I love to jot things down here. Oh anyway, you may skip this post if you intend to find essential tips because you will see nothing but my wishy-washy story.

I couldn’t ask more for 6 days of ups and downs for participating in one of the most scholarship selection Indonesians would die for: LPDP Scholarship’s.

In mid October, I was notified through my account that I passed the administration phase and was obliged to attend the interview in this November. I spent more than 3 months to prepare the documents alone and I had yet entered the war; its substantive audition. This consists of interview, essay on the spot, and Leaderless Group Discussion. The real battle started here.

God and my closest circle knew how rushed and panic I was to prepare the interview. Weeks before I came to Jakarta, I practiced with my seniors and debate friends. First attempts were not good, far from ‘ready’. The way I talk bored them effortlessly, I appeared quite demanding thanks to the similar tension I felt whenever a POI comes up. ‘Get your shit together, Nin’, ‘I can’t help but yawning at your responses’, and the most hit-on-the-nail feedback, ‘be more humane’. I listed all the possible questions worrying how I should answer.

The latter trials were not satisfying as well. Yes, I made SLIGHT improvements in my speaking tone, but still, ‘you love to obscure things’, they claimed. No objection is needed. It was one or two days before my departure that I cried over the phone knowing how unprepared I was. I was practicing my interview with Bang Fadlan that night and never did I feel so sick of speaking English after these years. I finally let the burden go. I didn’t want to pressure myself. ‘Let’s make this small’ Bang Fadlan said and I couldn’t agree more on that. When I phoned Eka and Kak Winda for checking up my progress, I felt a tiny surge of confidence and relief. Half of the baggage was lifted.

The following morning, my parents took me to the airport and I realized that I am just their daughter, taking her ‘unassisted’ flight and…fight. I hugged them dearly and almost wet my eyelids. This must be how Bang Agung felt when he saw his dad carrying his backpack the day he left for the same test.

November 16th, 2016

I took my ride at 5 a.m and arrived ‘awkwardly’ half hour later. My aunt was with me and she didn’t intend to leave her niece alone.

As I got 9 vacant hours to fill (yes you read it right), I met several people that I knew through an online group. We exchanged stories; study destination, study preparation, and the rumored questions of the LGD and interview. I was delighted to witness something rare these days: brainy yet humble people.  They come from various academic backgrounds. Compared to mine, their social contributions and achievements are great. They are more than ready. Somehow, seeing them gives me a wake up call.

“What have you done?”

LGD and Essay on the spot (EOTS) session 

I got ‘Wacana Kerja Guru 8 jam’ as my topic of EOTS and I messed it. So, for those who want to tackle this session, please master IELTS Academic Writing 2 pattern and pay attention to our nation issue frequently.

Surprisingly, I could catch up in my LGD when we got ‘Brain Drain’ as our discussion theme. Eventhough I am the only one who came from Sumatra, everyone in my group was nice and listened to my opinion attentively.  We were monitored by two psychologists. They said nothing. So, make sure you guys (you and your group members) meet before having LGD. Know everyone’s characters, build good atmosphere, and last but not least, don’t be arrogant. You may conduct your mock LGD hours or 1-2 days before you have your real one provided you have got everyone’s contact.


In the following day, I got my turn. The interview itself only spent around 20-25 minutes and here is the list of questions (as far as I can remember):

  1. Why do you choose Birmingham?
  2. Who are the prominent figures of this institution?
  3. Why do you want to be a lecturer?
  4. What will you do if your voices aren’t heard? Will you insist it?
  5. Who will get the benefit from your study?
  6. Have you participated in any social communities?
  7. Have you ever been far away from home?
  8. Have you ever cheated on something?

The interview went smooth and was fully conducted in English. I thought I was dead nervous, but I let it go and somehow nailed it.


I didn’t pass it. Of course, I was devastated. But I am grateful that I managed that feeling. I am thankful that ‘I am ready to lose and I am ready to win’ is not empty words. It fills me.

Life goes in a circle.

5 years ago I also experienced the same two things. I failed both my relationship and my university entrance exam. The difference is, at that time I beared it alone and now I have these ‘rahangless’ pals (sorry guys lol) who could always give me  a hand. The following year, series of event brought to me to join debate, unexpectedly, which turned out to be one of the best decision I have ever made. So, on my naive account, perhaps 2017 will be a pack of surprises too.


Cats; flashnotes

I once pledged to myself that I wouldn’t pet a cat anymore. Not because I hate those cute fur balls, but I can’t stand when they leave me; died. 

Our first cats are named with Jewel in the Palace’s character names. We called them ‘Geum Yong’, ‘Yong San’, ‘Jang Geum’ etc. It’s so Korean-ish for ‘kucing kampung’. I know right. We had 10 cats at the moment. Some neighbours told my parents that we shouldn’t pet more cats or ‘your daughter will be infertile’ they said. But well, I was just 12 to care about that. 

Then, they left us, gradually.

Having cats means being ready to serve ‘the queen’. They don’t care your babytalk. They are hungry, they crave for attention, and they must get what they want. 

So, these two kittens came to my house around 4 months ago. Once we moved to this house, ‘no cats anymore’ is an unwritten consensus that I, particularly, should obey. But, I broke that. 

Fortunately, everyone loves these kittens.

Those meowing faces weaken me. 

My tolerance is ‘untung kalian kucing’ level so I can always tolerate them. 

Yes, no point in this post.



Time flies so fast that it’s past 5 days after Idul Fitri already. This year, we decided to stay here. I didn’t meet my cousin. It’s pretty busy here that we welcomed more guests than previous years. 

My acne got treated and I feel much relieved. 

Anyway, I managed to purchase a new phone (as I am typing through my phone too). I am pretty satisfied with this one. Long last battery, high-res camera, bigger storage capacity, and, of course, it’s affordable! 

Selamat lebaran. Minal Aidin walfaidzin. Mohon maaf lahir dan batin.

June: Ramadhan and What to do

I was away when suddenly my laptop turned into a complete set of Windows 10. I didn’t like the surface, but I don’t know how to revert it back.

Anyway, days ago, I spent my money on books. It’s pretty rare for me to begin reading Sufism. At the same time, my interest for humanism and feminism are  starting to grow bigger as well. I read JP and some alternative journals. I have to admit that maybe this is the ‘reason’ why my phone is broke. To make me productive.

I subscribe to those high-quality articles and they sure entertain me. I write often in Medium and I even tried it in Qureta too. But, when I try to write in English, it leaves me completely blank. There is this insecure feeling that my grammar is not correct, I don’t have relevant ideas and such. I have no idea why I don’t feel freedom in writing in English as much as I write in Bahasa. Maybe I should make myself more accustomed to write here again.

In Monday, we will begin fasting. I really wish that I can do it better as last year, I believe that I did so much wrongdoings that ‘harm’ my fasting. Hopefully, it won’t happen this year.


Eleventh Post ?

I know I should have posted more here, but I posted more on Medium instead. Mostly, I post short fiction. I wish I can post a longer one, but nothing comes to my mind.

Well, one of my stress sources is gone. My acne got treated. I don’t mind if it takes months. As long as it’s treated. I can’t eat some foods which unfortunately happens to be my favorites. Just my luck.

The announcement of scholarship is one month left.

For one week, I took charge of doing household as my mom left for Malang and Jakarta. This WAS the first time I cooked by myself. I know it’s exaggerating. But for me, untuk anak gadis yang manja dan selalu bangun kesiangan, it’s like doing something out of my comfort zone. LOL. When people do, like, ‘travelling’, ‘creating new things’, or ‘volunteering’ as their ‘out of comfort zone’ list, doing household is the only one on my list.

I think I should write in English more. Lately, I feel my writing is worse as well as my speaking. Indeed, I haven’t started my intense IELTS preparation yet. Doing this in Ramadhan maybe a good idea.


On Graduation

Last Saturday, finally I had my graduation ceremony. I won’t bother to share the pics here because I just feel reluctant to. Anyway, my brother came to ceremony and I feel grateful for that. Can’t ask more. Whatever, I am graduated.

In my first ‘jobless’ week, I am struggling to finish four remaining articles to translate. Something I wish will help me to purchase a new phone.

Recently I post my fictions in my medium. My mood just strike me to post some poems, short fictions and such. You may read it by yourself.


Earning money….and breakout

I am in the “I have to earn money but I don’t want to drag myself out of my house” phase. But, really, I want to be ‘useful’. So, I tried to learn some things; cooking, using microsoft access; translating and many more.

Recently, I updated my Linkedin. I was inferior at first looking at my former school friends, have been here and there, working in prestigious places. But, well, let’s see a CV as your record and motivation. Let it grows along with you achievement no matter how small it is.

I’ve sent the applications. Even though I always say, this is the year of trial, but I wish one of them is accepted. I’ve done my best and let God do the rest.

My breakout is worse. I stop eating instant noodles and go to sleep early. I stop using facial foams. I wish I didn’t care so I could get rid one of my stress source.
Anyway, it marks the second week I can’t use my phone.