New Home… Almost

ist1_1786143-airport-transitThe 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….


  1. I’m sure you and your family in Indonesia are very excited.
    .-= Fida Abbott´s last blog ..What You Need to Know about 2009 H1N1 Influenza (4) =-.

  2. I’m so glad to see/find an Indonesian who is open minded, adventurous and culturally educated. Hoping that you’d be able to spread what you know to others back home. They might not like to hear about it, but keep on trying. Hopefully, being closer to Indonesia, your new adventure will be more beneficial to our beloved countrymen back home.
    .-= Diny´s last blog ..Too Sensitive to Criticize =-.

  3. Right, new circumstances, new environments are exciting. I can’t but admire your obviously broad mindedness. Yet the one thing which stands out in your post is the positive review of ‘oliebollen’. It thrills my patriotic heart that someone in Australia will remember that part of Dutch culture. By the way: ever tried ‘appelflappen’ ?

  4. Fida: umm… my cousins, uncles and aunties in NL & Germany aren’t that thrilled though :)

    Diny: Thank you. It wouldn’t be a totally shocking experience, since Australia is an English-speaking country (might have to get used to with the accent though), and it’s basically a copy of whatever UK has, and there wouldn’t be a problem finding Asian stuff either. Nevertheless, any change will enrich us one way or another.

    Colson: Hehehe… I’m not keen on appelflappen, I don’t like the taste of apple in cakes, cookies, or pies. But I LOVE oliebollen!! The first time I bought one, I came back immediately for the second. And the third. The guy at the stall was obviously amazed on my ability to digest 3 huge bread. My Dutch friend gave me Dutch recipe book for my going away present, and I can’t wait to try to make poffertjes, bitterballen, croquettes, and all the rest, from scratch!

  5. Wishing you a smooth move from UK to Oz. May you settle there quickly.
    .-= Lorraine´s last blog ..The neglected ones =-.

  6. How exciting, Anita! For me new place means new adventures and it is so awesome you got to experiences and had adopted different places you can call home with such an open minded approach. Salute! I too had stop the so-called excitements of ‘oh-you-know-there-are-plenty-of-indonesians-there’ after once too many unlucky experiences and form friendships with whoever that ‘clicks’ with me instead just like you said. Best of luck in your new adventure in land down under, matey 😀
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..In Searching For The “One” =-.

  7. Hi Nit..! good luck yah for the new base.. :)
    There’s always plus minus of any location no matter where it is, it is our choice to see it as an adventure or as a roadblock to have a good life. I know you’ll choose the first choice. Have fun dear! :)

  8. Australia is good in a sense that:
    – it has more access to Indo food so it will cure your homesickness for great-tasting, real Indonesian food as you will be living in Perth!
    – the climate is nicer
    – you can find practically any nationalities if any Indonesian ladies are not being friendly!
    – it is closer to Indonesia so you get to come home more often than twice a year 😉
    – it is closer to Ecky
    – Australian wines are cheap and the cheese is great :)

  9. Martha Wong says:

    Hi, Anita,I am Martha Wong, we met in settling Aberdeen course. How are you getting on? It’s a surprise for me knowing that you are in Australia now. You are one of the beautiful and fashionable lady that i met in Scotland. It’s so enjoy to view your photos in facebook everytimes when i am free. I am quite busy for this feel month after my summer holiday. From your blog i know that you are leaving Aberdeen, i don’t even have a change to said farewell to you. Anyway, I wish you all the best on whatever you are undertaking.

  10. Lorraine & Nad: thank you!

    Maureen: yes, it doesn’t really matter what nationality our friends are, as long as we get along well. My expat friends are from many countries; some younger, some even have children in university. I’m lucky though that towards the end of our posting in Aberdeen I’ve met loads of great Indonesian ladies.

    Australian booze IS NOT CHEAP. You will read about this in my next thread. Really, it pisses me off.

    Hi Martha, yes we’re in Indonesia now. I didn’t have much chance to say goodbye to everybody as in the past month it was so hectic. But Aberdeen is my home and we will meet again next summer :)
    .-= Finally Woken´s last blog ..New Home… Almost =-.

  11. Good luck in the new place, mba. I’m sure for a very adaptive person like you, oz will be as fun as aberdeen. :)
    .-= Wulan Aquariyanti´s last blog ..Kata Ganti =-.

  12. Wulan, thank you very much. Will start again from the beginning, but that’s where the fun is :)

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