M Aufar Requezo Tsanavaro (INA AFS to Finland YP 16–17)
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?
The text above is the intro part of my favorite song, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”. When I was a kid, I dreamt about living abroad, somewhere far away, without knowing anything about the place itself. Literally, I just want to get lost. One sunny day, I walked pass by a bulletin board exactly before the stairs in my school. One of the poster captured my attention, yep, it says “AFS — BinaAntarbudaya selection for year 2016/2017 is now open”.
The music started to play in my mind, beats knockin’, rhyme bustin’, bass linin’, highly rollin’. If this was my chance to realize my dream, then I won’t make it lapse. Everything worked well then and the rest was history. Finally I wrote this newsletter from Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland.
No niin, viisi kuukautta suomessa. Mä olen opinut niin paljon asioita ja aika rientää niin nopeasti. Five months in Finland make me learn so many things, and I realized that time flies so fast. When I wrote my first newsletter, I always think that ”I still have enough time” but actually? Nope. Luckily, I’ve spent my first five months wisely.
I don’t know what to write, but I’ll tell you a secret.
Most of the people think that as an exchange student we’re just having fun; sleeping in class, partying all the time, travelling to places, hanging around with a lot of friends, only coming for the experience, and not doing any serious things. That’s called stereotypes. But, not every stereotypes are true.
For example, on the begining it was really hard to make a friend. Finnish culture have something that called ”personal spaces” and everyone respect it. They prefer to be alone, listening to music with headphone, or watchin Netflix, Snapchating rather than socialize in real life. That’s funny because they barely know each other in school. Only small groups of them really having contact with each other, and that’s a cultural shock for me.
To be honest, back to Indonesisa I’m a really shy person. I’m the kind of guy that never started the convos, I need someone to hit me up first. I always have a friend that will break the ice and I don’t have to start all of the atention. Now I’m different. If I don’t do anything, I won’t get any friends and no one will remember me. Look, so today almost every week I spent my time with friends, either for games or just a simple coffee time. I’m not changing, but just getting better.
I also study in school and make the assignments (instead of playing my phone nor sleeping). Some people will think that I’m ambitious, but actually no. I just want to respect the teacher. Some of them didn’t speak English really well, but they’re trying their best to explain it to me. I can’t give them anything as an exchange except learning on my best. Kiitos opetaja!
Aufar’s Frequently Asked Question: ”How can you become slimmer?”
One word, five letters, then rule the world; woman. Yep, woman. To begin with, I like foreigners (read; Bule). I don’t know why, but Bules are appealing for me. One of my bucket list is to have a relationship with Bule, and I’m not kidding.
What do you think, a foreigner from Asia (they usually guess I’m from China), not a really tall one, a lil bit chubby, can’t make any first move, and sometimes awkward. Will they be interested? I bet they’ll answer no.
So one of my motivation to get fit is woman. My family here is also a healthy family. They swim a lot and care about what they eat. We haven’t eaten anything fried (they even baked chicken wings!), salad on daily menu, yoghurt for breakfast etc. After 5 months, and now I looks like this. Proud of myself.
I will have a prom. Which mean I need two things: a suit and a girl. I was amazed because when I try the suit, I take a smaller size than I used to wear. I also got a really cute and nice dancing partner, she is amazing! (can’t insert the picture because the dance is on 17th of February lol). Well yeah, I can write a thick on this list. Since now on, don’t be “Another Fat Student”, but let’s change it into “Another Fit Student”!
I’m the fools who dream
I’m the poor who lost in the stream
I’m the one who didn’t look like it seem
Will my life melts like an ice cream?
Some called me achiever
Most of them are backbiter
I have a tend to alter
Lend your hand, and it’s gonna be better
I’m a nonbeliever who believe
That phrase sound delusive
I think I’m the executive
Maybe not this time, I will deceive
First I sent my prayer
Then aim as hard as the archer
Started from a cypher
Now I’m here, thanks the clover
I’m a believer.
It’s been an incredible 5 months in Finland. I’ve a lovely family, a lot of friends, a supportive (but crazy) best friend and done a lot of things. I’ve tried swimming in the frozen lake, snow swimming, ice hockey, ice skating, ski, floor ball, survived from eating salmiakki, loved the sauna, mocked Sweden in every occasion, spent the new year in central of Helsinki, dance the Wanhojen Tanssi, Drink coffee and eat ruis leipä as a daily activity, say “moi and moi moi” fluently and all of those can be sum up in a sentence. I’ve became a real Finnish.
I’m grateful for everything I have. It’s the only sentence that can express my feelings. I reached one of my dreams. But, I won’t stop here. There are so much place that I’ve to visit, so much adventure that I should take, and so much new friends that I should meet. One more time, I won’t stop.
Well, living abroad has it own perks. If you’re too afraid to step, to leave your comfort zone, to get away from your routine, then you’ll never found yourself. I’ve proved it myself. Remember, you only got one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime. So you better…