(images by nickdvs)

dear life, thank you for this day.  thank you for the ups and the downs.  the highs and the lows. i am present and listening and grateful and happy.  thank you. 

I have lived out of Indonesia for more than 15 years.  I married an Australian, we have two kids who were born in England.  We live in the most isolated city, we have a golden retriever, two chooks, and an aquarium full of fish.  We have built our own house.  We grow our own veggies.  Australia is my adopted country.

While I am happy to mingle with my fellow Indonesians who happen to live in the same city as I do, sadly to say, the only things that bond us together are the facts that we speak the same language  and  our love of Indonesian food.  That’s it. Sometimes, I find them amusing yet entertain, merely because  of their ‘attitude’.  Two or three perhaps are the number of my good Indonesian friends here. Mostly, my best friends are the ones from high school through college, and work, and most of them are still living in Indonesia and some live in different continent.

It took me more than five years to build up a relationship with the Australian ones.  I must say, motherhood helps me a lot.  As I didn’t grow up here, I didn’t go to school or university in here, it is hard to form those close knit no matter how hard I try. So to say, when we lived in England, I found it easier to make friends and bonded with the English, why like that?

 Through the boys, I met up with a couple of mums during Kindy and Primary school.  I made a good friendship with three other mums that is still going strong, even though their children are not in the same school as my kids now.  I became very close to one and dare I say she’s my best friend I’ve ever have in this adopted country.

Sometimes, I am still longing for another friendship to blossom from the Australian ones.  You may think why am I so bothering to make friends or trying hard to be friends with the white ones or in Indonesian’s term; bule.  Why not, instead, I make friends with the Indonesian ones? Or why bother at all? I don’t know, it’s probably just me being me.  I like being social, I like making friends (not enemy) and above all, perhaps, in my opinion I’d like being accepted in bule society.  I’d like being mixed and mingled with everybody and not being in one mainstream.  I’d like being polygamy not monogamy….in friendship of course, not in marriage! 🙂

I’d like being included in girls night out, I’d love being invited to girls night in or watching a Sex Tape together.  When you move to a different country, you automatically out of your comfort zone.  Though you try to adapt yourself, sometimes it can be a bit lonely to face it.  It can be a bit tough to watch a bunch of people  laughing and chatting together, while I’m left alone.  I can’t help but feel no matter what, I am still a stranger.  No matter how hard I try to mingle, to speak the language, to laugh at their joke, at the end of the day, I only can bite my tongue while wandering through pictures on social media….why they don’t ask me out? Why am I not included? Am I a disease or is it because where I come from? I can’t help but wonder.

What can I do to be accepted? Here I am, kind of like a puppy dog that longing to be walked by the owner, or a little boy who tries hard to please the parents and will do every thing so he can get that lollies…. Why is it so hard? Or is this the culture of western society? Cold and individual? Why is it so different, when the westerners come to easterners, the easterners will make sure that they are welcomed and that the easterners will invite and introduce them to almost everybody? The easterners will make sure that the westerners are accepted in eastern way.

Should I keep on trying? Or should I just accept it, it is what it is and keep going on with my life….  But then I came to my conclusion.  I have tried hard enough to be accepted, but it didn’t really work.  So I moved on.  Maybe I was in the wrong crowd.  Maybe I should try a different mob.  Maybe they were just a bunch of snobbish.  And guess what, when I don’t even care and try, things are better. I won’t say I got lots of dinner invitations to attend, but I got some lovely barbeques gatherings and coffee mornings.  I’m progressing and that’s enough.  Yes, certain thing is hard to change.  Friendship can’t be build over night.

What about you? Do you sometimes feel alone in the middle of the crowd? Are you longing to be accepted in the circle or you don’t care and happy with your own life?


Happy Thursday everyone!


33 responses to “acceptance”

  1. wow,,lebih dari15 tahun tinggal di luar negeri?salut,,saya belom setahun tinggal di luar indonesia malah udah gak betah *dyaaar* , rahasianya apa ya bisa bertahan lama tinggal jauh dari indonesia?:-)


  2. Been there done that and tried almost all. When I let go of the urge to be accepted, I became accepted. Perhaps it is the wrong crowd, maybe it is the wrong timing.

    Sending you a tight virtual hug from across two big oceans.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kalo gua sih prefer dan emang lebih bisa nyambung ama sesama orang indo ya. kalo ama bule yah walaupun kadang ada yang nyambung tapi gak bisa nyambung banget. abis kan emang culture nya beda, apa2 yang mereka tau pas mereka growing up juga beda ama gua. dari hal2 kecil kayak kalo ngomongin film atau buku2 pas masa kecil aja beda. apalagi kalo udah ngomongin sports, tinggal bengong dah gua. hehee.


    • Iya betul Man, cuma sayangnya gue ga gitu cucok dengan sebagian orang Indonesia disini. Mungkin karena ceweq ya, pada resek, nosy dan bitchy 🙂 🙂 Jadi gue emang aga milih2 kalo temenan. Slowly but sure ya lumayan gue uda ada my circle yg orang2nya sehati dan sejiwa 🙂


  4. I feel you! Persis kayak gini yang aku rasain pas tinggal di negeri orang. Bahkan setelah balik ke Jakarta pun kadang masih merasa gini kok. Tapi sekarang, sejak 5 tahunan ini deh, udah cuek. I’m hally with my own life, and a small circle where I feel I belong to 🙂 *pukpuk


    • I’m ok now Tika, and like you I have my small circle now and pretty content with it. I realised that I can’t force friendship and friendship can’t be only in one way but gotta be mutual 🙂


  5. Aku punya ketakutan yang serupa soal being accepted karena ada very big possibility aku akan pindah ke luar indonesia kalau aku menikah dengan pacarku yg sekarang ini.. Mikirin nya aja suka bikin stress, gimana kalo aku disana ngga punya temen? gimana kalo aku ngga fit in? tapi yg kamu dan Lorraine bilang, “once you stop trying it will be better”.. somewhat menenangkan aku. Thanks for sharing, have a great Thursday 🙂


    • I just thought that I should get along better with the locals because I will live here like, forever….well not really forever, but this is the place we called home now. I don’t choose certain nationality to be my friends, I just want to get along and know the local better than my Indonesian mob 🙂


      • Totally understand. Here in DK it is notoriously hard to have Danish friends and I gave up trying after 2 years or so. Now I get along better with friends from other countries- fellow expats. That said I only have 3 Indonesian friends as well since I don’t get along with most of them


        • Yes Eva same here I found it hard to have friends with Aussies. They were nice, chatted to me bla bla but still they always chose their inner circle when it came to girls night out or lunch and never ever included moi 🙂 Hi 5, me too… some Indonesians here are really you know… hard to get along 😉 Intrique -nya ngalah2in sinetron dweh, my friend who just moved here from Jakarta a year ago even agreed. She said it’s so crazy and scary, the competition, the bling bling the conversation… Glad that I only have very little Indonesians as friends! 😀


  6. *hugs* Totally get it. I think as Indonesian we are naturally and culturally social. But I know what you mean it is not easy to really connect with some of the indonesian abroad also with the people who grew up in the countries we are in. 🙂 I think I gave up a long time a go. But really I am not sure when I have got time to meet them my weekends are booked up with things, if I have more friends than currents ones I have got.


    • I’m actually not that very social person Andine, am not that type whose bubbly and can fit in quick with everyone. And am not good in big crowd, I will be very quiet. In small group I find it easier. Am ok now. I have my best friend (and she’s originally from Burma but moved here when she was 10) I have few mums from the boys school that now we become pretty closed and couple Indonesians, that’s enough 😀


  7. Awwww, I’m glad you feel better now about living there 😊 Pertemanan itu emang gak mudah ya, apalagi kl tmnnya nemu yg agak2 gmnaaaa gt, hahahhaa. Prinsip gw skrg, kl udh gak suka sm org, mendingan gak ush tmnan sm org itu drpd ngomongin smpe jontor tp msh ditemenin :p
    Pantesan tmn gw cm bbrp yak *garuk2 udel 😜*


    • Yeah kalo dipikir2, bego amat juga sih gue ya. Uda ga mau ditemenin koq masih aza pengen minta jadi temen hahaha 🙂 Tapi itu sih dulu, masa2 gue masih labil, masih berpikir bahwa “I have to fit in” dengan orang2 bule ini…gitu loh Vem. Sekarang sih, mungkin karna gue ga peduli eh malah jadi temenan dengan beberapa… life I suppose! 🙂


      • Gak bego lah, namanya jg usaha 😉 Gw begitu smpe sini untungnya nyambung sm sepupunya Warren n partner tmnnya Warren, jd mngkn gak pernah ngerasa hrs usaha utk fit ini. Tp katanya emang keajaiban itu dtg disaat kita pasrah 😊😊 mngkn krn lu udh gak peduli makanya malah dpt, hihihi.


  8. I totally understand what you went though, I had to do it not once but many times, luckily I was young enough when I left Indonesia so I was given an easier path and I never thought that I had to try to fit in. I was in my adolescence but I moved to different countries after I was comfortable and adapted to my environment, then when I was in university I changed schools and after I graduated I had to relocate cuz I changed work :), even though I settle down here in Toronto area, I just recently (2 yrs ago) relocated to different plant within the company. And because I am in a male dominated field I do not have a true (girl) friend to share my everyday life but it never really bothered me. I am busy doing what I like to do, travelling before I had children and now my life circle around my children activities, I barely have time for myself, I do go out with friends every now and then but I love staying at home to tell you the truth (alias ku-per). I tried to get to know some Indonesian but did not work out so well, so I couldn’t care less about Indonesians friends anymore. My closest friend is on the other side of the coast, and I do not have any close friends here.
    I am glad that you got over it now, just focus on doing what you love to do and fill your life with your children’s activities, and a small circle of friends, I think you are all set:)


    • Thank you Gaareal, you are absolutely right and am glad that it’s not only me ever felt that way (cari temen hehe) Am happy now with my circle and doing what I love plus with the kids activities like you said, I sometimes don’t have enough time for myself. Thanks and happy weekend😘


  9. Mba Ria.. Debby cm punya pengalaman pindah selama sekolah karna situasi ekonomi orang tua. Meski cm beda provinsi aja rasa takut kesepian,ga dtrima teman baru sering banget aku alamin. Tapi mgkn karna sy orang yang supel dan mudah beradaptasi ya ga sampe sebulan bs punya banyak teman dekat. Tp sedihnya stlh dekat bbrp lama saya hrs pindah lg. Alhasil sampe skrg ga punya sahabat yg spt orang lain punya dari jaman sekolah. Hahaha. Waduh sy malah jd curhat. Aniway,I am happy because I love what I do. Do the best aja krn sahabat baik datang dengan sendirinya.


    • Thank you Debby. I am ok now though 🙂 Iya memang, berteman itu ga bisa dipaksain ya, kita pengen temenan sama dia tapi dia ga mau…feelingnya ga mutual, ya ga bisa donk 🙂


  10. hiksss ngerti banget pake ngeeettttt deh Mba.Mba ria yang udah 15th aja masih suka ngerasa kaya gini ya mbaa…. secara aku masih di fase penyesuaian di negeri orang. manalah hari ini aku dapat perlakuan gak enak lagi. sebeelllllll !!!! tapi aku dah berani buat ambil sikap. terserah deh, berantem2 kalau perlu ahahahaha.

    aku belum ada setahun dinegeri orang jadi masih bingung, sedih, seneng, takut dll. campur aduk. manalah you know kan yang aku curhatin ke mba waktu itu..hihihi orang2 indo yang aku pikir bakal baik taunya malah gitu deh..dan aku ngerasa di “reject” . kita yang tulus mau temenan tapi dia/mereka yang pasang boundary. sampai sekarang aku belum dapat temen yang oke disini mba. semua masih serba sendiri. yah kenalan sesama mommy2 di sekolah bazyl adaa dan banyak tapi buat temen buat sharing belum ada huhuhu. kalau sedih gundah gulana ataupun lagi bahagia sumringah yowes keep it all by my self hiks. yah temenku cuma chicco dan bazyl dan keluarga yang ada disini aja.

    coba kita tetanggan ya mba ……huhuhuhuhu


    • Iya Nis, perlu waktu untuk dapet temen yg cocok. At least you have your uncle/aunty there..paling ga bisa take away kan hihihii😃

      Yowes, you can share with me here via WA 😃 Yes I wish we were in the same city yaks… Chat later ntar ya darling😘


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