Happy Birthday, Rania!

This post was written especially for you Ran, as a reminder that I missed your third birthday. I currently live far away and unable to hug you.

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My friend once asked me, which life I prefer to live? Life as a single, or life as a mom with your family members are around you? This is a difficult question.

When I live by myself, I enjoy my traveling time, book-reading time, or even my body-scrubbing time. But, my heart is empty. I keep reminding you every second, every day and night. I miss hugging you and smelling your hair, pinching your cheek, or kissing your tummy. I miss your giggles or whimpers. And I am coping with those feelings right now..

Every time I see a playground with kids in it, I imagine that you are one of them.
Every time I see a Peppa Pig magazine or kinder eggs, I want to buy it for you to play with me at home.
Every time I see a baa-baa white sheep, I remember how you eager to adopt it from a store.
Every time I hear a chatty sound of a toddler on the bus, I seek where that voice came from.
Every time I look at your favorite pink bunny, I take and inhale deeply from it, wishing that your smell still intact with it.

This is how I love you from far away. I don’t know yet how to convert this feeling to become positive acts for my thesis like they said to me.

I admit that I am a selfish as a mother.

I admit that this diploma is not for you, but for me. This research that I am dealing with is not for you, but for society. The knowledge that I am pursuing now is for my college students, not for you.

I have nothing for you, Rania, even a birthday gift for this day.
Am I still allowed to wish you a happy birthday for today?

I will always pray for you, Ran, until death tears us apart because that is what mothers at least can do for their kids from anywhere at any time.

 

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Written on a bus from Galway to Dublin.

What will you do?

If you can’t see someone you love the most anymore because they have to live somewhere else..

I will cry. True.

I will deeply sad. True.

I will remember everything they love for every second. True.

But, I will not make things worse by being sad every second. They expect me to be happy.

They want me to live well so I can finish what I have started.

I have to stay alive and be fine. So, they won’t feel guilty for leaving me here by myself.

I will probably walk slower than before, read real books, visit a new place, listen a new song, eat a new cook.

One thing for sure, I have to come back and continue my (real) life with them!

Bismillah, in the name of Allah.

27 days remaining..

I am not..

I am not a big fan of right-handed minded anymore when my mother told me that I was born left-handed.

I am not forcing my daughter to use her right or left hand to eat or give something to other people.

Not without a reason.

At first, I just followed what my parents do to me, to teach Rania. I am still following them but now I become more reasonable.

Why?

Why my kid have to use their right hand to eat and to give something to other people?

While, I may permit her use left hand to throw a ball, to hold a phone, even to point at something.

Why? Because it is sunnah to use right hand to eat. Not period. Well, I hate myself when I sound so preachy 😂

Because right hand and left hand have their own functions. They have been created differently, even though they may look same.

Left hands are used for washing your genitals after peeing and pooping. Not period. Right hands are used for putting meals to your mouth. Not period.

Actually, I just found the later reason a week ago, while doing my research about infectious disease transmission modes. One mode, fecal-oral, answers all these reasons with logic.

When the disease spreads through the fecal-oral route, it means that contaminated feces from an infected person are somehow ingested by another person. For obvious reasons, this almost never happens deliberately. Usually, the situation occurs when an infected person might forget to properly wash his hands after using the toilet.

You may think that people in Rasulullah era may not know about proper hand washing in theory and practice, so they are vulnerable to any water/food-borne diseases that mostly transmitted via fecal-oral route. Cholera is an excellent example of the most burden infectious disease of this transmission mode.

Even people nowadays still susceptible to this diseases, why? Because they can’t see the pathogen with naked eyes. They may stay in your fingernails (this aligns with another sunnah which advise us to cut our fingernails at least once every week, Fridays), and ingested with your meals coincidentally.

Unless you bring microscope with you everywhere everytime, we don’t know whether there are active pathogens in your hands (even after washing them many times).

There are some suggestions for this:

– Don’t use barehand to eat, use any eating tools instead (but there is another sunnah to eat with barehand).

– Cut the fecal-oral route by using different hand that has been used for cleaning your genitals after peeing or pooping.

But then, there is another ‘hole’ of explanation. We still can cut the fecal-oral route by using left hand to eat and use right hand to wash genitals after peeing. Why should we use the right hand to eat? That makes sense.

Now, it is all your choice whether how to tell your kids.

Me, myself, will be still learning Islam even though I was born in Islam, my parents and my surrounding people are mostly moslem. That condition will not make me stop questioning. And every time I don’t have an answer, I just keep asking to God, to keep ‘opening my eyes and ears’.

Again, I hate myself when I sound so preachy 😂

Maybe, it is just my brain which is unable to accept all these explanations.

I get the urgency of cutting my fingernails regularly, but why it is advised on Fridays?

Why Rasulullah use only three fingers (pointer, middle and thumb) to eat with his right hand?

Why people in north or south hemisphere have to fasting several hours more than people living in equator line?

Holy Quran 8:22
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۞ إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ

Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason.

—————-

Dublin, 39 days to Ramadhan.

I miss a place ..

I miss a place where I don’t have to think twice to buy a cup of coffee, tea, a cookie, a brunch, or a chocolate.

I miss a place where I can jump into any silly conversations without hesitating to throw any jokes and no body gets the joke.

I miss a place where I can pick any fresh vegs and smelly fish at a traditional markets by walking.

I miss a place where I can hear the Masjid prayers calling me at five times a day very loudly.

I miss a place where I can put my mask on and no one even asked why should I put it on 😂 – In Indonesia, it simply because the polluted air is not good to my lungs, but in here, I have to put it on because I have flu.. and when I put it on, it is like the whole passengers in the bus are watching me, until a very old lady asked me why I wear it loudly so everyone can hear my answer: I don’t want to spread the flu to any strangers, especially children. I just don’t like explaining my decisions to others. But, I appreciate that she asked me in person because she thought that I was not a masked muslim woman (?) – she is an usual passenger like me, so she knows how I dress almost every day.

I miss a place where I can wear no jackets, barefeet, and leave my house door open when going out.

I miss a place where I can see the sunlight all year around ☀️

Ah maybe I just got a seasonal affective disorder (SAD). No worries, I will get this done soon!

People in here just keep saying that I have to be happy and embrace all these things because this is an unusual experience as Indonesian. I do, believe me I do 😅 can’t someone survive and miss her/his home at once? 😂

Pengalaman *hampir* ketinggalan pesawat di Italy

Hari Rabu pagi, kami sudah mulai berangkat menuju kota Milan. Penerbangan ke Dublin sudah terpesan jauh hari dari Milan Airport pukul 21.25 sementara gate tutup jam 20.55. Sampai kota Milan pukul 3 sore. Aman.

Puter2 Milan lalu mulai naik bis bandara jam 19.00. Estimasi perjalanan bis bandara 50 menit sampai 1 jam. Sampai bandara realisasinya jam 20.00. Aman.

Liat antrian x-ray mengular, sampai depan gate x-ray pukul 20.15. Sambil pantau board, gate B23, paling ujung. Mulai deg-degan. Mau naruh bagasi buat di x-ray eh petugasnya notice kita belum Visa check di Ryan Air desk. Disuruh balik ke desk check-in.

Aaaaaakkk desk check-in Ryan air jauhnya minta ampun. Berlarianlah kami, ayah dorong koper dan stroller dan backpack sementara saya lari sambil gendong Rania 😭

Untungnya nih anak kooperatif banget, disuruh pegang erat mami ala monkey. Dia manut sambil bilang “Go go go mamiiii!”. Mami antara mau ketawa sambil nahan capeknya gendong anak 11kg. Harusnya dorong pk stroller sih biar cepet dan ga berat, tapi nanti lipet2 lagi waktu di desk check-in biar ga kena charge bagasi 😝

Di desk Ryan Air petugasnya lambrettaaaa, laaa haula kuwata ilaa billah 😣 sudah dapet stamp, langsung balik antri x-ray lagi yang mengular. Mami sama Rania potong kompas, langsung lewat bawahnya gate. Walopun masih nunggu ayah yg berlarian, setidaknya boyok ini terselamatkan 🤪

Sampai depan gate x-ray pukul 20.45, cukup ga ini 10 menit lagi gate ditutuuup. Bismillah, bootsnya mami kena x-ray, balik muter lagi. Rania nungguin sendirian sama petugas.

Selesai x-ray jam 20.50!! Mami gendong Rania sama dorong koper. Ayah bawa backpack berlarian ke gate B23 nun jauh di depan. Trus mami feeling ada yang kurang, teriakin ayah dari belakang, “Yaaaaahhhh! Stroller Rania manaaa?”

Baru nyadar, stroller Rania ketinggalan di belt x-ray 😒 Ayah lari balik ambil stroller, bunda ama Rania delosoran di lantai gate A nungguin Ayah dan stroller. Ayah balik, kita lari lagi. Full speed. 20.55.

Di tengah lari2, dipanggil ama mbak2. Jaket hitam ayah jatoh, ada HPnya di saku. MashaAllah masih rejeki, ayah udah melesat macam Barry Allen ke B23.

Boyok tak tertahankan, Rania kuminta balap lari sama bunda. Dia manut lari sekenceng2nya kejar ayah yang sudah tak terlihat. Sampai di gate B. Ada imigrasi keluar, ngantri lagi… aaaaaaakkkk gak berani liat jam. Mana petugasnya banyak nanya pula,

”Family name kalian bertiga kok gada yang sama?”

”Tipikal keluarga di Indonesia memang begitu pak, masih pakai last name kita masing2 walaupun sudah berkeluarga. Kita bawa marriage certificate kalau bapak mau lihat”

”Oh ga usah”, masih ngebolak balik paspor, damn!!!

”Ini paspor Fajar kenapa kok sudah diperbarui padahal masih berlaku sampai oktober?”

”Soalnya gada kedubes Indonesia di Irlandia pak, adanya di London. Jadi kita antisipasi dari jauh hari.”

”Oh begitu”

”Itu anakmu Rania Ramadhani ya?”

”Iya pak” 😭😭😭 udah pengen nangis rasanyaaaa.. Rania say hai ke bapak petugasnya, Alhamdulillah melunak. Bapaknya hi-five sama Rania 🖐🏻

Stamped!

Langsung cari nomer 23. Allah, gak ada nomer 23. Paling pol B21 😭😭😭 Mamak paniiikkk, Rania rewel minta Pizza. Akhirnya keliatan tulisan kecil, gate B22-24 masuk pintu khusus kecil berdinding triplek. Woot?! Sembarang lah, mau dinding batu juga kita jabanin 😂

Alhamdulillah, pesawat Ryan Air ke Dublin masih mengular, langsung ambil antrian priority. Cek paspor, cek boarding pass. Lanjut antri boarding yang masih nunggu pesawatnya ready. Rania ndelosor di lantai makan bekal pizza. Habis 2 slices dalam sekejap 😂 anak mamak laper beneran 😬

Setelah dipastikan gada barang bawaan yang tertinggal, kita cus naik pesawat dan tepar. Dengkul ma boyok kayak mau copot rasanya. Fiuhhhh…

Alhamdulillah belum dikasih pengalaman ketinggalan pesawat 😁 InshaAllah mamak akan ingat terus gimana deg-degannya nguber pesawat ✈️

My first proper snow

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It is extremely cold.

Every time I tell my supervisor that I am happy to see some snow and expecting snow in Dublin since it is impossible in Indonesia, she always reply with “that is a little chance we will have a proper snow in Dublin city. Only sleet which is easily melt on your hand. That is not snow.”

Fine, now we see a 10-ish cm snow at our backyard and almost everywhere in Dublin. Some have seen 17-ish cm and frozen water pipes and lights out. All transportation is disrupted and schools are closed 😁👍🏻 Grand!!

We have experienced snow at the moment 😍 and I have stopped my prayers to have a little snow. Thanks God for hearing my prayers 🙂

This might be similar with water flood in Indonesia. But, the flood cannot flow to anywhere because we have to wait until it is thawed, either by salt or by nature.

Good thing is the snow flood is not dirty and carry mice’s excrements 😝

Are we happy? Yes. But, we hope that homeless stay alive in warm shelters.

Do we enjoy this time? Yes. But, we hope there will be enough food and water for birds and squirrels out there. Rania always seek them everytime we open our curtains in the morning. She makes sure that they stay warm with their family, like written in her story books.

Do we expect to see this again someday? Yes. But maybe not in Dublin 🤣

Thanks God, we are satisfied with 3-day off and spend it well with our significant others at home 😊

How to get a letter of non-acquisition of Irish Citizenship?

Indonesian Embassy in London just issued a new regulation to renew Indonesian passport: a letter of non-acquisition of Irish Citizenship. This requirement is issued since we are, Indonesians, not allowed to have dual-nationality.

My husband renewed his passports less than a week ago and we have to deal with this new regulation. At first, we contacted the Citizenship Division at INIS via email to get the procedure and documents we have to complete to get this letter. Then, Mr. Tony Green replied our email and give these requirements and a questionnaire,

  • Complete this form
  • A copy of your birth certificate and certified translation if not in English
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable) and certified translation if not in English
  • A cover letter to specify the purpose of this letter, to whom these documents are sent to (Mr. Tony Green), and put your contact details on this letter

This request is free and no need to include extra envelope (I did this before and they don’t expect it). These documents should be returned to Citizenship Division, Department of Justice and Equality, Rosanna Road, Tipperary Town, E34 N566.

I can’t find these requirements and information until I asked directly to the Citizenship Division. So, I hope this article will be beneficial to whoever needs this letter.

P.S. Mr. Tony Green granted a permission to share this information or make the form downloadable and shareable. Feel free to share this.