It’s been a month now. And I really – really – really – like it here. I heard a lot of stories from people going abroad, that they would have moments where they would get homesick, they missed Dutch food, and most of all they experience culture shock.
I am not homesick. I’m sorry to all my friends back home, but I am just not. I don’t miss The Netherlands at all. I do miss my friends but we still keep in touch and Skype whenever I can. Maybe I don’t miss it because I prepared for this for so long, I was ready to leave it all behind and start over.
I can write a whole post (and maybe I will some time) about the food. But here, suffice it to say… I love it. I am in love with it. Everything I eat is so good and it is all so cheap. You can buy it everywhere and anywhere and it never fails to amaze me. I tried to discover why it was that I loved it so much and I came to a conclusion. It’s because everything they use is pure. It’s just vegetables, herbs, rice… Okay, sometimes they add some oil (or a lot of oil), which is the only downside, but still. The ingredients are not processed and that really improves the taste. I have to say it again, I really love the food. Really.
I have not experienced any culture shock. But I think that is because I came very well prepared. I had already seen a little bit of the world and I actually made everything way more scary and different in my mind than it really was.
I also have a theory that the culture shock will be bigger if you try to hold on to your Western beliefs and ideas. I like to think I am a very open-minded person and so when I got here, I just let everything happen and I literally went with the flow. I wanted to eat what the locals ate, travel the way they travel and learn as much about the culture as possible.
I imagine if you intend to find the Western food and culture here and you don’t find it… that might be a shock. But I immersed myself in everything Indonesian and that made it really easy. I was looking forward to all the cheap fruit, the rice and the joy of not having to cook. I wasn’t looking forward to going around on the back of a motorbike, but I gave in to that experience too and now I love it.
And I discovered something very important along the way.
I love Indonesia…Honestly, I didn’t think I would and I don’t know why. I figured I would miss the comfort of home, having people around you who you can count on and knowing your way around. But a new place is only new for so long until it becomes something else…
It becomes home too.
I think a big part of me loving it here is the food and the other part is the people. Because making friends is not that hard. Great people are everywhere and the Indonesian people are just so nice. It is impossible to not feel good here, when everywhere you look you can expect to find a smile on someones face. Where in The Netherlands something would be too much effort for someone, here they do it for you without complaining. They even offer!
I do have to admit that another part of my love for Indonesia has to do with the prices. Everything is so cheap here. You can take a taxi or ride on the back of a motorbike to go to places, food is super cheap and the rent is cheap.
I feel like I get such a good deal every time I buy something and really… It all adds to the happy feelings!
So, if you were wondering how I am doing here, the answer is great! I’s been a month and even though I still have four months left, I am already dreading the moment I have to get on a plane to leave it behind (but then again, it will be to travel, so maybe excitement will overrule my dread).
Regardless, I already know I will definitely come back to Indonesia after I leave it this time.