random thoughts

Let’s join Polyglot Indonesia

It is too exaggerating if I call myself a polyglot because based on Wikipedia, the definition of polyglot is a person who is able to speak multiple languages. Currently I can speak two foreign languages, excluding English. It’s up to you then, whether you will call me a polyglot or not. 🙂

Maybe some of you are wondering why I have a special interest in languages. It was all began when I learned French a couple years back. It was a disaster at first, since French language is hard. However, finally I could “master” this language and I even got a certification. Done with French, I started to find another language to learn. I ended up choosing German. Just for your information, I used to underestimate German language and thought that I didn’t need to take a formal course to master this language. Why did I think like that? Because in German language,  there are only slight differences between spoken and written language. But then I decided to take a formal course and found out that German is harder than French. lol. I’ve learned German since last year.

I wrote an article in this blog 4 years ago about the beauty of learning different languages. Maybe you can take a look at that post to read my detailed argumentation of why we should learn as many languages as possible. One important thing that I want to tell you, being able to speak is different language will surely boost up your self confidence. I guarantee this!

So last year I found a community, called Polyglot Indonesia. This is a place for language enthusiasts to meet each other and discuss various issues. They hold a meet-up in every 2 weeks. For me, personally, I find  it really useful to practice my language skills with the fellow language enthusiasts. In every meet up I have attended so far, I always met new people. The event was never disappointing, as well. Honestly, being a part of this community for these past few months and meeting those people with really amazing language skills (some of them are hyperpolyglots!), motivates me to learn more foreign languages. Currently, Polyglot Indonesia has quite a lot of Chapters, other than Jakarta, in various cities in Indonesia, such as Aceh, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Semarang, etc. It’s very nice knowing that there are more and more Indonesian people who are open-minded nowadays.

You can always join Polyglot Indonesia. All of the events are always free of charge. As long as you can speak at least 2 foreign languages and want to practice them with others, do not hesitate to register to their events by filling the registration form that you can find on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/polyglotindonesia). Don’t forget to follow their Twitter (@PolyglotIndo), too! 😀

To sum up this post,  I just want to share some of my good experiences related to my foreign languages ability with you guys here. When I was in Paris, I got a discounted metro ticket price just like those Parisians because I talked to the officer in French. They thought I was a student in Paris. While I was not. Haha. When I was in Germany ( I forgot in which city), I didn’t know that I waited for a train at the wrong platform. Then I heard an announcement. In German language, without any English translation. At that time, all I knew about German language was only numbers and very basic conversation. I tried to understand the announcement and finally realized that I was waiting at the wrong platform and rushed to the right platform. Thankfully I didn’t miss the train. It was fun, though.

Yes, learning foreign languages can be suffering at first. But think about what you’ll get when you’re already mastering those languages. You can definitely expand your network by being able to speak in various languages.

I’m Back!

I’m back from the summer holiday. Well, although there is no summer here in Newcastle. But, never mind, let’s call it “summer holiday”. The saddest thing I got from this holiday is : my skin is getting darker. Western people got tanned after sunbathing. I got BURNT. Imagine, walking around in the city of Rome under 40 degree Celcius temperature! The best thing was I made some new friends from that summer trip. Yes, that was a very memorable trip. Moreover, that was the first time I went for a Eurotrip with my friends. Hopefully, someday we can explore other parts of the world together.

Few days after I’ve done with that Eurotrip, my family came visit me here. And there was another trip, UK Trip. This time, I was the one who “guide” them. Dare to give me a responsibility to be a guide means “let’s get lost together” because, as my friend told me, I am a kind of person who has no sense of direction. lol. My family went back to Jakarta this morning.

And here I am now. Sitting in front of my laptop in this lovely dormitory room, which I’m going to leave soon. I’m back in Newcastle, after a very long journey. I’m exhausted. I’m lonely. My closest friends have gone back for good to Indonesia. I’m still gonna be here until the day after my graduation. That will be on the early December.

Next week, I need to attend a conference in Glasgow. And I’ve just known that my supervisor is currently taking his annual leave. And my co-spv hasn’t yet replied my email. I need to discuss my poster!!!! Ah, I’m confused now. I’m trying to calm myself, that everything’s gonna be alright in the end.

Okay, then. More stories, later. Especially my summer trip stories. Still compiling the pictures currently. Apart from all of those troubles that I’m  facing currently, I’m back now!!!

Take care 🙂


L’avenir, a French phrase for “future”. Today, finally I’ve submitted my dissertation, both the hard copy and the electronic version. I feel happy and sad in the same time, if you wanna know. All of my duties as a Master student have finished. Now it’s time to pray so that I can get a very good marks. Well, at least good enough for me to apply for a Ph.D. *please* But  gosh, another one year has passed by. That’s what make me sad. I’ve made so many friends here and in less than a month I have to say goodbye to them. Let’s not talk about goodbye. Back to the topic : FUTURE.

So, as aforementioned (oh that high-class word, reminds me of dissertation), yes I’m planning to do a Ph.D. Currently I’m still making an application for a particular program, which I have no idea whether I will be accepted or not. I just need to gently keep this hope deep down in my heart. A hope that, at the end of the day I will get the best one. This is a short-term goal for me.

Talking about future, most of my friends are recently got married. And here comes the question. Is that going to happen to me in the near future? Err..I’m afraid not. Last Sunday, I had a Skype conversation with my friend. I told her that I need to seriously think about my future. Then she asked whether I’m thinking about getting married. Why do people always associate future with married? I don’t know, but I think there’s a tendency for Indonesian people to get married in a quite young age. You’ll rarely find that kind of phenomenon in Europe. In UK, at least. Here, based on my (sotoy) observation, people tend to start settle-down (getting married) in the age of mid-30s (for women) and/or early 40s (for men) . Well, I don’t wanna wait that long to get married, of course. But, not in the near future, because I don’t have a boyfriend and I’m not planning to get one. So, people, when I talk about future, it means what I want to do next to accomplish my dreams while enjoying my twenties. Yeay!

Future, for me, also means exploring the world. It’s one of the reason why I prefer to (hopefully) do my Ph.D outside UK. I’m gonna travel to some parts of Europe which I’ve never been before. The only way to do that is by studying in one of the European countries. Imagine I will possess a Schengen visa valid for a couple of years, which automatically will be my “ticket” to travel around Europe. Hihi, I know that’s lame.

 And the long term goal of my future is having a good job in the field of science (of course!) with a good salary. Well, I believe the moment when I say “my life is complete” will be when I put smiles on my parents’ face because finally they realize that they can let me go live on my own feet. That moment will come someday, and that will be my most accomplishment ever.

I like talking about future. But, actually in the present, there are some things that I have to do from now on until the next few months. First, I wanna go for a Eurotrip with 3 of my friends. Then, I wanna travel around UK with my family. Next, another task is waiting. I’m gonna publish my work in an immunology conference. This is quite unexpected, really. That “conference” thing. I used to just attend some conferences here in UK. Well, I’ve presented my undergrad project 2 years ago. But it was in Indonesia and most of the audience was my friends and it was easy to explain my work in my native language. Next September is gonna be my first time to give a poster presentation here. I’m both excited and nervous, as always.

Okay, let’s enjoy the ride, then. Never expect anything, Ella. Cause life is always full of surprises.

Cheers. x

Feeling oh Feeling

Mungkin mulai sekarang saya harus percaya terhadap sesuatu yang dinamakan feeling. Kemarin saya dan teman-teman saya ke London dengan maksud apply Schengen visa. Yup, kami berencana pergi travelling ke Eropa bulan Agustus ini. Awalnya, saya malas ikut trip ini. But, hey I’m in UK now. The beauty of Europe is just a few steps away. And I don’t mind to explore Europe over and over again, since it is like my most favorite continent ever. 

Tapi, perasaan gak enak sudah  menghantui saya sejak Kamis malam yang lalu. Hari itu, saya sampai dorm jam 11 pm dan kami sudah book bus ke London untuk hari Jumat jam 1.30 am. Jadi, saya memutuskan untuk tidak tidur daripada “kebablasan”. Namun, tetap saja saya merasa bahwa bakal terjadi sesuatu yang gak beres pas di London, tapi “sesuatu”nya apa saya gak tau. Saya coba tepis bad feeling itu dan saya gak mau cerita sama teman-teman saya tentang itu. Takutnya, nanti malah kejadian beneran kalau saya omongin.

Dan ternyata benar. Kami tidak bisa apply Schengen visa kemarin. Hmm. Masih ada harapan untuk mengajukan aplikasi lagi. Kami akan merencanakan perjalanan kami dari awal lagi. Kami akan merencanakan sebaik mungkin dan berharap sudah bisa memperoleh visa by the time we’re going to travel. Namun (semoga jangan!) kalau ternyata kenyataannya tidak sesuai dengan apa yang kita harapkan, yaaaa mungkin memang sudah jalannya kami tidak bisa pergi Euro Trip tahun ini.

To be honest, saya tidak menyesali trip “dadakan” ke London kemarin. At least I could have a day off from the lab and spent the whole day in London. Tapi, kalau saya tetap stay di Newcastle kemarin kan saya juga bisa lanjut nulis disertasi. 😉

Be Careful of What You Wish For

I’m just gonna write a short post today. Hmm..life’s so busy right now. But I really miss my blog that I’ve abandoned for a few weeks.

Well..well. Be careful of what you wish for because somehow it might become a reality. I remember I’ve ever wished to stay here for a longer period. Yeah, finally I made a decision not to go back to Indonesia (at least) until the end of the year. This is a final decision. And the other thing is related to my scientific life. I wrote a sentence in a microsoft word document last year about a kind of thing that I should accomplish this year. I’m on my way in realizing that dream, by the way. If I can’t realize this dream, because of any reasons, it’s okay. I’ve already gained some new experiences here. I’ve been given such an opportunity to conduct a research in a group that consist of people from various nationalities. And this is one of the most precious thing that ever happened in my life.

God is great!


Yes..akhirnya sampai juga ya kita di tahun 2012. Tidak seperti tahun-tahun sebelumnya di mana saya menulis resolusi, tahun ini saya hanya akan mengikuti ke mana ritme hidup membawa saya. Bukan berarti saya puas terhadap segala pencapaian selama ini. Tapi, ada kalanya kita harus bersyukur buat apa yang sudah kita miliki. Bukan begitu? Kalau selama ini saya selalu request sama Tuhan untuk memberi saya sesuatu, tahun ini saya gak mau request apapun sama Tuhan, membiarkan Dia bekerja dalam hidup saya dan yakin bahwa Dia akan memberikan yang terbaik buat saya.

Tahun baru saya dibuka dengan merayakan pesta malam tahun baru di Edinburgh ditemani oleh cuaca yang super dingin, angin super kencang, dan hujan rintik-rintik yang menusuk badan. Yeah, that was my way to begin this so-called 2012. Hari-hari pertama 2012 diawali dengan menyelesaikan assignments! Kemudian, berlanjut dengan presentasi yang puji Tuhan lancar padahal sebelumnya saya udah deg-degan parah. Maklumlah sudah hampir 2 tahun (sejak lulus dari ITB) gak pernah presentasi lagi. Lalu, saya juga menerima 1 email balasan, yang saya harap adalah titik terang dari masa depan saya. Secercah harapan dari apa yang akan saya lakukan setelah saya menyelesaikan program Master di pertengahan tahun 2012 ini.

Dan awal tahun yang indah ini, akan ditutup dengan serangkaian ujian. Yap, 23 Januari-26 Januari akan menjadi hari-hari bersejarah buat saya. Yuk mari semangat!!

Selamat tahun baru, kawan di manapun kalian berada. Semangat selalu.

Happy weekend! 🙂

As 2011 Will Come To The End

Kalau disuruh menyebutkan hal-hal menarik dan berkesan yang terjadi dalam hidup saya di tahun 2011 ini, saya bakal susah banget menjelaskannya. Karena semuanya berkesan. Intinya, 2011 adalah tahun penuh sukacita buat saya. Saya melewati tahun ini dengan penuh senyuman dan benar-benar tidak ada air mata.

Dua dari 3 resolusi 2011 saya sudah tercapai. Sudah sepatutnya saya bersyukur.  Tinggal di Eropa, yang dulu hanya menjadi mimpi saya, sekarang sudah menjadi kenyataan. Kalau dulu lingkaran pertemanan saya hanya orang Indonesia saja, sekarang saya sudah punya teman dari berbagai negara. Senang sekali bisa belajar tentang kebudayaan negara lain dan tentunya icip-icip makanan khas dari negara lain, karena asrama saya ini multi-kultural sekali.

Tentang jurusan kuliah yang saya ambil, saat ini saya merasa yakin bahwa memang inilah jalan saya. Jalan yang sepertinya akan mengantar saya untuk menjadi seorang imunologis dan dan bukan seorang mikrobiologis. Tapi, tidak ada yang saya sesali dari jurusan yang saya ambil ketika S1 dulu. Justru itu saya rasakan sebagai point positif buat saya di sini, karena saya punya pengetahuan lebih di bidang basic science dibandingkan dengan mayoritas rekan-rekan saya yang background-nya medical. Walaupun saya terlihat happy, jangan disangka tidak ada hal yang tidak mengenakkan yang terjadi pada saya di sini. Tentunya ada, lah. Kejadian itu terjadi beberapa waktu yang lalu. Saya tidak dapat proyek penelitian yang saya inginkan, tetapi akhirnya saya dapat proyek yang ternyata lebih sesuai dengan background saya. Tuhan memang selalu punya cara, ya.

Jika kalian mengikuti tulisan-tulisan di blog saya dari beberapa tahun yang lalu, pasti kalian tahu bahwa dulu saya pengen kuliah di Perancis. Bahkan saya sampai niat ngambil les bahasa Perancis. Terus kenapa sekarang saya nyasar di UK? Well, kita tidak akan pernah tahu ke mana hari esok akan membawa kita kan? Yang jelas, saya merasa bahwa berada di tempat ini merupakan sesuatu yang menurut Tuhan terbaik buat saya. Jadi, saya tinggal menjalani saja.

Meninggalkan Indonesia berarti keluar dari zona nyaman. Kurang lebih 1 tahun yang lalu, ketika saya baru mulai daftar-daftar untuk kuliah Master, saya amat sangat tidak sabar untuk segera meninggalkan Indonesia. Namun, beberapa bulan menjelang bulan Agustus 2011, tiba-tiba saya merasa berat untuk meninggalkan negara saya itu. Tapi, harus ada suatu awal untuk sebuah perubahan. Maka, ketika waktunya tiba, saya mantap bilang ke diri saya : “apapun yang terjadi, saya harus pergi. ini adalah impian saya” A big journey in our life always begins with a single step. Memang itu berarti meninggalkan keluarga, sahabat, dan gebetan (ups). Akan tetapi, perjumpaan dan perpisahan adalah suatu hal yang biasa, menurut saya. Dalam kasus saya, perpisahan dengan keluarga dan sahabat hanyalah untuk sementara. Kita pasti akan ketemu lagi kok suatu saat nanti. Sejauh ini sih tidak ada kendala untuk berkomunikasi dengan mereka. Technology rules the world nowadays, man! 

Tahun 2011 adalah tahun yang luar biasa. Diri saya berubah dari berbagai sisi. Mungkin kalau kalian sekarang bertemu saya, kalian akan merasakan bahwa saya sedikit berubah. Yeah, saya harus berubah supaya bisa survive hidup di negeri orang. Jadi, tidak ada lagi Ella yang manja. 🙂

Terima kasih Tuhan atas kesempatan untuk mencicipi kehidupan yang maha indah ini. Target 2012 adalah penelitian saya lancar,  lulus Master, dan kalau Tuhan mengizinkan, saya mau melanjutkan pendidikan saya ke jenjang yang lebih tinggi lagi. Mimpi saya belum dan tidak akan pernah habis. Selama bermimpi itu masih gratis, saya akan terus bermimpi. Hidup adalah tentang bermimpi dan mencari cara untuk mewujudkan mimpi-mimpi itu.

Well, beberapa hari lagi saya mau liburan dan saya tidak akan membawa serta laptop saya. Jadi, kayanya saya gak akan update blog ini sampai awal Januari. So, saya mau mengucapkan selamat natal dan tahun baru buat teman-teman semua para pembaca blog saya. 🙂

Semoga 2012 akan berisi 365 hari yang jauh lebih baik daripada 365 hari yang telah lewat. 😀 Take care, friends!

ps: postingan ini ditulis menjelang tengah malam dengan ditemani lagu-lagu Westlife. Lumayan buat nostalgia. Eh, btw saya mau menonton konser mereka di Newcastle bulan Mei 2012 nanti lho! *pamer*

salam dari salju di Newcastle, teman-teman!