The date is set, the flight is booked. We officially have only less than 1 month in Aberdeen. By end of this month we will start our new journey in Australia. The movers will come to pack everything away a few days before departure, and the list of what we can bring and how we should treat them before packing is astonishing. Bicycles, for example, must be jet sprayed and covered with some protection chemical, and even that the government can decide they are not satisfied with our effort and do it all over again. Golf shoes, club sticks, and practically anything that ever touches the ground will get a similar treatment. There is no way we could bring Italian parmesan cheese or Stornoway black pudding. We have to leave our geriatric cat behind with Granny McK because she wouldn’t survive the long journey, 6-month quarantine, hot temperature, and weird creatures around.
People keep saying how much I would love our new adopted country. That I would definitely like the weather there better than Scotland. That I would be glad it is closer to home. That I would easily adjust because there are more Indonesians there. That I would be delighted with Asian food there. And so on.
But the thing is, none of what they say matters, or become the reason I would like or dislike our new home. Of course it is definitely warmer than Aberdeen, but it can be too warm, and when the temperature starts rising over 30C, it wouldn’t be pleasant. Ice cream will melt by the time we get out of the shop. Drinks will never be cold enough. I am sure I would have plenty ammunition to bitch about the weather.
The city allows us to travel back to Jakarta only in 4-hour flight, and I might be able to visit Indonesia more often. But I have always come home twice a year and stayed for at least a month, even though I live 12,000 miles and 20-hour flight away. Not many people are that lucky or have understanding partners who let their spouses traveling around alone for weeks. So to me geography and distance have never been a problem. But now, the city is far from everywhere else, and to visit friends in different cities requires a lot of time, and we couldn’t just spend the weekend somewhere else, because there is no somewhere else! The nearest, the only holiday and tourist destination, would be Bali. Whilst from Aberdeen we could easily hop on a plane or train and be in Edinburgh, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and other cities in a matter of few hours.
And as for the adjustment, it doesn’t depend on how many Indonesians living in the city, but whether I could make friends there, regardless the nations. Many Indonesians in many countries only hang out with their fellow Indonesians and don’t bother to form friendships with non-Indonesians, but to be honest, I haven’t been that lucky. The last time I tried to get involved in Indonesian ladies society, I ended up feeling hurt and annoyed, and since then I have stopped forcing myself to have Indonesian friends just because they are Indonesian, and I go back developing friendships with people I feel comfortable with, whether they are Indonesians or not.
Food is never a problem as both of mr.mck and I like to try local dish wherever we are and because I always take advantage of enjoying the local food, I rarely miss food from my own home country. As long as the Asian supermarket has sweet soy sauce, chili, and Indomie, I’m happy. I am not sure if I should be excited to try Australian ‘local’ dish, as meat pie or fish & chips are hardly exotic, but at least our new adopted home has many Indonesian restaurants, and I can’t wait to try them out.
I guess all I am trying to say is living in Aberdeen isn’t as bad as what people think. Yes it can be cold, yes it can be raining, gray, and depressing like today. But my Dutch friend claims she’s seen more sun in Aberdeen than in Holland, and even now we still enjoy surprisingly warm weather for end of October (although people in Australia will start covering themselves up with winter jackets, boots, gloves, and scarves when the temperature hits below 20C). Yes the city is not as ‘hip’ as London, but it gives a chance to live in the countryside with a fantastic view, and only takes half-hour from the city centre. And because it is the oil capital of Europe, it is quite international with people from many countries living and working here. Consequently the city provides lots of exotic spices or foreign food as well. It even holds a monthly international food festival where I fell in love with oliebollen sold buy a big Dutch guy, always buy king prawns cooked by 2 Frenchmen, and buy paella for takeaway. And despite it is far from Indonesia, we have lots of friends visited us, especially this year.
Nevertheless, we are thrilled with our new adopted country. Uggs boots are much cheaper than in UK (although I must remind myself not to wear them outside the house, like people here in UK), and vineyards are close by. I can’t wait to visit my uni friends back in Sydney, after almost 10 years. Friends and family have promised to visit us. Some apparently have been making plans to visit us in January – and I only found out three weeks a go. One actually says he’ll be there when we arrive because he is going to visit Australia for work. We have some friends there who could show us around and introduce us with others. And of course we’re going to explore the Outback.
25 Days to go….