You Know You Have Been Too Long in Indonesia When…

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.
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