My second visa extension means 3 months already but there are other signs:
- 18ºC is fucking cold
- A meal without rice is like the internet without porn. Rice should be eaten in generous portions at least 3 times per day. Fish with rice is the best breakfast, preferably eating with the hands which will leave your fingers with that nice familiar smell…
- Western toilets and showers are rare luxuries. Squatting toilets and mandis (water bucket and small scoop) are the way to go. With the first I improved a lot, Currently my dumping field goal is above 90%.
- Bahasa Indonesia is the language I speak most of the time, nice but lots of small talk and headaches at night. I even learn some words in local languages. They have over 700. That would be a nightmare for Spanish right wingers, how would they manage to eliminate all of them?
- Waking up after 7am is a late sleep and very seldom happens. Mosques and chicken are reliable alarm clocks
- I’d never think about eating at McDonalds or KFC but, here, apart from decent toilets as usual, they offer free WI-fi and sometimes even computers
- You drink hot water and wash yourself in cold water
- More than $1 for a meal is bloody expensive! $2 for a beer is a need.
- Meeting someone from Sumatra gives me homesick feeling, especially if they are Batak Toba or Minang kabau.
- Indonesia is my 2nd country in FB friends number and I get way more phone calls than when in Europe
- I am able to discuss ferry timetables with locals, even sometimes to give advice. This is not a small issue here. I am even getting into pelni, government-owned huge ships that wander around the country following what at first sight look like random routes/schedules (they are not). Currently I even can name a few (tilongkabila, sirimau…).
- I know everything can be made of bamboo, banana leaves and coconuts. McGyver could conquer the world with these.
- I buy cigarettes to offer the friendly people who give me lifts or feed me. When they offer me cigarettes and I say that I don’t smoke they always ask “why not?”
- I found myself riding around town on the back of a motorbike with an alive chicken in one hand and a bottle of arak (strong booze) in the other. It felt natural.