Tomorrow, I will have completed my first week in Hiroshima. During this week, I have been experiencing many new things and learning some new culture which we never find in our home country. Like living in other modern countries, the first things you will get impressed are related to their orderliness, dicipline, well-organized traffic, cleanliness, hard work attitude, respectfull to foreigners and so many things.
Hiroshima University is located at the eastern part of Hiroshima City, co-called Saijo region, which is about 25 kms from the central big and modern city, Hiroshima. Saijo is a developing area where you can still find many paddy fields in surrounding people settlement. I was surprised when I knew that Japan also produce their own rice, though it can be harvested only once a year in summer. The rice is a little bit different with the one we consume everyday in Indonesia, it is much more sticky. They need such character of rice due to their habit of using chopsticks (sumpit) for eating.
The first important thing you need to do is looking for an apartment. It’s not quite easy to find an apartment, that’s why I had to to stay at a campus dormitory (Yamanaka Kaikan) for the first 4 days, untill finally I got an apartment at the downtown of Saijo district near by Sun Square and Saijo train station. I am now staying at Mr. Yudi Adityawarman's apartment, a BPPT friend, and I share the rooms with him. He has a quite big apartment with three rooms, kitchen and bathroom. He used to stay with his family, but they have left Japan and been back to Indonesia a year ago.
Next thing that everyone needs to proceed is to get an alien card, which is like KTP or ID card for foreigner. Alien card can be obtained from the City Hall, the office that is responsible for resident, citizenship and even immigration. For inviting family, relatives or colleagues from Indonesia to come and stay in Japan, you need to submit the documents at this office too. To get an alien card is free of charge, however to get a temporary alien card it costs about ¥ 200 per sheet. This temporary card will be required for applying many things like student card, handphone number, etc.
I am lucky because, this apartment is equipped with internet connection which is 24 hour online. The connection speed is very very fast and unexpensive. You can download a 100 MB file within only 1 or 2 minutes. That’s why some Indonesian students use this connection for watching some Indonesian programs like MetroTV by streaming.
I came to Japan during the holy blessing month of Ramadhan. Though I can not feel like doing fasting in Indonesia, but fortunately, many moslem students from many countries are studying at Hirodai (Hiroshima Daigaku), the Japanese word for Hiroshima University. So this community is managing tarawih, together break-fasting, Jum’ah prayer and other religious activities. From Indonesia itself, there are about 80 students are stuyding at Hirodai, where some accompanied by their families. They are conducting master or doctoral programs. Some of them even become lectures at the University and few of them become associate professors. So I don’t feel no more loneliness.
That is for now. The next topic I will discuss about other living culture in Japan and I will put my focus on many kind of scholarship programs from which these Indonesian students get their financial supports. I hope this writting is beneficial for you and see you soon...