Countdown to Europe: A Tasikmalaya Local's Journey to Jakarta

Excitement, nervousness, and a tinge of sadness were the swirling emotions that coursed through me as I bid farewell to my hometown of Tasikmalaya. "Farewell, Tasikmalaya!" I exclaimed inside my mind, wondering when I would set foot in my beloved town again. As my departure date approached, I busied myself with preparations, shuttling back and forth between the university and PA Office in Tasikmalaya for briefings. I still couldn't wrap my head around the idea that I would soon be flying to a far-off land with a completely different culture. One memory that stands out is the briefing with my lecturer, who imparted invaluable advice on navigating the airport and airplane, as well as recommended essentials to bring along. I am eternally grateful to Siliwangi University and PA International for bringing me one step closer to my dreams. Let's just say that everything was meticulously planned and executed to perfection in Tasikmalaya.

As I boarded the bus to Jakarta, I couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement and apprehension. This was my first time traveling to the bustling city and the thought of exploring its crowded streets left me feeling a bit overwhelmed. My lack of travel experience didn't help matters, and I couldn't help but feel a tinge of shame for never having seen more of my own country. But I remained optimistic, believing that it was only a matter of time before I would get more chances to explore the world.

To pass the time during my long bus ride, I turned on some summer instrumental music and let the soothing melodies carry me away. Despite the monotony of the journey, I found myself enjoying the scenery and the feeling of being on the road.

When I finally arrived at the bus terminal, I was relieved to see my sister, Teh Cleo, waiting for me. Seeing a familiar face in this new and unfamiliar place brought me a sense of comfort. As we made our way to the office where I would be staying, I met Pak Budi, a kind and welcoming man who helped me settle in. It didn't take long for me to feel the warmth of the family atmosphere that surrounded me, and I knew that I was in good hands.

On my first day at the office, I was excited to meet Teh Keisha, A Temy, and A Dito (I always forgot to call him "Pak," lol). Little did I know they were about to introduce me to new topics that were outside of my major. They taught me about antimicrobial resistance, the economy, and some dossiers they were currently working on. It was eye-opening to see the diversity of issues they tackled. I realized that to become a well-rounded professional, I needed to widen my knowledge across different disciplines. Now, I know that there are crucial issues in Indonesia, such as antimicrobial resistance, palm oil, and economic development, that require our attention.

On the next day, I was greeted by Ibu Dewi, Mba Tina, and Pak Yanto. Mba Tina, who helped me explore Jakarta and find some new clothes. Bu Dewi and Teh Cleo accompanied me to the Embassy of Belgium to apply for my visa. Pak Yanto was our trusty driver, taking us wherever we needed to go. And then there was Pak Budi, always bringing me delicious food for breakfast and lunch.

But the best moment of all was when we went to karaoke. It was Teh Cleo, A Dito, Teh Keisha, Bu Dewi, and me, and we had the time of our lives! These people were more than just my colleagues, they were my family. I cannot express how grateful I am to be surrounded by such wonderful people who changed my life and supported me in so many ways. They are my life savers, and I will always remember them as such.

It's hard to express all of the things at the same time, but I promise to update the post and share what I still remember from that unforgettable experience. Stay tuned! :) And with that, I bid you adieu for now.

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