Thursday, March 24, 2016


I am sad. Yes, I have to admit that I am sad. I bet this sadness would be worse in case I had more communication with them. Today, 5 students from my lab have graduation ceremony. 1 one of them, I never had communication, 1 of them will pursue his doctoral study, so he will stay here at least until 3 years later. And then, the other 3 students, well, they left the lab today, in the day of their graduation ceremony.

May be I should let  you know that I am not too active in this lab. I don't have much communication. I rarely have time together with them, thus I only have very few memory of them. Though, I still feel missing them when they left. They were impressed me.

OK. I'll account a little bit about them. I hope by write it down makes me feel better. I start with the first person said 'goodbye'.

1. Ryouta Sekiya.
The only Japanese master student in our lab. It means we don't have Japanese student in our lab anymore after he graduated. He speaks English very fluent with good pronunciation. He missed my welcome party last April 2015. Several days after that, in one night while I still stay in lab until quite late (at that time 8 p.m. was quite late for me), suddenly one guy greeted me in my way to go outside.

"Hey, you must be that new student. I am Ryouta Sekiya, you can call me Ryouta. I am Japanese. So, sorry, what's your name"

"Shofi. Nice to meet you. So, where are you from?"     

"Do you mean my hometown? I am Japanese."

First, I was a passive English speaker and listener (just refinement for saying "my English was terrible"). Second, I was in shock he suddenly spoke while I didn't notice there was somebody. So, I couldn't catch up clearly what he said even he has mentioned that he is Japanese. My bad....

That was my first meeting with Ryouta. Another thing that I know is I rarely met him in lab. Once I asked him why I hardly never see him, he said we have different life cycle. Haha.... When normal people used to work in day time and take a rest at night, he start working at late night and back home early morning. That's totally different with mine indeed. I think the other reason why I rarely met him was because he live outside (not in student housing in university area). That's way he missed some parties held in our lab.

One in snowy day, I went to the lab early morning (8 or 9 a.m is too early for our lab life cycle). In the half way to lab, surrounding with very thick snow, I met Ryouta on his way to buy some hot drink. He said he has worked overnight in lab and cannot go home because his car was fully covered by snow. So he waited until afternoon after the snow melted.  After he bought some drinks, he back to the lab.

I was preparing for Information Theory's final exam. I still faced some difficulties. Otherwise, Ryouta is expert. So, I dared myself to ask him some questions. So, that time was my first and last discussion (short discussion) with him. He is very nice.

Today afternoon, after the graduation ceremony, he came to the lab to say goodbye. He said he most probably visit our lab for job seminar or join project. He worked in one of big Japanese company as researcher, and our professor has favor to him to bring the project to our lab :D

OK Ryouta, congratulation for your graduation. I hope for your successfullness of your research and life. See you later. We are waiting for your visit. Thanks for that early morning discussion in a heavy snow. Sayonara ^_^

2. Thanh (argh.. I have difficulty to remember his full name)
He is Vietnamese. My neighbor. His desk is right beside mine. There 4 desks in our booth. 3 of them are belong to Indonesian (including me). Sometimes some Indonesian guys come our booth and have discussion. Of course we mostly discuss in Bahasa even there was Thanh there. Yeah, sometime we are sorry to him, it may annoying or bothering for him while he may need concentration.

Almost same with other guys in this lab, I don't have close relationship with him even we always sit side by side almost everyday in almost one year. We don't have much intense talk. I never initiate a conversation. First, I am not too confident with my English. That makes me too shy to start conversation to somebody. Second, in new environment, I used to be a taciturn person. Even in Bahasa, I found difficulty to find the word to start a conversation. On the other side, Thanh seems not fan of talking that much. I see him as super tidy, serious and brilliant student as brilliant as other students in this lab (that makes me more not confident being in this lab and talk with them). Though, actually Thanh is very nice friend. He can allocate his time when he should be serious person and when he should has fun. He plays, hangout, and do some fun with his friends frequently. In this case, I very envy. I want to have friends as well T____T  oh I missed my partner of crimes . But but but, I don't know how to have them here. How to start have that such crazy friends again.

OK. Stop to being melancholic. Back to Thanh. Since basically he is a nice friend, sometimes, not so often, he tried to initiated a conversation. I remembered one day in my first or second or third months in Japan (I forgot the exact though), one of our lab-mate, a same guy I'm gonna tell you later on, back from Tokyo and brought omiyage or souvenir. He put some Tokyo Banana cakes on the lab's main table. At that time I still very new student and was extremely shy person, so I never touched anything on that table. Couple of time later after he put on that, there were only few left. Thanh took 2 of them and went to his desk which I've told you, it's in the same booth with mine.

"Shofi, for you. Take it. It's Tokyo Banana. Very tasty. Alan just back from Tokyo."

"Oh, nice. Thank you," I received that cake from Thanh. I was not sure with the ingredient though and I could not read anything even just Hiragana and Katakana at that time. Thus, I took a picture of the ingredient and sent to my friend for made sure. Unfortunately, that Tokyo Banana cake contains glycerin and there is kanji of sake (may be that is rum) so I cannot eat that. Then, I was thinking what should I do. Should I returned it to Thanh or should I keep it and thrown it away. My friend suggest me to return to him so that he knows a little bit about halal food.

"Umm... Sorry Thanh, I cannot eat this because it contains glycerin and alcohol."

"Oh really? Umm...." He looked surprised and for a glance he was thinking "OK, I can have it." He received back the cake.

I was feeling guilty to did so, but I have to. Then the other day, if I have something shareable like candy, fruit, or halal cake, I try to give him. Otherwise, sometimes when he had fruit, he shared to me. Did we become a close friend then? Nope. I still 'untouchable' even I really wanted to join his journey and hangout with friends. But, seems I become more friendly when I started my course. And I felt easier to initiate some conversations.

Time flies. This afternoon after his graduation ceremony, but after Ryouta left, Thanh went to the lab. Packed all of his stuffs on his desk and say good bye. He took some photo of the lab members. When he nearly to left, suddenly I feel sad. Thanh come 5 or 6 months prior than me. He has already there when I came. 2 Indonesian guys were very rare to stay long time in their booth. When I stay overnight or working in the afternoon, mostly there were Thanh there. And now, the desk beside mine is empty. Thanh's desk was always clean and tidy. Though, at least, his laptop was there almost every day. Now, after he packed all his belongings (that not too many) it looks more empty.

OK Thanh. I'll say, thanks have become good neighbor, you really inspire me to keep my desk clean. haha... Thanks had invite me on Eric's surprise birthday party. Thanks for the fruits you ever shared and oh... thanks for your mug as well. hahaa....
Congratulation again for your research and graduation. Hope you will enjoy and success in your new place. Success for your PhD study. Hope we can still meet each other someday in UK, or Vietnam, or Indonesia, or somewhere else. hẹn gặp lấy ^_^

Next. Alan, our charitable friend and (ex)vice president of student council. But oh no... I start to sleepy. OK, I'll continue tomorrow. To be continue.......

1 month later....

I am too lazy to write in new page. So, I am continuing here.
Who will I talking about? Ah. Alan.

3. Alan Zhang

Yes. He is very kind and respectful to other. On the first day I came to lab in the morning, I forgot to ask what time I have to come. I didn't think about the  key lock. So, at that time, I came to lab around 8.30. It was too early #grin. Nobody had come and the door locked. I was patiently waiting somebody come until a guy with white shirt (as I remember) come.

"Oh, you are..."


"Ah ya, Shofi. You cannot getting in? you should register your card by master key," he said to me while opening the door. After we eventually get into the lab he showed me the light switches and AC controller. "Your, booth it here, in F area, so here is the light switch and here is the AC controller."


I forget to ask his name. I was too not confident. But, day by day I remember that guy must be Alan. I saw he is very helpful to anybody and have high social consideration. He'd love to helping other if he can. If not, usually he still try to find help from other.

One day in there was JAIST festival and muslim community had chance to open booth. We (muslim community) showed many posters regarding Halal/Haram food, praying, culture, and so so. When Alan visited our booth, first of all he looked reading the "halal" poster seriously. I was curious why he was very serious. Then his answer was surprising me. He said, "Yeah, since we have some muslim students, I think I need to know which food you can eat or not." 

I knew he was a vice president of student council at that time. But I didn't consider his will to protect all student that much. He is very responsible with his position. In lab, he often organized lab party and the first guy who initiate cleaning after party.

Apparently, I learn many things from him particularly for his social life and respectfulness.

"Alan, thanks for your help and many things you have made for our lab," said Fan when we were about to usher him to bus stop in his last day in JAIST.

All of us agree with Fan. Alan had kindly looked after our lab and we need someone like him. Until now, I still has language barrier that make me sometimes still not confident to keep in touch to other, so I think I couldn't follow his very good manner now. Hope someday our lab has someone like you :)

Sayonara 1. Finish.
I plan to write another sayonara while my friends graduate (in case I do not change my mind).

No comments:

Post a Comment