Journey to Wuhan

Wuhan, ibukota dari Propinsi Hubei di daerah China Tengah, merupakan kota tempat tinggal teman-teman China seperjuanganku di AsTW 2010. Saat mengunjungi negeri panda akhir Juni – awal Juli yang lalu, aku menyempatkan diri untuk berkunjung ke Wuhan. Lokasinya cukup jauh dari Beijing, memakan waktu sekitar 11 jam perjalanan dengan kereta, dengan total jarak sekitar 1220 km.

Perjalananku ke sana dimulai dengan membeli tiket di Stasiun Kereta Beijing (pusat). Tiket kereta yang kubeli adalah tiket soft seat seharga kurang lebih 500.000 kalau dirupiahkan. Memang sangat mahal. Namun, mengingat jaraknya yang jauh dan fasilitas kereta yang setara dengan kereta eksekutif di Indonesia, ya tak mengapalah. Saatnya menikmati hasil menabung 2 tahun terakhir ini :D.

Kereta yang kugunakan adalah jurusan Beijing Xi – Hankou dengan kode kereta Z3. Di China, jenis kereta dibagi-bagi berdasarkan kodenya. Ada yang K, Z, T, dan D. Kelas yang paling lambat jalannya adalah K, kemudian T, Z, dan yang paling cepat adalah D. Untuk kelas D, mungkin bisa disamakan dengan Shinkansen-nya Jepang (Bullet train).

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Ini dia “D train” aka Shinkansen ala China 😀

Nah, selain pembagian kode kereta, ada juga pembagian kelas di dalam kereta. Ada hard seat (kayak di kelas ekonomi), soft seat, hard sleeper dan soft sleeper (yang ini paling pueenak!!). Berhubung saat itu adalah pas liburan musim panas, banyak orang Beijing yang mudik ke Wuhan. Alhamdulillah, aku masih beruntung bisa mendapatkan tiket soft seat di saat peak season ini.

Perjalanan ke Wuhan dimulai dengan perjuangan ke Beijing East Railway Station ato Stasiun Kereta Beijing Barat (Beijing Xi Zhan). Berhubung China sangat luas dan banyak penduduknya, maka stasiun kereta dibagi-bagi sesuai arah tujuannya. Ada stasiun Beijing Barat, Timur, Selatan dan Beijing Pusat. Karena Hubei Province letaknya di barat daya Beijing, maka stasiun keretanya adalah yang Beijing Barat.

PS: Untuk foto-foto perjalanan ke Wuhan, please:

Essay : Why I want to join AsTW 2010

Berikut ini adalah esai yang kutulis dalam rangka memenuhi salah satu persyaratan aplikasi ASEAN in Today’s World 2010 yang diselenggarakan atas kerjasama antara Mahidol University International College (Salaya – Thailand) dan Kyushu University (Fukuoka – Japan). Kegiatan ini telah dilaksanakan pada 26 Februari – 14 Maret 2010 yang lalu… Semoga bisa memberikan gambaran dalam menulis esai untuk aplikasi beasiswa atau kegiatan sejenis :D! (maap kalo banyak grammar yang salah. ha..ha..)

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Essay : Why I want to join AsTW 2010

By: Retno Widyastuti

Since the time I read the announcement of this program, I’m highly motivated to join ASEAN in Today’s World, because it supports the process of integration and the creation of mutual understanding among the people from many nations, especially between ASEAN people and Japan.

If we looking back to the history, in 1977 Prime Minister Fukuda announced three major concerns on the relations between ASEAN and Japan, which is called as ‘Fukuda Doctrine’. It mentioned ; 1) the commitment to peace, and rejection of military power; 2) Consolidation of mutual confidence with Southeast Asia based on ‘heart-to-heart’? understanding, covering political, economic, and social and cultural areas; 3) Partnership with ASEAN, supporting ASEAN solidarity and resilience, and mutual understanding with nations of Indochina. Since then, the relations between Japan and Southeast Asian countries keep on developing. The most interesting point for me is the ‘heart to heart understanding’. It means that ‘soft’? approach is being used for building up the relations among nations, through the support for cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

In my opinion, the AsTW can give many advantages, which can help the participant to enhance their experience about cross cultural studies. Then, it also trains them to face the reality of life about the world’s diversity, learn the leadership values, conflict and resolution, teamwork, and also social interaction and communication among nations. I believe that the more experience’s of human have, the more they can grow their maturity to solve many problems in their life. Knowing this fact, I want to be the part of this precious event and contribute something to my society in Indonesia (specifically) and also ASEAN region and the world (generally).

My educational background in undergraduate degree was International Relations (IR). I have very high interest on how international people relate each other through many kinds of interaction, communication and cooperation in the term of social, political, economical, cultures, education, etc. Furthermore, in this globalization era, the international relations not only dominated by the state, but already spread in grass-root level. So, this is the chance for a common people, like me, can do an international contribution through people to people relations.

I have short term and long term goal for joining AsTW. For the short term goal, I want to learn as much as possible and build up international networks. As for my long term goal, I want to be a lecturer in International Relations major. I hope that in the future my experience can be useful for my students. Of course, to be a good lecturer, I have to increase my quality. Not only on the knowledge of the IR, but also on the IR’s practical experience. I have a strong commitment to realize the concepts of education; 1) emphasizing knowledge, 2) growing the maturity and 3) developing the good manners, for my future students.

In AsTW, I would like to share my experience and knowledge about ASEAN, especially Indonesia as my origin country, and also about Japan as my current major. Indonesia has many diverse cultures inside herself. There are hundreds of ethnic, local languages, and also various traditional customs which is spread in thousands of islands. In my experience, since I was a child I have been moving for several times and staying in several cities in Indonesia, such as North Sumatra, Jambi, South Sumatra, Central Java, Yogyakarta, and Jakarta. Each place has different cultures and unique customs. It helps me to understand more about my own country and also trains me how to face many people from different culture.

I’m always being interested with something ‘new’ such as cultures. So that’s why, during the AsTW program, for the ASEAN Studies Courses (ASC) I’m planning to take Current Affairs of ASEAN and East Asia’s class, which is suitable with my educational background. And for the Asian Language & Culture Courses (ALC), I will take Basic Thai Language and Culture. It is very interesting to learn Thai language and culture. And in exchange, I would be very happy for introducing and discussing about my cultures and languages with other participants. By understanding the other cultures and languages, we can communicate and understand each other which can support the ASEAN’s integration and the forming of ASEAN Community.

I’m sure by sharing and discussing the theme with each other, these can help us to broaden our perspective and knowledge. The more experience we will have, the more knowledge we will gain. By gaining more knowledge, we can increase our chance to create a better understanding about the others. As the vision of ASEAN to build ASEAN Community in 2015, I think it is the right time for us to realize our dreams become true, step by step.

With those explanations above, I hope that I can be a suitable candidate for ASEAN in Today’s World. I’m really excited and highly motivated to be the part of AsTW in Mahidol University, Thailand. So, I’m really looking forward for it! Tanoshimi!