Indonesia: A tough life

I landed in Jakarta yesterday, and it felt a bit awkward landing back here. Many years ago, when I lived here, I used to laugh off my overseas friends’ concerns when they heard about the problems and security issues in Indonesia – now, I feel as if I were a foreigner, feeling home and yet feeling like a stranger in a country and culture that I grew up in. I suppose that my way of speaking and mannerism have changed, and I look at things in a different way too …

My sister’s driver drove me from the airport to the house in Kelapa Gading – We exchanged some pleasantries, and also discussed about the flood briefly. It made me realise how tough and challenging life is for the Indonesians – tiny units and rows of bleak-looking huts border alongside posh complex and apartment buildings. If a child is born in those huts, how could he compete with another child who has been educated in a good school and has started to speak in multiple foreign languages from an early age? I start to contrast their struggles with the daily struggle that I have back in Australia: to pay my mortgage, my bills, and to budget for the next renovation or perhaps to get a car, a dog, and so forth. I have enough money at least to pay my next meal and the ones thereafter – I have enough good and clean clothing and I have a house that I’m proud to call my own. Whereas a lot of Indonesians struggle just to be alive: bird flu, dengue fever, flood, national catastrophes, lack of fund, lack of prospect, and not enough resources even to support their life for the future – life is tough! At least I don’t need to worry about diseases and catastrophes living in suburbia Adelaide …

I won’t say that I have become a social champion – whilst in Indonesia, I will probably catch up with my ex-colleagues in posh cafés and restaurants, walk and shop around the malls, and continue to enjoy a good life. At least, I have learned to continue to be grateful of the life that I lead, and that I should help to lend a hand whenever I can …


Published by fuzz

I've finally relented to the lures of blogging - and for those who care, well, I'm a self-confessed geek who's a wanderer at heart, who thinks and analyses too much, and who's trying hard to hold on to his 7-year old inner persona.

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