Things Happened.

That night I went to a gathering for newly moved-in students in my dorm area. My building is the brown-roof one in the middle and by intuition, I thought the gathering is in the square building parallel to my dorm, because that’s the place I used to go often for washing my clothes. It’s just the feeling of familiarity, cause I have never been to other building.

But then I realized the gathering is in the first square building (top-left in the picture). So I went there and spent some time to get to know some people. After 1 hour, I went back to my dorm and took the straight road to the direction of brown-roof building. Because it was so dark and quiet, I called my cousin while walking and we had a chat until I arrive in front of my dorm’s room in the second floor.

I took out my key and put it in the keyhole. But it won’t go in. I tried several times and still failed. I was pretty sure my flatmate left her key hanging in the other side of the door, so I rang the bell. Surprisingly, an unfamiliar guy wearing a tight underwear opened the door.

“Ja?”, he asked.

This must be another boyfriend of my flatmate. I had never seen him all this time. Okay, I don’t give a damn about other people’s business. I just want to go to my room.

“Halo, ich wohne hier. Ich bin die Neue Mitbewohnerin.” (Halo, I live here. I am the new flatmate)

I explained since his face showed that he wasn’t pretty sure about the fact that I’m living there. Of course, this is our first meeting. But he still won’t budge, blocking the door so I couldn’t come in.

“Wer bist du?” (Who are you?), he asked again.

My God! Isn’t it clear?

“Ich wohne hier!” (I live here!) while pushing the door forcefully and went inside.

Such a rude guy. This is how you treat the flatmate of your girlfriend? Ckckck.. Very ungentle-man. 

He took a few steps back and let me in but his look was still confused.

“Wer bist du?” (Who are you?), he asked again.

What’s wrong? Just because you had never seen me around so you won’t let me in? It doesn’t make sense! 

Okay, I don’t care if you give me that strange look. I will just go to my room.

Wait a minute, where is my room? Why this dorm looked so unfamiliar? Hey, this is not my dorm. 

This can’t be..

OH MY GOD!! THIS IS NOT MY DORM!!

I took a few steps back outside the door while stuttered, trying to speak in German.

“I… Ich..”, my mind went blank.

“I’m sorry.. Ich.. Ich.. I.. wrong.. I.. WRONG DORM!”

He stared at me. Then his face gave me that look, “MIA? Such a lunatic girl.”, while I ran as fast as I could.

I still didn’t know where I was.

How come it was another person? I couldn’t possibly go to the wrong building. I just took the straight road.

OH MY GOD! I TOOK THE STRAIGHT ROAD! 

This is not after you washed your clothes, Mia! You shouldn’t take the straight road! 

Yes, apparently I went to another building behind my dorm. I ran until I arrived in front of my dorm. I should have remember it! My door had many stickers on it. And when I put my key in the hole, yes, I could go inside.

I sit in front of my computer while rewinding things happened in the last 10 minutes.

My God, such an embarrassment! Where should I put my face?? Huhuhuu..

nyesel

“Okay, calm down, Mia. He may remember your face since you wear hijab but that’s it. He doesn’t know you more than that.”

“But what if I meet him again?”

“Oh what the hell! Just act like nothing’s happened!”

Okay, I’m calm now.

I stand to change my clothes and suddenly my eyes stop at my sweater.

There it was.

The sticker name from the gathering with my name written very big and bold:

MIA

Yes, dear readers, stupidity happened.

Often.

To me.

die

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My Multicultural Family

Getting scholarship to study is just one blessing. Another great blessing I get is my new family, 17 international friends coming from all over the world: Germany, El Salvador, Chile, Colombia, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Iran. I have already felt like traveling the world with just meeting them everyday.

At first, of course it was so difficult to adjust to each other habit, way of talking, attitude, etc. 18 students come from 16 different countries and 4 different continents. Guess how lost we are on our first few months. Really, it was so tiring for me, especially because I don’t get most of what my friends saying. It is English but why is it so different?

Thankfully, as time goes by, we gradually adapt to everyone’s English by discussing a lot and sharpening our ears. There’s also Multicultural Training, which helps us to bond, and understand each other better. Through this training, I finally know that there is a cultural background to each of my friends’ prominent attitude. The trainer gave us several questions and we raised our hands if it fits our situation. One question that I remember clearly is:

“Do your culture teach you to keep the pain or complaint inside and be patient?”

Me and most friends from Asia and Africa raised our hands, but not with my Latin America’s friends. This explains a lot why most of the times, they always speak out their mind. I envy those friends, I’ve always been so timid, afraid of what people think about me if I said something. But anyway, I like all differences in my group. We are all so different and that is what makes it so interesting.

A while ago, I read an article which said that even though Indonesian people are well-known for their friendliness and hospitality, it is not entirely true. And from my experience here, that article was true. I just realized that after my friend said,

“You are friendly but you didn’t ask other ‘how are you?’ when you meet others.”

I was a little bit taken aback. Compared to my friends, I admit I am a little bit ignorant. Every time I went to class, I just say ‘Hi!’ and that’s it. Other friends show more care to others: greeting every morning with hugs or handshake, asking ‘how are you?’ and saying goodbye with hugs and handshake again. That’s the first reason.

The other reason, though generally presumed that people in Germany are cold, in every shops, every time you pay your stuffs, the cashier will give you the warmest greeting: ‘Halo!’, ‘Bye!’ and ‘Have a nice day!’ or ‘Have a nice weekend!’. Yes, they are so friendly. In Indonesia, we rarely greet each other in cashier. Interesting, isn’t it? From my observation when I’m traveling, people in neighboring countries don’t have this kind of habit, too.

Back to my multicultural family, my goal after graduating is to visit each of my friends in their countries: El Salvador, Chile, Colombia, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Iran. I will work hard collecting money to make it come true!

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