Archive | November, 2010

Southeast Asia- A love story

28 Nov

People often ask me why the hell do I love Southeast Asia so much. I never specifically chose to study Southeast Asia, I wanted to do Japanese but it was suggested that Indonesian would be more useful for a security degree. Studying Indonesian basically started the passion for SE Asia as it was the first real class I had where people really got along with one another and was a hell of a lot of fun.

Then after my first trip to Indonesia and Singapore I was completely sold. I’d been to Thailand in the past and loved it but to live the Southeast Asian lifestyle for a month blew my mind completely. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to say I’ve been to all the Southeast Asian countries. So far I can only claim Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines but soon hopefully Malaysia, Vietnam and Burma will be on that list. I love most things about Southeast Asia especially the chaotic pace of life and the humidity. On top of that the place has soul and always has a new experience to offer. It is the pinnacle of diversity particularly in countries such as Indonesia which are a melting pots of culture, language and ethnicity.

I would say ANU has totally helped that passion and furthermore helped me to expand on it, letting me study courses to improve my knowledge and giving me chances to organise things such as Indonesia Day which promote the region to young people. For now though I have to go and practice some dancing as I have to teach a traditional Indonesian dance workshop down the coast on Friday when I haven’t actually performed the dance for 3 weeks.

Yikes

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An Introduction- Round 2

22 Nov

Well here I am again. I totally cleared all the blog posts from last year and decided to start fresh for Indonesia round 2.

But really can I say I am the same person who wrote this blog last year? It was funny looking over some of the things I wrote about Indonesia, completely naive about the country especially with my worrying about wifi, my brilliant idea not to take a laptop and the fact I honestly did not have the slightest clue about the country.

So what makes me different now? I’ve lived in Indonesia for a month, I have Indonesian friends, have studied the language, culture, history and politics to a much more indepth level and feel I have a tiny bit off a clue about the country. Does this mean it will be easy this time around? Probably not. I do know where to go in Sala3 (that’s the cool way to say Salatiga) if I want to go to the shops, buy late night chocolate supplies or get a good massage. I know what angkot (mini bus) will take me to campus from my house and that the chicken strips, french fries and onion rings from cosmos are delicious and Happy Chicken is the best fried chicken you will ever taste. I know that 4 hours of Indonesian a day is hard work and that what looks like an easy mountain to climb probably isn’t.

This time will be different however. Some of my friends will come back with me however a lot won’t and I will be considered to be one of the more experienced people there meaning that I will have to adopt a role like John did last time being a wealth of knowledge and gently guiding people in the right direction (although that may not be a word used to describe him very often)

So this is it. This is my story of a trip that will encompas many countries Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. I can’t wait to see old friends and live the Indonesian life once again as well as making new friends and seeing new, amazing places which I can appreciate much more now that I have a greater understanding of the Indonesian Way.

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