NOTE: this writing actually had been done on October 17th 2011, it's my autobiography essay in my Senior English class, and I just found out that it will be great to share it with people, enjoy :)

Last night, I watched the news. They said, there was a burned man again in the afternoon, at the top of the commuter train. It’s not far from where I live. This morning, even when the sun hasn’t show its light, I see hundreds of men standing and sitting in the top of that economy class commuter train, as if there were no burned man from that spot yesterday. That train then departed from the station, where I am standing now. I still watch that view, ironically. It’s 5:25 AM in Depok Station. I’m with my white and grey national high school uniform, still waiting for my train, it’s in better class, and not where we can stand on the top of it, and this is how I start my day everyday.

I love the commuter train. It’s fast and comfort, but you can’t get convenience in the economy class, you will feel like a canned sardine. I’m talking about my favorite class, the AC Class, yup, Air Conditioner. You will feel like you are in Japan because Japanese train labels, warning and even award still stick on the train interior. Whether stand, sit or sit on the floor near an unopened train door, it will make you comfortable, as long as the train is not fully loaded.

I’m in Duren Kalibata Station, South Jakarta, nine stations from mine. I get off from the train and find the green Kopaja bus number 57. It’ll bring me to a small road of my school. I just walk through that road, if I’m lucky, I won’t find road-killed frogs or rats. It should be more than one road-kill happen there.

I’m now at school, nearly 6:10 AM. School still quiet, just a few students and teachers already there, I see the caretaker still sweeping our basketball and volleyball field. Today’s first block is Economy, which is sucks. I’m starting to not really care about that, because I will be in America soon enough. I sit in the third line, second row, waiting for my tablemate to come. I see my friend playing with her Blackberry in front of the class, while charging it. I look on my iPhone, she’s on the Twitter timeline, she might be playing that social network now. I open my bag, I take off my exchange student pre-departure paperwork. I’m so excited. I have to continue my third copy of this. I’m really excited. “What’s that for?” ask my friend-that-still-plays-on-her-Blackberry. “Umm… student exchange,” I replied.

It’s already May. Everyone in school questioning me, when will I depart? Had I been to America yet? Are you kidding me you’re going to America? How much I pay? Friends start to ask about gifts from America, even I still don’t know where I’ll be hosted, and that’s exhausting. In the other side, I’m so excited to leave this kind of hell place. Where I study 17 subjects in a week… err, no… because I’m now an eleven-grader in social studies major, I just study 14 subjects in a week, where the teachers are really conservative and looks a like a bad lion because they think they always right. They think that they are the kings and queens.

I never feel I’m at school since then. I’m kind of a strange teenager in my school, when they are thinking for national exam ahead, I think about my jobs and student exchange opportunity. I had enough on Jakarta. The Big Durian. Full of motor vehicle, pollutions, mean people, crowdedness, people that love bule culture than their own culture. I really need a new world, a world where no one thinks that I’m a strange person, a world where I can get peacefulness and not many people around.

However, behind all that, I knew I would miss some of Jakarta’s sides, because it gives me deep memory, of my friends and families, my life.

I know I will miss my commuter train, and how mess is the station or the train.

I know I will miss my beach, in my favorite island in the north of Jakarta, who knows I’ll be placed in Midwest and will never meet beach in the whole year.

I know I will miss Universitas Indonesia. My dream university, that lies not far from my house in Depok. Where I can hang out with my friend in that college, planning new social projects and get some big portion of Chicken Noodle plus drink for only $1.00 total.

I know I will leave my jobs, I will take a break from my cheerful-but-hectic activities. I have to be ready to leave them all. Although I know, my jobs will still hire me after I got back.

Three months left. I will use my three months left to prepare my mental.

Next week, I will have the visa interview in U.S Embassy of Jakarta. I’m super excited but I’m really nervous too. I can’t wait to tell my friends from another city about Jakarta and how beautiful it is… umm… and also how painful it is too.

Three months left.

I have to do what I never do, I have to try to think what I never think and do something memorable for my family and friends, here.

It’s 3:30 pm. I’m on my favorite AC Class train, meet Varinta, my best friend from different high school, who takes the train from Tebet station, second station after Duren Kalibata. She usually go with Raken, her friend from school that lives in the same city as we are, but I don’t see him anymore since last week, “Where is Raken?” I asked my best friend, she replied me, somewhat looks sad “You know, he’s now moved to West Jakarta, he’s not in Depok anymore,” I’m shocked. He never told us about that, I never heard that news from Varinta too. “He told me at school this afternoon,” she continued. “Oh, we will never had fun again in this railway coach, I’m really sorry about that,” I replied.

“I will really have a multiple loss,” she said.


“After Raken moves to West Jakarta, my boyfriend will go to college, and you... you will go to America. Remains me here. I will really miss you. You are really great. You can get that scholarship and You’re the farthest one who will leave me,” she then laughs with me, but I see the sadness in her eyes.

What Varinta said to me, makes me think. Maybe, I’m not that strange like people think. I’m sure that, I’m precious for my friends and family. I’m an extraordinary person for what I am, no matter what people say.

I promise myself, I will be the new person after I get back.

I arrived at my home. Never this early, 4:50 pm. My mother is here and I tell her about my day and next week’s visa interview. She starts to remind me about my luggage preparation. I won’t do that this soon, because I know I will miss my mother so much, I don’t want to leave her.

It’s 10:00 pm. I just wrap my paperwork up in my study room. My father calls me, “You haven’t sleep yet?” and I said, “I will, I just finish,” When I get off, I see my mother already in the deep sleep, I go to my room, I see my little sister’s already sleep.

I have to prepare for tomorrow. I will wake at 4:30 am. Just as usual.

But the one that not usual is, I know I’m getting ready to face the new world and ready to became a new person.


Tanggal 20 Mei, which is hari Kebangkitan Nasional Indonesia adalah sebuah hari besar buat gue, kenapa? karena ada dua 'hal terakhir' yang gue kerjakan hari itu, satu Graduation, dua my last exchange student meeting, jadi yang satu hari terakhir resmi sebagai anak kelas 12 Amerika, yang kedua hari terakhir ketemu sahabat-sahabat baru dari seluruh dunia. Sungguh, Minggu 20 Mei 2012 merupakan hari paling bittersweet sejauh ini, nggak menyenangkan tapi nggak bikin sedih juga, di tengah-tengah gitu. Tapi gue gak berhak untuk galau karena apa, karena ini adalah bagian dari proses hidup gue. Ada pertemuan pasti ada perpisahan dong :')


Benton Community High School Class of 2012

Pagi-pagi gue facing myself on the mirror, gue bilang hari ini gue graduation untuk pertama kalinya dalam hidup gue, dan gue baru sadar kalo gue akan mengalami graduation seenggaknya 3 kali seumur hidup gue. Gue mandi terus makan sarapan terus dress up, terus pake toga biru dan topi wisuda. Terusnya foto-foto deh sama keluarga angkat gue di taman rumah. Om-nya Sarah dateng dan ngasih kita kartu plus hadiah gitu, lumayan men gue dapet Target Gift Card $30, Alhamdulillah, and I LOVE TARGET! terus, host family dan gue heading ke sekolah lah, buat Commencement alias upacara wisuda yang bakal digelar di gym sekolah. Sebelumnya, gue dan Sarah foto-foto dulu lah di monumen nama sekolah. Ini hasilnya.

me and the school name
Setelah itu, Sarah dan gue harus nunggu gitu sejam lebih buat upacaranya, sambil nunggu, semua anak-anak kelas 12 nyari temen dan foto-foto, gue juga ikutan dong foto-foto~ tapi most of the photos are in my mom's camera and she will post in on Facebook. Jadi gue gak dapet banyak foto deh. Banyak banget foto barengnya ampe gak bisa daftar siapa-aja yang udah foto sama gue...

Pas udah jam setengah dua, semua senior mulai settle down dan duduk di auditorium buat nunggu baris dan acara di mulai. Jam dua kurang, kita mulai baris sesuai yang kita latihan hari Jumat sebelum Graduation. Habis baris, kita nanti jalan ke tempat duduk masing-masing, ritual-ish gitu jalannya, harus pelan tapi pasti. Terus harus berdiri dulu sebelum diinstruksikan duduk sama Class Speaker.
Karena gue anak choir, jadi gue harus ikut nyanyi, eh pas gue jalan ke choir gue jatuh... sedih banget kan, jatoh pas wisuda, gak papa sih gue pura-pura aja gak kejadian, selow aja, orang-orang juga pada lupa ;p

Kita punya 2 class speakers, Kierstin, yang bareng ke prom sama gue di satu grup dan Kendra, temen gue, sering ngobrol especially pas 3 bulan pertama sekolah gue, dia pinter dan aktif gitu. Di antara dua speakers tersebut, kita nerima diploma gitu, tapi gue gak dapet diploma, gue dapet exchange studnet certificate yang fancy gitu dari sekolah~ pas gue naik panggung dan nerima certificate, anjir, banyak banget yang tepuk tangan dan bersorak gembira di gym, termasuk temen-temen senior gue, dan gue ngerasa itu yang paling rame (dibanding sama sorakan/tepukan individual keluarga anak kelas 12 lain) ini tuh kayak hampir semua, dan gue merasa spesial :')
Apalagi pas Kendra naik panggung dan ngasih pidato, ada quote begini:

"Congratulations for all of you Class of 2012, for you that I know since five years old or for just a year through a foreign exchange program from Indonesia...."

terus temen-temen yang duduknya deket gue tuh pada ngeliatin gue senyum-senyum, yah gue ikut senyum-senyum aja, habis ini mengharukan sekali pidatonya.

Our class gift is a scholarship program untuk diberikan kepada Benton Scholarship Foundation, it's a simple gift tapi sangat berarti dan membantu buat future students.

Setelah kita semua keluar dari gym, kita masih foto-foto gitu, terus Jackie, adiknya host dad ternyata dateng juga buat graduation. Terus tetep foto-foto lagi deh. Tiba-tiba, Ashley, teman junior gue datang, disertai Cole dan Kenzie, eh terus Kenzie nangis.. berikut percakapan gue:

Gue: Kenzie don't cry, I will be back to school until next week, remember?
Kenzie: Yes, but after that you will go back to Indonesia, don't go back to Indonesia...

terus dia nangis, terus gue gak tega, terus gue, Kenzie, Cole dan Ashley group hug :')\
selesai semua itu, kami sekeluarga heading back ke rumah, karena gue harus jalan ke Mt. Vernon buat last PAX meeting....


(Yah, dan sekarang, gue nekat untuk kembali lagi ke sekolah, karena gue belom siap meninggalkan sekolah ini dan gue masih perlu foto-foto kece sama people dan things. dan Cerita 20 Mei lanjutan akan datang setelah post ini :'))
Mungkin cerita ini sudah kadaluarsa, tapi gue rasa gue harus menceritakan ini, karena semua orang penasaran tentang bagaimanakah prom night yang legendaris dan hampir di setiap film SMA Amerika pasti ada scene promnya gitu.

Katie and I at Ruby Tuesday, dining

Sebenernya Prom gue udah terjadi tanggal 14 April kemaren (bener kan kadaluarsa) tapi detil-detil ceritanya tuh gue udah tulis di diary Amerika gue, foto-fotonya dan segala macem. Tapi masalahnya, foto-foto dari kamera gue tuh lame semua jadi agak mengurungkan niat gue untuk cerita tentang Prom di blog.

Cerita kegegeran Prom di sekolah gue berawal dari awal tahun, yah sekitar Januari-Februari gitu, cewek-cewek single udah mulai ribet nyari date buat prom, terus nyari dress segala macem, juga dari jaman November-Desember mereka mulai ngomongin tentang bagaimana bakal ngegegerin soal prom, gak bohong deh gue.

Setelah dapet dress dari Dillards dan jebe-jebe groupnya Katie dan selain sama Katie, gue satu grup juga sama Adrienne-Kevin, Justin-Heidi, Talon, Gabby dan Kierstin. Sebelum prom, gue dan Katie ikutan Grand March, itu ajang pamer dress dan pamer pacar/date gitu di catwalk di sekolah, nah gue jalan di Grand March sama Katie karena kita sama-sama gak punya date dan kita adalah bestfriends, jadi jalan aja sebagai bestfriends, bodo amat cewek sama cewek juga hahaha. *panjang ceritanya mengapa saya gak punya date, dan seriously, gue hampir punya date sampe akhirnya cowok itu ditanyain sama cewek lain duluan dan saya memutuskan untuk gak 'move on' (serasa ditolak sama cowok gitu padahal nggak)*. Habis Grand March, Katie and I heading to Cedar Rapids buat ketemu grup kita, terus ikutan prom photo session gitu, habis photo session, kita makan di Ruby Tuesday (by the time I write this post, all Ruby Tuesday in Cedar Rapids are now closing). Sampe jam 8-an gitu, di luar ternyata hujan men. IT'S RAINING ON PROM NIGHT. 

Cole and I before Grand March

Prom night diadakan di Atkins Elementary (karena High School dipake buat Grand March dan Post Prom) dari jam 8 sampe jam 11 malem. 3 jam cukup lah buat ngedance dan gegilaan sampe hampir semaput, gak bohong deh gue, tiap berapa menit sekali gue keluar gym terus ngadem di pintu uar karena kan hujan di luar, jadi lumayan bisa ngadem. Baru sejam ngedance, peluh membasah, gak cuma di tubuh gue tapi tubuh semua orang di ruangan. Hampir all prom night gue ngedance sama Cole dan a lot of juniors, terus kadang ngejebe sama grupnya Sarah-Colton, AnnaClaire-Jonathan dan Megan-Ryan, asik-asikan aja ngedance malem itu, tapi parah, DJnya sucks abis, gak bisa diajak kompromi, gak bisa request lagu dan rese deh pokoknya, sok asik gitu, tapi bodo amat lah, asik-asik aja ngedance, kadang gue gak peduli hahaha. Yang paling nyebelin adalah, gaka ada slow dance! ada sih paling cuma 2 lagu, satu lagu cinta, satu lagu country, tapi lagu cintanya michael buble, which is not slow, dan pissing me off huaaa. Insiden curi date orang terjadi juga malam itu, dan gue duduk aja ngeliat semua orang nge slow dance, and reviewing my lovelife, and that's sucks. I always hate slow dance because of it.

Sarah (my host sister) and I in the middle of Prom Dance
Selesai prom, Katie dan gue heading ke High School buat ikutan Post Prom, itu after party gitu, ada game, ada makanan gratis, ada minuman gratis, ada money machine (lumayan gue dapet duit gratis 2 dolar) terus ada hipnotis~ iya hipnotis macam Romy Rafael gitu, temen-temen gue yang kena hipnotis kocak semua, terutama Kenzie, itu gila banget deh, kalo gue inget0inget aja masih pengen ketawa. Hipnotis show mulai jam 1 selesai jam 3 pagi, terus habis bagi-bagi door prize, kita semua yang anak Benton yang ikut post prom dapet bag yang isinya souvenir-souvenir, snack sama dua gift cards! GIFT CARDS! gue dapet $5 Orange Leaf sama $20 Applebees, lumayan (ampe tulisan ini dibuat gue belom pake tuh Applebees), dan lalu gue ikutan sama Sarah nginep di rumahnya AnnaClaire (gue tidur nearly jam setengah 6 pagi dan belom sunrise) dan pulang ke rumah besok siangnya. Aduh weekend itu gila banget deh. Pertanyaan? silahkan saja comment.


I definitely should post something again about my experience, my Prom, my soccer 'sufferings', my Graduation, which is this Sunday, my final PAX meeting and my east coast experience with my aunt, gosh, I'm so lame, but I'll catch it soon, although I put all my stories and photos, completely in my beloved blue journal. I also already start to pack my suitcases, and it's beyond expectations. I got my comfort zone already here, so I better get ready to get out of my comfort zone again. I miss my old life in Jakarta, but I love Benton, but I miss my home and my family and my friends, but I got new family and friends here, ah, so confusing, at least I got two life to 'attend' in two countries now, and I deel like home in two countries, and I love it.

Tonight I gotta sing in talent show, in jazz band, again I accomplish my 'obsession' to sing jazz with a jazz band, although just in school.

But like I told you, I'll catch all of the ol' posts later. I don't mean to be busy-assy, but I really am. so then, see ya in other real posts!


So I have a big list, what countries that I want to visit in my life, I want to visit before I die. It's important for me because I found myself as an explorer and living in another country for almost a year, alone (yeah not really alone though but sort of alone) as an exchange student, it opened up my eyes to make my world wider to explore. Other than United States.

1. Thailand
Why: because I want to study their language, because it's close to my home. I just found them interesting and I feel like my culture and them are pretty related

2. New Zealand
Why: because for me it's a unique country, where early settlers and English descendant live together in islands of South Pacific, and also their landscape are beautiful.

3. United Kingdom
Why: who doesn't want to go to UK?! especially after the Harry Potter phenomenon and stuff, but for me I want to know how the original land of English looks like

4. France
Why: who doesn't want to go this 'romantic place' thingy?! but for me I want to learn their language further more, like activate it, for real, parceque j'aime francaise~ also also, I love French movie and I heard that France is a good place to start career for cinematography

5. Saudi Arabia
Why: I need to go to pilgrimage and knowing more about my religion as part of me *angel mode: on*

6. Nederlands
Why: after reading an Indonesian novel titled Negeri Van Oranje, it just inspired me to get there. Leiden especially, they had my country's history, and I really curious for being there.

7. Norway
Why: yes, it's a beautiful northern country. not to mention Kings of Convenience, but there's a magnet that pulls me that I want to go there someday in my life.

8. Australia
Why: it's my neighbour country, it's close to Java, and my cousin was there for her study, and I want to go to the Opera House.

9. South Africa
Why: same like Norway, there is a magnet that pulls me and make me want to go there. maybe because its culture and diversity and, I want to experience the longest flying fox in the world there :D

10. Japan
Why: Japaneese influence had been entering me since I was little. I watch a lot of cartoons, series and stuff. I want to learn their language further more too, and I want to experience those things I watch in TV

other countries worth to go for me too: Turkey, Greece, South Korea, Egypt, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Spain, Denmark, Panama.


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