Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks #2 – Non-Alien Registration

Today after lunch, a department staff kindly took me to the Hayama Town Hall to register myself as a resident. The building was familiar; I remembered seeing its image when googling about the town. There, I was comforted by the system and people’s efficiency. Registering as a new long-term resident is convenient. Let me explain from the start. Weeks before my arrival, I was asked … Continue reading Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks #2 – Non-Alien Registration

Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks

A few months ago I got an offer to work at an international research-based NGO based in Hayama, Japan. Yesterday night, I landed safely at Tokyo Narita airport, took a 2,5 hours regular train ride to Zushi (the nearest town from Hayama), and officially started my new adventure in the sushi homeland. A dinner was prepared for me in my temporary room. Starving, I automatically … Continue reading Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks

Words or picture, or both?

My soul mate recently asked me, “Where are the pictures on your blog? I miss them, it adds your sensitivity in your writings.” My natural response was that I lacked original pictures that represented the story, and I’ll probably add them in the future. Later, her inquiry made me think, was it the picture or the writing that move people? Does picture speak more than … Continue reading Words or picture, or both?

On the Metro Mini This Evening

14 November 2014 On the Metro Mini (Jakarta’s city bus) this evening, a street singer told a story. He said he couldn’t continue going to school for he had no money. He said we are lucky. Literate, educated, employed. Unlike him, his friends, and his surroundings whom have to “work on the streets, sell their pride, and sleep on the shops’ front doors”. Unable to … Continue reading On the Metro Mini This Evening

The Borrowed Life (The Letters – Part 2 – end)

Dear Friend, How are you? I hope the sun is shining outside your window and the dog is sleeping peacefully on your foot.. Those small things that make life deserves to be cherished! I wrote to you about my life recently. About how I had been living a life that I borrowed, from Life itself and from the people who own it.. It has come … Continue reading The Borrowed Life (The Letters – Part 2 – end)

The Borrowed Life (The Letters – Part 1)

Dear Friend, How are you? I hope everything is still as great as you told me the last time we talked. It’s been more than a month now, since my ankle bone broke. I may forget the date and how the accident happened in detail, but I don’t want to forget the life experience and lessons it’s given me. This is why I’m writing you, … Continue reading The Borrowed Life (The Letters – Part 1)

Pak Pram: What I’ve Learned from Him Since the First Encounter (About Myself and Pramoedya Ananta Toer)

(Bahasa Indonesia version: https://amellina.me/?p=286) It was around 2001. I was about 13 years old, an 8th grader. I went into our family library at home, trying to find something new to read after I had finished reading a book. My eyes caught a vintage-looking book. It was a paperback with white cover; the title looked like it had been written with the help of a ruler … Continue reading Pak Pram: What I’ve Learned from Him Since the First Encounter (About Myself and Pramoedya Ananta Toer)

Dreams Don’t Just Come True

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a dream. A number of times I’d just wake up in the middle of the night finding myself in bed and thought, ‘oh, this one is real.’ Other times, when I’m either at field work or at a meeting listening to other people’s curious remarks, I’d listen to my own voice telling myself, ‘wow, I’ve actually been dreaming … Continue reading Dreams Don’t Just Come True