**a very long post alert**
Us, MAPHILINDO in Meiji Jingu
My phone has been vibrating and whatsapp messages have been coming in for quite awhile. I reach for my phone and smile instantly when looking at the messages.
As expected, those are whatsapp messages from my Maphilindo clan. They even uploaded a few photos of our time together in Tokyo.
Oh memories... :)
Although I only know them for a short period of time, I can say for sure that spending time with them was one of the best moments of my life.
I can still remember on one fine Friday morning in August, I nearly fell off my office chair upon receiving an unexpected email.
The email was regarding my application to attend a training course in Japan which I had applied way back in May 2014. Upon reading the title of the email, I was holding my breath. A smile was spread across my face once I read the words "pleased to inform you", and the next thing I remember, I was jumping with joy from my seat after finished reading the email.
To cut the story short, my application was accepted and I was bound to go to Tokyo for a Patent Expert training course.
I was overjoyed.
How could I not? I almost thought that I would never have the opportunity to visit Japan again after my graduation in 2011.
But indeed, Allah knows more than anyone else does. I was given this beautiful opportunity to be in Tokyo once again for a good 3 weeks. There, I had the chance to meet great people whom I can't imagine not having throughout my stay there.
27 people from 10 different countries were chosen to be apart of the training starting from the 16th September 2014 to the 3rd October 2014.
Except the other 2 Malaysian participants (Farid and Puan Mariyam) whom I have met earlier at KLIA on that eventful Sunday of September 14, I met the other 24 participants in Tokyo Kenshu Centre (TKC) near Kita Senju Station, which we called home for 3 weeks.
To be exact, we officially met each other at our first lecture which was on the 16th September 2014. On that particular day itself, we exchanged name cards and introduced ourselves to one another during breaks.
Since we were seated according to our countries and names, I was seated next to Farid at the most rear seat of the classroom behind Neneng and Lubis who are from Indonesia. We easily connected to each other as Malay and Indonesian languages are similar. They also introduced Yogi to us Malaysians, who is another participant from Indonesia, and the 6 of us (3 Malaysians and 3 Indonesians) sat together in a long table at the cafeteria during lunch.
During lunch time (which we were shocked by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake), we introduced further about ourselves. The next thing we knew, we were already planning to go out together after our evening lecture. At that moment, it never even crossed my mind that it was our first step to a beautiful friendship.
Later that evening, as we have promised, 15-20 minutes after our lecture ended, we met each other at TKC lobby to start our first sightseeing together. Puan Mariyam told us that 2 participants from Philippines were joining us. I was actually quite doubtful at that particular moment that it would be a successful outing as 8 strangers walking together in a city that we were not familiar with didn't sound convincing.
How wrong could I be.
We had a blast on that first outing itself. From our walk from TKC to our train ride to the Tokyo Skytree and thereon to Ueno for dinner, we totally hit it off. I was so surprised myself how we could be so relaxed with each other though we knew almost next to nothing about each other a few hours before that.
Our first day out at Tokyo Skytree
I am glad to have Puan Mariyam who was seated next to me the whole time at APIC during lectures as she was practically my teacher who was very willing to teach me about the patent system in Malaysia. I love seeing how she is always very interested in knowing things deeply that during our time together she would always be the one left behind as she would be taking so many photographs of things and when uploading the photos in facebook, she is the one with all the information. :)
I am equally as glad to know Farid or Raja whom I always call as my mentor. Good to have him around who is willing to share some of his life experience with us all during dinner or any other free time. I am so thankful to have someone who comes from a similar background of company which is comparatively new and small but at the same time is developing very well along other big and established companies as it made me feel more confident being around the other patent experts. Thanks bro for the advice you have given me throughout those 3 weeks! :)
Next, Yogi, our group leader who shops a lot. The one with all the ideas and the one who was responsible for our daily activities. We are soo lucky to know this guy as he was also in Tokyo for a different course on IP just last year that he could still remember the attractions in Tokyo that we shouldn't miss. It was fun to have him around telling us about his hometown and how he's gonna bring us around if we have our reunion in Bandung. He already has all the plans ready in his head, just waiting for us to buy our tickets to visit him. One more thing, thanks Yogi for the confidence that you have in me that I can become one of the actresses in GGS. Hahahaha!
Lubis, the caring big brother to all. He was always aware of people's situation and tried to go all out in helping us. Without a doubt, he is generous in a lot of aspects. He always refused taking money from us if he had advanced some money. Also, he was always ready with his iphones to capture some crazy or candid moments of ours. Oh, he is indeed very creative in editing pictures too. Thanks so much Lubis, without you, we might not even know how we all look like without looking directly at the camera. You are definitely one good cameraman. :P
Neneng kaan! You are one very amazing sister one could ever have. Always cheerful and high in spirit when doing something. Even when you fell down the stairs the other day you could still keep your cool with a smile on your face. Seriously you should give me some tips on how to do that. Oh, I miss your excuses on why you deserve buying more stuff for yourself. Well, if I ever see another ABC Mart anywhere, I shall always remember you Neneng. :)
Cha our bro/judo master. You know how thankful we were towards you, right? Without her portable wifi, we could never make it through the lectures awake. I remember how difficult our days were, struggling to find free wifi in the developed country when she was not with us. :D Also, with her selfie stick, it was made easier for us to bond and show our crazy side with the hundreds of photos we took together. I also miss having our 'looking for similar tagalog-bahasa words' sessions. Thanks to that Cha, at least if I visit you and Kuya Cel in Manila one day, I will know how to find an umbrella if it is raining. :P
Last but never the least, our Kuya Cel who took endless videos while we were in Tokyo. He is the one with the most experience in IP industry in our group. The one who never stops thinking of useful and rare inventions. Kuya, you always amaze me on how your mind works because everything you see, you observe and think critically on how they might work. Again, I would like to thank you for the never ending moral support you have given me on opening my own business someday. Yeah Kuya, I really do hope so too that it will become a reality. :)
By looking at the date today, it has been exactly 1 month ago that I met all of you. How I miss our daily discussion on where to go after our lectures.
Those 3 precious weeks do not only limit me with new knowledge on patent, but I believe I have gained great network and built a great friendship which I shall treasure so much. Thanks guys for everything. If I were given a chance to redo it, I will not do it any differently. :)
On our last day i.e. the graduation day with all participants
@Shibuya Crossing with our classmates
Till we meet again!! MuahXXx! This goes without saying.. I miss you guys A LOT! :)