I was lying in bed just now when my phone buzzed a Whatsapp notification that turned out to be from Baba. My family was still in Mecca and he sent me a number of photos (and selfies of himself) he took. One of them was showing him and Yusuf completely bald, which resulted in Yusuf's appearance looking fatter than ever and Baba looking older.

Oh, he seemed so old. It was as if Yusuf was his grandson.

Unlike any other nights, I just bursted into tears when I saw the photo. Tears of longing and hope. 

Yesterday, on my way back to Newcastle on the bus, I saw a French man who seemed to be in his late forties. He was with his wife and 3 daughters going on a trip, I assumed. On the bus, I happened to be the one sitting nearest to the toilet. During the ride, one of the daughters, looking possibly just about to hit puberty, wanted to go to the toilet, and her father accompanied her. At first when they were approaching the toilet, the girl said something to him in French with worried look on her face, but the father just replied something vaguely in French and gently encouraged her to go. The girl went inside the toilet, and the father just waited there the whole time she was in until she was finally out showing a relieved a face and he just smiled.

Long story short (but aimlessly prolonged by me, as usual), he reminded me so much of that little girl who was too lazy to wake up in the morning for school, and her mother ironed her school uniform and brought them to bed and she just wore them lazily under the blanket, and every morning, her dad  drove her to school. That girl was me. Every morning to school seemed endless for me at the time, as if everyday for the rest of my life would turn out just like that, and I remember very accurately, that I had always wanted it differently, I just couldn't wait to start my life by myself, with my own apartment, with real life challenges, and traveling to beautiful places on my own. I'm technically there now, although I'm not financially independent and I'm still on my fifth year. But I'm now living in a spacious flat, completely alone, doing research in one of the cities of UK, and just got back from wandering in Edinburgh.

Yet, half an hour ago when my dad sent me that notification, I cried like a little girl I once was. 

Because I long for them, and I never want to lose them. And in between my shaking sholders and my helpless sobbings, I pray with all my heart to God, that I shall never disappoint them, and that they're given a good life in this world and in the hereafter, and my biggest fear of them receiving punishment for my sins will never have to happen.

Right now, I'm still dependant on them (and always will be, emotionally), but that dependency gradually decreases over time. And soon when I've got so much going on around me and spend more time in taking care of strangers as it is my job, I'm scared that I would forget that dependency. It was easier to appreciate them when you're still little, because everyday you saw them around taking care of you.

Life indeed passes by like a blink of an eye, and most of the time spent with our loved ones have unfortunately been taken for granted.


There are good days here when I find myself immersed in a wave of laughter, a genuine feeling of joy and I think, I'm happy. I'm floating above water.

But in between that, I talk to you, and with all honesty, you make me deeply sad and hurt. You give me no words of sorrow, no words of comfort. You give me no words, and I drown in an ocean of blue. The silent waves hit my chest over and over and I forget that I'm able to swim. Tears overwhelm me and I swallow them and I choke. I hyperventilate and eventually I sigh.

What a pathetic aching feeling. I'm cringing in pain and all I want to say is that, I'm


I want to indulge in my sorrow until I'm willing to stop feeling hurt



It was just a couple of days ago, when you mentioned the term of "loving secretly".

Even though I wasn't the most convincing person on earth everytime I used to tell you "I love you" and was the least between us to believe in the power of words, it still crushed me when at some point I realized I could never express it bluntly anymore, at least not until we're bound legally (if we're ever going to, and I still hope we will). It is true as one proposes, that as you repetitively say certain words, you yourself tend to believe more in those words. It happens when you reassure yourself; when there's no one around to utter words to convince you. But in our case at that time, I wanted to convince you, and not myself. Now even though I've stopped saying it out loud, it feels like the words have been engraved, and it stays there. I love you.

I forgot how loving someone secretly feels simply sweet in itself. That even after all we've been through, there's still joy everytime I listen to songs that we listened and sang in your car. I feel blood rushing to the arteries that vascularize my cheeks and my facial muscle draw a genuine smile on my face at that recent night when I flicked through photos of you that I had collected from various sources. I foolishly blow a warm kiss to this lifeless screen of my laptop, oblivious to the stares I received from that pot of rose. Your smile flashed to the lens, I've seen it beaming at me lovingly, and I feel beautiful.

It's true that expecting leads to disappointment, but this feeling fills me more with hope. I'm happy because I love you, secretly or not.


Mentally Hypoxic

Nothing quite feels like being unwanted by someone you love. The body feels too deprived to react. It is blue and numb. It is a shitty state of mentality.



On 14th of November 2015, Me and Paniz, my Iranian flatmate, were very intrigued to attend this Festival of Light in Durham, a city that is 15 minutes away from Newcastle by train. This festival, known as Lumiere Durham, has existed since 2009 and initiated by the Durham County Council. It is held once in 2 years, and so we thought this was really worth seeing. And so we purchased our ticket that costed about GBP 11.00 (which includes the return journey).

A day before that, the Paris incident initiated by the Islamists happened, and so I didn't feel secure to wear my hijab fearing that there would be anti-muslims reacting to the incident and decide to take me as a hostage or something.

Anyways, when we got there at 4.40 PM (at which the city had appeared dark), what we didn't prepare for was the weather; it was constantly pouring and neither of us carried umbrella. We thought, okay, we could handle this, we had our coats (that wasn't waterproof), and kept our heads covered. We went to this sushi place called Nudo sushi to fill fuel for the energy to walk around the city, and by the time we're done eating and back on the road, it was still raining. But we still insisted it wasn't a big of a deal. And so we began our adventure in looking up for the artworks.

We learned from the website that there were 29 artworks that was outside the area where tickets are required, so we were so keen to find these 29 masterpieces while we wait for the ticketing area to be open for free at 7.30 PM.

I think this cloud is my most favorite one to see. Personally, it successfully captured the surreal ambience. And it was just simply spectacular. It just brings me back this childhood notion on a cloud: how would the cloud look like if somebody had ever caught it and brought it home? And the tiny metallic chains presented the rain beautifully. 

This was the first unique bench I had ever laid my ass on. It was a normal bench on the side of the river, but its illuminating effect obviously made it stand out.

This particular one wasn't very impressive. Because I think I've seen one just like it in Paramore's concert. Anyways, me and Paniz had a very difficult time to look for these artworks, because they're all spread around the city. Eventually, we found a stand that sold the map of the festival for a pound.

This appeared randomly out of nowhere. It's just so epic. And it was still raining, by the way. After looking at this piece, Paniz was freezing from the wet rain (even though luckily there wasn't any wind). Paniz wanted to find a shelter so she could put on extra sweater, after she did that, she put on her jacket and tried to zip her pockets but the zip stuck and we laughed so hard that I wanted to pee.

 It was so amazing to witness the effects of these lit pieces on the walls of the city. It added vibrance and fresh perspective.

This in particular was my second favorite. It mimicked the shape of the wave, and it was covered with these little stones which are mostly white (obviously). This was the last artwork we saw before entering the ticketing area. And it was still raining. You can imagine how our clothes were half-soaked.

The colors of these neon bikes were to represent the flag of France. Before we saw these bikes, we stood on a very long queue for this cathedral light show. It was the core show that was fundamental to see if you were to attend the lumiere festival. No, we didn't miss it, partially. We saw half of it and it was mindblowing, we struggled to get to the front to access a better view, but by the time we've achieved that, a female voice out of nowhere announced "Ladies and Gentleman, there will now be a short break." We had very limited time because we had a train to catch at 9.26, so we moved on with a half-heavy heart.

This was the last artwork for us to witness. And for me, it was magnificent. By the time we reached this  building, we were heavily soaked and it was still raining. Water was literally dripping from our jackets and had penetrated our sweater and our hands were numb.

We followed the way of the street and found a restaurant out of nowhere, we got inside but not because we wanted to dine in, we just wanted to enquire on how to get to the rail station. The person who greeted us was a slim Chinese lady with a short hair, she was friendly and with her English with Chinese accent, she told us the way and even let us know of a shortcut. Our clothes were so wet that when we got out of the warm restaurant, we felt like we were thrown to the river with our clothes on, and it was still raining.

When we noticed a dark street covered with tall eerie autumn trees with no people walking towards it, we knew this was what that Chinese woman described as a shortcut. And we didn't bother to take it and preferred walking fast arm to arm over the long turn. It was a 20 minute walk to the rail station and it was raining all the way and we were wet as unsqueezed dish sponges. When we were almost there, we had to climb these stairs that felt like a torturing hike towards Mount Everest. We were so worn out and I even had to take off my completely soaked jacket because it added burden to my weight. In the middle of it, we looked at how breathless each other was and we laughed so hard again. Paniz had eliminated her intention of going to the gym the next day.

We boarded on the train that was intensely crowded with passengers and even though our ticket seemed to had reserved for us two seats, we were standing stuck on the aisle with plenty of others and remained standing for 12 minutes throughout the journey to Newcastle. And I laughed when I noticed water dripping from Paniz's sling bag and coat zipper.

On arrival to Newcastle, we stormed out of the train station and was hoping for no more rain. But nature opposed to that and, in our soaked outfit, we just held each other and walked swiftly to our way home in the rain, and laughed remembering that Chinese lady who almost got us lost in darkness.

Paniz was an awesome trip companion who actually still laughed at silly things even when she was soaked head to toe in a cold UK winter that she had claimed she hated. It was an insane and epic one-day journey that we will surely reminisce. :)



I panicked just now when I tried to log in to blogger. It's been such a long time since I filled in my own details to log in (it's usually automatic on my tab), and I sort of forgot what email I used for my blogger account. Long story short, I was confused with which email I used and had to follow a forgot-my-email and forgot-my-password procedure. I'm telling you, something is really wrong with my brain.

But I'm so glad now. For a second there, I thought I had lost this blog.

I'm currently doing my study in Newcastle and life here is expensive, but I don't typically convert the currency in my head every time I plan to buy food, thankfully (otherwise, I would've starved myself to death). One thing I like in here is that almost everything feels convenient, location-wise. I rarely take a bus, and the only time I'm on a taxi was when I just arrived in the Newcastle International Airport. I'm thankful for that because transportation fees isn't gonna be included on my budget list. People in the North East of UK are known to be nice and kind to strangers, the level of vigilance here is low. But at night, especially on the weekends, it's kind of a good idea to stay home because of the drunk wanderers, whose behaviors are unpredictable.

I'm experiencing life in a beautiful small city, but my heart is shattered. It feels so odd, yet it's true. I used to read these characters on novels where they stay in cities with outstanding sights, but feeling empty inside. And usually they're described as the buoyant ones among their social circle, as if everything in their life is running just as they're heading, no obstacles, no heartbreaks, but in fact, they're the ones who experience this hollow, poignant emotions when darkness consumes, their curled body reacts to that emotion with shivers and tears just roll down in a natural flow. It's a pathetic feeling. It makes you wonder, what on earth have I done to deserve this agony, but you feel dragged anyways. You want to express frustration and exasperation, but you're just too worn out emotionally.

And one day if they traveled around many places of the world and come back to this city, they'd remember what they had felt, and that city remains beautifully heartbreaking.

No, I'm not depressed, by the way. I refuse to think that I am, at least.

I had never predicted I'd go through what those fictional characters felt. It seemed to me like they were being ungrateful. Am I ungrateful?

I try to appreciate every little things I go through, especially during the time I've been here. I'm grateful that I got to know my neighborly and considerate flatmates: Ilaria, Alberto, Paniz, Kenny, Vira and Emma, even though we argue from to time about keeping our kitchen speckless. They're the people in Newcastle who urge me to see the silver lining, and they're the "friends in need is a friend indeed".

I don't know why people have to make things complicated when it comes to love. I don't know why they associate it so much with hurt, pain and affliction, even when all one is trying to do is just to make it blissful. I've always thought, if all they feel is hurt, and what they want others to feel is hurt, then why bother with love.

I don't know long these pangs will be stabbing my heart, but I'll try to always be appreciative of what life has been offering to me.



Basically, it was how I spent my birthday week. I received numerous surprises. Alhamdulillah.

But the most unexpected surprises were from Zaky and friends, and Fadhilah. Zaky, Dhika, Dion, Rizka and her boyfriend Faris came to Mak Cia's house in the middle of heavy rain and flood. They walked from the car to the house shoeless while carrying a birthday cake from Tous Les Jours. Later, I learned that they created a group on LINE to work on this conspiracy with other precious ones including my significant other, Etsa, Widura, Fadhilah, and Ikhsan (I hope I've mentioned all of them).

Fadhilah presented her surprise by showing up when I was on a date with my significant other. With a big bag from The Body Shop! Goodness!!! :)) She knew how I was head over heels with The Body Shop products (and still am). And she showed up just a day before I flew to Cairo.

I'm so thankful and blessed to have friends and family around. :)



It's been a year since my last post.

Ah well, my long absence does not indicate that I have not been posting at all. I did mention that I own another blog I share with a very dear person. That person has become someone incredibly significant in my life. One day I will dedicate a post on how his existence has truly influenced my life dynamically.

Time never has waited for anyone, huh? As you may already guess, a lot has taken place in one year. But honestly, it was the toughest year of my life. And I'm sure I will face tougher moments ahead as I increase in age and approach death. Tough moments will keep me struggle. I have lost and gained a number of friends, and managed to keep in touch with those who have known me a long time ago. I lost and gained the hearts of several teachers. I've begun to slowly understand the systems of health, education, and politics in my own country.

There's something crucial about how I've spent my educational years in Indonesia. Three years of preclinical years have passed, yet, I feel like I haven't learned anything but the misfit culture of Jakartans. Three years was more than enough to convince me that I no longer want to pursue any degree in Indonesia, including a medical specialist degree. Many people refuse to spend their professional years in Indonesia and work in other countries instead, where they claim that they're more appreciated with what they do in those places. People in those places take and give to serve others. I'm still not sure what is it that is not working with me being here. But the hardest thing, as far as I am aware, is dealing with the people and the system (oh wait, that's everything then? Haha). Okay whatever. I just feel that I don't fit here.

And that is why, ladies and gentleman, I'm very eager to get back to Cairo and spend a year in the UK to attain my master degree. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with that degree, but for now, I do not envision myself as a researcher.

Oh, talking about the experience of being a researcher, I have been working on my experimental thesis. And boy, it got me figuring out that I really have no interest in becoming a researcher. Okay, I made that clear. Twice. My thesis was incredibly boring and I am not sure anyone would benefit anything from it because the result wasn't really significant. But I'm not here to ramble about my thesis

I have lost and gained a number of friends. Those who have stayed supporting me, are incredibly awesome and patient people who are gifted with tolerance. People that I will always remember and will constantly be there even if I have indulged in my own world and forgot about theirs. I might be very focused in accomplishing life targets, but I discovered that helping those people or whoever who needs an immediate one feels so great, even that my family have always tried to warn me that, most of the time, helping people will delay my own progress in life, and I will just be taken for granted. I admit that sometimes it does feel that way, but other times, it feels incredible.

InsyaAllah I will try to keep posting. I have to pack now to get ready for my return to the land of pyramids.