Jenesys 2.0 Pop Culture (2013): Part 1 – Selection and Departure

3:48 PM

I should say I was so lucky got a chance to visit Japan for a week and learning about their pop culture industry. It’s all because of Jenesys 2.0, a program by Japan Ministry of Foreign Affair (MOFA). In this post, I will share to you my experience from excitement of selection process to a very sad farewell. Actually I joined this program on October 2013, but I was too busy with my master thesis.

No. I was just too lazy to write.
The Selection
Believe it or not, I saw someone posted the info on one of my J-Pop fandom group in Facebook (Yes, when it’s called destiny, it is just happened). It thrilled me. I mean, Japan and pop culture? Heaven!

There were three categories that we may choose: Anime, Fashion, and Entertainment. Definitely I chose entertainment since, you know, I am a hard fan of Arashi, hahaha. To join the selection, we need to fill the form, attached the copy of our student ID, and a 5-minutes video of how we love Japanese Pop Culture.  The last one seems pain in the ass but I had so much fun creating it!

When I knew it, there were just 2 days left before deadline. So I rushed to tell my boyfriend and it was good to know that he was so supportive. So we turned our favorite coffee shop, Veranda Café, into our work station for that day. I worked on the storyline and my boyfriend worked on his DSLR. When creating story line, I realized that the committee was not looking for a hardcore otaku, but someone who could represent Indonesia in front of other countries, had a good knowledge about Japan and its pop culture, and also had an idea of what they were going to do after they got home with the knowledge they got from the program. So, here are some points I brought in my video:
  • I’m a Balinese and ready to present Indonesian culture in the forum, if needed.
  • I love Japan and Japanese Pop Culture, so that it encouraged me to learn Japanese language and culture.
  • I was pursuing my master degree and plan to lift up one of Japanese pop culture product for my research title.
Lucky that we both, on that day, went home to Bali for holiday. A lot of beautiful places that we could use for the shooting. Lucky too, the café was near Bali Art Centre, so we just sneaked into an empty open-stage and…action!

My boyfriend was taking a test shot. Let's consider it as a sneak peak from my selection video. The video was really embarrassing for me, so I hid it after I got selected.

The Departure
On the day I was selected, I couldn’t explain how happy I was. It was like losing myself for a second. I went wild, hahaha. Then few days later, someone from the Embassy called and checking for anything I need for the departure, especially visa. Luckily, I had already owned my passport so no need any drama to go back to Bali to create a passport. The excitement escalated when the handbook came with the schedule. I just knew that I would not only visit Tokyo, but also Fukuoka. Suuuuper excited!

Then the departure day was there. I went to the airport with Jodi who happened to enroll in the same university with me, but he was in undergraduate program. At the airport, I met other participants and although I was kind of envy seeing their family to see them off, but hey! I was going to go to Japan for the first time and for FREE, so no time for frown face!

All participants from Indonesia, after a short briefing.

Time for coffee with the boys: Nana, Djodi, and Satria. Thanks God I had a sandwich because I couldn't survive with a piece of banana until breakfast.

The other thing that excited me (yes, yes, a lot of things excited me!), I was going to fly with JAL for the first time – and maybe last time because I knew I couldn’t afford it, hahaha.

Hap! Hap! Let's depart!

The flight was departed at night. I was in one row with Nana and Prisca who had given me a really fun time during the long flight. We talked about ourselves, how we participated in the selection, and made some crazy fantasies, for example:
Me: Have you ever imagined… That this is just a dream and tomorrow when we wake up, we will be on our own bed and we never know each other…
Nana & Prisca: NOOOOOO!!!!

Yeah, that was too horrible to imagine :P

When we woke up, JAL greeted us with a video of how to do stretching after hours of sitting. Thank you, because our feet felt so numb. Soon the cabin crew served our breakfast. I should say I liked my breakfast. Rice, meat, bread & butter, green tea, sashimi, and one thing that had my attention: Yakult.
Yes, I love drinking Yakult and there were two Yakult in front of me. The bottle was bigger than the usual Yakult that is sold in Indonesia, so I thought those were Japanese Yakult. Then I turned the bottle and read…
What the-
Ok, forget about the Yakult. We took a selfie pic on the plane and that was the first photo I uploaded with geo-tag Japan. Wohoo!
From left to right: me, Prisca, and Nana. Selfie time!

By the way, the photo was taken before Nana poisoned us with tomato juice that tasted like tomato sauce in canned sardines. Not JAL’s fault at all. We just never had tomato juice tasted like that in Indonesia. Actually Nana was just saying that the juice tasted weird, but instead of leaving it, he offered us to taste. The juice made me and Prisca down for one day. Every time we burped, the sick taste crawled through our throat and tickled our tongue.

Lesson learnt, Nana. Lesson learnt. 

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