Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: daily

Commitment. What a scary word coming from a person you have never even met.

Oh God, please help me.

The Miracle of the Day

Across the sky

October 7th, 2011. 14:00 CET.

Finally, here I am. Flying across the sky. Feeling so grateful. Actually, grateful is an understatement. But I don’t even know what else to describe it. My heart is still racing, although it shows a sign of slowing down. My mind is occupied with many questions. Why was I so reckless?? Why didn’t I keep track of time? Why did I do it? Why? Why?

This was not the first time happening to me. I almost missed my flight when I forgot to bring my Saudi paper exit visa and I had to go back home to take it because of that. I almost missed my flight when there was a demonstration in KL (but then was told that the flight was delayed… sigh). I actually missed my flight to Brisbane when I was in Singapore because I was too busy browsing on the internet. I got a “panic attack” last year when I realized that I hadn’t printed my boarding pass few hours before my departure and all printers at the university failed to work.

For me, the experience that I have to go through less than 24 hours before departure is always frightening — including the one that I had recently.

Well, here’s the thing. A day before my departure, I checked all the travel documents that I needed. I had everything ready and printed. I put all of them in my shoulder bag. I even double checked everything to make sure that I was not dreaming. Long story short, I discovered that I had to bring my old passport with me as it had a stamp that was important. Where was my old passport? It’s still in the Indonesian embassy in Den Haag. This was at 3pm.

My passport was renewed on February this year and I forgot to take my old passport with me because I thought I didn’t need it. I was indeed wrong. So I called the embassy and asked them to kindly find my old passport. I was literally begging to them to search it for me. Although I was not pleased with how disorganized those past applications were kept, I was really grateful that they tried to find my passport between piles and piles of other old passports. They called me 2 hours after their working time was supposed to finish to let me know that they were still searching.

The next day was the day I departed. My flight was scheduled to depart at 12.40 but I still had the time to go to Den Haag in the morning. I took the 7.30 AM train to Den Haag. While waiting for the embassy to call me, I went to JoHo to apply for an ISIC card (yay! I got it now!). Finally, at 10.15 AM the embassy told me that they found my passport. I quickly rushed to the embassy to take it. I’m telling you, time is money. But alhamdulillah, I got the passport.

The main story did not end there. I began running into trouble when I took a bus to go back to the central station. My OV-chipkaart ran out of credits and I didn’t have any cash with me (I hardly bring cash). The bus didn’t have a refil machine so I had to get out of the bus on the next stop as the driver looked grumpy. I found an ATM nearby and quickly took some cash. Time was now 10:55 AM.

When I finally reached the central station, it was already around 11:10. I knew I was in a big trouble. But I was even more convinced that I would miss my flight when I found out that the next train to Schiphol was at 11.30!!! And I actually had to check in before 11.40!!! I was soooo screwed. I was panic. I prayed and prayed during my 30 minutes jouney to the airport that the flight would be delayed or there would be some kind of a miracle!

I thought about all of the what if situations that I could think of. If they didn’t allow me to check my bag in, I’d store it in a locker. If they didn’t allow me to board the plane, I would sleep in the airport to wait for the next flight. But before these situations would happen, I would make sure that my begging and desperate-looking skills were being used.

I arrived at the check-in counter at around 12.10pm. No one was there except one woman. Oh, thank God! At least I didn’t need to search all over the airport for the airline’s employee. She was of course surprised upon knowing that I wanted to check in. She called her boss and at the same time printing the boarding pass and the luggage tag. I was a bit relieved at that time, although I was not 100% sure that I would be able to fly on that day.

Few minutes later, she gave me the boarding pass and added, “We cannot guarantee anything that you are able to fly.” Oh gosh, here we go again. She told me to run to the gate, because someone had to talk to me. So I ran and ran. I didn’t have much energy to be honest. I used up all my energy by the time I was in Den Haag.

Thankfully, I reached the gate 15 minutes before it was closed. A man approached me, checked my details and necessary documents, while telling me, “Mam, you know the procedure! You should check in 1 hour before departure, NOT 30 minutes!!!” I told him that I was so sorry and it was indeed my fault. Any stories that I could tell him would be viewed as excuses so I didn’t tell him anything other than that. Few minutes later, I boarded the plane.

So here I am, thinking. Was that a miracle? Was that a result of me praying to Him, Allah SWT? I strongly believe it was. Prayer or Doa is a powerful thing. Don’t ever lose hope of Him. That’s the lesson I learned today.

Where am I going? Well, I will keep it as a mystery for now ;). I shall be back soon.

Je Partirai

I’m feeling a little melancholy… not sure how to describe it 😐 A mixture of everything, really.

I found this new song by Anggun. I love the French version more than the Indonesian one. The French lyric kinda fits more to my mood.

Des larmes de sel
Voyage au long cou
L’amour et la mer
L’écume de nos jours
Nos années lumières
Partis en pousières
Des allée-retours
Autour de la terre

Je partirai
Je partirai
Ne rien Garder
Que le meilleur
De nos 2 coeurs
Je partirai

Toucher le soleil
Quitter la forturne
Gomber et plus renaitre
De la lune
Amour éphémère
Eternel retour
De nom des légère
Avant des beaux jours

Je partirai
Que nos secrets
Je partirai
Nouveau de près
Je partirai

The Realization Part 2

One day, my mom gave her usual and repetitive mother-to-daughter advice over the phone…

Mom: You know, you are 24. It is about time that you should start taking the whole marriage thing SERIOUSLY…. and….

Me: Mom, I’m 26.

(Oops! It was a total mistake to say this!)

Mom: What?! Are you 26 already?

Me: Hmm. Yes?! 😐

(I could feel the tension now LOL. Why did I say that?!?! Argh)

Mom: Oh, dear Lia… You’re having too much fun in this world […]

Me: Mom, if I found that person I’m compatible with now, I would marry him today if you want!

(I love messing around with her. Arguments don’t work anymore. Might as well tell her some stupid jokes hahaha — it works so far)

But… oh… sometimes I feel like such a burden to my family.

The Stupidity


I’m currently in the process of applying for a visa and look what my friend found! Look at the date I put under my signature! Do you see the YEAR?!

How can I be THAT reckless?! I mean, this is a visa for God sake!!! If it weren’t because of my friend, I would send this application form with the wrong year and my visa would be rejected right away :|.

I think I’ve been too stressed 🙁

I don’t know… I’ve been so worried. Worried about something I don’t even know about. I hate this feeling. I can feel my heart beats so fast and I haven’t had a good sleep. I always have this when something bad is going to happen. I really hope that’s not the case.

Early Presents

A Moroccan dress and a book 🙂 Oh! And some postcards as well. I forgot to include them in the picture 😛

Interesting choice of book by my friend… I don’t know why he gave me this book hahaha. I’ve sent all my books to Jakarta. So I’m happy that I have a new book to read, although I don’t know if I’ll read it now 😛

Last Minute Dilemma

I have absolutely NO IDEA what to do!!! If I could do istikharah right about NOW, I’d do it. But I can’t! 🙁 Ya Allah… if I missed it, I’d regret it all my life. But if I just go… I haven’t even finished this thesis! How can I go?! My family would definitely disagree with me. But I don’t want to disappoint my dear friend! Oh ya Allah… I really need Your guidance now. I only have few weeks left. What can I do???

* I know that Allah SWT has a good reason why He made women to have a menstrual period. But during this time, the only thing I want to do is sholat…! I can’t do it… :-S and I don’t know what to do besides making a du’a…

Eid Day

Eid with the Indonesians

Eid mubarak! Eid saeed! Kullu sanah wa antum bekhair…

It was a great Eid with Indonesian friends and delicious foods! Lontong, gulai kambing, rendang, and so many other foods that I can’t remember LOL. I was too busy eating that I forgot to take some pictures of the food itself! 😛 Well, I didn’t take that many pictures to begin with. There were many photographers with DLSR cameras so all I needed to do was to pose *kidding*. But these are the only pictures that I took.

I noticed two things about these pictures. One was that I looked soooo thin *panic* and second was that I was the only unmarried single woman there! Hahahaha. These women are my close-knit Indonesian Muslim family :). They make me feel "home" and keep me in check every time. Whether I am in Australia or in the Netherlands, I always make sure that I’m close to at least one family. I love spending with families and playing with their kids. I also like the fact that they keep me grounded and always remind me about certain things. Some of them automatically act as my guardian without being asked and I think that’s important — at least for me — to have someone much older than you to rely on, especially when you’re confused on two choices or need an elderly or wise advice :).

Anyway, after spending the Eid with them, I spent the rest of the afternoon with my Dutch friends that I met at the mosque. It was an Eid brunch/lunch a la Dutch :). Breads, cookies, cheese, and different kinds of spreads. It was really nice to see them again! I really enjoyed it! Alhamdulillah.


Towards the End

Today marks my last day of fasting. I did my ifthar at the mosque so that I could bade farewell to my "sisters". These are my Dutch, Moroccan, and Somali sisters that I see every day during ifthar and/or taraweeh prayers. It’s been a great pleasure to know them and I’m very sad that this would be my last Ramadan spent in the Netherlands. I wish I met them years ago.

Without a doubt, this year’s Ramadan has been a great spiritual journey. Thank you, Allah! I can’t ask for a better one. I may not be able to worship You and do things for You in the level that You expects me to, but I hope You forgive me for all the shortcomings and accept my fasting and good deeds. I also hope that I can keep on carrying the improvements with me, even though Ramadan has ended. I hope that I can continuously improve and be a better person in the coming future for the sake of You. And I hope I can experience Ramadan again next year, possibly in a different country :). Amin ya Rabbal alamin.

Ah, good thing I still have to fast for a week to make up for my missed days + 6 days for the month of Syawwal. Alhamdulillah.

Eid mubarak everyone! I know that some of you in Indonesia will celebrate Eid on Tuesday and the majority will celebrate on Wednesday. But rather than focusing on the difference we have regarding moon sighting, let’s just reflect on what we’ve done and have not done for the past one month. Have we really done enough?!  What are the things we want to improve? What are the things we want to keep on doing? How can we make sure we keep on doing the things we’ve been doing for the past one month? How can we make sure that we don’t end up becoming a "seasonal Muslim"?

I’d like to conclude with these two quotes:

Out of all the symbols that Muslims could have chosen to symbolize the unity of Islam, it is indeed ironic that they chose the crescent, which for many signifies the greatest manifestation of division amongst Muslims

— Yasir Qadhi on Understanding the Controversies Re: Moonsighting


Let’s focus on MoonSighting instead of MoonFighting. Follow your community, stick to local jama’a. Unity > Fiqh

— @MuslimMatters

The Best Ifthar

I used to complain about having no girlfriends here in Eindhoven. I’m sure I’ve written about this a lot in my blog. During my first one year, most of my friends were guys. I’m fine with having them as friends, of course. But they’re different than girls, especially in terms of “curhat”. Not a lot of guys are good listeners I have to say :P. I also love to have friends to sleep over at my place so we can talk all night long. We can’t do that with guys, can we? 🙂

I basically felt so lonely, especially when I was so used to having housemates and roommates for years! It was not until the second and third year that I had girlfriends. But there’s always a downside: none of my friends were Muslims or practicing Muslims. I felt extremely lonely during Ramadan because I would usually be the only girl out of all men sitting at the Mosque’s dining hall. I didn’t feel comfortable at all.

Jacky's house

This year’s Ramadan is a bit different, though! I met a number of Dutch converts at the Mosque during the ifthar last week. I never met a convert before so it was a great opportunity for me to ask a lot of questions! (it’s so me, right?! LOL. Always curious about stuff). I met one of them again during the taraweeh prayer yesterday and one of the girls invited me to her house for ifthar! I would NEVER say no to that wonderful offer hahaha. A free ifthar and a chance to know them better — a once in a lifetime opportunity, right?! 😉

There were 2 other Dutch converts invited (so there were three converts in total). Most of them just converted to Islam for only 1-3 years and what’s amazing was that they all wore a hijab! I actually thought that they’ve at least been a Muslim for 5 years, because wearing a hijab (especially in the time of Islamophobia) was a big thing! But it turned out that they were “early” converts. What’s also interesting was that, although two of them were married, they came to Islam because they wanted to, not because of love or any other reasons.

I asked them how their family reacted upon knowing that their daughter was a Muslim. Only one of them had told the family and she said it was very hard for them. She hadn’t tell them about the hijab yet — she would do it one step at a time. Please note that Dutch parents are the most “easy going” parents in the world. As long as their children are happy, they’d accept their children’s decision. I have a number of friends whose husband converted to Islam due to marriage and their parents didn’t object both the marriage and conversion. So I was a bit surprised to know that the family of these girls would not accept their conversion to Islam. They told me that their parents were a practicing “hardcore” Christian and perhaps that’s one of the reasons why their parents found it unacceptable. Anyhow…

The host, Jacky, turned out to be a really EXCELLENT chef! She cooked a lot of foods. Not just foods, but DELICIOUS foods. The soup, biryani rice, raita (yum!!!!!), samousa, and some fruit deserts. My stomach were about to explode eating sooooooo much foods!


I had a lot of fun. It was no doubt the best ifthar I ever had in the Netherlands — ever since I arrived here 3 years ago. I start to wonder why all the good things always come during my last year of living here?! But anyhow, we’re planning to meet up again during Eid insya Allah! 🙂

Meeting a Muslim convert makes me feel so grateful and blessed that I’m a born Muslim. Often time we take this for granted, don’t you think? It’s definitely something that we should be grateful about. Having lived in a non-Muslim majority country for more than 7 years, the time has come for me to live in a Muslim-majority country again. Without a doubt, I’ve enjoyed living here or anywhere in the world. In terms of religion-wise, I’ve learnt and known Islam much better than if I’d in a Muslim country. But with Islamophobia sweeping across Europe, it’s time for me to go back to the country where I can practice my religion freely and where I can wear hijab without being the center of attention. It hurts to constantly hear Islam — my faith and my way of life — to be insulted and ridiculed again and again. Do insult my race or my nationality, but not my religion.

Thank you, ya Allah for always giving me reminders, giving me the best experience of my life, and answering my prayers. I cannot be any happier.