Week 3. Meet my family.

Whoaaa, i missed week 3. 


I have three families now. First is, of course, the so-called my birth family, the Burhan. Second is my host family in Sardegna to whom I also consider as family, the Fele. Third is my own little family, the Ambia. However, I am gonna write only the first one here. I’ll write the other twos later.


There are six of us in the family; my dad, my mom, my two sisters and my brother. All of us live in Banda Aceh, except my brother who lives temporarily in the Netherlands with his wife and children. All of us are married. My parents have seven grand children now 😄. Three from my elder sister, one from me, two from my brothers, and one from my baby sister. 

Both my parents work as civil servants. My dad lectures in the university and my mom teaches at high school. They’ll be retired in a couple of years. Our parents are kind of moderate although basically they applied a faith-based parenting style. We learn about Islam pretty early and grow with it spiritually, I think. Each of us had our own questioning when we were older, but I guess the roots my parents had cultivated made us turn back to our faith whenever we’re in doubts. I am not saying we’re religious, though.

I am grateful to be their child. At least, I personally think they kind of succeed in preparing us some basic life skills. Not everybody can make their own meals, right? We, at least, can. Even my brother cooks better than his wife. Not everybody can advocate for themselves, right? We, at least, don’t ask how to write a CV to our parents or request an internship in my parent-collegue’s office. What about taking public transportation? Uhmm… interestingly I found some people who could not ride a bike and could not take a bus or train. See, these what I meant by basic life skills. I am happy that I can be independent enough to take care of my own business. Thanks to my parents😁.  

Anyway, I am the second child of the family. However, not in accordance with the finding that says second-borns are more likely to rebel, I am the one who conforms more than any of my other siblings. I always think my sisters and brother had a more fun teenage time. They tried things I didn’t dare to try, haha. I was always the good girl in the family. I probably was the only one who had never got beaten (unfortunately, yes, my dad did this sometimes, but don’t get him wrong…  he was totally sober and in control of his action when he did that, never left bruises. Imho, it was just his way of giving timeout, to make us think twice about our action). 

I was very close with my elder sister as we shared room for almost six years. We were only two years apart, so I practically looked up to everything she did. She played basket ball, so did I. She liked roller blade, I wanted to practice the same. She went to her friend’s house, I also hanged out with them…haha. We even shared the same clothes. She was very pretty (until now, of course) and very popular. Although we differed in a lot of ways when I was in the last year of junior high (when i decided to have my own identity; played with my own friends, joined badminton instead of fencing – she was an epee athlete, enjoyed reading than hanging out in cafes, etc), I always admired her as a sister. Especially now, I am proud to have such a strong and patient soul as a sister. Her evolution to be a better person, her hard efforts for her family and her virtue of patient towards those who back-stabbed her, will always teach me how to be a mindful person.  

Next is my forever competitor, my brother. Not really a sibling rivalry, though, since we have different interests and personalities. It’s just we always tend to have the same goals at the same time. I am just a year older than him, plus we’re in the same level of education (I had to repeat my final year of high school upon my exchange program in Italy). So, yes… it seems like we’re always competing against each other. This is not easy, by the way, since my brother is such a smart ass, haha. He’s a more voracious reader than me, waaaayy more creative and imaginative than me (I drew chicken and he sketched a lady, see the difference? haha), a statistics whiz, and talented in music. I remember we both learned how to play guitar in our pre-teens. I got the privilege to learn guitar with a private tutor. But guess who mastered it autodidactly? My brother. I learned so hard to get in ITB (best engineering school in the country), but I ended up in Brawijaya University. He aimed for UGM but ended up at UI (the best university in Indonesia). He finished his college and master degree earlier than me. He is now on his way pursuing a PhD degree. Intellectually, he might be better than me but emotionally I am a lot mature, wiser and more stable. He is waaaay feistier than me, very sensitive for a man, haha. Anyway, no matter how competitive we are as sibling, we always turn to each other when we’re in difficulties. We were always on our long night talks on the phone, chatting whatever, from college romance to marxism. My brother was a best friend during my post-teen to adulthood. 

The baby in the family is my little sister, Dian. She’s very social, outgoing, and the most helpful around the house. She has lots of friends and knows very well how to maintain a good friendship. Even until now, she still hangs out with different friends while I only hang out with only a certain group of friends 😥. She will always still be available to pick up her friends from other town, no matter if it’s at night or early in the morning. She’s the type of person who would accompany her friends in the hospital. She would take her chidren’s friends home if necessary. At home, she’s the most important child to my mom. Anything… from cleaning the house, chauffeuring my mom to anywhere, taking care of family documents to depositing money in the bank. Even if I am at home, my mom would still ask her to do things 😁. Sometime she forgot she has three other children to help because just Dian is enough. She is, indeed, a helpful person. I always wanted to try to be more like her. In reality, it’s very hard to put other people on top of your priority. Or maybe I am just too selfish 😥.

Last pic of us before the departure of my brother to Netherlands. At the beach 😄. Front to back: Dian, me, my brother’s wife, my sister, my brother.

So… that’s my family 😁. What about yours? 

Week 2. My favourite things.

I am on my way back to Banda Aceh. Have half an hour before boarding, so I thought I follow up my 52 week blog challenge, which was inspired by Britt’s Daily Dose and her friend.

So week two… My fave things!!

1. Alanis Morissette 😍😍.

My all time fave female artist.

I started listening to Alanis in 1995 when Jagged Little Pill was very popular. Head over feet, hands in my pocket, you learn, perfect… I love all songs in the album. My sister got the cassette (yeah, that was still the cassette era 😄) from her boyfriend and I got the privilege to play it, of course, plus memorize all the lyrics. I started buying and collecting Alanis’ CDs in high school. That was when Under Rug Swept was out and Hands Clean was on every music charts. Since then, I have the So called chaos, feast on scraps, flavors of entanglement, and havoc and bright lights. I even rebought Jagged little pill and supposed former infatuation junkie.  

What I love most about Alanis is her lyrics. Of course I didn’t have any idea what the lyrics were about when I was younger, but as I passed my teen years, I had quite a connection with her lyrics. I felt like she spoke of my life like she had experienced it before (I know I know, this is exaggerating 😆, but…). I also enriched my english vocabularies and phrases through her lyrics. I would look in the dictionary for the meaning of words or phrases I didn’t know. I always think that Alanis uses language in interesting and unusual ways, very innovative. Including stuffs she writes in her blog, too. I’ll quote her to express how I feel about my favourite female artist 😍.

Expressed women shall lead all cavalries to the truth and the narrow of life. And if not that, they will warm you with their velvet voices and soulful cries. And if not that, they will make you think. And feel. And surrender. And if not that, they will make you weep for their beauty. 

2. Melbourne.

I probably spent most of my time in Melbourne, here in Sydney Rd. From biking to uni, walking to the park, shopping groceries, taking trams to everywhere, or just hanging out at beautiful cafes in the surrounding.

I like Melbourne. I was 11 yo when I first went to the city. My dad studied there and we lived in Melbourne for two years. I had nice memories of life in there, despite the fact that I was bullied a lot in primary school. Since our return to Indonesia, I had always wished to go back.

I had the opportunity to live again in Melbourne for graduate school. Same as before, for two years. I love the city. I love the crowds in Swanston st, in the Fed square. I love the tranquil beaches in the outskirt area of Victoria. I love the large pedestrian way everywhere. I love the beautiful parks which you can find almost anywhere. I especially love my neighbourhood in Moreland, Coburg 😄. Again… I enjoyed Melbourne so much I want to go back and live there for the third time. Maybe for a PhD??  😁. Ameen to that.

3. Lasagne.

Imho, the best lasagne is the ones with classic italian sauce ‘succo pomodoro fatta in casa’ 😍

Lasagne is absolutely delicious. But the best lasagne I’ve ever eaten was the ones made by mia mamma Italiana and by Adriana, my chaperone during my AFS experience in Italy. They made it with succo di pomodoro, italian classic tomato sauce, using different kind of cheeses. I’ve tried lasagne in different places but I just can’t compare them with mamma’s or Adriana’s lasagne. They’re just too good that imagining them right now made me salivating.

I think I have to ask them for the special recipe. Uhm, that never crossed in my mind before, haha. Uh well, I don’t really cook…so, yeah… Maybe I just have to save up some money to go back to Sardegna :).


It’s boarding time. Week 2 is done 😁.

Week 1. Meet my best friend(s).

According to this definition, a best friend is

A person who you value above other friends in your life, someone you have fun with, someone you trust and someone in whom you confide.

Uhm… This is a challenge since I don’t know if I have any best friend currently. Sad, I know 😂.

I had several best friends during my childhood and teenage. I remember hanging out all the time after school with Ira in primary school. We always walked home together. My house was further than hers so I would stop a little and ask a glass of water before I continued my journey… Well, a journey to my house that can be reached within 5 more minutes 😄. We spent times doing school projects, skipping rubber rope, playing jump-hop-jump, or just talking. We didn’t have much problems to whine at the time, so I guess our conversations were generally about friends at school, teachers, homework, those kinda stuff. I can’t even remember if I had a crush at that age.

I moved to Melbourne when I was in grade 6. Ira and I exchanged letters sometimes, but we stopped writing each other by the time we entered junior high school. You know, school was getting busier. You had new friends. I guess from that on, we were no longer best friend. We’re still friends until now, though. Just not best friend.

My best friend during my difficult time in Melbourne was Qiaoyan. She’s Chinese. I spoke no English at the time… And got bullied all the time because of that, of course. So, Qiaoyan was the only kind and helpful person. But then, I entered different high school that made communication no longer regular. Plus, not long after that, I had to return home, to Indonesia. I’ve never heard from Qiaoyan again ever since.

In junior high, I began to gang up…haha. I mean, I tend to have a group of close friends. In the third year, we had a gang of eight people; Kinta, Eka, Reni, Agung, Johan, Khadafi, Puput, and me. We were partners both in crimes and non crimes. Mostly in non crimes, really, since the girls were mostly momma’s kids with great grade 😄.

Our friendship faded away as we went on with lives. Kinta, Johan, Khadafi, Agung moved to Jakarta. Reni and Puput went to different school. Eka and I were in the same school but different classes. I was in a special class that applied tight schedule full day, so I didn’t really have time to hang out with other kids from other classes. So, yes… new best friends were from the same class. We were called D’Six. There were six of us at first, plus two additions later on, but the nick name remains. Other students also identified D’Six as Devil Six…haha. These are friends I attached more than any others. Even until now, they’re the ones I hang out with.

However… I rarely talk about personal stuff to my group of close friends. We only meet once a month, for about circa 2-3 hours max, so you wouldn’t wanna mess up with the so-called ‘curhat’. You tend to share some nice stories, catching up with their news and all that. I have fun with them. I value them more than any other friends. But I guess I am not very confident when it comes to sharing feelings to them.


Friends forever :). Six of us, minus two others who couldn’t make it to the monthly meet up.

The only person I can fully trust, and I am confide with, is my husband. To him, I can fully be myself. He knows how an asshole I can be sometimes, he knows how wise I can be all the time (yeah right 😇), he even feels and knows what to do when I am on my moodiest mode. I tell him (almost) everything. So… Maybe I can say that my husband is my true best friend. I don’t even know who to go to if I have problems with this man, hehe. Oh wait, he’s my best friend. I can just straight away point it out at him 😍.


My best friend. Through thick and thin. Till jannah, amien.

52 week blog challenge

I have always wanted to practice writing. One of the reasons why I blog. But, as you can see, there’s not so many posts we can read in here, haha…

I have decided to make my commitment to making a blogpost regularly. As I know the daily post challenge wouldn’t work for me, I found this idea of posting 52 blogposts interesting. I have faith that this will keep me on track for the next 52 weeks.

The challenge was started by Britt’s Daily Dose and her friend. You can join, too. Just post the below banner and link their blogs in your post.

I’ll write on week one very very soon 😍.