One might wonder why my first post about a city in Japan is about Tsukuba, of all places that I've been. You can say I found inspiration to write about simple things in life that you may only appreciate when you live in such solitude. I've been living in Tsukuba for one month now, and will stay here until the next two weeks. Let's find out what I experience here.
working (learning?) 9 to 5
I have my internship in AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology), one of Japan research institute. Since it's a research institute, and I'm not conducting any experiment, you may guess what did I do for daily work: yup, reading lots of journals. This may sounds boring, but since I love reading, I didn't mind at all. It's just that it less challenging and I personally think that I don't have to sit in front of computer the whole day if I only need to read (oh, and summarise). It's been a long time since I have a 9 to 5 work (literally). Sometimes I feel sorry because I miss a chance to have a nice afternoon reading in a beautiful park nearby when the weather was good.
Those time ungratefully regretting my past decision
Why I didn't fight more to have my internship in my (other) purposed place? (Since my first choice rejected me because they can't speak english) Why I have to go with sensei's recommendation? This regret comes up every now and then, a very ungrateful thinking. Despite of everything, in AIST actually I have a very nice supervisor, who apparently successfully connect me with all recycling plants I want to visit due to his connection from previous work, although his daily works now has no connection with my research. He is also a nice person to talk about anything, from the real situation of waste management in Japan to the difference of culture and modern society behaviour. And because his research is about recycling of a material that I've just know exist when I start my internship, I learn a lot about new things. The most important thing is I was provided a time to focus learning to prepare my research. A time that I might not have if I have busy daily work in other institution.
Those days doing shopping only because that's all the entertainment I have
Usually, on weekend I always have a plan with friends - whether here in Tsukuba when No-chan still around or in Tokyo with other Indonesian. But there was once in a long weekend, when my plan to Tokyo was cancelled and I chose to just have my me-time in Tsukuba. And it turns out to be a very wrong choice, because even though I am an introvert, spending 3 days alone with no one to talk to except the receptionist is just too lonely. I end up went to malls and shop some groceries and... clothes. Now I know that sometimes money can buy happiness. Especially when you are lonely.
Those days cooking 2 times a day
Back then in Kyoto, I also often cook to save money and to make sure I eat halal food. But, in Kyoto I didn't necessarily follow a recipe step-by-step, and I didn't try to cook new things - well, maybe only a few - and there's always university cafetaria and restaurants nearby to have your lunch/dinner. But here in Tsukuba, since I hardly know any place to eat (and it's very few around my place though), I have to cook every day. I've been trying 12 new recipes, from miso soup to vegetarian burger. It was a nice experiment! Most of them ended as a delicious food. However, my opinion might be subjective, I will need others to judge :p
Those weather forecast I watched every morning
Since I'm staying in a hotel room where they provide a TV, I experience how Japanese channel is like. Based on my observation, apparently Japanese are obsessed with weather forecasting and food tasting. Roger.
Those anime I watched although I barely understand the story
Who will pass to watch anime in the country where it was born? Of course it's not me. I watch Doraemon and Shinchan every Friday, Conan every Saturday, and One Piece every Sunday. And there are some other anime too, in a very random schedule. By random I mean it can just pop up on weekdays, unlike in Indonesia where anime always shown on weekends.
Those nice time I spent on the park
Tsukuba has a lot of nice park. Near my place there is Doho Park, where I often do my running/jogging time. They have a running tracks, something that I really appreciate - a proper track to run. My last running track was Sabuga in Bandung. There is also Akatsuka Park, where I once worked on my study while enjoying a beautiful afternoon. The park has table and bench, so it's a really comfortable place to work with a refreshing view.
That day I climbed for the first time
I've been always wanted to climb a mountain, but in Indonesia my parents not allow me to. Finally here in Japan I did it! I climbed Mt. Tsukuba, a nice place for a beginner like me. It has 2 tops, Nyotai-san (877m) and Nyantai-san (871m). I climbed both. Please note that climbing mountain in Japan is very different with climbing mountain in Indonesia. Here, they provide a really good infrastructure and facility, although I am not saying the track was easy (they have many rocks there). And I was climbing with my not-so-appropriate-shoes. But again it was fun! Thanks to No-chan who accompanied me :)
And that is all my summary from my daily life in Tsukuba. A quiet science city, where I found the meaning of lonely and where I experience homesick for both Kyoto and Indonesia for the first time. But I am grateful to have my time here, to learn to appreciate simple thing, to cook new things, and to have time to learn what I've been wanted to when I have no time to. I still here for next two weeks, but since I'll be away for lots of site visit, I might just say it now - thank you, Tsukuba. I hope one day if I may come here again you will be more lively than before!