You Know You Live in Indonesia When. . .


Indonesia is definitely a different place. Here are some of the highlights that I’ve noticed and jotted down.

You know you live in indonesia when. .  .

  • You come prepared to the bathroom with Kleenex in your pocket. Toilet paper is rare.
  • There aren’t any recycle bins. The closest thing to a recycling bin is a garbage can beside our house. We put non burnable trash out there and poor people periodically rummage through it. I call it our “magic garbage” because I put stuff in and it magically disappears!
  • You’re selective with your relationships. There’s just too many people who want to be your friend and talk to you.
  • You move to the front of every stoplight with your motorbike, often weaving in between cars to get there.
  • There’s no such thing as a ‘line’ at the stoplight. Motorcycles bunch up where the shade is. It’s just too hot to wait in the sun.
  • Saying “hi” to a child causes them to hyperventilate.
  • You can’t ever enjoy the outdoors- it’s way too hot. The sun is something to take shelter from, not enjoy.
  • There are no speed limits. The potholes control the speed of traffic well enough.
  • Clothes aren’t your size and your wardrobe never changes.
  • You can eat almost anything and never gain weight.
  • Everybody knows you, but you don’t have the slightest idea who they are!
  • You choose a restaurant because of the  air conditioning, not because of the food.
  • People either yell “hello mister!” or just stare blankly when they see you on the street. If you try to respond to them in English they also stare.
  • All your condiments and snacks are double zip-lock bagged to keep the ants out.
  • You sweep your house everyday but still can’t keep up with the dirt and dust.
  • Common creatures in your house include ants, spiders, cicaks (a small lizard), mosquitoes, an occasional centipede, and occasional farm animals like goats and chickens that wander in from outside.
  • You have the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
  • You can buy a fresh coconut off the tree- with ice, sugar and a smile- for about 80 cents.


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