Knowing many overseas students and fellow migrants in Australia also means reading various statuses such as “I wish I were home this Christmas” or “Home for Christmas!”. Some who are ‘stuck’ in Australia during the festive season are lamenting the fact that they won’t be home with their family or loved ones, whereas those fortunate enough to be home gleefully share photos and pictures of their trip.
With 40% of my life so far spent in Australia, home is no longer a straightforward concept. As time goes by and as I continue to establish my life in Adelaide, home is shifting ever so steadily to my life in Australia. Some may think that I am a ‘kacang lupa pada kulitnya’ (literally translated as ‘a peanut who forgets its husk’). It’s an Indonesian saying describing those who conveniently dismiss their origins when they achieve greater success. It’s just that as much as I love being with my family, eating the food that I LOVE, or speak my mother tongue – I miss my house, my work, my surrounding, my routines, my friends, my dog, and many more things. In other words, I miss home.
So, as Yani and I finish our three-week holiday in Indonesia, I can’t wait to be back in Adelaide. Our house may not be perfect, it needs a lot of work, but it’s our home. We may not drive the flashiest car, but it’s our car. We may have less money than some of my siblings and we may enjoy fewer privileges than what we would have, had we stayed in Indonesia – but Adelaide’s home now. I continue to return to a quote that I spotted in a hotel in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2006, that “Home is not where you live, but where you feel understood.”
I know that for as long as I live I will still be caught between two countries, two cultures, and two or more cities – but my home is in Adelaide.