I am in love…

I am feeling miserably in love lately. I cannot concentrate and all I think about is her. Pfffttt. I miss falling in love and now I am falling in love, but all I feel is this miserable feeling :P The feeling is not reciprocate, but I realise that love is love.

Thanks for the encouragement, M!

Thinking of how hard it is just to be yourself in your own country really hurts me. I don’t know what your religion teaches you, but it doesn’t change the fact you are a great person just who you are. I love you just the way you are. (MKD)

I finally spilled everything to MKD. She’s been a good source of support. I could tell that she noticed something was going on with me. Thanks for the help and support <3

Why I miss Japan…

Leaving Japan was difficult for me. Adjusting to life in Jakarta is not as smooth as I want it to be. There are some reasons why it’s not easy.

  1. I fall in love with someone and although it’s a one-sided love, still it hurts to leave the place and the person.
  2. The people in Japan are my new family. I get so close to some of them. I wish I could be more open about who I am though. I am tired of hiding who I really am.
  3. The amazing staffs of IF. Always so inspiring, smart and hardworking.
  4. I love all the routine and the busy schedule.
  5. I love the food. I didn’t even have to think about what to eat. They have prepared everything.
  6. Free alcohols whenever we had a field trip outside Suzuka lol
  7. No crazy traffic jam.
  8. I stayed in a hotel and they clean up the room everyday, except Sunday!
  9. Sora Tabeyo; A buffet breakfast. I miss ice coffee, salmon, seaweed and ice cream.
  10. Meiji Milk (the one Silk always bought for me lol)
  11. Cool and fresh weather.
  12. Japanese class with Mie-san :D
  13. Singing while Tickgate is playing guitar
  14. ASEAN Cultural Day dance practice
  15. Setting up Indonesian booth for the ASEAN Cultural Day
  16. Playing congklak with Silk
  17. Singing and dancing + Zumba with Tomoe
  18. Field trip to Kobe, Kyoto, Tokyo, Nara
  19. Take the staffs back to their cars
  20. Cycling with friends to AEON Mall

“Upon my return home” Report

Dear Silk and Midori,
This is Annisa, the 56th Batch IF participant from Jakarta, Indonesia. Thank you so much for your replies. 

Life in Jakarta has been surreal. When I left Suzuka that Monday morning, I kept on denying the fact that I’m leaving Japan for good. 

I thought it was only for a field trip (in Kansai area or Tokyo). In a week, I’d be returning to Suzuka and see you all again :-(

The first time I landed in Soekarno-Hatta airport and went into the toilet, I was slapped by reality; I have returned to a familiar smell of this city. 

I have adjusted myself well to life in Japan, that’s why many things shocked me upon my return.

When we queued to claim our luggage, I was overwhelmed by the aggressiveness of Jakartans and their impatience to queue. I decided to just sit and wait until most of them leave before I look for mine.

When my dad drove me back to our home, I was so stressed out because everyone was in a hurry, they’d speed up and drive carelessly. No one seemed to have the ‘safety first’ attitude and I kept on complaining about it. We were also greeted by traffic jam! It’s so stressful. 

Rainy season is coming. In the afternoon and at night, it’s been raining constantly. It reminded me so much of our first weeks in Suzuka. The difference is that, none of my friends and IF staffs are here with me. It’s been a little lonely. 

I have always missed Indonesian food when I was in Japan, but when I tasted the food here, everything tastes too salty, too spicy, too much MSG, too not healthy. Even my tastebuds is overwhelmed! 

I miss Sora Tabeyo and cafeteria food, I miss having dinner and lunch with y’all. I miss all the random talks we had during and after the meal. 

My colleagues complained because I kept on sitting in my desk and looked at my laptop instead of interacting with them. 

I have to put on an ‘auto-mode’ here. I am still not ready to return back to life before IF. They don’t know I struggle so much to have a sense of normalcy in this place. 

Right now nothing is normal, everything is new to me. I forgot my official working hour, I forgot which days should I wear the office uniform, I even forgot where I put my ID Card. I had to ask my colleagues and they were laughing. They thought I was joking!

You are always in our mind and heart. I keep on replying all the videos and seeing all the pictures I have on my phone. There’s just too many memories. The good thing is that, the participants keep on talking and sharing their daily life through Whatsapp and Facebook group. I feel a little less lonely. 

We are glad to hear that you are missing us as well. I guess the Goodbye video really got to you. All the quietness eventually make you miss us even more. 

Have a good day at work. 

I love and miss you with every fiber of my being <3



I didn’t know that I could be so affected by what Raj did to me. What we did was exchanging emails for a couple of days but I didn’t realize how emotionally exhausting that was. I learn a lesson from this experience and I believe God put me through this to make me stronger. It took me weeks to really come into terms with the whole situation. Humans are such complex and dynamic creatures.

IATSS Forum, Japan and I

Day 9 in Japan and the city has grown in me. I feel like I have a new family who accepts me with an open arm. It’s the kind of feeling that makes you feel like a part of something great; something you belong to. Who would have thought Japan would be a new learning place for me?

A little over a year ago, Anggita ‘introduced’ me to the 48G and although I was reluctant at first, I slowly got hooked on the idol group and eventually decided to join a leadership training program in Japan.

Everything went uphill from there, I got an information about IATSS Forum from Mr SE (who was the Head of CoFTRA at that time), I asked for Mark Poole’s and Joana’s recommendation letters + my direct supervisor’s. I wrote down the essays they asked, I filled in the application form. I even asked April to help me dropped the application off at the IATSS Forum secretariat in Indonesia because that day was the deadline for applying for the program.

I waited for the result for nearly two months. I thought that I didn’t make it because it seemed like forever! I wasn’t even sure that IF secretariate in Indonesia received my application because both of the person-in-charge (PIC) were out of the office at that time. It was possible that they didn’t even receive my application or receive it after the deadline. Sometimes you can be unlucky like that!

When I finally received an e-mail to notify that I passed the first screening and was invited to join an interview, I was so happy.

The challenge was, I didn’t have any idea how the interview will be done. I didn’t know that there would be a role play with the other candidates where 9 people carefully observed your every words and actions. I didn’t know that I will have to be interviewed by the 9 of them. The Japanese are really serious when it comes to many things. They really planned it well!

I stayed the night in Tanah Abang because I had to wake up early for the interview. I still remember clearly the uneasy feeling of riding my scooter to Whiz Hotel @Kelapa Gading at 7 a.m.

My introvert side was forcing me to run away from it. I thought passing the first phase was already good enough, but the competitive side of me ‘forced’ me to do the best. I didn’t want to regret not being at my best version during the interview. The pressure was really high though.

I was just sitting awkwardly, trying to act as cool as possible. All the other interviewees came from different backgrounds and unlike me, they didn’t seem like having an issue to blend in.

I was nervous, but oddly I was also feeling at ease because I felt like my parents were sending me a prayer to support me. I think it was their well-wishes and prayers that helped me passed the selection process. I was lucky! Yes, I was a potential candidate, but there was an invincible hand that helped through it smoothly. Alhamdulillah…

Sometimes all you need is courage to step off your comfort zone. That’s the only way to grow.

I’ll share more stories later!