Looking back at 2012 so far, it has been a crazy year. But the memories of this year are crystal clear.
Until this day i am still struggling with what some people may associate as reverse culture shock. People who does not understand how it feels sometimes say that i am out of touch, lacking the local culture, or worse prideful and minding of one social status. To those who has doubts about me including some recent interviewer, let me be clear that it is none of those things.
Eleven years living pretty much by myself, setting my own rules, in command of my time and flexibility, when i choose to wake up, when i choose to sleep, when i do my work, and when to hang out with whom, pretty much set my path to a particularly devastating effect of reverse culture shock. Until this day, i still think in english, and i speak with myself in english, when i lack the indonesian words to utter, i turn to english as if its reflex.
Back in my hometown of Semarang, and living with the family again has been a difficult time.
Back to having curfew, back to being under my parents watch. I shudder at the thought of how will i find the flexibility to date somebody if it ever comes to that.
I miss the restaurant in Melbourne terribly, the standard of food here is just subpar. Also i miss my hang out friends. I sometimes go to the only Starbucks in the city alone, buying the same old Frappucino Mocha Java Chip with the name Alex on it, and then sit down alone, wishing my friends were there with me to talk shit, except of course there were none.
I may never again have Starbucks drinking buddies for the foreseeable future, as Starbucks is considered upscale here, even though it is cheaper than Melbourne.
I miss going to the bookshop and browse English books, because even the biggest local chain doesnt have any.
I am also reduced to eating Mcdonalds and Pizza hut, as Grilld and +39 is of course not available here.
My internet is literally back to stone age. And even though you can buy HDTV in indo, there are no free to air HDTV channel, which means ur hdtv purchase is now useless.
But chiefly, i miss melbourne cold weather, and the free public spaces that it has for people to sit down and do nothing, because here every piece of land is for sale.
I doubt many people would understand how i feel. It is not because i am out of touch with the real world here in Indo. It is simply because their real world, is not how my real world used to be.
And i am still struggling with that.