There are lots of fun and exciting things happening at the moment – weekends with friends, weddings and big reunions….in the UK.
I’m sure when I tell people that I live in Indonesia and teach English they think what I actually do is have a chat with a few kids for a few hours everyday and then spend my weekends surfing in Bali or climbing volcanoes. Everyone always tells me how jealous they are as if they could never actually do this themselves (which, by the way, is complete rubbish) but along with this assumption goes the one that I have not sacrificed anything to be here.
Aside from the obvious, once in a lifetime things are happening (this is a shout out to all my friends who decided to get married in the one year that I was living out of England!) and I’m not there – enter F.O.M.O – aka the fear of missing out. I know I am experiencing amazing things here that I may never have the opportunity to do again, but it doesn’t take away the disappointment of missing out on an important event, and the fact that in years to come people will talk about these things and I will have no input.
I guess it’s something to suck up and just accept but it would be wonderful if Harry Potter was real and I could apparate home for the day a few times a year!
So for those of you who didn’t know, my Mum is here visiting at the moment! Woohoo!
After a very stressful experience trying to get to the airport, we were finally reunited on Tuesday night 🙂
It’s so lovely to have her here 🙂 I feel like I’ve been imagining and wanting to show her my life here for such a long time that now she’s actually here, it doesn’t seem real at all!
We’re off on a little adventure tomorrow, but for now she’s having to sit tight and observe my life! Yesterday we went to one of my classes where the students had made cards for ‘Miss Maria’! Very cute!
Eeeeek it’s all so exciting!
Today was more manic than most – I am desperately trying to get prepared for Mother Hen’s imminent arrival! It doesn’t really seem real – I remember 6 weeks ago when we were confirming flights and dates thinking that it was ages away, but boy has that time flown by – as is often the way here.
I have an evening of cleaning and organisation ahead of me, so I shall leave you with these cuties…
Just another manic Monday, I wish it was Tuesday…
I thought I’d share some of my students’ work with you today – one heartbreaking story (not totally original, I know, but cute all the same) and an advice poster on how to deal with a broken heart (the task was ‘make a poster to give some advice to teenagers suffering from the most common problem nowadays’!). Enjoy…..
I know you’re all crying now, so….
Yesterday I ticked another item off my ‘Indonesian bucket list’ (which, by the way, I will never finish because I add probably 3 new things every week!) and that was a trip to Ancol, North Jakarta.
Despite having lived here for 7months now and having heard fun things about Ancol, I’ve never made it because it’s a 2hour trek across the city and I can never really be bothered at the weekend.
My first sighting of Jakarta’s ‘beach’ (let’s just say, I miss Cornwall!)
Ancol is essentially an entertainment park with beaches, a theme park, convert venue etc, but we went to visit Eco Park.
We spent the afternoon cycling around enjoying the green sights – unfortunately a rarity here!
It was fun but I’d be lying if I said that my bum wasn’t hurting even just a little bit today!
Ancol – tick!
Yesterday marked 7months since I left the UK, so to ‘celebrate’ I took a photo every hour to show you a little glimpse of my day to day life.
8am – Breakfast time!
9am – hi ho hi ho it’s off to school I go!
10am – Last minute planning….
11am – Saturday morning class – full of very confident students!
(Wish I could work out how to rotate these pictures on my phone!)
12pm – Lunch time! Complete with the chillies that I always have to pick out..! (The fly was a special addition for the weekend though)
1pm – School has finally finished – time for some batik shopping 🙂
2pm – Still shopping – I bought this funky reversed jacket! 🙂
3pm – Snack time on the way home from school. Sop buah (fruit soup!) – my favourite 🙂
4pm – A little afternoon reading break…
5pm – I forgot…oops
6pm – En route to a date night with the girls 🙂
7pm – Dinner time! We went to a pizza place that I’ve been wanting to try for a while 🙂
8pm – and they even had Cuban Mojito flavoured beer!
9pm – Off to the cinema to see the new Spider-Man film which was amazing 🙂
10pm – I didn’t forget this time, but couldn’t really take a picture of the cinema screen!
11pm – A happy Sophie at the end of a happy day! Bed time!
Tonight, just like any other, I was on the bus on the way home from work chatting away to my housemate, Emma, when a young-ish guy dressed in a suit got on. This is nothing out of the ordinary – he smiled at us and then busied himself on his phone (as is the Asian way) and we thought nothing of it.
A little while later, he got off the bus and while he was waiting for his change stood in the doorway and snapped a photo of us.
Now this is not that uncommon here – the area of Jakarta that I like in is not exactly known for being full of westerners and people are often excited to see us. My general rule on this is if people ask for a photo then I don’t mind, but doesn’t snapping on secretly seem like a slight invasion I my privacy? Now I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve taken sneaky pictures before, but since having it regularly happen to me I’ll think twice about it in the future (also, I’m sure I’m always more subtle than some here!). The secret paparazzi act begs the question, what are you going to do with these pictures?? I have been in situations before where someone has asked for a photo with me and then I’ve seen them set it as their profile picture – really?! Surely that’s just wierd?! I’m flattered that you think so much of me but I’m not a celebrity!
I really hope that one day not a million years from now everybody will be used to seeing, and accepting of, every other type of person in the world – just because my skin is a different colour doesn’t make me any better than you, and it doesn’t give you a right to point and stare and photograph me everywhere I go. Treat others as you’d want to be treated yourself, yeah?
In the meantime, I’m off to read ‘Half Caste’ – this whole post has just reminded me of that poem!
2 fun things for today…
1) After almost 7 months, I finally braved an Indonesian hairdresser today! I went equipped with photos and enough nerves to fill a really big bag but I think it went okay….and a 7-year old told me it looked beautiful so….
2) on an even less serious note, everyone in Indonesia has ‘sausage pillows’. I’m not sure of the official name but you get the idea. I’ve never really been totally sure why, but one of my students today told me ‘your sleep time is not happy enough’ because I didn’t cuddle it to sleep every night. I promised to try tonight and provide feedback next class…. Oh the things you do for your students!
If we were to go out for coffee and a catch up today, this is how the conversation would go …
I’d probably start by telling you how much I needed a holiday! Seriously, I love my job and normally enjoy my classes, but the planning and paperwork is getting on top of me and I could really do with some time off.
Which brings me to number 2, in 3 weeks Mother Hen will be here visiting! Woohoo! I’d probably tell you all about how I really needed to do some holiday research and need to set aside some weekend time for this.
I’d ask if you’d read any good books lately. I’ve just finished The Kite Runner (a-ma-zing) and am looking for my next read. Talking of entertainment, I’d tell you all about my trip to the cinema to see The Other Woman last night and about how I’ve decided I need to cram as many films as possible in to my last 5 months here because I’m never going to be able to bring myself to pay extortionate UK cinema prices again!
I’d probably also mention my surprise at how much I love my new class of 5 year olds. I know, I know, you’d look surprised and remind me that I’d always said I couldn’t imagine anything worse, which is true, but I’d tell you about a cute girl that always gives me a huge hug goodbye – makes me melt inside!
I’d finish by asking you about your Friday night plans and inviting you to come and eat nasi goreng and watch The Inbetweeners with me! So…coffee?
When I visited Pulau Pari a few weeks ago, I spent some time taking photos with and talking to some of the local children. They didn’t speak English and it was a great way for me to practice.
I came back with a new motivation to improve my Indonesian language skills – the same thing had happened when I returned from Bandung a few weeks ago.
The language thing is really tough – day to day life is pretty simple these days – coming across words that I cannot mine/explain is not the daily occurrence it once was, and as a result I need to really force myself to study and review new vocabulary and practice outside of lessons. I feel slightly hypocritical given that those are all the things I encourage my students to do, but I do appreciate how tough it is.
I have a lot of exciting travels lined up over the next few months, and I hope they really give me a) the opportunities to practice and b) the motivation I need to take this to the next level.
Let’s do this!