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When it rains…

October 26, 2010
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In this picture, my daughter’s throwing a fit about not wanting to carry her back-pack. This is how I felt like yesterday.

Yesterday was one of those days I felt unmotivated to do anything. Wherever you are, you have ups and downs, but those downs seem to strike harder when you are in a foreign country where your life is not always in your control. Yesterday was like “when it rains, it pours”.

I have been sick during the past two weeks. I had parasites. It was the first time in my life I experienced a parasitic infection. Nice welcome from Indonesia. I’ve been on the antibiotics since last Friday and finally I feel normal. Then on top of that, last Saturday night I lost my voice and have coughs now. It’s draining and straining to talk and cough with my condition, but with two young kids, you can’t really ‘not talk’. I feel exhausted.

Besides myself being sick, I’m frustrated with my current car situation. I cannot get things done when I want because we still don’t own a car. My freedom is limited because of it. I’m 35, but I feel like 15 in the U.S. No, I’m not talking about mental level. You know, you have to depend on others to go somewhere.

We have wanted to buy a used one, but I spent three months looking for one and nothing good came available and if there was one, someone else snagged it even before it was advertised. Three months later, I am still without my own wheels. One errand a day or maybe two if I’m lucky is all I can handle using public transportation because it takes a long time to go anywhere in a parking-lot like traffic in Jakarta and it rains almost every afternoon which means I only have morning to take care of errands. Once it starts raining, your time is up and you are stuck inside. If you have your own car, it’s not an issue, but if you rely on taxis, it becomes extremely difficult to find a taxi on a street and often times taxis are not available for order by phone when it’s raining.

I am not the only one who feels stranded because we don’t have a car. My kids are affected by this, too. My older one comes home after school and tells me she wants to see her friends, but we can’t. I would love her friends to come over, but I noticed that people usually hesitate to go out after school because of the traffic.

I just have to accept that this is how life is in this city. I’m going to get my life more organized. I’m determined to buy a new car now. Before all that, I need to get healthy.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2010 7:45 am

    I hear you girl. It’s not easy living overseas and not being able to have full control. Especially when an illness strikes you, I’m glad you are feeling better and that your girls are also healthy. I can understand the feeling of feeling 15. you took the words right out of my mouth. Because when I first moved here I had to rely on hubby to take me places, set up appointments and let me tell you this was very hard for me. But I guess that’s the fun part about being in a foreign country, you begin to adapt and mold yourself according to your surroundings. Hope the car hunting goes well. and next challenge will be to drive amongst all that traffic. How is it going for you as far as communicating? Do you find most people speak English?

    Ps. Yesterday I had a ‘rainy’ day myself. LOL

    • October 26, 2010 8:04 am

      Hi, Elisa! I agree with you that challenges comes in a package for being in a foreign country and it is the fun part. I find most people I interact with (taxi drivers, store employees, etc.) don’t speak English so much. There are some educated people who speak excellent English as many of them go to college in Australia. My Bahasa Indonesian level is… I would say a year and a half. It’s cute if a year and a half talks with the limited vocabulary, but when I do, not cute at all. However, I can get my point across about 70% of the time (With the look and tone. Just kidding.), so I’m improving, I guess. My goal is to be able to speak like a 4 year old by the end of next summer. :P

  2. October 26, 2010 8:29 am

    Oh Kaho….You are at the bottom of your adjustment curve!!! Trust me, it will get better and better despite the ups and downs you may have. Get healthy, tackle one thing at a time, and stay positive. Ah… I think I’m saying this to myself!!! Although we are in Japan where I thought I knew, I am still wanting to feel settled. Adjustment to a new environment is never easy!
    I’m sending hugs your way.
    BTW I made Nami’s eggplant salad you posted this past summer. It was super yummy!!! Thanks :)

    • October 26, 2010 10:05 am

      Thanks for the hugs! I need them!! I made that eggplant salad again tonight! Yum! I hope I’ll get back to my normal self soon. Today was already slightly better than yesterday.

  3. Ayako permalink
    October 26, 2010 8:57 am

    あはは。とてもいい写真。文章なくてもかほりの今の気持ちがとっても伝わってきます。ユーモラスな雰囲気があるところが、またまたぐちっぽくなくていいね♪海外生活の楽しみ方やつらい時のやり過ごし方をさすがによくわかってるね。なんか、私まで元気もらったよ。

    • October 26, 2010 10:03 am

      本当〜?すっごく嬉しいコメント!!書いている時に、これは愚痴だろうな〜、読み手が、この人愚痴ってるよって感じたら、引いちゃうかな〜?って心配だったの。だから、その言葉は有り難いです。ありがとう〜!

  4. denise Henderson permalink
    October 26, 2010 5:59 pm

    don’t be too harsh on yourself!! you’re doing great the way you’re!!! we all have bad days and we’re allowed to even if we’ve kids!!!
    mami needs time out too!!!
    happy mami then happy babies!!!
    it’s hard away from what you’re used to!
    new adventures are exciting but yes it hits you hard at time like now, when you’re sick.
    but you’ve achieved SO SO MUCH!!!
    this is just a small challenge!
    you’ll overcome it before you know it!!

    Take care!
    Get well!!

    Denise (my 2 kids are 3 years old and 10 months old!!!)
    when you feel drained… do something that makes you happy! also, try to remind yourself how lucky we’re!! at least our kids are healthy, doesn’t have life-threatening illness… and you can have un-interuped sleep to get well from your sickness!! Xo I still have to wake up 2-3 times a night for my 10 months old!! Xx

    • October 26, 2010 7:07 pm

      Thanks for the sweet comment, Denise!! I should do something that makes me happy! I totally agree that I have keep reminding myself that my husband, kids, our families back home are healthy and my husband is working. What else do I need? I hope your 10 months old will sleep through the night soon. Good luck!!

  5. October 26, 2010 11:41 pm

    Oh sigh! Do take great care of yourself… Hugs to you for enduring this far.

    That’s the inconvenience of life without a car in South-East Asia, where roads and pedestrian walkways aren’t user friendly.

    Have you thought of renting a car for short-term purposes?

    • October 27, 2010 2:03 am

      Thanks, Elaine~! You know well. Thought of it, but it’s so expensive that I would just go with taxi. I’d rather shop with that money! :)

  6. October 27, 2010 4:03 am

    Oh, you poor thing! Parasites, you must have been feeling miserable! I hope you’re on the improve :)

    The car situation would be painful, I can imagine how frustrated you must be. Living away from home is so difficult sometimes. I know just how hard it can be, and I’m only in Australia, which is not hugely different to NZ, except they say funny things and then laugh at me when I say them CORRECTLY. Hee hee.

    Hope you feel better soon :)

  7. October 29, 2010 2:38 am

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been unwell lately – it’s so hard to look after yourself and your children when you are unwell. Hope you’re on the mend soon. It must be difficult living in a foreign country and having to adjust to a new way of life. I can imagine your frustration about not having wheels – I hope the perfect car comes along for you soon x

    • October 29, 2010 4:18 am

      Thanks for the sweet words!! I hope so, too!

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