You must have known how many times I complain about Indonesia or Indonesian. And I thought I couldn’t find any other thing worth to talk about as I feel I’ve covered all.
Until a couple of weeks a go.
This particular Indonesian lady, who was gracefully featured in my old post “I Love Indonesia, But…” now will be the subject again for the second time. She must have done something remarkable she’s worth to write about!
This is what I wrote about her in May 2008:
… to some, time is a strange concept. And boy how I forget about it – time is not something to be honoured in Indonesia. Prepare to face the worst, those who don’t appreciate yours, and those who are familiar with rubber time (jam karet). We don’t know each other except through another person – she lives in Indonesia but is married to a Scotsman, and I live here. But I gave her my mobile number anyway, with a PS: if you happen to be in Aberdeen, do not hesitate to contact me. She remembers and texted me the other day, announcing her arrival and her hope that she’d meet me. After a few cancellation, we settled on this particular day. I suggested lunch. She said she’d make it at 11. I said I could make it at 12. At 12.15 she phoned me, saying that they (yeah, she and her beau, apparently), just left home and will be there in 45 minutes, circa. I arrived 12.45, waited and waited. Bought some juice to calm my screaming tummy. 1.30 I got a text from a different number, she apparently left her mobile at home and now was using her beau’s. They had arrived. I chucked my juice away and went back to the cafe (2.00 PM, 2 hours late!), only to find out that she had had lunch. And I though we promised to have lunch? Looked at the watch and it’s already 2.05PM – another appointment – so apologized and buggered off. Wondering whether I have been away from Indonesia too long or this particular girl doesn’t have manner…. I couldn’t even be mad because I was too hungry! She sent text today asking if I’m free on Friday. When I said yes she texted back, and contrary to what I expected that she’d arrange something, she said she’ll let me know later. 2 Hours later I confirmed a a lunch with a group of friends. That’s how it works, baby. Don’t expect people to wait for you with open schedules.
Yes, people with no concept of time is common in Indonesia. But I still believe that since this lady works for a multinational company and is married to a Westerner, she somehow owns a watch and occasionally looks at the clock. She certainly has a calendar and knows about time table, or how to make one. And maybe that is why I have higher hopes on her rather than normally I do on other Indonesians. I guess I am wrong. She lives in her own world with her own time.
Surprisingly, the same lady suddenly pinged me on Facebook two weeks a go after a year has gone quietly without either of us bothered to keep in touch except being Facebook friends. She’s here, in Aberdeen! Let’s catch up? Sometimes next week?
I wasn’t too keen, as I had gazillion things to do to prepare the house for visitors the week after that. I politely told her that I will be very busy from Friday until the week after, but I still have time from Monday to Thursday if it’s just lunch or coffee. She excitedly grabbed the first day I am available, (last) Monday. I told her I would be in Starbucks Union Street, interviewed by a Glasgow University PhD student from 2 PM, but come along before that.
My interview was done at 4 PM and my parking metre was running out but there was no sign of her at all. So I went home. And found out that rather than phoning or texting me, she messaged me instead in Facebook, apologised for not turning up. Something to do with the kids or whatever. How about…. Wednesday instead? I replied in bewilderment that, well ok, I could do Wednesday instead.
Of course she didn’t turn up on Wednesday. And this time she vanished into thin air. No apology. No text. No wall message on facebook. It’s like she’s never promised to catch up. I sent a short message to her, asking why she didn’t turn up, or at least confirmed whether we would or would not see each other, but I didn’t get a reply.
Am I upset? Nah. She is not important for me so I am not really bothered. If she was my good friend I would have screamed at her for treating me and my time with little respect. Sadly, with this lady, I have expected this to happen. It’s not the first time. I have learned my lesson. I kept on going with my schedule on the day, and never wondered whether she would or would not confirm the appointment or actually turn up as promised.
I am more intrigued to find out what has gone through her brain when she did make the appointments and promises. Does she do it all the time? Does she suffer from temporary memory loss so she didn’t remember who she talked to or what sort of appointment she committed to ten minutes a go? Does she do this in office, with her husband, in-law? Or is she too scared to drive for 40 minutes to Aberdeen and only relies on the pity of in-laws to drive her around, and bus is out of the question as she couldn’t work out how to ride one? Does she deliberately make double dates so if her husband doesn’t have an agenda today she still can have fun but if they are going somewhere today, bye-bye to me?
I have deleted her from Facebook, though….
The thing is, I have invited her over for BBQ this Saturday. If she does turn up, I would be very very surprised!