Time flies, Beloved Wraps a flying plane. Bless me At my travel end.
Finally met my Sensei again after some time! In June I took a break because of some sickness and work. In July and early August she did because she had to take care of her family who were infected with the virus.
We didn’t open the book at all last night. Only a happy reunion checking what had happened for the past 2.5 months without meeting just some hello via messaging. Conversation flew about language, culture and personal experience dealing with both.
At one point she interestingly described about pleasure and purpose that compose happiness.
She decided to retire from her position as a VIP in one of the biggest business empire in the world before she was 40. She knew that she could not work forever and she wanted her own self not her age to decide when she had to quit. She thought she was ready and here she is now, an independent woman with a lot of personal projects and teaching Japanese with a style!
When she worked, she did with all her heart. She didn’t involve herself in office politics that made her not a social darling but definitely made her a genuine and independent loyal. She made decision with wisdom and integrity that made her a leader-maker but at the same time a strong gate of ethics. And she shined in her own way!
A sun is a sun when it knows when it rises and sets. And my Sensei is one.
She said it was a pleasure to work in her position with much luxury but she left because she didn’t see the real purpose she was serving. She was rich but true happiness was missed. She moved out from her luxurious apartment in the heart of Jakarta and rent it out, and moved to her mother’s home – a home full with flowers and good neighbours in East Jakarta. She restarted balancing pleasure and purpose.
Pleasure makes someone’s life sustain but without purpose there is no true sustainability. When one outgrows the other, happiness tank isn’t optimised. Pleasure and purpose is also a blend of colours that creates a perfect hue.
When I said whether she was afraid of losing the grip for having no routine, she said yes for the first two months of her early retirement; she felt somewhat regret of giving up the corporate vibe. She felt like cutting herself off from the world. In those two months she just went out eating, driving, cleaning the house. And after that her life started to bloom in different ways.
She found many more opportunities that she didn’t even know existing. And she is still rich with more leisure time and true friends. She said life is miracle.
Before pandemic she often traveled to smaller islands in the archipelago as a volunteer and annually visited Japan as her old habit. She said she wants to continue that after the pandemic is over, when Heaven knows.
When I said I wish I could do it, she said no. She said what I’m doing is what she dreamt of in corporate life before: having the pleasure of working with purpose. Conversation went more even livelier, we skipped the Japanese lesson and shared about our dreams. A more interesting class!
Last night was one of the great time in life when the feeling of balance surrounds me.
It was 1:07am when we finally said good bye. See you next week, Sensei! Thanks for the lessons.
Life is full of Teachers. Learn from them. But don’t forget the Master in you, live with one with love.
Almost given up:
Milestones to reach the final.
Language of dreams
Japanese is almost as difficult as Arabic but I didn’t find hard time learning Arabic as the brain was much fresher with more time to focus on lessons by then. I almost gave up this Japanese lesson as I felt too slow. Until today mixing up between シ and ツ still happens again and again. Different forms of adjective and noun when tenses change still confuse me. The crazy kanji has also tortured me. Why did I even learn this language? 🤪 Drama! 🥰
But hey! I won’t stop until I can read and compose beautiful poems in Japanese. Too much a dream? Ok, I won’t stop until I can present the company’s Code of Conduct in Japanese! Making more sense! 😁
If the teacher isn’t this good, I might have given up earlier. The Sensei is such an expert of Japanese language and culture that she can make me understand why those Japanese I’ve met have behaved so strangely not as I expected Japanese I thought would be. 😝
Some people are just so “like that” regardless they are Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Singaporean or any other….. Life is so interesting, take it easy!
Lines, curves and dots drawn
Convey meanings and stories.
I thought learning Kanji would be a mission impossible, it turned out to be a fun game. Thanks to my good teacher who has always encouraged me to practice, practice, practice. ありがとう ございます、先生。Also thanks to the supplementary books I found in Kino today!
According to the book Kanji is ideographic, not phonetic, which means that each character represents a concept or an idea rather than a sound.
There is a group of Kanji called Joyo Kanji (Kanji for daily use) that are normally learnt by Japanese during their 9 years of compulsory education. It means I’m in that teenage stage of learning and so need fun way of learning to keep motivated in a consistent concentration span.
And don’t be afraid to make mistakes! —- Ok, just don’t repeat too many ‘coz repeated mistakes are equal to planned crimes 😁
Wanna twist logic?
Learn foreign languages or
Backpack with no cash.
While the Arabic won’t twist my logic so much, the Japanese is a bit of a challenge ‘coz it is a brand new thing. Arabic has been a background play since I was young although I am only good at reading and writing. In fact, Japanese is totally a logic twist and takes some resource commitment if I want to achieve my target: intermediate level in all 4 skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking).
As electronic learning sources are not suitable for my eyes, I decided to boost my effort through traditional way: all paper-based. Books, cue cards, dictionary, etc…
Among all those tools, there is one that I am most impressed of: the karuta card. Not the uniqueness of the cards itself as cue cards are used in all language classes but more about the age of its existence that amazes me. It is a deck of playing cards aged back to 16th century, brought by the Portuguese sailors to Japan. Since then it has been a tool for fun game, fun learning and even competitive game.
Go search “karuta” that means card in Portuguese (in Bahasa Indonesia it is kartu), and you’ll find various webs explaining about karuta from its history up to how to play it.
Found two decks in Kinokuniya bookstore today together with dictionaries that will be a company for all children books in the reading list. Fun study yay!
I can read but I
Don’t know what I read and I
Don’t stop ‘coz I like
What I read. Sounds strange but I
Like to read hidden meaning.
Reading is fun even if you don’t know the meaning of what is read. When learning a new language with totally different structure and alphabets from what you are fluently using everyday, the excitement is there. I was so excited when first time learning writing Javanese alphabets in my childhood and I mostly knew the meaning because Javanese has been my mother tongue; while Indonesian has been second (primary) language. Then Arabic gave me the second excitement when I was around 17. And now, Japanese gives me another excitement and a taste of frustration.
Mastering language is about internalising logical thinking of a culture, the logic of a nation. Why in one particular language structure a predicate is located at the end of a sentence while in the other it is somewhere else. This frozen brain has to work hard to know how Japanese digest facts and blend them into grammar. And all the sweet apology and courtesy all over the language now make me question if they are truly kind in heart or it’s just a muscle of articulation. Forget it. Just learn and know how to use it.
The excitement is here coz I read like a kindergarten student -loud, confident but dreadfully un-melodic”. Yet I love it! Even when I had to finish the super short story Ikkyu-San in 45 minutes. I keep mixing up among ne-re-wa, i and ri, nu and me… Good heaven! (Did I mean bloody hell?) Courtesy please 😂
I also have Yotsuba! for my next. But hey, that can only be started after reading Ikkyu-San smoothly with melody. When the melody and pace are right, read more books! Then get dictionary….
My colleagues in Japan already offered their free time to chat with me in Japanese when I’m ready. When? I don’t know…. 😂
What a given time!
Fluency and artistic test,
All measured and timed—
This working from home has given me less travel time and automatically much shorter time for its preparation and unpacking etcetera. This should be well used, too as without it my sleeping disorder has caused a lot more trouble than before so I decided to take some online courses that have sprung like mushroom in rainy days.
I took some online courses in Udemy and some other course centres that offer more rigorous online courses during this pandemic. In Udemy I took massage class for baby, root cause analysis, project management, and so on and so forth — those are done independently, just read and listen to some lectures and do some test with or without certificates. The other two are language classes: Japanese and Arabic.
Why do I chose those courses? All that I took are all that I need.
Ayurvedic massage for baby? Don’t laugh! I am inspired by Yu Yat, my late baby sitter and “second mother”. She was the one taking care of me since I was a red baby until I reached 12 years old before I could take care of myself, while my parents were extremely busy as civil servants. In her late life my baby sitter continued her mother’s professional legacy as a baby masseuse – Javanese baby massage. I visited her everyday whenever I spent holiday in mother’s home. Seeing her handle the babies was my favourite and I told her that I wanted to be a baby masseuse like her and she said “You can but why do you have to? You have a very good job and you might not have time to do it.” She was right and it was forgotten for so many years but inspiration never dies – and so I took an online class. I plan to practice it when visiting my mother’s town after pandemic, Yu Yat’s sister in law continues the profession so I can “borrow one client baby”. Hope it is a success. Who knows I can be a baby masseuse in my retirement time. Yay!
The other classes are all things related to my jobs, I am “sharpening my claws”. Wicked lady! Haha!
And the language classes? I need them to better the quality of life. Japanese? I do communicate with Japanese whose English is mostly not up to my par — not all but most. The way they express their idea in English has either confused or annoyed me. And when I interacted with those guys I found at times they were laughing at me – bloody hell I don’t like to be laughed, men! I checked with the people working for me yes those men were laughing at me not to underestimate me but just because they don’t feel easy with a woman being so authoritative and open. Oh my! What is a female employee supposed to do at work differently from the male? Washing their coffee mugs or polishing their shoes? So I promised that I will at least understand Japanese and know when they laugh at me so that I can scold at them. 😁 No, no, I just want to make my conversation with them at ease. Japanese men are the most insecure male creature I’ve ever met on earth so I understand why they behave like s***** people sometimes. And, who knows I can write my first haiku in its original language someday? Yay!
Arabic language? I did learn for two years when I was young and I think I still need it so I am not cheated with wrong conception of religious thought. I have to know what the book is exactly saying as the translated version of Quran (into other languages) is never pure translation, they are all interpretation that have driven the reader to a certain opinion that will lead people to irresponsible actions at times. So with one of my best friends I took an online course. We both always want to be free thinkers with basis! Not much target – intermediate level is ok.
One more to go…. I want to join Jewelry making course and Asian herb course. Maybe I can make Jewelry and herbal drinks when I retire later.
I am so thankful that I’ve got time to develop myself in such a way. I’m not happy with this pandemic though, please don’t get me wrong….
But yeah, sometimes I juggle with the homework of the language classes. The teachers are killers! 😁