It was Saturday (27/04/2013). The temperature in Notingham significantly droped again. In the several days before, the temperature is at around 10-15 degree celcius. But this weekend, the temperature was drop at around 1 degree celcius.
I woke up at 03.30 in the morning. I made Tahajud Prayer and went to Mosque for Subuh prayer jamaah at the mosque at Portland Building, the University Park, University of Nottingham wit Arif. We conquered the very cold temperature in the dawn time, at the very beginning morning of the day. At the mosque, we met some brothers from Sudan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Somalia, Brunei Darussalam, and many other countries. It is alwyas a genuine happiness to meet each other with people from the same religion backgraound.
I deeply enjoyed the tweets of many birds from diverse species which were perching among the trees at the University Park. It was very beautiful melodious natural song from the nature. It rang me the bell of my childhood in very small rural village, ringin pitu, plampang rejo, cluring, in a small town named Banyuwangi. I used to hear this tweets at every single morning when I was a kid of 5-10 years old. Now, it is only a fairy story of the past. Because, all the birds have been killed at my Village.
We continued our never ending discussion at Arif house. At around 09.00 am, we cooked our food for our breakfast. We cooked fried Chicken Wing and ‘Sambal’ ( condiment). I made the fried chicken wings and Arif made the sambal. Finishing everythings, we ate together with Gus Dur style – ate while sitting on the floor while watching the X-Factor Indonesia video uploaded on the youtube.
Actually, today we planned to have Jogging around the lake-side at the university park. However, since the bad weather, we decided to cancel it. Eventually, we changed our mind to have photography hunting around the university park. By the way, Arif just bought his new camera. After taking a bath and making Dluha prayer, we went to University Park and met with Pak Sukirno. Unfortunately, suddenly it was raining. Thus, we decided to drop in Pak Sukirno house first. We had a tea time at pak Sukirno house while having a small chat. Pak Sukirno had problem with internet at his house. He did not find partners to have sharing contract to get Wifi Internet connection from Virgin media, that was quite expensive to afford by himself.
After 30 minutes, the day was shiny again. We left the home to the lake-side at University Park. We took some pictures at around the Sakura Tree close to the Lake. The sakura flowers were still blossom at their final stage.
We also took photos with backgraound the lake, the trent building, the row boats on the lake, and the wild life around. It was a perfect background indeed. It was so natural and genuine beauty from the nature. Suddenly, it was raining again. We run and go inside the art gallery near by the lake. We enjoyed some visual art work that was also so sexy to be captured.
In minutes, it was shiny again. That was very typical weather in the UK, a very dynamically changing weather. It could be rainy, shiny, warm, and cold only in the matter of minutes only. Living in this kind of weather taught me that Live is so dynamic, we have to change to survive and become the winner, or just stay static to be left behind and become the loser.
We continued our Photography journey to the lake and the wild life. Again, Pak Sukirno was our perfect super model. What I liked most was that he was so enjoying to be our photo super model. He was really a Hot Papa. Thanks to Pak Sukirno.
Another interesting and joyful thing in this lake-side was that we can easily find the wild life. We can find easily a variety of ducks, birds, and squirrels. They were so friendly with people around them. They never feel worry to be killed by people around them.
This time, I was so lucky. I found a beutiful squirel. I fed him, while one of my friend took picture of mine. I offered the squirel with a bar of biscuit chocolate. He was ashamed at the beginning. But, I kept teasing him with the biscuit. He was getting closer and closer to me until finally he caugth the chocolate biscuit.
Again, after several minutes, It was raining again. We decided to go to mosque at Portland Building, at the University park to make Dhuhur Prayer. Although, it was Saturday, I still met many people in the mosque. Some of them brought along their kids to the mosque. That really made me miss my kid at home. Oh God, supposing my kid was here, I must be very happy.
After making the Duhur Prayer and met with Pak Abdurrahman -a new PhD student from Indonesia, who just came to the university a week ago, we decided to visit one of Indonesian family living in the Nottingham at Beeston. It was only 15 minutes by foot from the University. We went through the foot path along the University Park campus, that was extremely green and beautiful.
Along the way out from the university, it was so easy to find the flower blossom in this Spring. they were so colourful and beautiful. It was so beautiful to enjoy the green of leaves of the tree around the campus. A perfect place to take a breath.
There were still many flocks of students came to the campus, eventhough it was Saturday. The came to the libarary, especially the Hallward Library. One of the most crowded libraries in this University. It was so fantastic that the library in this university was open 24/7, twenty four hours everyday. It was so saluteable to see the high motivation of independent learning of students in this University. Contrarily, It was extremely different with students in Indonesia. To best of my knowledge, the libaries in many Indonesian campuses were almost empty from students learning indipendenytly in the library. I should admitted that the independent learning habbit of students in western countries is much better than that of in Asian, developing countries such as Indonesia.
We took a break for a while, to have a cup of coffee at Highfield Graduate Center. It was a very cozy place to study and have a very cheap coffee. It was only £0.5 per cup for the very delicious coffee. Unfair price to make us so relax.
We finally arrived at Mbak Mar house. In this house, mbak mar and her family, mbak Arif and her family, and mas Udin were living together. They were so friendly indeed, that made us felt so comfort and felt like at our own home -where our heart were. We had a warm dicussion and Jokes. We lough out loud. It was also a rare opprtunity to speak in our mother language, i.e. Javanese. It has been very long time for us, not to have lough like this in this very terrible social life country. It was so incredible time to have chats with them. It made my day totally different, in which in the other days, my day was nothing but boredome day in the lab at the campus.
We were served with Indonesian food and drinks. We had bakso, sambal terong, bakwan, sambal goreng, kerupuk, and many other Indonesian cuisine. We continued the chat until the late of night around 10.00 PM. We made ashar and maghrib together in this house. It made us feel close to each other. Thank you very much for mbak Mar, Mas Hasto and their three sons. Thank to mas Wisnu, Bu Arif, and their lovely son. Thanks to Mas Udin as well for being a very nice host for us. It was really unforgetable moment during my Life in the UK.
Thank you ya Allah for blessing us this tight friendship and brotherhood. Thanks for today. Hopefully, it will fully recharge my courage and determination to finish my Phd studies-the very long journey to go, sucesfully and as soon as possible in the very near future. Because, sometime it was not trivial thing to maintain our courage and determination. When, I was stuck, it was so easy to be lazy and do useless things. Hopefully, this exceptional Saturday will effectively kick the boredom out from my PhD life. Ammiin.
— *) All photos are courtesy of Ziaul Arif.