The New Language

After my internship ended in Bali, the thought of a “quarter-life crisis” haunting me. I asked myself “What should I do to have a better life?”, “What I want to make my life happier?”, “When should I start to make my career? and many more questions come to my head. I applied to some job vacancies in Jakarta and Singapore but there was no luck.

After months I suddenly had a great, unpredictable, and crazy idea to sign up for a Chinese class in Indonesia. I thought, if I improved myself, added more skills I would have a better resume. But, life was not always good, and follow the plan “A”. After learning for 3 months, I didn’t make any progress and it was pissed me off to know I just waste my time. I wanted to stop but I’m asking myself again ” do I want to learn Chinese?”

I finally came out with a crazier idea. Let’s learn Chinese in China (specifically Hangzhou). Can I speak the language at that time? NO, Have I visited Hangzhou before? NEVER, Am I sure to go somewhere I don’t know and barely speak the language? YES!

Since I moved to Singapore back in 2014, I always know I like to explore myself. I want to know my limit. Moving to Hangzhou in 2018 is a new journey for me not only to learn the environment but to learn the new language, Chinese. One of the hardest languages in the world (that what people say). I know it won’t be easy to survive, but I know I will survive (’cause I’m a little bit stubborn).

I still remember the first day in China, the first day I attend my Chinese class. It was a total disaster. I can’t order my food, I can’t ask for bills, I can’t tell taxi drivers my house, and I just cannot speak at all. How can I survive? I think the universe just loves me that much. 9 months. The duration I’ve spent to be able to have normal conversations. 9 months the time I’ve spent to be able to read and text with Chinese characters. 9 months, not a short time nor a long time, just enough time for me to know I made it. I survive and make Hangzhou a place I can call home.

A new language, cannot be easy for anyone but not something impossible. Hangzhou transforms me into a stronger person. Hangzhou makes me learn to survive in a very crucial situation, and Hangzhou gives me new friends.


In August 2019, I manage to pass my HSK 4 certificate. Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) is an international standardized test of Chinese language proficiency, assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ abilities in using the Chinese language in their daily, academic, and professional lives. It means I can work in China. 

Oops! (got my first job in China before I get my test certificate, can you believe it). See you in my other storytime 🙂

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