot of time to process them all in my mind. Obstacles at school management that it made me think back about what I did when I was in my country. I totally understand regarding how this business education is running. It’s all about quality of learning process, finance and customer service. In the end, it was like a blessing in disguise. And I should thank God for that.

 

I have to emphasize that my main reason here is to study. But if I can earn some money, that would be perfect. As I don’t have to burden my parents anymore and at the same time I could save for my tuition fee. Again, problems happened. Religion! Why can’t I wear this scarf? It’s not going to harm anyone. Let’s say it’s just an accessory. Honestly, once I was trying just to wear a hat. Geeee, it was cold. So it’s better to use scarf. In the beginning, I met a lot of people who were against this scarf as I mingle with any type of people, both educated and uneducated, Indonesian or those of other countries. So I might get different responses. But in the end, in fact, I met more people who do not worry much about scarf thing. Most of them are English and they think it’s just normal. Well, maybe it was just my luck that I met those nice people.

 

Another problem appeared. Many people wanted me to work with them. But in the end, I do not know why, but it was useless. In the end, I was not with them. There was such a cosmic thing that prevented it to happen, even though I tried my best to set up a plan. And here in this place, plan is useless. Because everything will be full of surprise. Everything is unpredictable. All we need is plan plus anticipation.

 

I was trying to find a pattern and how to deal with this. As a result of different culture, different weather, different people, understanding is needed. Not only that, it also requires tolerance, hard-work, patience, self-reflection, kindness and prayers.

 

Yes, sometimes I feel tired. Sometimes I cried. Sometimes I hardly sleep. I keep wondering what would be the end. What would be the turning point that changes everything.  As I experienced this kind of thing many times. What I learned is that sadness is always between two happiness. It’s always true. But if I might have a hard time, I think it’s better to put it on my own, not somebody else’s.

 

Finally, apart from the cool atmosphere in my class, friendships I made with people from around the world, nice places and sight, and other pleasure and positive things which are priceless,  I would like to say those disadvantages things as tests. But I will never wait. I am here to struggle and win. Because man jadda wajada, those who try hard will get success. And God will never help those who don’t want to help themselves. At the same time, I also have to refer to Qadha and Qadar. Because as hard as I try, what mine will be mine, what’s not mine will never be mine. And God’s plan is always perfect. And I still believe that everything happens for a reason. Insya Allah.

 

Afrina Karenina Rizal

London, 31 October 2011

1 bulan di London

“Apakah kamu memakai kerudungmu setiap saat?”, itu pertanyaan yang saya terima akhir-akhir ini. 

Sudah 1 bulan saya di London, Inggris. Banyak hal yang semakin membuat saya berpikir untuk mempertahankan keislaman saya. Mengutip perkataan dosen saya di Indonesia, “Ketika kita berada jauh dari Negara kita, khususnya berada di Negara Barat. Kita akan cenderung mempertahankan identitas kita sebagai muslim.”

 

Banyak hal yang menjadi tantangan: kesulitan mencari kerja, makanan, gaya hidup. Saya pernah diterima kerja disini untuk mengisi waktu luang tapi dengan syarat saya harus membuka kerudung saya. Akhirnya saya tidak mengambil pekerjaan tersebut. Selanjutnya sebagai muslim, saya juga harus berhati-hati dengan makanan dan minuman yang haram. Saya khawatir jikalau makanan atau minuman itu masuk terlalu banyak ke dalam tubuh saya, doa saya tidak bisa sampai kepada Sang Maha Besar. Kemudian saya juga tidak mengatakan saya menolak mengikuti gaya hidup teman-teman saya disini. Saya berpikir saya perlu bergaul dan saya suka bergaul. Rasulullah bersabda, “Barang siapa yang ingin dilapangkan rizkinya dan dipanjangkan umurnya, maka hendaklah ia menyambung tali silaturahmi”. Saya senang saya mempunyai teman dari berbagai Negara. Saya mencoba untuk terbuka terhadap budaya mereka, tetapi tetap mempertahankan identitas saya sebagai muslim. Dan ternyata teman-teman saya sangat menghormati hal tersebut.

 

Saya ingat yang disampaikan oleh Bapak Duta Besar Indonesia untuk Inggris, bahwa akan banyak sekali godaan bagi pelajar Indonesia. Rasanya sayang sekali jika waktu studi yang ada hanya digunakan untuk berfoya-foya dan menghabiskan uang orang tua. Tapi lantas apakah kita harus terus belajar, tanpa bergaul. Hendaknya para pelajar Indonesia menggunakan waktu dan dana sebaik-baiknya untuk mendapatkan banyak pengalaman, baik secara akademis maupun kehidupan sosial.

 

Secara akademis, ternyata anak-anak Indonesia mampu bersaing dengan para pelajar dari Negara lain. Di kelas saya, saya juga merasa beruntung karena mendapat respek yang luar biasa, baik secara akademis, budaya dan agama. Seperti kutipan saya di atas, teman-teman saya mulai bertanya tentang kostum yang saya pakai. Seperti layaknya muslim Indonesia yang moderat , kostum saya biasa saja, hanya saja saya selalu mengenakan kerudung. Mereka mulai mempertanyakan mengapa saya selalu mengenakan kerudung, apalagi jika cuaca panas. Saya senang mereka bertanya karena mereka menunjukan rasa ingin tahu dan kepedulian. Dan tugas saya dan tugas kita sebagai muslim adalah untuk menunjukan bahwa Islam itu indah.

 

Akhirnya, seperti yang diungkapkan oleh Nenek sayang yang sudah berpuluh-puluh tahun hidup di Inggris dan masih tetap mengenakan kerudung, beliau berkata,”Inilah bumi Allah, di segala penjuru dunia.” Walaupun jauh dari rumah, dengan segala suka dukanya, harus tetap yakin bahwa Allah selalu berada bersama kita. Dan jika ada kesulitan dan kegagalan melanda, jangan menyerah dan terus percaya bahwa Allah-lah sebaik-baik pembuat rencana.

 

Semoga bermanfaat.

 

Afrina Karenina Rizal

London, 2 Oktober 2011

Garuda Di Dadaku

I really enjoy my time here in London. I just arrived here a month ago. But I enjoy everything: being in my class with a cool teacher and nice classmates, being with my family at home with Indonesian food, being around the environment that is very different from Indonesia, where I am coming from. I enjoy the museums, the parks, the public transports. I enjoy meeting new people who mostly are friendly to me. I enjoy McD’ fries, that I eat it every day. I can’t believe hanging out with that American guy made me love McD so much. 

Some weird things happened, though. I met weird people that suddenly talked to me about the thing I had no idea about it, then I escaped right away, hehe..  I guess he was just a guy with mental sickness. One night, I had a religious gathering that after that I was really in the mood to do random act of kindness. The day after that I met an old man who was a homeless, I assume. So I wanted to give him money. But then he was so rude at me and spoke loudly saying “Go away!”. I was speechless, haha.. The other time, I was sitting with a friend in my school. Then there was this old man approaching asking about my name, country, and asked to take a picture of him with me. And I said okay, because it’s common in my country to talk about things like this and I was just trying to be friendly. But after that, my friend was so angry with me saying that it’s not okay to talk about personal information to strangers. Again I was speechless. It freaked me out. I had a lesson to learn that day. I hope there won’t be anything bad to happen. It’s sad that I have to concern more about the food. I can’t eat all kinds of food. But it is such a challenge for me.

 

I am coming from Indonesia, a beautiful country with super-nice people, amazing cultures, and wonderful nature. Summer everyday? Yes, it is. Some people might not know where my country is. Some people think that Indonesia is part of Bali. In fact, Bali is part of Indonesia. Some people think that Indonesia is consisting of Malaysia, Singapore, and others. In fact, Indonesia is a neighbor country of those countries. I admit that I am coming from in a third country: cheap labor country, poor transport system, corrupt government. But then what can we do about this? We, Indonesian people, are living in modern countries but keep swearing about what is happening in our country? We keep saying bad things about our country without giving any solution? We live in modern countries and we think we are better or we are the best? I don’t think that it’s wise. I remember my professor once told me that she was afraid that those people who left Indonesia would never have a willing to go back home. I would say that I didn’t know if I would go back or not, or I would just travel to other countries. But all I know I am proud being Indonesian and I am ready to help my country in any means. I just talked to a good woman who is promoting Indonesian culture around the world. Apart from all disadvantaged things from my country, Indonesia is a center of art and culture. Many foreigners come to Indonesia to learn those things, such as dancing, traditional music, batik, souvenirs, and many things. In fact, there are many good things to do to promote our country. And one thing that I am always proud of is hospitality of our people. People smile everywhere. Come to Indonesia and you will see.

 

P.S Especially dedicated to all Indonesian people who are away from home. Hugs and kisses. 🙂

 

Afrina Karenina Rizal

London, 1 October 2011

See you later, London.

Living in another country is not easy. That’s all I can say after I spent almost 6 months in London, England. It requires hard working, faith and positive look. Sometimes bad things happened, really really bad. Having said that, still, there are thousands of incredible things I should be grateful of, because it made me forget all bad things happened. And I am so ready to say goodbye to London with my happiest smile. :)StudyI just love Oxford House College, London. In this place, I met fantastic teachers and very nice friends from many different countries around the globe. I did IELTS and CELTA. At last I got 7.0 for IELTS and was awarded a Pass for CELTA. It’s not great, it’s just fine. The thing is I learned a lot during the process. CELTA has such a great impact on me; maybe it’s because we did it intensively. We spent 10 hours at school (doing the assignment, preparing for teaching practice, etc); really worth doing. I love CELTA.Family

Dead end? I mean a really dead end. It’s time for me to return to my family; my grandma, grandpa, uncle, aunties. I am glad to have them. My landlady as well is like a mother to me. When I had problems, she would knock my door just to say hi and ask if I was alright. The last thing she said that she would miss me. Yes, I will miss her, too, very much. Then I hugged her.Indonesian friends

I have best friends, yes, best friends, two gorgeous girls whom I am always proud of. Gisela, a kind-hearted beautiful girl who will always be there for me whenever I am in need. I can’t count what she’s done for me. Million nice things has she done for me. Fitri, a cheerful girl who always lights up our Facebook messages with her jokes. She cheers us up with her own way. A caring girl who always be there to help.PPI London

This is home. A place where I can meet friends from my own country, speak my native language, share the same jokes. The people here are just great; caring, helpful, fun. I am glad I met masbos Rosyid that he gave me a chance to promote my country by joining this organization. I also met Mas Aziz, who is very kind-hearted, and is like a brother to me. I also met Pak Arif, our sesepuh in PPI London. I met Mas Tyo, a devoted person who will do the responsibility at any means. I met sweet, kind-hearted and beautiful Sherly and Nina Monika. Fun people: Robet, Caca and Shanka, I can’t stop laughing when I’m with them. In the end I found out Caca and Shanka were the ones who set the goodbye party for me. Were you? I also met Aulia and Felix. I hope we can meet again someday.Friends in IELTS class

Having spent 4 months in IELTS class helped me making friends as many as possible. I did have  great times with all of them. I remember we had an Italian dinner; Luigi cooked pasta for us. I remember we were spending a cold night near Tower Bridge celebrating a friend’s birthday. I met lovely and nice girls. They are not only friends in good times, but also in bad times. I remember I was in library feeling sad about something, Chiara, an Italian girl, and Stefania, a girl from Brazil, were there for me. When my brother got an accident, Juliana from Colombia let me use her skype account to call my family in Indonesia. I remember Sepideh, a really nice Iranian woman who gave me a sweater. I will never forget Makarios, A Greek guy who always brings me something after he traveled to another country. Javier, an elegant Spanish guy, who always looks cool, smart and friendly. Gonzalo, a Chilean guy, who  spent a year in London and finally made his dream come true after that hardworking. Flavio, an Italian guy, who considers me as his sister and promised me to be serious in his study and forget about girls, but in the end he realized he could not live without girls, hehe.. Phedy, a Tunisian guy who keep saying it was funny there’s an English teacher taking an English course, lol.. Vicente, a Spanish guy who keeps asking me where my boyfriend comes from. Davide, a smart Italian psychologist, who helped me with my assignment. I am glad to hear that he was invited for a job interview in London. Monika, a beautiful Polish girl who is very nice. Evgynya, a Russian girl who is really nice as well. I met Vinisius, Pierre, Sebastian, Alejandro, and others. In the beginning of the class, I also met Pamela from Mexico, Abdel from Portugal and Ja Kyoung from Korea. Oh God, I am so glad to meet them.Friends in CELTA class

2 weeks after CELTA started, I read an article about people who were doing CELTA but having a hard time; unsupportive colleagues, destructive criticism. Hey, it’s not happening to me. I love my group. Nick, a British guy who is really caring and reminds me of my brother always makes me laugh with his childish attitude. It’s always fun to play rock scissors paper with him. Hohoho.. Zaynab, a British Indian girl who cares a lot for everyone in the class and let me swap the teaching practice schedule with her. Sonja, a very smart and devoted woman who always cares about other as well. Jack, a hard-working Taiwanese guy, who speaks my language. He’s just very sweet that I cried when he left. And Julika, a fashionable girl from Estonia. I also feel grateful meeting Brendan Brainy, a super-smart British guy in the class, who always helps me to proofread my writing. He always makes me laugh with his funny expressions. And I will never forget Christine, a very nice girl who always be there for me. I will never forget the moment when she helped me editing an important document in a cold night at Golders Green tube station platform. Once I visited her home and spent time with her family; it was such a great time. I am also glad to meet Tommy, a guy who asked if my name was Karenina and he related it to Leo Tolstoys’ novel; but yeah I am not that Karenina and I am not famous, lol.. I met a very nice Spanish woman, Elena, who always let me try her Spanish food. I met Muhammad and Nesteha.Teachers

I am totally happy meeting cool teachers in my school. Mike, my IELTS teacher, is very caring and helpful to everyone. I learned a lot from him. He’s just the coolest teacher I’ve ever met. Thanks for the Sponge Bob from Wales, Mike. 🙂 I also met Rico, a teacher from Brazil, who speaks English very fluently. He’s different from Mike, but he’s totally nice. He is very supportive, especially when he knew that I took CELTA. I met Bobby and Emma in CELTA class. I was sad that I never got Above Standard with Bobby, but he’s just very kind that he helped me to deal with CELTA when I have a family problem. Emma is just awesome. I learned a lot from her. She really told us what to do in order to be a better teacher. I got the above standard in my very final lesson. I was so happy.Love story

I met this guy few weeks after I arrived in London. He was so rude at first. But the more I know him, the more I learn he has such a warm heart. Sadly, things didn’t work out, again due to cultural differences. But he used to light up my days in London. Nice meeting you, George. I wish you always happy. But now it’s time for me to move on, as when one door is closed, another one opens. 🙂

 

I’ll be going home this Sunday, 19th February 2012 from Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4. I’ll probably be in the airport at 6pm and will check-in at 7pm.

 

It has been a fantastic 6 months for me; either good or bad times. All the places, all the experiences, all the people will always be in my mind. Dear friends and family, I apologize for all the bad things I’ve done. And I do thank you for any best moments we’ve been sharing. It’s just priceless. I hope someday our paths will cross again.