I have spent more time in this archipelagic nation than in any other country…some might even argue that I’ve been in Indonesia too long. And you know what, maybe I have been. But there is a good reason for this, a method behind my madness if you will.
For every new place I visit here I learn about two more that I need to visit. At this pace I’ll be here forever! During the last six months I’ve had a memo on my phone where I’ve made brief notes every time I catch myself doing something that proves they are right: I have been in Indonesia too long. Gue orang Indonesia sekarang. (I’m Indonesian now.)
This list is intended to be a humorous compilation of life in Indonesia through the eyes of a bule (Caucasian) who is now guilty of doing all of these. So please, enjoy!
You May Have Been In Indonesia Too Long If…
…You are more used to using toilet paper as napkins during meals than in the bathroom.
…You add ‘ya’ to the end of every sentence, regardless of whether you are speaking in English or Bahasa Indonesia.
…Locals *stop* asking to take photos of you.
…You think getting dressed up means throwing on a batik shirt with your shorts and sandals.
…You are so fluent in Bahasa slang (which varies city to city) that you sometimes have to explain to locals what a word means.
…You consider red lights, stop signs, traffic lanes and one-way street mere suggestions.
See More Indonesia By Motorcycle: How, Why, Where, Advice & Tips
…Paying more than 5,000IDR/kilo ($0.45-$0.50USD) for laundry is akin to robbery.
…You no longer look before crossing a busy highway on foot, just assume that the motorists will see and avoid you.
…You are willing to pay to use a toilet that you would never go near at home.
…You’ve forgotten how to use silverware because you only eat with your hands (err hand that is, right one only).
…You wash your hands after finishing the meal instead of before.
…You know what a cabe2an is.
…You sleep soundly through the call of prayer. Or, even better, wake up with it at 4:30, excited to start your day. (via Luke, @WildSumatra)
…The sight of a bald overweight 60+ year old white man with his teenage Indonesian girlfriend no longer confuses or creeps you out.
…The footprints on the toilet seat are your own.
…Putting on shoes is considered “too formal — just wear sandals.” (via Rani, @juwita_maharani)
…You text while driving…a motorcycle…at 80km/hr.
…You can ride side-saddle on the back of a motorbike, holding groceries, and don’t feel the need to hold on. (via Leigha, Mrs @WildSumatra)
…Killing cockroaches with your bare feet is just part of an ordinary day.
…You start to sprinkle shelf-stable pseudo-cheese on all your desserts. (via Luke, @WildSumatra)
…You can’t help but put your hand to your heart after shaking someone’s hand. (via Luke, @WildSumatra)
…You can bob and weave your motorcycle perfectly to avoid every single pothole, even in the middle of the night.
…Your family car is a motorcycle.
…You start pronouncing your English ‘c’s like ‘ch’
…You aren’t scared to drink the tap water.
…Your girlfriend is younger than your friends’ daughters back in your home country.
…It’s perfectly normal to think “why take a taksi when we can take an ojek?”
…You honestly believe that if sidewalks weren’t meant for driving then they would never have been paved.
…Putting an arm around your male friend while walking down the street or riding on the back of a motorcycle no longer seems “gay” to you.
…You aren’t scared to eat at a warung right next to a garbage dump.
…It’s 28°C in the house and you have no fan but still need to cover up with a blanket in order to sleep.
…You no longer wait in line, but instead go immediately to the head of the queue.
…You double up on words when speaking your native language (“I’m going to meet friends friends”)
…When you see a bug in your food or beer yet you continue eating/drinking.
…You miss the spray toilets when on vacation outside of Indonesia. (via Luke, @WildSumatra)
…A piece of trash falls out of your pocket and rather than bend all the way down to pick it up you just leave it on the street/floor.
…You no longer wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
…The floor of a nice restaurant is a perfectly fine ashtray.
…You’re able to drive 80km/hr with mere millimeters between you and the other traffic whizzing around you but cannot back into an empty parking space without a jukir yelling “kiri…kiri…terus, terus, terus…”
…There is nothing wrong with smoking a cigarette right next to a sign reading dilarang merokok (smoking forbidden).
…You know what a tweetwar is.
…You have been involved in a tweetwar.
…You put on gloves and a jacket to ride a motorcycle, despite the fact that it is 35°C out.