Posted in General, Pictures, Writing

Ramadan Journal and 50th Year Chronicle

My Ramadan 1438 Journal 
My 50th Year Chronicle 

When did I start writing in a journal again? Well, just less than a week ago, actually. I started making a journal to prepare for Ramadan 2 weeks ago, ( Ramadan will start this coming Saturday) however I then realized the content would be somewhat limited to Ramadan and my preparation towards it. In other words it is a religious journal.

Suddenly the urge to have a real notebook to write anything under the sun again, came back. I feel it’s crucial to document the 50th year of my life, but doing it on the phone or computer would somehow limit the contents and the accessibility. 

So I went to the small Tokyu Hands store in Jiyugaoka looking for a suitable notebook. There were all kinds of notebooks, planners and diaries in plain colours, pastel, leather bound, pvc and whatnots.

I had only found out recently that some people are so obsessed with brands. The newly released Traveler’s Notebook Tokyo Station leather cover went out of stock just after its launch even though it costs 4,000 yen. People had to queue and take numbers to enter the shop.

Some notebooks in Tokyu Hands were rather pretty  but then the price did not really appeal to me. So, I went to a 100 yen shop near Toritsu Daigaku station. It’s called Casa. 

There, I found a very plain brown-covered notebook just the right size to carry around in my handbag and I hope thick enough to last until my 50th birthday. Its plainness made it more attractive because that meant I would be able to personalize it and nobody else in the world would have a similar one.

I don’t really hate brands but I have never been keen on following other people’s fashion, trends or brands. I love being the unique me. Yeah, I’m vain in my own special way. 😄 So, I customised the notebook using washi tapes. I had already have a collection of  washi tapes and stickers which I also bought from 100 yen shops.

As for the content, I don’t really write everything under the sun. I censor my own thoughts. I realized being truthful might hurt some people around me. 

When I’m gone, or even when I’m still around, if people read this journal, I don’t want them to feel bad about themselves. 

Whatever negative feelings I have about other people, I hope will be gone soon. I want to forgive people every moment of my life because I don’t know when my time will end. I wish other people will do the same for me. 

The most important thing is, I want God’s mercy and forgiveness. If I don’t forgive other people, how could I expect forgiveness from Allah?

Posted in General, Pictures

Birthdays

Birthdays are reminders that we’re getting older each year and also to be grateful of the good things that have happened in our life. This year marks the fourth time of my birthday celebration in Japan. Having a spring birthday is an added bonus because as I’d mentioned before, I love flowers.

The first time I had my birthday here was in 2006. That weekend, we went to Niigata City and spent time at the Niigata City Aquarium.

Then in 2007, my birthday weekend was spent at Kashiwazaki.

Last year, both Mel and Ar were having their spring break on my birthday, so we decided to spend the day at Tokyo Tower. The weekend was spent going to hanami at Nakameguro River.

This year, it was cold and rainy on my birthday. The temperature was around 8 Celsius. I didn’t feel like going anywhere. Mel made me a lava lamp that she had learnt to make at school and Fa sent me an edited photo of our photo taken last autumn.

During the weekend, we went to a nearby cafe where I had a slice of cheesecake to mark my birthday. We walked around Yakumo enjoying the not yet fully bloomed cherry blossoms because we just didn’t feel like going to crowded parks on a not so warm day.

So, the fiftieth year of my life has just begun. Based on our current plan, I’ll most likely celebrate my fiftieth birthday in Japan too, insya-Allah. I’m grateful for all the wonderful people and things that have happened in my life. I shouldn’t complain about the not so nice to have, either. I’m sure they happened because Allah wanted to teach me something and also to make me more appreciative of the good things.

Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah, thank you my dear family and friends, and not forgetting the wonderful readers of this blog who have spent your precious time to read, like and comment on my posts. 🙂

 

Posted in General, Pictures

Anthophilous

Anthophilous

A few days ago, I saw this word of the day on my dictionary app. I feel the word really describes me. I really love flowers. I enjoy strolling in a park full of blooms, walking around the neighbourhood looking at the flowers other people have in their gardens or simply just appreciating wild flowers such as dandelions.

Anyway, my husband went back to Malaysia last week and he took the pictures of our neglected little garden.


Unfortunately, the waterlily has no flowers now because it has not been fertilised for a long time.

However, I’m so happy to see the frangipanis. Masya-Allah, Subhanallah, I wish I could smell their fragrance too.

Posted in food, General, Pictures

Still Too Cold 


The daffodils in my garden have bloomed.


It seemed sunny outside so I thought of enjoying my lunch in the garden.


However, it turned out to be still too cold. I had to bring the food inside and just ate in the living room because the dining table is too far from the window. 


I have started to open one layer of the kitchen window and just leave the transparent glass so that I can see the sky while doing the dishes. My neighbour’s plum blossoms are gone. I can see some yellow mimosa (acacia) now and soon, their sakura will bloom. I will be able to enjoy the sakura through my kitchen window. 😍🌸

Posted in Pictures

Ikebukuro Outing

Today had been rather cold. Some parts of Japan is having heavy snowfall and it’s 0° in our area now.

I started my morning with a breakfast of nasi goreng (fried rice). I’m the only one in this house who likes to eat rice for breakfast. The rest of my family had bread. 


We decided to go out to Ikebukuro. My son wants some new pants because I shrank his other pants in the dryer. 😅 I also wanted to have lunch at a Malaysian restaurant, Malay-chan, there.

My nose is sensitive to the cold air but I don’t like to wear mask the way Japanese love to do. So, I looked like this instead.


I had laksa and  murtabak at Malay-chan while my husband had kueteow. 


I received a gift from my father-in-law last month. It was a watch but the bracelet was too big. Today, I had it cut and now I finally can wear the new watch. 😍

My son took hours trying and deciding on which pants to buy. After paying, we had to wait for another hour for the alteration to shorten the pants. I wonder, do other teenage boys go shopping with their parents or with their friends? 

After shopping at Uniqlo,  we had dinner at a Turkish restaurant, Turkuaz. 

We finally reached home at 10 pm.

Posted in Pictures

Winter Blooms

Here are flowers that I see around the neighbourhood, today.


White plum blossoms near a shrine.


Narcissus inside a school compound.

Now, I’m confused. Is spring coming soon?


These are fuyu zakura (winter sakura) near Akasaka-Mitsuke Station. The blossoms are rather small. I took the photo yesterday when taking my daughter to the dentist there.

Posted in General, Pictures, School

Nihongo C Class 

This morning I went to the Japanese class for the first time this semester. I already knew 5 of my classmates: 3 were from my previous B class and 2 from my A class. Then there are 5 new faces. 

The one from Russia seems to speak Japanese rather fluently and confidently. She thinks smartphones are expensive and she gets along fine by just using a simple mobile phone. Somebody inthe class   mentioned that she needs the phone for maps. I agree because I use Google Map a lot too. Another lady in the class, English if I’m not mistaken, shows that she uses a paper map of Tokyo to move around. Really wow. I’m impressed that such people still exist and they live in modern Tokyo Metropolitan .

I found this class even more difficult which means I will have to work harder. I need to study some more vocabularies and sentence patterns before the next class on Thurday.

Today the maximum temperature was warm at 13°C. Here are 2 photos from my neighbourhood. The plum blossoms are already in bloom.

Posted in Pictures

Inokashira Park in Autumn

On the 8th of December last year, I was invited by a group of Indonesian friends to join their  Tadabbur Alam (Nature Appreciation) session at Inokashira Park. 

I took the train to go there (changed to Inokashira Line at Shibuya) but the Indonesians drove their own transports. I  reached the park around 10 and wandered about for an hour. It is a huge park with so many entrance gates and car parks. We can access the park either from the Inokashirakoen Station or Kichioji Station. However, the express trains do not stop at Inokashirakoen Station.

The park seems not too far from the place where I went to take the driving tests and is close to Ghibli Studio (which my family hasn’t had the time to visit yet). There’s also a zoo inside the park. I took a lot of photos and the phone had already run out of battery but fortunately I had the power bank with me.

I had almost given up of meeting with the Indonesian group. They didn’t answer any messages that I sent but just before I left, they finally sent me the location for the meeting point. So I walked quickly to the meeting point which was on the other side of the lake. We had a great time, learning  the tafseer (interpretation) of a surah from Quran and a delicious picnic lunch.

It was already late autumn then but we could still see some beautiful colours. So here are some of the photos.

Posted in Pictures

Staying vs. Living

New years often make you reflect on the years gone by. I’d been in a reflective mood  these past few days, remembering some of the places where I’d lived in different countries. How do you define living anyway? When does stay turn into live? Do you distinguish them by the length of time or your intentions? Do we live in a country but stay at a place?

Take for example Japan. If people asked me, I’d say I have lived here for a year and five months but in the present house only  a year and four months. I stayed in a serviced apartment in Aoyama during the first one month. I had also lived in Japan for a year and eight months before. Should that be included?

I thought of the studio apartment in Kumegawa my husband stayed for three months during his summer internship and where my two kids and I stayed for only a month. It was rather small and had only one little window which when opened, would show the walls of other people’s apartments. Perhaps, you could see a little bit of the sky. It would feel rather oppressive if you had to stay inside for a long time. For quite some time, I wanted to go back to that place just to see how it looks like now, however my family members were not interested in it at all. Even though I had thought many times of going there alone, I haven’t gotten round to doing it.

Then I also remember fondly of a beautiful house where I lived in the spring of 1990. It had a neat garden filled with daffodils and a garage. It had three large rooms and one tiny one. I shared it with three other girls. The other three took the larger rooms and I was left with the tiny one, which meant I paid lower rent. The room was probably meant to be a nursery or ironing room. I don’t know but it didn’t have any window. However, it didn’t matter. I could go to the living room to watch TV. The living room had a french door which opened into the garden. That house was not far from a park. I loved taking a walk there in the early morning. I still remember the fresh cold air and the bluebells. In those years, blue was my favourite colour, so I really loved the bluebells.

Google Map is a very nice technology. You could type in an address and voila, you have the street view of the place. When we missed a place, we just go and view it on the Google Map. (Or maybe not all, some images are blurred or cannot be accessed).The place might have changed but somehow looking at it will bring a nostalgic feeling.

Anyway this is Google image of the house I was talking about. It was green when I lived there and had a wooden gate. It looks slightly different now, but the bay windows are the same.

Posted in Family, General, Pictures

First Day of 2017

Happy New Year of 2017. あけましておめでとうございます。

I’m revising my Japanese lesson now. So this is just a quick update (before midnight) of our photos from the walk to/from Jiyugaoka today.

The illumination was not as grand as in Shibuya or Odaiba, but pretty enough to be enjoyed.