3 Books About Being an Immigrant in America

Hello and welcome to a new post from the “Stories from the West” project which I am doing with Dixie! We will be writing 1 post each month with the same topic, to give you a glimpse of our lives as new immigrants in our respective countries. This month’s we are sharing some book recommendations about our adoptive countries and I’m sharing 3 books about immigration in The US. Happy reading and check out Dixie’s post here 🙂

I love that I have been able to read more since I moved to the US. I guess it’s one of the goods things that came out from my down time when I was still adjusting to life here – all the free time I had made me manage to get back to my reading habit, something that I was not able to do when I was still living in Jakarta.

If you have been friends with me on Goodreads, you would know that most of the books on my shelf are fiction, mostly young adults or romantic comedy. Yes, those are my favorite genre. But, I have developed an interest towards immigration stories here in the US, because, well, I am an immigrant myself, and immigration is an issue that is widely discussed here. So, for this post, I am going to share 3 books about immigration that I found deeply moving and I really enjoyed to read. Happy reading! 🙂

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas

This book is a memoir written by the author himself, a renowned journalist who happens to be undocumented. The book tells you about his journey – how he was sent to the US from the Philippines to live with his grandparents, with fake papers. Through great storytelling he told us how he first found out that he is undocumented, how he is fighting for his status, and the life that he has built in the US. I felt so moved by this book and I can only imagine the things that he went through. As you probably know, immigration is a big issue here and sometimes we are only exposed to one side of the story. This book gives you another one, and it’s a good read if you are interested in the issue.

We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adults by Susan Kuklin

This book is a collection of short stories from undocumented young adults living in America, written by an author and photographer. The stories are so heart-warming and it gives more perspective than the news about immigration in popular media. Well, I guess I have to warn you as well that this book is also heartbreaking. Through this book we are taken to peek the lives of these young adults that were brought / came to the US when they were still kids. Most of them don’t know life besides the one they have lived in the US so it is really heartbreaking to read about their stories… but at the same time these stories taught me a lot about hope and perseverance because despite everything, these young adults are striving and they are hopeful.

American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures by America Ferrera

Do you remember America Ferrera? Well I remember her from the TV series Ugly Betty that I watched several years back. I haven’t heard from her in a while until I found this book. It turns out that she’s a good storyteller too! She shares her story about coming from a Honduran family and compiles great stories from other notable public figures like Jeremy Lin, Randall Park and Kal Penn. The book does a great job in capturing stories of Americans with a diverse background and it makes me rethink the meaning of being an American in today’s society. For a long time, the image of being American to me is limited to the ones portrayed in Hollywood movies I saw growing up. Yes, those are true, but through this book, and my own experience living here, I learned that being American is such a wide spectrum. It is a heartwarming book and enjoyable book, and I recommend it if you want to get a better understanding of what it means to be an American in today’s diverse society.

Just Like Heaven

Kemarin saya dan R pergi ke festival Just Like Heaven yang diadakan di Queen Mary Park Long Beach. Saya kepengen banget – bangetan pergi ke festival ini sejak pertama kali lihat daftar artisnya yang nggak lain adalah hampir semua band favorit saya jaman (lebih) muda dulu! Mulai dari Breakbot, Passion Pit, Phoenix, dan nama – nama yang saya nggak pernah kebayang bakal ada kesempatan nonton seperti Tennis dan She Wants Revenge. Ya ampun, rasanya nggak percaya, mana tempatnya cuma 20 menit dari rumah! Kalau kata R, inilah salah satu untungnya tinggal di Los Angeles sebagai penggemar konser macam kami (Iya, untungnya kami berdua sama – sama penggemar konser walau selera musik nggak 100% sama).

Ini dia poster festivalnya

Perjalanan saya nonton festival ini juga nggak mulus – mulus amat karena saya awalnya gagal mendapatkan tiket (Nggak sangka, banyak juga orang yang mau nonton band – band lawas tahun 2000an ini). Eh, nggak taunya si promotor nambahin tanggal dan saya berhasil mendapatkan tiket di tanggal tambahan (Jumat 3 Mei) dengan harga resmi padahal baru beli tiketnya H-2 sebelum acara alias hari Rabu kemarin. Hampir juga saya pergi sendiri karena si R hampir nggak dapat cuti, tapi akhirnya semua aman dan kami berdua berhasil pergi.

Karena satu dan lain hal kami gagal datang tepat waktu dan jadinya baru sampai lokasi jam 2 siang, jadi saya terpaksa lewatin penampilan Peter Bjorn and John, She Wants Revenge, Miami Horror sama RAC (huhu). Tapi untungnya (tetep aja untung haha) masih bisa nangkep Tennis, terus lanjut deh Breakbot DJ Set.

Walaupun nonton Breakbot siang – siang tapi ternyata seru juga, set nya singkat tapi ciamik bahkan dia sempet puterin Stardust – Music Sounds Better with You dan Daft Punk – One More Time yang sukses bikin orang – orang makin semangat disko. Penampilannya ditutup dengan lagu Baby I’m Yours yang dinyanyiin live sama Irfane. Seru!

Breakbot

Habis Breakbot, kami lanjut nonton band berikutnya – Passion Pit. Kami udah pernah nonton Passion Pit tahun lalu tapi tetap semangat ingin lihat, dan ternyata nonton Passion Pit di festival lebih seru karena panggung nya lebih besar dan penonton nya lebih rame. Setelah Passion Pit, lanjut nonton Miike Snow – ini juga saya semangat banget karena bertahun – tahun dengerin albumnya tapi nggak pernah kebayang bakal nonton live! penampilan Miike Snow bagus banget, apalagi mereka bawain lagu – lagu hits nya termasuk favorit saya, Animal.

Kami sempat istirahat dari panggung utama dan kembali ke panggung kecil untuk nonton Grizzly Bear sambil ngemil – ngemil, terus balik lagi ke panggung utama buat nonton MGMT yang ternyata penampilannya … biasa aja hehe. Mungkin kami sudah mulai capek, tapi emang sih rasanya penampilan MGMT kemarin kurang greget gitu. Akhirnya kami kabur ke panggung kecil lagi dan istirahat sebentar sebelum nunggu The Rapture. Ya ampun The Rapture ini diluar ekspektasi karena penampilannya keren banget! Walaupun nggak tau semua lagunya tapi kami (saya sih, R kebanyakan angguk2 kepala dan goyang pundak doang) dibuat nggak berenti dansa… serasa lagi aerobik. Yang saya suka dari nonton konser atau festival disini, kalau mau joged silakaann bebas aja nggak perlu malu – malu. Mau gaya apa juga, pokoknya nikmatin aja musik dan bebasin aja gerakan. Asik kaann :)))))

Nggak kerasa tau – tau matahari sudah terbenam, sudah jam 8 malam dan badan kami serasa mulai rontok. Yeah Yeah Yeahs lagi manggung di panggung utama tapi kami nggak kuat nonton lama – lama. Balik ke panggung kecil dengan niatan mau rileks sambil nonton Beach House tapi baru 2 lagu malah kebawa ngantuk (kok jompo banget ya hahaha). Akhirnya kami duduk manis sambil nungguin Phoenix yang jadi band penutup jam 10 malam. Jam 10 teng Phoenix mulai manggung, dan nggak pakai basa – basi langsung bawain lagu – lagu hits nya. Saya sudah pernah nonton Phoenix di Jakarta jaman dulu (tahun 2008 ya kalo nggak salah). Waktu itu mainnya di venue yang kecil banget. Di Aksara bukan sih kalau nggak salah? Dan nonton Phoenix di panggung besar rasanya jauh lebih seru, beda banget deh nuansanya.

Phoenix jadi penutup manis buat festival Just Like Heaven kemarin. Agak nyesel nggak bisa datang lebih awal tapi nggak nyesel sama sekali udah bujuk – bujuk si R supaya cuti. Dia juga seneng, dan kami langsung bikin rencana konser berikutnya mumpung masih terbawa euphoria.

Nggak Ada Abisnya

Iya, nggak ada abisnya kalau ngomongin serial TV di Amerika. Asli deh. Dari dulu saya emang udah suka nonton serial TV terutama serial TV Amerika. Tapi dulu saya sih nontonnya yang terkenal2 aja macam Friends, Gossip Girl, The OC, dll dll ya kan… eh begitu pindah kesini, makin deh saya sadar kalau ternyata TV series di Amerika itu banyak banget segala macam dan rupa untuk semua selera! Apalagi rupanya awal musim gugur alias sekarang – sekarang ini tuh masanya premier serial TV. Banyak serial TV baru, banyak juga serial favorit yang kembali dengan season baru. Nah lho!

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Vendor Acara Pernikahan Kami

Hello! Balik lagi di Selasa Indonesia 🙂 seperti waktu itu yang saya udah janji, segera setelah foto – foto pernikahan saya terima dari fotografer, saya akan cerita lebih lengkap di blog ini. Kebetulan, foto – foto lengkap pernikahan saya baru aja sampai ke Amerika, dibawakan dalam bentuk USB oleh sepupu kami yang bulan Februari ini main kesini. Makanya saya rasanya baru kepengen cerita sekarang dengan foto yang lengkap 🙂 Oke, ngga usah panjang – panjang lagi ini karena post nya bakal panjang, langsung aja saya mulai review vendor acara pernikahan kami ya!

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Restoran Indonesia di Los Angeles

Waktu saya bilang kalau saya bakal pindah ke luar Indonesia, banyak orang yang bilang kalau saya bakal kangen masakan Indonesia. Tapi, untungnya karena saya pindah ke (pinggiran) kota Los Angeles, saya tetap bisa dengan relatif mudah mendapatkan masakan Indonesia, soalnya komunitas Indonesia disini cukup besar. Di post Selasa Indonesia kali ini, saya akan bahas beberapa restoran Indonesia di sekitar Los Angeles yang pernah saya datangi.

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Morningville Jakarta

Morningville is a new all day brunch place in Jalan Wijaya 1. Located under Conclave co-working space, Morningville offers comfort brunch food and a cosy-greenish atmosphere.

My friends and I were invited to their grand opening last week and got to try some of their food. Here’s what I think of them.

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