Currently I’m sat in a cafe at the mall, trying to get some peace from the noise outside but instead there is loud, banging, repetitive music blasting out the speakers like we should be at a club. I feel like I should be dancing at a party with lights flashing everywhere. Now add that to horns beeping away on the roads, hormones flying all over the place and impatient people pushing their way through wherever you go, and you’ll get how I’m feeling right now. It’s definitely testing my patience, which is funny because this month I’ve been fasting to try be more patient. Continue reading
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Someone once told me an old Indonesian quote “segalanya indah pada waktunya” which translates to “everything will be beautiful when the time comes”. Patience sounds so simple but it’s one of the hardest skills I’ve had to learn, and I’m still learning. It all started in Indonesia… Continue reading
Well, it’s become reality for me, that and reverse culture shock. Yes, reverse culture shock actually happens. Weird how you spend most of your life in one country, you move away for 3 years and then you come back to your home country and suddenly you can’t cope.
Litter … how can anyone think this is a perfectly normal thing to do? Unfortunately, people act like it is. I have seen people throw crisp packets and bottles out their car window when driving along a busy street. Why do they do that? Is it because they don’t know the harm litter causes to the world, let alone making it an ugly place to live in.
Well, here in Indonesia, in a city called Makassar, a group of friends have taken that step to try and change this and educate people on the effects their actions are having on the environment.
It’s been 11 months now since I arrived here in Makassar and do you know what one of the hardest choices I’ve had to make each day is? Deciding what I want to eat. There are so many mouth-watering foods but sometimes you have to search hard to find them. It’s easy to eat the same dish every day. I’ve lived a staple diet of four main dishes since I’ve been here, which have included fried or BBQ chicken, fried rice, bakso and coto. Cooked on the side of the road, under plastic covers and next to the stoves, the rich aromas are hard to miss.
Of course none of these meals can go a miss without the famous samabals. Continue reading
Most westerners think every country in South East Asia is the same, but after traveling and living in this part of the world I can tell you that each country has it’s own magnificence about it. Makassar is so wonderful because there is no tourism here, Thailand has spectacular beaches and Cambodia has fascinating history. But one factor that has stood out for me the most in these countries is the atmosphere the people provide. For example, I didn’t like Vietnam because the people were rude and unfriendly, I loved Thailand but the people there just wanted money from you and then there is Indonesia.
Can you believe that in the 8 months I have been living here a guy has touched me up and I’ve had my bag stolen? Me! A 26 year old, who has been traveling alone for 4 years. I’ve had to handle myself in countries where I didn’t know the language and knew no one. I’ve had to learn to be independent and stay safe in different countries. How I was wrong when I thought I knew it all. I know I have lived a sheltered life but I changed that by traveling and now I am here in Makassar and I have seen so much. I now know that I’m not safe, no matter how much I know and where I go. Continue reading
As I drive down the wild and crazy roads of Makassar I see children playing and laughing on the streets. These children don’t have much money but I love to watch them play football in a car park or chasing each other around street restaurants and drink stands. They are having so much fun. You don’t see this anymore in England. Children in Hull are always inside, watching TV or playing on their computer games.
But it is actually these poorer children who have bigger smiles on their faces and enjoy life much more than the children I see playing on expensive phones and game consoles. I once saw a child here playing with some old sandals in the road. My friend said, ‘I feel so sorry for him.’ I asked, ‘Why?’ My friend said, ‘He doesn’t have anything else but those old flip flops to play with.’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. You know what I said,
I am growing to love this city, Makassar, more and more every day. I would be lying if I said I don’t miss home though, because I do.Christmas has just passed and this holiday is very special to me, as it is all about friends and family. Christmas in England is so magical. A happy spirit surrounds the cities. It brings out the best in people, as they start to realize the good and bad in the world and become kind and stress free. But then it stops and once the 2 week Christmas period is over they go back to being work orientated and forgetting about what makes them happy.
‘What do westerners see when they come to Makassar?’ Is it because of the beautiful sunsets? Or is it because of the delicious food? Yes the city is amazing because of those two factors but I see so much more here.
Do you know what it feels like to be an Alien? In England we don’t blink an eyelid if we see someone who looks different to us. If they use English as a second language it is normal. To me it doesn’t matter what you look like or what language you speak we are all the same. But here, in Makassar, people stare at you everywhere you go and giggle when you try and speak the local language. It makes it difficult for me to properly settle in and call it home. Yes, westerners may look different but that’s as far as it goes.