I’ve been here about a month and a half and I go home in 9 days. We’re down to single figures. I feel conflicted about this. I love life in Melbourne and I’ll miss my family and friends when I go. I’ll miss all the amazing things there are to do here and the ease of life. However, I’m looking forward to getting back and getting stuck into another school year. I love my job, I’ve made some really great friends, and I adore my students.
People keep asking me what it’s like to be back in Australia and I think the best descriptor I have for life here is ‘easy’. Transport is easy, buying food is easy, drinking water is easy, there is so much to do and see, I am safe here (well, I feel safe and have physical freedom), everything is just so easy. Life in Indonesia is hard. Whilst there are good things about living there, there are also lots of difficult things about living there. My housemate Jennifer wrote recently about how much of an ordeal shopping is; you can read her awesome blog entry here, complete with photos. Getting around can be tricky with the insane traffic (road rules are more guidelines rather than actual rules) and appalling roads. It’s always hot and that in itself can be draining. Life isn’t all terrible, it’s just much harder than it is in Australia. You live with a certain level of background stress, and that’s ok. It becomes your new normal.
However, when I come back to Australia there is a huge sense of relief because I can let go of all of that and have life be easy again.
I had a really bizarre reaction when, the day after I got back, I walked into a big supermarket. I walked into the fresh food section and got a bit teary!
Don’t cry in a supermarket Megan, It’s not a good look…
Looking at the abundance of fresh food that was able to be eaten was just wonderful! I’m used to seeing food covered in bugs; from cockroaches, to flies, to who knows what. Fresh food in Sentani needs to be washed in potassium permanganate before it’s safe to eat, but not here! I could pick up an apple and eat it! After I paid for it obviously… The sheer variety of food and the ease of availability was slightly overwhelming. It was that moment when I felt my background stress melting away and it was kind of emotional. A very strange occurrence in a weird place, but that’s how it happened.
I’ve heard people tell stories like this before about going back to their home countries and I never really got it. I thought they were exaggerating. After almost crying in a supermarket though, I believe them!
It’s been so nice to hang out with old friends and people who know me. I love my new friends in Indo, I really do, but it’s different when you’ve known people for years as opposed to 18 months. I’ve loved catching up with so many different people and reconnecting with wonderful friends!
Now that it’s almost time to go back I feel both excited and sad. I can’t wait to get back, but I also don’t want to leave. That’s the ongoing problem. Now that my heart is embedding in Sentani I want to live in two places at once, and that can suck. I can’t be in two places at once, so I’m always going to miss one place and one set of people. It’s hard to leave here, but it’s also going to be incredibly difficult when I eventually leave Indo and come back to Oz. Leaving my people in Indo is going to kill me.
This might all sound a bit melodramatic, but it’s a bit of an insight into the emotional turmoil of moving and living in such vastly different places with such vastly different experiences.
Also, I chopped my hair off. See photo on the right. I’m still getting used to it…