Almost Three Years

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“I deliberately picked a seat on the aisle because I wasn’t patient enough to jump out of the plane. And Surabaya was gray, cloudy. The rain became such a gloomy welcome, after almost three years.”

If you ask me if I was really keen to fly home after two years plus which was the longest I had ever been away, the answer is no. I was feeling like “it’s not a big deal” even if I have to wait till the end of this year but I was thrilled I did it.

The pandemic was something else. It has changed few things in life we have never thought before. I remember, on Sunday afternoon in my room, I had a courage to sit and concentrated thinking about my itinerary. That time I was started feeling excited to think about the best flight to choose, how long my transit time would be, how about things to prepare when I landed in Jakarta as you know there are so many updates on the health protocols at the airport, and my wish to see Mbak Ririn when I was still in Jakarta (which we met!). 

I knew I would feel maudlin when I landed in Surabaya. The first person who always came to the airport every time I fly back home was Ruli, a best friend of mine who passed away because of Covid last year. It still feels hard for me not to find him not only at the airport, but during my stay in Indonesia, and the worst is forever. But I had made a promise to myself when I landed in Indonesia this time around, I want to live to the fullest. 

I loved how Surabaya was chill when I came out of the airport. “Let’s live to the fullest” echoed in my head so I took my AirPods and listened to August. I just wanted to create the most enjoyable and comfortable vibe possible while looking at the drizzles outside. It was the simplest thing that made me excited on my way to my mom’s house. I finally gave her an answer to be here and I couldn’t be more grateful.

From the day I landed, I tried to rush to do those important things way ahead so at least, I won’t be lazy to postpone things till the last minute. I was glad I did a small renovation for a small room in my mom’s house. A room I always stay in every time I’m back. So, “How far with your house?” question that has no answer yet.

I have prepared my mind before I travelled that my time in Indonesia would be 50% of “go outside and find coffees” and another 50% would be “chilling in the house with Korean dramas on Netflix is the best”. It is because I only had like one and a half weeks before Ramadan so I had quite limited time to hang out over coffees.

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This time around I had to postpone on vacation-thing. This year marks the second time I have an opportunity to do fasting with my family in Indonesia after 10 years of working outside the country (please don’t tell me it’s a long time!) so I think it’s a wise decision not to travel during Ramadan (hey I won’t be ably sipping a coffee or dark mocha during the day! and document it). The fact that I only have half of Ramadan in Indonesia, I decided to take my time during the fasting period with my family in the house. Gosh I know it’s going to be a bit hard when the time to fly back is finally here but again, I want to cherish my time here and try to live to the fullest.

One of the funny things I experienced lately is that I prefer to stay in the house after 3 pm. It might sound weird because I used to like to hang out till late back then. I suspect because of age (I know right!) but truly, I feel more relaxed and comfortable being at home after 3 pm. Also, Surabaya starts its rain mostly in the late afternoon so imagine being in the room with TwentyFiveTwentyOne or folklore when the weather is chill.

Do you know the funny part about being away for three years? So many things have changed since I was here before the world pandemic.

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Surabaya looks prettier and tidier. I love the fact that along Tunjungan street, there are so many cute little coffee shops and eateries which in the evening the vibe is inviting.

A best friend of mine Fahmi, has rebuilt his house and I was shocked because it is so much bigger (with a high ceiling!). Before we went for an early breakfast he took me to his newly-renovated house which made me want to slap my own face (I guess I should!). I neglected my house because I am not financially ready yet but again, I won’t let myself look for an excuse not to visit mine just to see how the condition is. Man, Fahmi was invisibly slapped me with “When will you do yours!!” and I always say the same thing to myself, “We have different directions so I am okay.” But till when will I be okay with this? :)

I got a piece of good news from Winda and Ayos that they are expecting their second child days after I landed here! I was so thrilled for them :)

We finally met again after three years over some sushi two days before Ramadan started. I really had a good time with them and Mas Raka until evening with scoops of ice cream. I won’t ask for more when we both had our time and tried as much to meet, sit and share quality time but be grateful.

I also made such a surprising welcome by showing up in front of Mas Andhi’s house as planned. I believe he was flabbergasted :). The day before I, we texted over Instagram DM and he didn’t have an idea we were in the same town. It was all fun keeping my arrival for twelve days in secret and then showing up in the morning when he half awoke :) and spent a whole day in his little cute coffee shop called Tropikal Coffee.




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I am ending this post by counting my days, hiks. Instead of growing the maudlin feeling, I perhaps should look for more food to taste when my fasting ends in the evening and document it :) oh, I managed time to have dinner at the same restaurant where Ruli and I always sat with tenderloin steaks every time I am here :) I felt you were there, Rul.

Happy & Sad (At The Same Time)


“It was 10 PM when I landed in Jakarta after almost three years. The longest I have ever waited to go back home.”

You know that excitement when you had waited for so long for a thing you wanted to do, you thought your heart would be over the moon but you didn’t. That was exactly how I felt when I reached Dubai for six hours of transit.

I wondered why. I loved being at the massive airport again, I loved to stand in front of the destination board wondering if I someday could fly to those cities I’ve been dreaming for. I loved entering Boeing, I loved the vibe. I did feel that from my first flight, it was just like a dream I could be on the big aeroplane again looking for my seat, since the pandemic, travelling seemed like a diamond.

This time around I had that idea to record my journey through my iPhone. I wanted to have a livelier recorded journey than just some pictures. I was just trying to become a bit selfless by ignoring people around me. You won’t find me being busy with an iPhone recording things on daily basis, I might prefer to live the moment. But since the pandemic, my thought of that was slightly shifted. So from the moment I waited at the passenger lounge in Lagos, till I landed in Jakarta, I recorded some.

During my flight from Lagos to Dubai, I felt a bit excited knowing that I would eat my favourite authentic Indonesian food in the next few days. I felt a bit excited that my mom’s question every time she called me in the past few months would have an answer. I felt a bit excited that I would see my close friends. I felt a bit of these and those, but a thousand bits would be incomplete. I wondered. I wondered why I didn’t feel that “a complete, bold happiness.”

Perhaps before I even flew I already knew my plans in Indonesia would have to be shifted because I mostly would still be working from home during my leave (you might wonder how I feel about this). Perhaps because the plan of two months has to be shared into two, which on one side I felt like “it’s okay.” but on another side, it was a bit hard. I had imagined I wanted to feel the end of Ramadan in Indonesia with my mom and my family, I had imagined even though we do not have that kind of special celebration for a whole day. I even told my mom before I left and before I had a conversation with my employer that I would be home for a short time. She was a bit disappointed and reminded me how long I had been away. Sometimes I feel like, choosing my job over my family isn’t always right. I love what I am doing but since the pandemic, I am trying really hard to keep myself stable, to keep thinking positively about my mom’s health, to keep remembering that time is essential. Or perhaps, my feeling seemed to be down in the dumps knowing that Ruli had gone. I won’t see him picking me up from the airport as he always did. The last one might be the worst I ever felt, mostly when I stared at the clouds and wondered if he was even on the highest cloud smiling.

The fact that Ruli had gone was really hard for me. Even to date, I have no courage to tell you on writing here, to cement my feeling to my best friend for life, how much sudden I have been keeping since the day he passed.

Before I had my plan set last year, when I saw how travelling bit by bit became easier after the vaccine was invented, I told Ruli that I would be going soon. Then, when he was still alive, he told me that he missed me, asking me when would I fly home. We had this place in Surabaya where we always had steak every time I go home. We sat at the same restaurant and talked about our dads, about when would I resign from the job I am currently having and pursue my Master, about where would I be if I could travel again. After we had our meal, I always asked him to wait for a minute. I always stood at the end of the porch looking at the seat where my dad used to enjoy his meal. Little did I know, the way he left so swiftly with no signs, still, giving me that mournful feeling. So deeply.

I completely understand that we can’t force the universe for giving us enough time for everything. When I landed, I tried to leave some of those mournful feelings behind, but instead, I will try to cherish each day I have in Indonesia.

I followed the procedure at the airport on how to get tested after they collected data for my vaccine, PCR test result, and where would I be quarantined. I thought it was going to be a long process that would add to my cracking bones from how many hours I had gone through in the air. Everything was going smoothly till I entered in a hotel room that I picked the day before I flew from Lagos (this was not “me” at all for a last-minute reservation). I did miss that feeling of serenity when you can pause a bit from everything in life and take care of yourself. Having your body on top of a thick clean white blanket, bathing under a warm shower at night, sleep tight, knowing that you have passed so many things you thought were scary and difficult. I felt that when I let myself fall on the bed. I wasn’t sleepy yet even though my body was screaming inside. I thought about what my next journey would be. The pandemic must have taught me to be more present on how to prepare things when I travel. But at the same time, it scares me if something unexpected happens in between. I sat looking through the glass window, thinking I would extend one more night after if I received the result from the Covid test I did at the airport. The good thing about it was that I only needed to be quarantined for one day when I rang the reception the next morning and got a negative result. My mind was rested a bit. The night I sat in the hotel room, my mind was straightly thought to reach Mbak Ririn. She is the one who’s like my older sister from another mother every time I have time in Jakarta, one of the kindest persons I have ever met. I couldn’t help sending her an iPhone picture when the reflection of skyscrapers fell on my window. I kept my journey in secret to my close friends but not to Mbak Ririn. My time is limited in Jakarta and knowing on time if I could or couldn’t meet her again was better. I did expect so much I could see her but I didn’t it was all right. I felt like I should have told her I would be in Jakarta the day I flew from Lagos when I didn’t see any response from the message I sent after midnight.

When she replied we should meet up my heart was full of blossoms. I did realise that if her time and my time didn’t match, we wouldn’t meet yesterday evening.


I couldn’t help feeling so excited when I came out from the lift and saw her standing in the lobby. We hugged so tight, feeling so grateful we could see each other again after the last time she dropped me at the airport thirty-four months ago. I felt so much joy when we finally sat in the car heading for a dinner. I was grateful knowing that she is healthy. I felt grateful I could pause a bit from those things I had in mind about my job, deadlines, and sitting over dinner with Mbak Ririn at a little and cute eatery somewhere at Cikini. We laughed, we shared each other’s stories. Listening to her stories when she travelled to Japan when the pandemic started, how much she loved the food in Kyoto, talking about how her colleague spent only three nights in New York for a conference because of pandemic, about how I felt about losing my best friend Ruli, those warm stories that again, I would store in my memory. I made a promise to cherish as many as I can all the moments I had and will have when I am here. I expected a longer time with Mbak Ririn than talking for an hour plus by the window but I won’t complain at the end. Because I completely understand how life works. When you have that will to see a person, a good friend or a best friend, after a long time, you must understand that it is not that easy for our “time” to work if it is not at the right time. So when you do have the opportunity, cherish it. Try not to expect too much but enjoy every second till the time to say goodbye is in front of you. By then, you will learn that really, something good happens for a reason, at the right time, and you will feel peaceful and sincerely enough.


I never thought I would write a long post like this but perhaps, this is a good sign that I will be freely throwing my feeling again here, on this blog. Let’s see how my short time in Indonesia would be.

Sacred. Silent. And The Enchanting Dawns I Won’t Forget ( i )



There is one man who always reminded me that I should have gone since. “You can afford it, you travel places but not there, why?.”

Every time that question stood in front of my face, I smiled.



I kept answering with the same answer: “You know you can afford it easily because you have the money. But when the echo here, in your heart, never calls you, no matter what, you won’t go.”

His name is not Ibrahim but I don’t know why I always call him Mr. Ibrahim. He’s the one I always come to if I need to exchange foreign currency. Perhaps, what he told me was a sign from up. And perhaps, I was also true having that kind of logic because I do believe in one thing. A spiritual trip to the Holy Ground is not just about you can afford it, it is more about the perfect time He invites you to come.

I sat on the floor with my legs crossed. It was after evening prayer, there was an echo in my head whispering me one thing: “Perhaps it’s time.” Perhaps, I had to make the time. As I heard the echo, I was sure that was the time I had to make the trip. If I’m not mistaken, that was two months before one of the saddest times I had in life happened: my dad passed. It was October 24th, two years ago.

The echo in my head came down to my heart. That time was stronger, I had to make it. I didn’t think anything but to send him a prayer. I had a lot of wrongdoings I did when he was still alive, the distance could be one of the reasons but truly, I felt nothing but chagrined to the bottom of my heart. I should have done these and those but everything is futile right now. Nothing could bring him back, nothing I could fix. Until I’m typing this sentence I still grieved, I still keep my last tribute in the draft, I’m still broken hearted yet what I could only do to ease myself is to let him peacefully smiling up there through prayers.

Three days before my departure I told my mom about the trip. She was a bit surprised yet smiling at the end when she looked at my passport. I could feel she was relieved with the fact that I finally made the trip she always reminded me of. In our culture specifically, making a trip to the Holy Mecca could be considered as one of the essential life achievements. There is a culture of celebration by inviting people to send some prayers a day before the trip starts but I didn’t go with such a direction. I prefer to keep it as secret as the trip is such a personal one, and I did go there just for two things: to pray for my late dad and my self-healing.



Time changed. And I didn’t feel the same.

I packed light. I dressed casually in black. I kept the tailored uniform inside my blue Herschel. I kept everything tidily as it should be.




After seven hours of flight from Singapore, I found myself in Jeddah with a group of people. I found it interesting with the fact that the group contained forty years old and above. As I never involved myself in a tour before, it was such an experience.

I got a box of too-late dinner on the bus. It helped me a bit from starving but it didn’t release my exhausting mood. It was a quarter after one and I felt the weather was chill. Five hours on the road didn’t feel long as I thought it would be. I tried not to feel nervous cause I did prefer flying if I might say. Perhaps it would be different if we were looking at the sunset and being offered by a distinct landscape, but it was too dark from the bus window to see the road. Our old travel guide was telling some kind of rules and different prayers when I checked on how long we had until we could reach our hotel. As I kept everything tidily silent, I landed in Medina at midnight. By the time I stepped my feet out of the bus, I did finally feel the spark. I looked around, the street was quiet with some not-too-bright yellow street light at some corners, tall buildings everywhere, marbles, and different kind of midnight talks.

When we were almost done checking in, our tour guide announced we would have free time until 7 AM. The only thing I would love to do was just to get some rest on the bed. I stayed with two gentlemen in a room with three twin beds. I was truly exhausted but I couldn’t laze because the time we had wasn’t much. I unpacked all necessities out of my small suitcase and started preparing what to wear in the next few hours. I could only close my eyes for 2 hours and found myself under a warm shower thirty minutes before 4. My muscles could breathe, my eyes relaxed and my mind somehow was still in the air with the fact that I made the trip. Our hotel is right in front of Nabawi Mosque, one of the biggest mosques on earth and was built by Prophet Muhammad. As I’m writing this sentence I remember vividly the sensation when I first stepped out of my hotel: freezing, sacred, and memorable. When I finished with tahajjud, I did my last sujūd and accomplished my main purpose: asking God for forgiveness for my dad. It was emotional, relieved, happy tears on my eyes.

I took a deep breath, I felt indescribable peace in my chest. I received an endless blessing from above. I sat among millions of people in Medina on the alluring marble floor, I could clearly see my dad was smiling from above.

“I did it, I did it, Dad.”, I whispered to myself, calmly, waiting for the first obligatory prayer of the day.




The twilight was enchanting. The dawn at Nabawi was the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen in my life.





Medina stole my heart from the day I breathed the air. The sun, the sky, the breeze, the marble floor at Nabawi, how serene the morning was, everything. I won’t forget the feeling of gaiety in my heart every time I stared to the enchanting sky after dawn. The fresh air, the echo of prayer calls five times a day, the beauty on every corner of Nabawi mosque, the endless sacred prayers by diverse faces who came from every part of the world. The tranquil vibe in the sky before sunset.

I was speechless on how my system received such unbelievable goosebumps among the crowd in front of Prophet Muhammad’s tomb. Goosebumps which led me to shed tears. My eyes used to cry a little when I saw Prophet Muhammad’s hair at a museum in Istanbul with the calm Qur’an chant in the air. But standing in front of his tomb, where everyone cries, I didn’t know if that was a mixture of elation and desolation. What I knew, it was real. It was spiritually impalpable.

The day I realized I had to send such an adieu to Medina, my heart sank. Three days came to end and I headed to the next indelible journey.




~ to be continued ~

When Friendship Turns To Blue



There is one particular thing I learned when I have entered thirty.

If my opinion about this has become sharper than when I was on my twenties, it is just because life is full of lessons.


I remember a talk with one of my good friends when I couldn’t answer him back a question. This happened when we were at university. We had a casual talk and a question about the way I thought about friendship appeared on the air. He asked, “So you are such a picky, you won’t call these friends as your friends? They must be good for you until you call them “friend”, huh?”

What he meant “these friends” were our friends in class.

In my mind was loudly echoed with an answer, “Of course they must be good that’s why there is the same word attached to it.”. But I couldn’t say anything. I thought twice on what to answer. Was I picky? Was I? I stayed silent. I thought my statement was wrong. Should have I opened a wide door for some people easily to be a friend with and told them “You all are my friends”?

Back then I was quiet. I wasn’t brave enough to say what I had in mind but time has taught me as growing older.

I have some personal thoughts about friendship which it’s been stored in my life dictionary for the last few years. Friendship has stages: a friend, a good friend and a best friend. The last one is formed by three essential things: heart, time and history. The heart gives you signs for good or bad, good and bad. Time is a key to why “just” a friend could be a good friend, and a good one could turn in to a best friend. History formed by times. History is what I value. And these three are flexible.

Looking at my different friendships from the past and present, there are tons of things I’ve learned including how important maintaining it because sometimes it goes low, sometimes is high. Friendship also has its age, by remembering this we all know time is the essence. Never buy friendship, cause it has to be genuine and pure from both sides.



Have you ever sat alone staring at the clear blue sky and thought of an old friend just popped up in mind? With some questions like how is he doing right now? Where is she living for all these years?



Time is changing in flash. There was a time in silence I thought about how blue my friendship with a friend who used to spend hours and hours laughing on the phone when both had problems, something to say, or even for stupid jokes. We live a thousand miles apart yet distance and time zone do not matter. She was one of my best friends and still be, but our friendship has changed drastically. I used to think the way she disappeared was such vexatious reality which made it faded. I was like “I didn’t get it” at the beginning. Questions in mind for some mistakes I did, might be, disappearing in the dark.

I wondered if there were one or two things I did wrong. I wondered if it was just something she wanted by creating distance between us. I wondered and kept wondering until I stopped worrying about it. Our friendship was sweet but it didn’t have a long age as I thought it would be. Our friendship turned to blue and unfortunately, the blue was dark enough. Was I sad? Remembering the first time we met, together we travelled in our twenties, laughter on the mountain and sunshine we shared with fog on the lake, all those moments. I might be wrong expressing my feeling into words but I learned, no matter how much joys and tears we had in the past, nothing lasts forever.

I sometimes think the way it turned blue and later faded with no single trace is such a new lesson I must take. But I won’t let all the worries haunted me if, on the other side of our friendship, she didn’t feel the same. Just like a phone call, it can only last as long as the person on the other end of the line is willing to talk. As I will never buy a new friendship, I won’t be begging for such a blue to be bright.

The feeling of loss is still there. One time in a darkened room, a restless thought was jumped in my mind.


How about a dear friend I love right now, when will our healthy and bloomy friendship end? Three years? Five?



I used to write It Feels Like An Autumn when I felt restless if my friendship with one of the very best friends would change bit by bit. He is one of the most important persons in my life. We have gone through monumental moments in life together. He was there when I was nothing. When I crawled to reach what I’m having this day. My insecurity was increased just because he started his new life chapter.

Let me take you to my mind.

As I am right now who do not think of marriage in the next few years, the feeling of loss is something I must take. As someone whose kindness is real to me decided to take a new life chapter as a family man, I felt insecure if we won’t have much time to talk like before. Or to even have a five minutes phone call. I was worried if someday the way we both walk in a very far distance without some hellos or goodnights. If you are having the same feeling with me, I need to tell you one thing; if the friendship lasts for more than ten years, there is no need to worry too much for such things. I later realized that my friendship with him is still strong no matter how our life has changed. And that’s all because those three essential things: heart, time and history are all still solid. Our hearts are strongly connected. Time makes us closer while we cherish our friendship by creating more memories. People say by growing older your circle will be smaller, and that’s a hundred and ten percent true.

We may not have a weekly phone call or even texting but when both minds are connected through the spirit, the friendship is real. I used to think about him if he was doing good one time in the afternoon. Five minutes later I saw his text of how are you appeared on my iPhone. That was enough to prove how strong the friendship we have until we ended by spending 45 minutes over the phone. Talking about life with laughter in between.

This heart-bounding moment also happened in another scene.

I’m currently having a three good year of friendship with a dear friend whose background and culture are totally different. If you read this blog, you might know how many times I’ve mentioned his name. As a genuine kind-hearted human being who I respect from the day we became friends, he taught me that our friendship must be mutual, it has to be two ways of love, respect, understanding and also, communication.

There were few monumental moments I could count as true-friendship bond. And all of them meant a lot to me. He was there when I failed on something precious which I had waited for so long. The worse part it had happened twice. The first one was deep, while the second torn me to pieces. I had fallen for this particular “thing”. He might not realize how much his text at 2 AM when all my fingers were frozen while writing a text of failure meant to me. He might not realize his voice recording to cheering me up after the second failure was something I keep till date. Even though he always there when I need to talk, I feel something different recently.

The way I look at myself as someone who always asks his time to listen to my problem but never heard any of his, it takes me back to the meaning of mutual friendship. Do we really have this friendship? Or am I become demanding? As I write this sentence I will be honest and raw on this. I just feel that mutual friendship doesn’t really work both ways. If this is a weight scale, the left side is heavier than the right. I might be fallacious.

But it’s bothering me sometimes if it’s not most of the times.

I used to take steps back when I was just about to call him for something just because he was the correct person to talk to. I’m sure if I did, he won’t mind picking my call. As we both are getting busier this day, I could include this as a perfect reason to leave the phone call hanging for months. I am the kind of person who always asks for permission by text if I need to speak to my best friends, except there is something bad happens. Apart from that, it’s rude to make a call directly, this just me. It applies to him as well, particularly he is European. There is such a culture of politeness which is different from how Asian would take. As much as I seriously take this reason for politeness, the phone call never happened. I was wondering perhaps a part of me was trying to test the mutual friendship from his side by not making a call or sending a text.

From the day I had a will to ask a question till a month, he later sent me a text written in German. And this is the funny thing. I thought about him an hour before I saw his text on my iPhone wanted to find out if he was doing great. But my fingers stopped typing so I went back to a thought of “Is this mutual?”. Funny enough, I still keep the question behind with a vocabulary of touchy on it.

Till date, I’m still learning the state of this friendship. Perhaps, I should appreciate more to kind gesture as simple as a text of how are you after a while and count it as proof.

I do intensely cherish this precious bond though there are still many insecure feelings like, I never know how long this friendship would last.

Einem Deutschkurs Und Neue Freunde


Soll ich im Deutsch schreiben? 


I’ve been neglecting this blog for almost two months (that’s pretty bad) but right now I’d like to share some new life updates!

If you scroll to the last two posts, you’ll find “This time around, my time would be a little longer”. That means I have three months in Indonesia to be exact. Having such an opportunity to stay longer to finish a few things I’d been dreaming of comes to two things. One, you’ll never have enough time if you can’t cleverly manage to accomplish your goals. I did try from the first day I arrived even though it wasn’t such a pleasant time. I was sick from the day I travelled until it got worse when landed. I had to tweak my plan for three nights stay at the hotel from “I just wanted to laze a whole day as a reward” to “holy crap all my systems are weak, a fluffy white blanket couldn’t even warm me up”. Two, to enjoy every second of the day is a wise thing.

I do realize every time it comes to end: it is always hard. Here’s the middle of April, that means I would soon be back to reality. Do I feel a bit maudlin? Yes, I do. Am I ready to be back to my daily routine? Well, I have to.

There are three major things that I put as goals for these three months. Thankfully, two have accomplished and one is still on. What is still on? It’s for my tiny house! Why was I so excited even though it was quite exhausting? Because I’d neglected it for more than two years ;|. I have finally started building the back part of the house where my little kitchen would be, my little ‘hopefully it would turn simply stylish’ bathroom as I thought, and the remaining space where I would have my dining room. Then what were the two?

The two were some mixed feeling of happiness and sadness. One, I finally made a spiritual trip to the holy Mecca last month which I would share the story on a separated post. Another one was I finally attended a German course while I’m here! It was a very basic A1 course which made me excitingly realize, learning a new language was stressfully fun. Stressful in a very good way, ofc.

The course itself was 4+ hours von Montag bis Freitag for almost two months. The class for me personally was perfect: there were just 9 students and that made our Super Intensive Class became very intensive. Apart from the main thing I liked when learning German (read: when I had to push my brain to follow the lessons, it’s a good thing when your brain is always being challenged, isn’t it?) I felt glücklich for all the eight new friends in the class and our teacher, Frau Yusi. All of us were pretty close and that was a great vibe if I may say.



On the first day I came, I was quite surprised by the fact that most of them already had their plans on what to reach in Germany. That was impressive, isn’t it? If you are wondering “how about me”, I honestly thought about having my Master Degree in Germany (fingers crossed) in the next two years (Ich hoffe nächste Jahr! *fingerscrossedagain). So I took a chance to learn the basic which I’m still struggling on the Grammatik and German Artikels as a first step to reach later on I called my next dream. Forty-plus days have gone so fast and it led to the time we’d planned as a lovely Mittagessenzeit two days ago :)



Rather than starting the maudlin vibe here, it’s much better to share more photographs during our time together for the sake of beautiful memory.



I’ll miss how hilarious Firman truly is, how impatiently Hayyi to Frau Endang ;), funny words from Klein, sharing laughter with Ivan, Ratri and Frau Yusi. Oh, I couldn’t resist attaching Tika & Adit’s last photograph again, I’m surely going to miss this cute young married couple ;)





When I woke up yesterday morning, I already missed my schedule when I was still in the course. The games in the class, stupid jokes, impromptu trips, täglich Hausaufgaben, fun times after class from culinary hunting till crazy vibe in the karaoke room (I was glad we made the time to do that, Van!), all were pretty unforgettable.



There are so much to learn and I’m really looking forward to planning to the next grade hopefully next year. Apart from the main reason to reach the next dream to study in Germany, to be able to speak German fluently would be wunderbar. The latest thing I need to push myself on is for die Prüfung next week. Wish me luck!

November 27

I’m writing this to kill my five hours transit among millions people who are heading to different places on earth. I just had one chocolate croissant with damn I answered vanilla and it’s such a mistake too-sweet cappuccino at Paul before heading back to a real life in the next three hours. When I’m set, I will try to share some stories which I really want writing them with heart.

I used to make a vow to keeping posts in sequence, but that doesn’t belong to this blog anymore. No regret, as life sometimes will teach you how to slow down for a good reason. I took my time slowly on the last few days thinking about all that had happened: deep emotions, guilt, pain, laughter, jokes, everything in a very fast one month. 

Dubai Airport, 7:45AM. 27/Nov/18. 

A Poem For The Brave


You crumbled my emotional dreams

You made me cried overnight

Few times

It was casually cruel, to be honest

Till I felt “it’s okay, to give up”

You gave me some heartaches, deep down to my heart

But that’s okay

You taught me how to stand straighter after crawling

from falling

Thank you for all those moments

For all those ups and downs

For all those random human beings

And let us became friends

Some have become my best friends

For giving me opportunities to see other parts of this earth

Thank you

I’ll let you show some shines and I know

you will give me some differences in my life

Let most of them be adventurous

Which could make me pursue

To always give my very best


A Short Note On October

Fiuh, I’m back to this blog after being quite for sometimes.

It’s been a week I’m BACK TO A REAL LIFE after a month spent for vacation. I wasn’t alone when I felt quite hard to say bye to “holiday” like “this fast? huh?” cause most friends of mine felt the same. But again, I must work for some dreams, to travel more, to build my kitchen (make progress Azis!!, don’t just write this over and over again!), also to send more gifts to everyone I love (I don’t mind to work as a Father Christmas for a day, spreading gifts to everybody cause damn I just love that feeling!).

Talking about my life this year, it’s been like a roller coaster. The “downs” I’ve experienced was just wow. Failures were many, and most of them were emotional for me tho I still had some “ups” counted as a blessing. I must admit that it never has been easy to be always positive after you fall on something, to put your mind right and accept it, to keep going. But then we just have two choices, to keep bitter about it or to continue and enjoy life. Life is a journey, isn’t it?

Merci, H

“That day was colder, as I didn’t expect spring could be that cold.”


I looked at the sky when I came out from Taksim metro station. It was grey and a bit dark. Rain just stopped pouring and left some drizzles from up. The hustle of people was still the same like the first time I arrived in Istanbul. That evening I arrived a bit late. I had a slightly longer flight because of the weather. I had a very pleasant short trip in Cappadocia and expecting my last three days in Istanbul could be a perfect ending. 

I said to myself that rain won’t stop me to enjoy every bits of the city. I had four beautiful days before flying to Cappadocia and I was so sure I would have a better time then. 

A cold day made me wanted to enjoy a warm Turkish street food at Taksim Square. Standing on one corner with a warm beef kebab while watching random faces enjoying their days under the drizzle could be one of a simply happiness. I decided to buy one for 11TL and thought it would be enough to fill my stomach before I continued looking for the way to my hostel. I finished half of my kebab and continued walking again pretending that drizzling made the evening scene in Taksim looked like a movie. 

The sky got darker and rain was started pouring again. I had to step faster so I won’t get wet on the street. Dragging my small suitcase under the rain on a busy Istiklal Caddesi wasn’t funny. What I had in mind that evening was I would find a soft bed with a thick white blanket in a warm room after I dropped my things in. Taking a bath with warm water under the shower, rested a bit and went out just to capture the evening scenes around. But all my imagination had disappeared instantly when I found that something serious was happening to me.

I couldn’t find my wallet when I wanted to pay my stay. I was so panic till I couldn’t talk for seconds. I couldn’t believe it. All my dollar, euro, naira, my debit cards, my green card, everything was inside. I felt so numb a bit.

The reception man suggested that I should go back to where I bought the kebab and tried to look around in case I got some lucks. Then after, I should go to the police station to get a report. Police? When I heard about it, my mind gone scarier. I was trying to calm myself down and started looking for solutions. My iPhone was about to die. I decided to charge it while I was thinking few people who I could ask helps to. Saf, my new friend that was on the conversation since I was on my way to Istanbul kept asking how I was doing. I couldn’t keep anything but told him what happened. He was already in Paris and a bit shocked, we talked on the phone for minutes. I kept trying to call one of my best friend in Indonesia, Mas Andhi to tell him too. It took minutes to finally speak with him on the phone after he was in another call. He told me to keep calm and started thinking clearly what to do. I was so confused, scared and tired in the same time. After I tried to calm myself down, I remembered the only person who could possibly help me in Istanbul was Hasan. 

I had no choice but told him everything. I had to see him wherever he was. I had to sort my lost. When Hasan answered that we could meet in Taksim square I said it would be better to see him at his hostel. I vividly remember how messy I was under the drizzle and the wind. My mind thought about where I would sleep at and what would I eat with for my last two days in Istanbul. I had nothing but 8TL left in my pocket with the most important document, my passport.

When I finally met Hasan in the hostel reception I had hopes. I held his hands to ensure he was real. I looked at him with half of my sense on, just wanted to say thank you. I repeated the same thank you for times cause truly, I had no clue what to do if he wasn’t by my side. 


“Azis is okay, it’s normal. Don’t panic. I’m here. The most important thing right now is you. You’re safe.”


I froze after Hasan spoke like that. Tho Hasan can barely speak English, his words was beyond enough to calm me down. I had no words to explain how lucky I was. He was true, I might be sad and confused cause I had no wallet, no cash, no cards, nothing. But I still had a genuinely kind person that I met only 1,5 hours after midnight, was helping me unconditionally in Istanbul.

I was still shocked but I had to get up.

My mind wasn’t complete when Hasan offered me to go to the nearest police station. I told him I was there before I met him but nobody speaks English. He told me to calm down then we went together to the police station. I couldn’t imagine if Hasan wasn’t around that evening. Who would help me to explain in Turkish what exactly had happened. Saf had told Hakan (he’s also my new friend, three of us met in Istanbul) if Hakan could explain to the police about the case though both of them were already back in Paris. Phone conversation could be my last option if Hasan wasn’t around tho I knew it would be more complicated.

Hasan and I were at the police station to explain what happened. I just looked at his face when he was explaining the case to the police trying to understand their language. “I’m dreaming I know. How could this happen to me” was still in my mind. Hasan kept calm me down. “Azis, it’s normal, OK”, and what I could say was only thank you.

10 minutes explanation at the police station, they instructed us to go back to the place where I surely thought my wallet was stolen. We met with two policemen there to get more information from me and from the cctv. I couldn’t stay focus cause I was froze, exhausted and ravenous that night. It was too bad. I almost said to Hasan to forget about my wallet. The only thing I thought about was my green card. Without the police report I would have a big problem in the immigration, definitely I would.

I really felt so bad dragging Hasan in my case. He wanted to enjoy his evening by watching a Turkish football match before, but there, he was with me, and two policemen. I kept saying “sorry Hasan, so sorry” till I couldn’t say anything again. I was so so sleepy and exhausted but I had to keep awake. The policemen were telling Hasan that they couldn’t see somebody stole my wallet from the cctv. I gave up, I didn’t care anymore with this case. I was just too tired, I just wanted to lay my body on the bed. Running from that freezing night. But Hasan told me to keep calm till we got the report. I couldn’t belive that after midnight we were still at the same place where I bought the kebab. Hasan said, “Azis, we will go back to the police station after the match. Is it okay for you?”

I looked at the wall clock, it showed to 1am. Right after people were cheering up for the winning team, I and Hasan went back to the police station. Our second visit was different. That time we finally entered the police room painted in white, with the room heater that made us warmer. After one policeman asked all the details he needed, and Turkish-English translation in between, 1o minutes later I got the police report. I smiled to Hasan with another thank you. If I had no one like him who speaks Turkish and French fluently after my lost there, in Istanbul, I couldn’t imagine how I would be.

We walked down through the same alley, back to Istiklal Caddesi, passing through the night market along Sahne Sk, till we arrived in my hostel somewhere at Kamer Hatun Caddesi. “You’re hungry Azis?”, “No, I’m fine Hasan, thanks.”

Sure, I was lying to him that I wasn’t ravenous. I sat on the couch while Hasan was trying to make a payment for my hostel.


“Hasan, I need to sell this tomorrow, I dont’ know where but I have to pay back your money”

“Azis you can pay when you are back okay, I’m still in Istanbul for 2 weeks before back to France. I will lend you this, is it OK?”


He gave me TL100 and I couldn’t speak words again. I was too tired. I was too messy. I packed my jacket, stored and double cross-checked my passport, and I was about ready to carry my suitcase up to my room.

I followed Hasan till we stood in front of my hostel. With a cigarette in his hand, we both smiled. I tried to do an instant recovering, I shook my head, and said thank you again to Hasan. “Azis you need to rest, you are okay? I need to sleep too. We will talk tomorrow?”

And I said goodnight when the clock showed 2am.

I had never imagined I would walk with Hasan almost midnight, in a very cold evening in spring that made me shiver, till we had a business in the police station when I was on holiday. Not even in my wildest dream. But I had no regret right now cause the drama that night gave me a huge lesson about the trip. About life, about kind human and about unconditional friendship. Hasan might think what he did to me was normal, to help somebody that needs help, as simple as that. But for me, he had no idea what he did was meant to me. I won’t take his kindness for granted, his help that night scored in my heart and my mind. It was a drama that made my trip unforgettable one.

P.S. I had to blur an iPhone selfie I took with Hasan. Hasan said on my last night in Turkey after we went to have a dinner that “No Azis, you can talk to me, but no picture.”. So to respect him, I had to blur his face here but in the same time, I want my memory with this kind human stays on this blog. I had time with Hasan after the drama, I’ll keep it till I have time to share it here. Half of this post was written on the plane, when I was on my way from Cairo to Lagos. I wrote it in my iPhone when I was remembering Hasan and all my new friends I met in Turkey. I arrived in Lagos yesterday afternoon with a little drama in Cairo Airport. I had nothing to regret for cause in the end, coming home safe and sound that matters. I’ll share more stories and photos from this trip very soon hopefully, right now, I’m back to a real life.



Been very quite last month on this blog and came back devoting some rues. 

I needed three days to recover myself from a hurricane of emotions last week. Found that I failed on something I’d worked for a month wasn’t an easy fact. Tho I have played “gotta get up, and try, and try, and try” many times but truly, it wasn’t that easy to handle something like that. Perhaps because it was one of the most emotional “thing” for me so it felt like I was a broken-hearted man when I failed. I wanted to share what had happened here as part of my journey but felt like “I’ll keep it in grey for now, save it for later :)”.

However, I felt better when I found that I still have few people who I’m comfortable to share with no, not because I’m picky. And I was touched how they supported me under a feeling of roller coaster.

It took me minutes to separate my private and professional life that day on how I should left that “thing” and continued working on some deadlines. It took me seconds to realise a support from my African mum when she told me that everything would be fine and “life must continue”. It took me thirty minutes in the morning to call one of a kind human I know here, to let her know what had happened the next day. It took me an hour at 2AM to reply a message from mein bester freund when I saw his reply after midnight cause felt we’ve made friends for years and I lost words. And it took seconds for me to finally relieve and completely ready what should I do next after I spent two hours on Skype with mein bester freund last Sunday.

I also took a lesson from him not to look down too deep to myself and let mistakes go. Skyping session with him wasn’t only made me felt better, but also, it resuscitated me that there are so much things in life we should be grateful for. Sometimes, you may feel your life is miserable and theirs are fairy-tale like, but you must know something, when you feel you want to give up on something you want the most and failed,


“Remember why you started. Don’t give up, and find ways…”




Candid picture by Giri Prasetyo.