Another Social Life Story in The end of The Year

… a family is where your heart find its place to dive into – A Random Thought


The ‘Pengajian’ Men

In the end of this year, almost everyday is a gloomy day. The day, where you find the sky so gray. The day, when you feel the weather is so cold. The day, when you barely could enjoy the warmth of sunshine. And, you just want to talk to no body around you. Because  you find no one could understand you but yourself. The day when you miss your past so badly and eager to meet some people that are physically so far away  from where you are.

Luckily,  I got the boy and his mom to pacify me. I got so many friends to cheer up the day. Though, it is not in everyday. Thanks for the boy and his mom. Thanks friends for the day. Today, I got so many big lough and cheers just because of you.

(Video:  Social Activity called ‘Pengajian’ at Loughborough | Credit The Photos: Mbak Bety, Mbak Irra, Cak Shon)

Having a bunch of good friends is never  enough. Friends that build up our far-extended family. Though, sometime it is never easy, when the time to say ‘good bye’ is coming up. Today, as the year is fading out , some friends of mine are saying good bye again. Leaving a kind of feeling of brotherhood/sisterhood romance that always deserve to be cherished.


Mbak Menik Farewell Gathering, Beeston, Nottingham


Friends,  I wish that the upcoming times always bring you and your loved ones success, happiness and joy and keep this  brotherhood/sisterhood-romance feeling’ tight to see you again in random time in the near future.

another big smile on Sunday evening

*)Big Smiles : Pak Sukirno, Pak Masdar, Pak Abdurrahman, Pak Sidik, Arif, Mas Iswanto, Cak Shon, Mas Udin, Pak Peni

Happiness is when you can smile and lough out, forgetting for a while each single of your life problems. Happiness frequently comes along with a simple reason. Just like what happens today, the happiness comes from a small living room, where we spend times to get together with our beloved friends.

This Sunday evening, Pak Masdar and his family exclusively invited us for what they called “Fish Party” in commemorating International Fish Day. Did you know International Fish Day? no need to much worries, since it could be hoax, indeed. But, the true fact is Pak Masdar served us with a bunch of  mouth-watering sea food. Probably, it is the most incredible dinner meal service that I have ever had  in the UK.

There are three main courses served perfectly, i.e. Cod Fish Soup, grilled king prawns with “sambal terasi”, and Salmon-head curry. Each of them are cooked in Lampung cuisine style. Lampung, is the city where Pak Masdar and his family live in Indonesia. Regarding the food, I can not say nothing but perfect.

*) Grilled King Prawan with Sambal Terasi and Kerupuk

After having a big dinner meal, we have very casual chat. Indeed, I always enjoy this moment. A moment, when I can lough out forgetting my PhD research problems. A moment, when I can learn and grasp many lessons of life in very casual way. A moment, where I have a great chance to broaden my view and perspective on what life is. Friends from differing backgrounds really enrich this view that make me more comprehend Life . Apparently, I really realize that Life is not as narrow as algorithm and data structures.

*) Cod Fish Soup

Thank Pak Masdar and Family for this incredible invitation. Thank friends for making this memorable moment. Indeed, it is really something that I  will always cherish in my life. At least, I have a place where I can escape from loneliness and emptiness in Nottingham. A place where I can recharge my energy, when I felt weak. A place where I can find my direction back, when I felt lost. And the place is YOU.

University open day and Gado-Gado Party

It was Saturday (29/06/2013). Thanks God, it was on the weekend. I did not know what to do at home, so went to the campus. However, I did not go to the lab but I went to George green library, a library for sciences and engineering in the University Park, the university of Nottingham. I found it was a cozy place. In the library, I was working with HyFlex, a framework for Hyper-heuristic implementation.


After making Duhur Prayer in the Portland building, I met Arif and Pak Sukirno. We had a small chat, before we decided to walk around the campus. The campus was crowded, because it was the university  university undergraduate open day. There were thousands prospective students came to the University to make sure that the university was the right place  for their first degree studies.


We walked around the campus to capture some photos and videos. It was for our personal documentation that probably will be very nice to remember in the future. Here are some photos and videos taken from the spot.

The Portland Building

It is the center of students activities in the university of Nottingham. The headquarter of hundred students union in the University.

Hall, student accommodation

The university offered high standard student accommodation inside the campus. They were called Halls. When, I firstly came to the University during the welcome week, I got free accommodation in Derby Hall.  I visited the hall again and took some pictures.

The Video documentation

Other than the photos, we also tapped video from the spot. It was a part of our project to make a documentary film alla bout our life in the UK. The special thing of our documentation was that  the narration of  was  in Javanese Language. Here are some of the videos sequel.

The prospective students

The students accomodation

In the evening, we get together in my house. In this moment, we held “gado-gado” part. I and Arif prepared and cooked it from scratch. We just followed the algorithm grabbed from the Internet.

Here we are (from left to right) : Arif, Me, Pak Sukirno, and Pak Abdurrahman.

After making Maghrib prayer jamaah in my room. We had dinner together. Having dinner together with friends is one of luxury times during my University life in this country. There is always pure happiness when we are getting together. The dazzling food was not because the food its self, but the togetherness also played the role.



I did hope, whenever in the future we would still keep in touch each other. The friendship bond we built from scratch would worthy to be cherished in the future. Thanks mates. Thanks God for each single happiness you send from different ways in my life.

Saturday: another social life day

It was Saturday (8/06/13). It was quite sunny day in the summer, but not too sunny. In the morning, after having my breakfast with Nasi Goreng, fried rice that I cooked by my self, I went to George Green Library, in University Park Campus,  at around 09 am. It was not usual for me. The thing was I forgot to copy my working file from the university drive to my portable disk. The library was very quite and I was the first visitor of the day. It was quite understandable, since the examination weeks had ended. I was working on revising my first year review report. I should redraw some figures taken from some literature to my own way figure.

At around 11 am, I left  the library. I had an appointment with Arif, my close mate to go to Beeston, a city just nearby the University main campus,  for some missions.  I met him at South Entrance bus stop, and walked along with him to the city. Along the pedestrian on the way to Beeston, we took some pictures. It was summer, we found green trees and colorful flowers. At University west entrance we met Pak Sukirno. Finally, we did our missions together.


The first mission is finding a ” To Let” house. One of my friend of  friend would come to Nottingham on July and She needed my favor to find a rented room in shared house. Luckily, a day before, after jumah prayer I found an Ads. It was a serendipity, indeed. The house was available for Muslim Sisters Only and there were two available rooms on July and four available rooms on September. I had phone the landlord to make sure that the rooms were still available and today I had an appointment with the landlord to see the house in person. The house was at  Albert Road very close to University Park and at the way to Beeston. I thought, it was very perfect place.

We arrived at the house at around 11.45 am. I met the landlord, and he let me in the house. The landlord was a Muslim brother from Pakistan. At my first glance, he was very nice and he looked quite different with the typical Pakistan brothers that to be honest I had negative impression to them. But, the brother was different, I had very positive impression. He showed me all the rooms, the living room, and the kitchen. There were four rooms with private bath room inside. The room was quite neat and cozy and it was fully furnished. Each room had beautiful outside view as well. It was quite affordable as well, just for £280 per month including bill. After taking the picture of the house, i left the house and would notify the landlord as soon as possible.


The second mission was Casual Gathering at Mbak Mar house. It was very frequent for us to visit this house. We felt at home at this house. We met mas Walid and came along to mbak Mar house. As usual, we had very warm long chat there. There were Mbak Mar, Mas Hasto, and their three boy childreen; Mas Wisnu, Bu Arif and their the only boy child,  Mas Alaudin, and Mas Ihsan. Other than the warm chats, the thing that make we felt very happy here was that we got free very Indonesian food. In this time, we got Gado-Gado. It was very Indonesian taste, and it was extremely good. I felt like at my home country. Thanks a bunch mbak mar and family for these very-very delicious food. We had Pisang Goreng, the fried banana,  and Indonesian tea before the main menu. The chat continued until the Ashar prayer time was calling. Anyway, in the meantime, we heard bad news from Indonesia that Taufik Kiemas, the husband of former Indonesian President, Megawati Sukarno Putri, passed way In National Hospital, Singapore. Rest In Peace Pak TK!


After the Ashar prayer, we did the third mission. It was the main mission actually, it was preparing for Indonesian Festival on 15 June 2013. Since, we published a paper about Indonesian culture, we (Arif, Mas Walid, Mas Udin, and Me) were appointed to held Bahasa Indonesia Workshop on the day of  Indonesian festival. We were preparing for the workshop kits. We managed to prepared a leaflet about Indonesian fact at glance, and introducing Bahasa Indonesia. We also prepared a booklet for introducing the richness and the beauaty of Indonesia in nature, culture, and people.


Finally, we finished up our work at around o8.30 PM. We left mbak Mar house for the third mission. The third mission was shopping our weekly food stuffs in Tesco. It was Saturday night, so the supermarket will open until middle night. We took a trolley and shopped together wandering around the supermarket.  I bought vegetable oil, eggs, rice, snacks, and some condiments, as well as vegetables and fruits. We paid our stuffs in automated cashier machine with our Debet card. It was very easy to shop in the UK, it was very simple and easy.

After finishing the shopping we went home on foot again via Beeston and the pedestrian by the University Lake while having never ending chat among us. I arrived at home at around 09.45 pm. After making Maghrib prayer I went to the bed soon.


*) the picture taken from

When I remembered Who I was


It was Friday (10/05/2013). Again, I felt the time went so swiftly. It was near to the middle of May, and I felt I had done nothing for my PhD Journey. Today, I made a little but great change in my PhD life. You know what was it?  I went to campus at 6 am in the morning. It was the most earliest time I was leaving for campus recorded so far. It was great. I felt so happy in the morning. The lab was still very quite and my mind was ultimately fresh. It was a perfect time to study, indeed. Really, I enjoyed to start my activities at the very early morning. Starting from that time on, I promised to my self to go to the campus very earlier in the morning.

Thanks God. I was quite encouraged and vigorous. The thing that reminded me to be fully encouraged was my memory of my childhood. This lonely tearful long PhD Journey rang me the bell of my childhood.


When I was at Elementary School i.e. SDN Plampangrejo 3, and Yunior High School i.e. SMP N 1 Cluring Banyuwangi, I was so simple, modest, lonely, very hard-working and extremely diligent student despite of all my limitations When I was Elementary school student, Every morning at 06.30 am I must go to the school on foot while majority of my friends went to the school by their bicycle. Still recorded in my mind, everyday I must walks through paddy field, in very terribly bad footpath to the school that was also located in the midlle of paddy field. When it was raining, my parent had no money to buy me even a very cheap umbrella. I just sheltered myself  and more importantly my bag containing my hand-written note book from the rain under a banana leaf.  When the rain was so very heavy, frequently my uniform and book were so wet.

The only learning resource I can access was my hand-written notebook.  I wrote everything what my teachers taught in the class on my shabby thin, low quality paper  notebooks. My parents had no money to buy me high quality paper notebooks such as “Sinar Dunia” books. The brand that I really wanted to because it was advertised too much on the Television. But I never had ones.  I learnt solely from that book at night. My school had no library providing books, magazines, to be borrowed by the students. For sure, I had no text books. It was surely unaffordable for students from family in very rural village, where I was living. However, I was the only student who was very lucky. Because, one of my teachers, Bu Hariani, kindly borrowed me a textbook for Bahasa Indonesia subject.

That was the only textbook I had, when I was at 4th, 5th, and 6th Grade. I really owed a huge debt to her very much. Oh God, please give her full of your blessing in her life. Despite of the very bad learning facilities, I was very happy I had ever won a math competition at  district level.  Finally, I graduated from the elementary school with very excellent national examination mark. I got 43.54  of 50.00, while the average of my classmate mark was only 23.00. My elementary school tenure must be very painful, but I felt it was not. I never felt that what I had at that time was so phatetic.

When I was a Junior High school student the condition was even worse. I must went to the school located at the city from the village where I was living by bicycle for 15 km distance one way. In other words, I must travel for 30 km everyday. Since, the school started at 06.30 am, I must left my home at around 05.30 am in the morning. What a terribly too far distance to be traveled by bicycle, Indeed. Frequently, I had problem with my bike such as puncture and  broken chain on my way to or from the school. If that happened, the situation became much more terrible, since I must walk with my bicycle.

I was in the class where all the students were very smart. It was an excellent class program, in which the students were 40 students with the highest mark selected quarterly from all students in the same level.  It was really not easy for me to adapt, to make friend with my class mates. I was extremely inferior. I felt I was the most stupid student in the class. I felt I would never survive with them. Since, they were from rich family, the looked very smart in my eyes.

I felt very lucky with my new school. It was much better than my prior school in elementary level. The school provided quite self-contained a bunch of books collection that I can borrow for free. I also had excellent teachers who were very expert in their own expertise. My school also had very prominent laboratories such as English lab, Natural Sciences Lab, Computer Lab. as well as sport facilities.

In this school I was a very study oriented, self-centered student. I had no another life but to study. But, it was typical student in my class. Because if we had worse mark than the other students from other classes mark, we should be ready to be kicked out from the class. Fortunately, I did enjoy studying very hard at that time. In the school,  I heavily owed debt with one of teachers namely Bu Mahmudah. She was the one who made me got scholarship from the government. I was so grateful.

It was so painful that finally paid off  at the end I was at the school. When I graduated from the school, I achived the best result on the final national examination.


Remembering all those memory really gave me recharging energy to keep carry on my PhD journey. When I felt so sad and down, I told to my self that I used to dealing with those kind of feeling and you had proven that you were able to succeed.



In the morning, I was working on my First Year Review Report and reading the latest journal of the operational research society until Jum’at prayer time. I went to Protland building for Jumah prayer after wards. I really enjoyed this moment, to meet with my brothers in Islam. Seeing their sincere smiles, shaking their warm hands really could erase all sorrow and sadness in my heart and replacing them with genuine happiness.


Afterwards, I went to Hyson Green before finally I went back to the lab in the campus until at around 11 pm at Night. Thanks God, for the day.