You know you’ve been in Korea too long when…

#1 You own more than 2 umbrellas. 

One for the rain and one for the sun. Smaller one that you can easily put in your handbag, and bigger one for windy rainy day that can make you stay dry during the typhoon season (or at least you try to stay dry by using this umbrella.) Oh, don’t forget, colorful one that match with your clothes and basic or transparent one which you bought on the nearest convenient store when you forget to bring your umbrella.

NISI20111130_0005526611_web

Pic from: Joins News Korea

#2 You can wear a mini skirt even when it is negative 5 degrees outside.

At first, I thought it was crazy thing to do. I wore few layer of clothes and still feel cold. How can the Korean girls can wear those mini skirt in these freezing situation? But after a while, I found myself wearing one too. It’s all about fashion. :P

#3 You’ve mastered the art of eating a cake with chopsticks.

In Korea, you will use chopstick to eat everything. Noodles, rice, fried chicken, or cakes. Birthday cakes. Yes, Korean eat cakes with chopstick.

Pic from: banheethespectator.wordpress.com/

Pic from: banheethespectator.wordpress.com

 

#4 You bow to everyone you see as a greeting.

It’s the most difficult Korean habit to break. I found myself bowing to others when I go back in my home country.  In Korea, bowing equals greetings, and how can you live a day without doing so?

#5 You are a Seoul Metro master

Seoul has one of the best subway systems in the world. It is massive. There are stops on almost every block in the entirety of Seoul, and the system is so sprawling that it even extends into not just the surrounding province of Gyeonggi-do, but even into Chuncheonbuk-do and Gangwon-do. It’s fantastic, fast, and cheap. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but after a while, not only do you know which lines match with which colors, but you’re competent at which of the 8+ exits is closest to your intended destination.

If you’re really pro, you’ll have figured out which individual subway car stops exactly in front of the staircase that leads to your transfer subway line, if you need to transfer (these are marked). By now, you’re so native that you can navigate three different subway lines and two sets of transfers without even needing to pause or looking up from whatever game you’re playing on your smartphone.

Seoul Subway Map 2014 Can you find your way home?

Seoul Subway Map 2014
Can you find your way home?

#6 You group text your friends about grammar, because you can’t tell if a sentence is wrong or just awkward sounding

You know it’s bad when you’ve been out of an English-speaking environment so long that your internal mother-tongue radar needs a recharge. Or in my case, it’s Indonesian. Sometimes I cannot say full long sentence in Indonesian, without using some Korean expressions.

#7 When reading 한글 becomes more convenient than reading English

You know you’ve gone native when reading Hangul becomes more convenient than reading English. A great example of this is in the subway. While all subway station signs are bilingual or trilingual, the name of the station, that is written in Hangul, is obviously written in the largest print. When you’re seated on the subway and don’t want to get up for risk of losing your seat, it becomes a lot easier to read the Hangul on the subway map sign. And oh, when you read restaurant menu.

Which smoody would you like to order?

Which smoody would you like to order?

#8 Everyone you knew is gone

When people first come to Korea, they usually meet a core group of people either from their work or town that they become fast friends with. You share all your first experiences with these people, sharing all the ups and downs of living abroad in a completely different culture. Through these experiences, you become very close to these people quite quickly, and part of your Korean life becomes personified in them.

Then they leave..

Whether its to a different city in Korea, to work abroad in another country, or whether its back to the home country of origin for good, everyone you once knew and were close to will leave. There comes a point where you begin attending a significantly larger number of farewells than you do welcomes. With each person who leaves, part of your history in Korea goes with them. You will not be able to share those first experiences of getting overwhelmed by teaching, going to night club in Hongdae, or eating strange Korean food such as sundae (boiling or steaming cow or pig’s intestines that are stuffed with various ingredients), gopchang (grilled intestines of cattle or pork), pondaegi (silk worm) or other food with anyone else.

#9 Your Korean language skills have gone in one of two directions: you’re kinda competent or you’ve completely given up

Probably everyone comes to a foreign country with the idea that they’ll learn the language. It’s perfectly natural to feel this way: you have a desire to communicate with the locals, you want an easier time getting around, you want to pick up a language just to have another useful life skill. You learn to read hangul and you think, “Hey! That was easy! I’ll be speaking Korean in six months like a native!” After that, maybe you learn one, or both sets of numbers in Korean and you think “Wow! Now I can understand and communicate prices and tell time! This is awesome!”

Then reality hits. Korean is hard. Really hard. What bad is that most middle-class Koreans who want to get ahead are doing everything they can to learn English and want to speak English with you; not Korean.

You really worked hard and after a couple years, you’re conversational, but not fluent. The number of people in this group is dwarfed by the people in the first.

#10 When you’ve left Korea, traveled somewhere else, return to Korea and it feels like home
Can’t agree more.

Hi Seoul!

Hi Seoul!

* * *

Taken from:

1. http://abreathofforeignair.com/2013/11/06/you-know-youve-been-in-korea-too-long-when/

2. http://inbetweensoju.com/10-signs-that-youve-gone-native-in-south-korea/

3. http://inbetweensoju.com/10-more-signs-that-youve-gone-native-in-south-korea/

4. http://kimchi-monster.tumblr.com/post/59658136361/10-signs-youve-been-in-korea-too-long

.. with some modification based on my personal experiences. :)

[Cerpen 200 kata] Kedatangan

Entah sudah keberapa kalinya aku menginjak tempat ini dalam beberapa tahun terakhir. Musim yang berbeda, tapi masih dengan perasaan yang sama.

Aku tidak membutuhkan waktu yang lama untuk melewati petugas itu. Aku sudah berkali-kali melewati pemeriksaan ini, dan aku bisa melewatinya hanya dalam waktu beberapa menit. Tanpa menunggu lama, giliranku pun tiba. Aku pun merogoh ke dalam tasku dan mengeluarkan kartu identitasku dari dalam dompet.

Petugas itu tersenyum sambil membalikkan kartu identitasku untuk mengecek tanggal yang tertera disana. Aku menerimanya kembali dan mendongakkan kepalaku ke papan. Baggage carousel number 7.  Aku melihat segerombolan orang yang berkumpul di dekat sana. Masih belum keluar rupanya.

Pikiranku terbang menembus pintu yang ada di hadapanku ini. Betapa inginnya aku melihat mereka di balik pintu ini. Mereka yang bisa menaruh senyum di wajahku dan membuatku melupakan semua rasa capek yang sudah menumpuk. Mereka yang akan menyambutku dengan pelukan dan ciuman, dan aku tentunya akan dengan senang hati membiarkan mereka membawaku kemana saja.

Aku mengalihkan perhatianku ke tempat lain. Oh itu dia, koperku muncul. Aku pun bergegas menarik koperku menuju ke pintu keluar. Udara sejuk menerpa wajahku. Aku pun menarik nafas, menikmati udara yang sudah sekian lama menemani hari-hariku disini.

 

Feels like home. Hello again, Seoul.

[Incheon International Airport. Febuary 2014]

* * *

Incheon International Airport

Incheon International Airport

Pic taken from: http://meijinzwei.egloos.com/2305481

Overtime-work Day

Hai semuanya. Jumpa lagi dengan Apple disini.
Tebak disini uda jam berapa? Jam 2 pagi dan aku masih duduk dengan manis dong di kantor. Hihi.

Hari ini luar biasa sekali. Dari pagi uda hectic banget kerjaan di kantor. Baru bisa makan siang jam 2 sore, dan makan malam jam 12 malem dong! Agak ngantuk dikit, agak laper tapi saking sibuknya sampe ga punya waktu untuk makan, atau ke toilet sekalipun.

Tapi entah kenapa, aku masih punya tenaga sisa untuk selesaiin kerjaan hari ini. Kayanya kemaren pas di gereja beneran di-charge full deh. Hehehe.

Jadi minggu kemaren, aku beneran uring-uringan ga tau kenapa dan akhirnya meledak pas hari Sabtu. Aku kebangun pagi-pagi gara-gara.. nangis. Aku mikirin apa coba sampe bisa kaya gitu >,< Terus pagi itu jadinya ambil waktu deh buat ngedate sama Tuhan dan langsung di-charge dong baterenya sampe full.

Untungnya batere yang di-charge selama weekend kemaren masih berfungsi dong sampe hari ini. Tumben-tumbenan aku ga bete pas lembur sampai pagi kaya gini. Hehehe.

오늘 하루도 승리했습니다!

Masih keliatan cukup segar kan? ^.^

Masih keliatan cukup segar kan? ^.^

Bahagia itu sederhana #7

Bahagia itu adalah …

Ketika kamu menyadari bahwa kamu punya teman-teman baik yang bisa ditelpon tengah malam.

Ketika mereka langsung merespon ketika kamu bilang “aku kesepian” atau “I just don’t feel good” tanpa harus berbicara panjang lebar tentang keadaanmu sekarang.

Ketika kamu tau bahwa hanya mendengar suaranya saja kamu bisa merasa lebih baik. Terserah mereka mo ceramahin kamu macem-macem atau mereka mau cerita panjang lebar tentang hal-hal lain. Mereka ga peduli kalau kamu cuma diam dan mendengarkan, mereka hanya berusaha untuk mengalihkan pikiranmu ke hal lain yang positif.

Yup, itu berhasil! Setelah beberapa saat kemudian, kamu pun menutup telpon dengan perasaan yang jauh lebih baik dan bisa tidur dengan nyenyak malam itu.

* * *

Sepotong percakapan di malam itu..

“Udah tidur?”
“Belum.”
“Tumben jam segini belum tidur. Lagi ngapain?”
“Ga lagi ngapa-ngapain. Not in a good mood”
“Period?”
“Nope”
“Lalu?”
“그냥.. 외로웠어요”
“에블린.. 알아? Itu salah satu kelemahan kamu. Kalau uda tau kamu lemah di bagian itu, diantisipasi dong sebelumnya.”
“…. Emangnya bisa sesuka hatiku, mau kesepian apa ngga ….”

After long conversation, malam itu ditutup dengan satu ayat:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

* * *

You are born to be loved.

Last weekend I spent Saturday night with my best friend. No, we didn’t eat at nice and fancy restaurant or something, but we just spend few hours together doing the things that usually a student do. Eat some street food (Hello Nutella crepes, 닭꼬치 and 호떡!) also did some shopping together. We took the same subway to go home that day. Just before I got off from the subway, she said, “Remember, you are born to be loved. 당신은 사랑받기 위해 태어난 사람이야~” and she started to sing the song that I learn before I went to Korea 6 years ago.

Korean Street Food

Korean Street Food

Hari sebelumnya, aku sempet merasa kesepian karena semua kegiatan yang padat di bulan Febuari sudah berakhir dan aku tiba-tiba aku punya waktu luang yang banyak (biasanya penuh sama latihan dan rapat ini itu). Pas dia bilang itu, aku langsung sadar bahwa aku tidak sendirian. Banyak orang yang peduli dan sayang sama aku. Walaupun mereka jauh, tapi aku tau sepotong kata “kangen” dan “how was your day?” itu tidak diucapkan dengan basa-basi tapi diucapkan karena mereka memang peduli. :)

* * *

Bahagia itu adalah …

Menyadari bahwa kamu diciptakan untuk menerima cinta. Dan kamu sedang menikmatinya sekarang dimanapun kamu berada dan apapun bentuknya itu.

“당신은 사랑 받기 위해 태어난 사람
당신의 삶속에서 그사랑 받고있지요~”

Bahagia itu sederhana #6

Merasa Disayang

Beberapa potongan dialog yang membuat aku merasa disayang. Hehehe.

* * *

“Do you know? You are so special.” – A.
(She said it almost every time she meets me.)

* * *

“Kalau besok aku pulang ke Indo dan ga ada di Korea lagi, kamu bakal ngapain?”
“Pergi ke tempat anak hilang terus lapor kalau kamu hilang.” – E.

* * *

“Gapapa. Kan ada kita.” – S.

* * *

“보고 싶으면 어떻게?”

* * *

Epilog:

1) Malem minggu kemaren dapet laporan dari beberapa orang gereja kalau David abis nyariin aku. Ni anak nyariin aku sambil teriak-teriak 1 gereja kali ya? Soalnya pas hari Minggunya, semua orang yang ketemu aku laporan begitu dan itu ga cuma 2-3 orang doang yang laporan haha. Feel loved. :)

2) Akhirnya kemaren bisa main sama Noah (1 tahun), adiknya David untuk pertama kalinya. Biasanya dia digendong terus sama mamanya, dan kemaren dia dibiarin main-main sendiri gitu di lantai. Terus dia muter-muter di sekeliling aku padahal akunya ga ngapa-ngapain dia. Papanya yang liat langsung bilang, “Kayanya ga cuma David aja deh yang suka kamu, tapi Noah juga.” Seneng sih, tapi kok kayanya cuma anak laki-laki doang yang tertarik sama aku..yang dewasanya mana?? Hahaha.

* * *

Note: It’s been in draft for months. Haha. Ditulis awal Januari ternyata belom dipost. 

Worship God by sleeping

Pernah denger ungkapan yang bilang bahwa segala sesuatu yang kita lakukan di dalam hidup kita ini merupakan ibadah. Ibadah bukan berarti ke gereja tiap hari Minggu, atau pas doa aja, tapi ketika kita lagi di jalan, ketika kita belajar, ketika kita bekerja, semuanya itu merupakan suatu ibadah yang pada akhirnya hanya untuk memuliakan nama Dia saja.

Nah, sekarang pertanyaannya adalah apakah tidur termasuk ibadah? Jawabannya adalah IYA. Wah, aku sering banget tidur, berarti aku juga sering ibadah dong? Haha. Well, yang aku maksud bukan seberapa seringnya, tapi dalam kondisi apa kita saat itu.

Artikel ini ngejelasin how to worship God by sleeping. Dan ini beberapa kalimat yang mengena di aku.

So I went to sleep. Not because there was nothing to be done, but because there was only one thing to be done: worship God. Sleep is not simply surrender, it can be an act of worship. Sometimes it is the most powerful declaration and demonstration we can make that we are not in control. Our God is. And we trust Him.

I’m a creature, and God is not. I sleep and He does not. He alone can stay awake for eternity. Which is good, because He alone needs to stay awake. He alone upholds all things by the word of His power. I can sleep because He doesn’t.

It was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time. With tears running down my cheeks, and my hands curled into fists I breathed in and out the words ‘you alone are God’. And after an eternity of time, my breathing deepened and my fingers relaxed and by the power of the Spirit I worshiped my God through sleep.

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Untuk pembahasan lebih lengkapnya, silakan baca langsung di blog ini.

* * *

Seperti yang aku sempet bilang di post sebelumnya, ada  3 event besar dalam bulan Febuari ini. Yang pertama, baru aja lewat minggu kemaren. KKR Heidi Baker, a missionary from Mozambique. Dia mulai pelayanannya di Indonesia, kemudian dikirim ke Mozambique dan masih terus melayani orang-orang miskin dan anak-anak disana sampai sekarang.

What I like about her is.. she loves God. She REALLY loves God with all her heart. And also Mozambique. She refers Mozambique as “my country” (her country, I mean.) even though she was born in US. She keep repeating, “Tomorrow I will go home (to Mozambique). I can’t wait to tell my children (the orphans) about this.”

Look? She really put her heart to the ministry that God gives to her.
“You have to love God.”
“Spend some time with Him. Develop greater intimacy.”
Itu 2 pesan yang terus diulang-ulang sama dia.

1782434_594492303968524_792211053_o

YDFC Senior Pastor and Heidi Baker

Oia, minggu kemaren pas lagi KKR itu, baru pertama kalinya aku ngeliat orang ke gereja, ngantri di depan pintu dari 1 jam sebelum kebaktian! Gerejaku yang sekarang bukan gereja gede lho padahal, jadi cukup surprise juga pas ngeliat itu. Terus aku dengan asiknya melenggang masuk dan ngetag tempat duduk yang enak donk. Huehehehe.

* * *

Back to topik. Apa hubungannya KKR kemaren dengan pembahasan tentang tidur diatas? Jadi pas lagi doa, kan disuruh tanya tuh ceritanya, Tuhan mau bilang apa sama kita. Jawabannya…

“No more crying until you fall asleep. coz I’m here. I’m the One who always takes care of you.”

Yah langsung mewek lah pas dapet itu. Hahaha. Padahal kayanya uda lama aku ga nangis-nangis sebelum tidur lhoo. (Walaupun ada sesekali tiap beberapa bulan biasanya) Ternyata Tuhan ga suka toh. Jadi sekarang, yes! I’ll try to worship God by sleeping! *langsung tidur banyak-banyak* #eh

21 Weird Things Girls Do When They’re Alone Together

Taken from: Though Catalog

1. Say “is it okay if I take my pants off” before taking their pants off and remarking about how cute their underwear is and where they bought it.

2. Joke about having pillow fights in their underwear because that’s a cliched thing we’re told men fantasize about/think girls do when they’re alone together.

3. Talk about sex. Great sexual experiences, awkward sexual experiences, rude sexual experiences, what they like, what they hate, etc, etc, etc. If lots of liquor is involved, and the stars are aligned, demonstrations may follow.

4. Pull their hair into a messy knot on the tippy top of their head and lay in bed together, texting.

screen-shot-2013-12-20-at-2-21-41-pm

5. Sleep in the same bed and fall asleep giggling about nothing.

6. Give each other back rubs while watching TV.  - I think me and my friends prefer to 뒹글뒹글 (atau guling-gulingan) on the bed than giving each other back rubs.

7. Get each other Monday night wasted while ‘watching’ The Bachelor.

8. Tell each other secrets. Like, that they are worried about money or cheated on their boyfriend or that. Bragging is reserved for “I HAVE NEWS” texts or brunches and happy hours. Dark thoughts = secrets.

9. Do gross things like pick zits, belch, and talk about periods and UTIs.

10. Compare nipple sizes and breast texture. – No, not the texture, only the size :P

11. Take several rounds of front-facing camera group selfies.

903166_10151794847519027_8340971_o

12. Gather around a laptop and creep on crushes or exes current girlfriends.

13. Disect the characters on reality television shows with the precision of doctoral psychology students.

14. Sit cross-legged on the floor and do their makeup in front of a mirror.

15. Alternatively, share their makeup until it’s in one gigantic, homogenous pile in the sink.

16. Ask questions about what they think the future will be like, or what they want to accomplish, or what kind of person they think they will end up with and give sincere, thoughtful answers.

17. Devour food in decidedly un-ladylike fervor.

18. Browse through their selfie collection and wonder aloud whether they were prettier in 2010, to a chorus of “um no”s.

19. Have Sheryl Crow debut album-era singalongs.

20. Face masks and deep conditioning.

21. Feel completely comfortable and happy and understood, for once.

외국인 예배 수련회 - 2011

외국인 예배 수련회 – 2011

Aah, kangen.

Bye January, Hi February

Ada yg inget ga kemaren ini aku pernah bilang mau perpanjang ulang tahunku sampai seminggu? (Check this!) Dan tau apa hasilnya? Aku rasanya ulang tahun terus sampai sebulan haha. Kemarin ini tepat tanggal 2 Febuari masih ada teman yang ngucapin ulang tahun disertai dengan ucapaan maaf telat sebulan, daripada telat setahun, katanya. *hiyaahh, tapi gapapa, tetep seneng*

* * *

Karena ulang tahunku tepat setelah tahun baru, jadinya jujur, pas ulang tahunnya ga gitu berasa karena semua orang masih heboh dengan “wah uda tahun baru!”-nya. Tapi di minggu-minggu berikutnya, aku masih terus menerima hadiah-hadiah kecil, dilanjutkan dengan meniup kue ulang tahun ke-4 di akhir bulan (tiap minggu 1 kue? haha), dan akhirnya aku resmi menutup perayaan ulang tahunku beberapa hari yang lalu setelah ucapan ulang tahun yang telat sebulan itu.

Perasaanku? Tentunya senang dong. My second birthday in Korea (karena tahun-tahun sebelumnya selalu ulang tahun di rumah) dan ini jauh lebih baik daripada ulang tahun pertamaku disini, 2 tahun yang lalu. Inget banget hari itu hari pertamaku masuk kerja, jadi dalam keadaan agak ribet ngurusin dokumen ini itu pas masuk kerja, dan akhirnya hari ulang tahunku itu berlalu begitu saja, diiringi dengan isak tangis di malam hari dan aku yang merengek-rengek kesepian. Hahaha.

* * *

Sekarang uda bulan Febuari aja. Cepet ya? Apalagi dengan jadwalku yang padat akhir-akhir ini, tiap hari nyampe rumah jam 12 malem, uring-uringan pas pagi karena kurang tidur, dan aku harus bertahan dalam keadaan begini kurang lebih sampai 2 minggu ke depan karena ada acara besar di akhir bulan ini. 3 big events dalam waktu 1 minggu. Acara apa itu? Tunggu ceritanya nanti ya!

Once again, happy birthday to me. You are doing great apple! *pukpuk diri sendiri*

Birthday_candles

2013 Gratitude List

I have been writing this list since last year Thanksgiving, but have not finished it until 2013 is over. So, even though it’s already 2014, I just want to share this list and I hope it can be a reminder for me about how God works during 2013.

* * *

  1. Thank you Lord, I can spend new year and my birthday with my family in Indonesia. It was short but warm holiday. Thank you for my family.
  2. Thank you because I can go back to Korea safely and find out my housemate has cleaned up and re-decorated our room. I feel so blessed to have housemate like her.

    Look what she did when I'm not at home!

    Look what she did when I’m not at home!

  3. Thank you for the new year surprise. My housemate will be transferred to Indonesia and will start working there in few months. We thought she will be transferred next year, but the decision come out earlier. We have to move out quickly.
  4. Of course we panicked, but thank you because we manage to find new house at early February with some help from my church friends. It’s not a new and well-decorated house but feels more homey.
  5. Thank you for helping us to move our stuff. We can move our items without spending some extra money for paying car or truck rental. Got another help from church. Yeay!
  6. Thank you Lord, now I can sleep alone in my house without being afraid. It takes time though, but now I’m pretty okay with it.
  7. Thank you for allowing us to re-create Indonesian praise and worship community in Seoul! Even though it only last for few months, but it was wonderful.

    Such a blessing!

  8. Thank you for new friends. Few may go but new one comes. So many new friends come from different places. Multiplication. :)
  9. Thank you for the calling. I served various ministry this year. Starting from Indonesian P/W, children ministry and dance team for the Philippines mission trip. Translated pastor sermon from Korean to English. Joined the YDFC P/W team! Thank you for all of that.

    YDFC Eagle's Army Christmas Performance

    YDFC Eagle’s Army Christmas Performance

  10. Thank you for giving me the opportunities to visit new places. I always want to visit at least one country each year. This year, it’s Philippines. China for next year? :)
  11. Thank you for the work opportunity. Even though I should work over-night lately, but I want to be thankful for this. It’s not that easy to find a job, and You put me here. Maybe the salary is not as high as other friends but it’s enough for me.
  12. Thank you for the family in Busan. It will always be my second home. The time that I spent with my junior and the people in church there is precious.

    My second family :)

    My second family :)

  13. Thank you for giving me a new day everyday. A new day to explore Your love. A new day to confess my sins and repent. A new day to share the love.
  14. Thank you for each laughter and tears.
  15. Thank you for each people who prayed for me. Praying for others is not easy thing to do so Lord, please bless them too.
  16. Thank you for every hugs. Haha. I love hugs. And you know, a hug means more than words.

    1174617_10151808316887296_959348989_n

    항상 즐겁게 놀아주는 우리 셀 리더님

  17. Thank you for letting me going through some hardship or sometimes letting me fall. But, I know You are always there, hold my hand and help me to get up again. Lesson learned and once again, thank you for showing Your love for me.
  18. Thank you for every promises, prophecy, and blessings. I’m so glad knowing how You can use everything and everyone, just to speak to me.
  19. Thank you for being my marvelous God, loving Father, and my good friend.
  20. Thank you for all I have. Thank you for the grace. Thank you for everything.
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

* * *

Thankful daughter :)

Thankful daughter :)