I am not able to upload the pictures after having wifi for little more than 24 hours at my new place, but to be able to blog from home without having more pressing needs is truly a luxury. Whew, I’m in Jakarta, or more specifically BSD, a suburb.
Are there mosquitoes? Is it hot? Is the electricity a bit touchy? Is it inconvenient to get around without a car? Are there rats? When you read about these realities from a culture shock book, they seem almost unscalable, possibly anxiety inducing. When encountered in real life, you somehow accept the hurdles and press on.
Part of the reason is that they’re mixed in with unexpected pleasant surprises as well. The people of Indonesia are always ready with a smile. The bedrooms are air conditioned to the point of needing a blanket or comforters which seem to be on every bed where I’ve slept. The school is absolutely gorgeous–the “Peace Park” promised in the video, cannot truly be captured on film. No one seems stressed with less than a week of vacation left. My new place is in a beautiful green (The Green) neighborhood or compound with clusters. I can access podcasts on my iPhone.
I went to church for the first time in Lippo Village which seems like a Disneyland version of an American city. So scrubbed and mall-ish. BSD is grittier. Closer to the way you imagine living in another country might seem.
We were greeted with a Lion Dance on our first day of orientation. We’re spending this week meeting with our departments and planning. I feel like I’ve graduated. Like you’ve stepped into that ideal teaching culture you think you’re planning for in education classes. We’ll see what happens next week when students arrive . . .
In the past month, I have become a landlord in America and an employer in Indonesia, as I now have a pembantu, Atik. She’s a sweetheart. I’ve changed money several times, ridden in my first angkot, eaten gado-gado and generally flipped my life upside-down. But it still feels like me, living my life. Not an alternative universe. If that makes sense.
P.S. Posted the images after having wifi for 3 days.