Posted in Living Abroad, Living In India, Long Post, Uncategorized

Leaving The Cave: What to Prepare and Anticipate


You want to argue because the title sounds like we live in the ice age? Hold on. Cave, in this case, bear a metaphorical meaning that similar to the comfort zone in general. However, I want to make it more specific that ‘cave’, is your ‘home’ where you spend most of your life so far. More specifically says, ‘cave’ is your home-country.

Everyone will leave what he or she calls home sooner or later, figuratively, literally or even both. Some people refuse to go anywhere and stay in the same place for years but later, they do not feel at home anymore because of several reason. Figuratively, they are no longer at ‘home’. Some others leave kilometers away but find new family where they feel like at ‘home’. Shortly, they are still, at home. See the difference? The first case is when you are dragged away from your cave because of unpredicted phenomena. Probably bear attack, earth quake, or whatever is that. The second case is when you decide to explore more and finally, find a new better place after a long tiring journey. Now, it is time to be specific and stop figuratively talking about my shitty analogy.

Some people, young students especially, are afraid of changing and struggling but they want the result of the tough struggle. When you ask people if they want to leave their home country to explore more by studying, working or whatever it is, the answer is mostly ‘yes’ with a long ‘but’ and followed by thousand lists of anxiety started with ‘what if…’ afterwards.  I noticed that most people are scared with what they do not know and they start making false stereotype fueled by their own fear. The thing is, you have to be curious enough and super open-minded to change and seize what you want. Here are some hints, wisdom and some precautions that you need to know before and during staying abroad.


Language Matters

You might be fluent in English but remember that not everyone in this planet speaks English and knowing the local language a little bit will help you, a lot. You don’t need to struggle with complicated terms, sentences or idioms, just try to learn some simple words to greet,ask and give directions, request for help, numbers, and so forth. The rest, gestures and body language will do.

Weird Culture and Strange Customs 101

People ask for ‘telolet’ to bus driver, people are annoyingly excited to foreigners and call them ‘bule’, illegal parking-men are everywhere, being a passenger to random car is a ‘job’ for some people, some people eat plain rice with durian, stupid things are very famous, they censor Sandy Cheek’s wearing bikini but they are fine with senior high school students flirting on TV. Those are some weird shits from my home country. meanwhile in India, I also find out some weird and unusual yet sometimes annoying customs such as the repetitive ‘tea-time’ that often put me in trouble because it will delay everything. Besides, lots of Indians are not punctuate. In the past, it might be difficult to find out such trivial knowledge but we are so lucky to live in the age where getting information is as easy as swiping your fingers on a glass screen. Thus, browse more about your destination. The more you know, the better it is.


This is very essential that I put an exclamation on the sub-title. You don’t want to experience food poisoning or maybe eating something that you are not allowed to eat by your belief or your doctor. Some countries do not have clear distinctive mark between food for vegetarian or food for non-vegetarian. Indonesia is one example but India is an exception. In India, you can simply identify either the food or beverages are vegetarian-friendly or not by looking at the label on the container, red dot for non-vegetarian and green for vegetarian.

Anyone’s There?

Find out if there are some fellas from the same country as yours who stay in the country of your destination. They will be your new family and they will be happy to know that you will be part of them. They will also be excellent references for they have real life experience in living abroad. If there is no one lives in the country where you are about to stay in, keep your phone with you and your internet connected.

Now you are in foreign land…

Don’t be lazy to explore at least your neighborhood

Despite you are an introvert or extrovert or despite the fact that you can rely on your internet, you cannot stay at your flat, dorm, house, nest or whatever it is and only go out when you need something. Go out and find out. You will need to know where to get what in the new place. You will probably find out a short-cut, new friends, new family, or maybe treasure. So try to go out and keep asking people or google if you don’t trust the people that much.

Your friends from the same country are your family and stranger from the same country is your friend

Make it simple: Everyone from the same home country as yours is your family if you live in foreign land. Nothing much to say here. You know how to treat your family don’t you? If you don’t, then go home.


Why there is an ‘S’ up there? Because I believe there are two kind of culture shocks. The first type is the common thing that many people know. When a person lives in a completely new place far away from the old one where the cultures, customs, and everything is totally different, he or she will do as minimum interaction as possible with the surrounding or even refuse to interact at all and being somewhat anti-social because of the insecure and anxious feeling. This is what commonly happen to a foreigner in a strange-land. However, there is another type and I encountered some people who suffer such things. Let me call it reversed culture-shock. So some other people, surprisingly, are very adaptable and they can mingle with the strangers quite easily. Good then! Where is the culture-shock?  The thing is, they slowly neglect and forget the ‘family’ that I have mentioned previously and easily driven by the new culture without filtering what’s good or bad. It is like when you let a beast get out from its cage and they will do as hey wish without knowing what’s harmless and harmful. Be open-minded, don’t leave your family, and don’t trust everyone when you are staying in foreign land.

Those are they. Until next time.

Picture credit:

Posted in college life, Confession, Contemplation, Hyderabad, India, Living Abroad, Living In India, No Offense, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized

India: It is Surely Incredible, Though


Despite the horrible things I mentioned previously, this country is actually not completely messed-up. You may have thought that I was being sarcastic on my previous write-up when I said the madness makes India an incredible country. Well, it was mostly sarcastic, but actually there was something that everyone could learn from what I have written previously: If you survive in India and her incredibility, you will grow much stronger than before. Living in such countries will build your mentality to be more open minded, grateful, sensible and obviously patient.

That is one out of several good things about this country: As a foreign students, India teaches me to survive in the way I do not even want to imagine in real life. What I have in mind about wasteland is only expected to exist in video games, but here I am. This is not sarcasm. I mean it. Survival skill improvement is very essential aspect of living in India. Now we go to the other great aspects of this country.

Super Affordable Living Cost

If you have ever heard some people said that living in India is very inexpensive, they are right and I would like to convince you once more. I live in my campus flat and mostly cook by myself. I do hangout once a week with my Indonesian fellows. Guess how much money do I spend for a month only for living including the flat rent? Not more than Rs.10.000. If you have no idea about Indian currency, it is equal to US$ 147. Sometimes I spend less than that. India is a country where you can live properly for a week with only 30 bucks.

Books are Very Cheap

I talked to some local students and they have the opposite perspective about this one. They find books are expensive while for me and other foreign students, books in India are much cheaper than the ones in my country. Most books that I have bought here cost me less than Rs. 500. Thus, my side mission here is clear: Collecting books that I always want to have but I cannot afford because of the very high prices in my country.

The Diversities Enrich You

I am not new to cultural or language diversities for I used to spend 22 years of my life in a country where each region has its own language and customs. However, knowing different cultures, language and customs will make you a more open minded person. You will decrease the stereotypical thoughts in your mind if you have more understanding about different cultures and habits around the world. If you are a foreigner who accidentally or intentionally lives in India for the first time, you will realize that the people here are not only using Hindi and English to communicate. They have different languages in different states and different customs indeed. I live in Hyderabad, a city in a state called Telangana where Hindi is rarely used. Telugu or English only. So, please don’t ask how well I speak Hindi after my time in India.

The Taste of The Food Will Accidentally Force You to Learn Cooking

I have mentioned earlier that some foods are overly spiced and taste like ointment. Well, it is surely horrible but you live in India where food poisoning is a tradition for some foreigners. Therefore, to avoid wasting money and risking your life, the option you have is making your own food. There are lots of advantages besides avoiding poisoning. By cooking your own food, you will save more money, your mood will be saved from Vicks Vaporub-in-the-curry, and indeed, your cooking skill will improve significantly.

You Will Always Remember to Go Back to Your Home Country

Some people find their new home after spending some years studying or working in foreign country. I have heard lots of such stories from my lecturers, teachers, friends who said how much they fell in love with the country they were studying or working at and they found it difficult to go back to Indonesia. Obviously, it is because they live in more advanced countries where the challenge is not including separating smelly herbs from your bowl of chicken curry, seeing a group of kids shitting by the railway or waiting for three hours to withdraw money. You may forget to go home if you stay in USA or France, but you are probably an insane Indonesian if you do not want to go back home after spending months here. My lecturer was right, the difficult time in India is not a poison, it is a cure that reminds you to your home.

I will have more to write once I spend more time in this Incredible Country. Until next time!

Picture Credit: Peter Hershey

Maddening Madness makes Incredible Country


Posted in Hyderabad, India, Living Abroad, Random Thoughts, survival

Perspective and Expectation (part 2)

I have said lately, the way people see and expect something will influence their attitude. Big expectation will lead to disappointment if the reality does not meet. Instead, expecting less will be much relieving. You will feel jubilant if the reality is beyond your expectation, but if it meets your first assumption, no surprise and surely no disappointment.

Three weeks and counting. That’s the time I have spent in this incredible country. I mean it! India is incredible since I lower my expectation.

I didn’t expect to live in a dorm where everything is taken care by the university. I thought I have to pay the bill all by myself. Well , I don’t. I thought I will have to buy food everyday. Oh wait, there is kitchen here. I thought my university is literally surrounded by cows. Well, yeah once in a while. I think there is no such entertainment around. Wait, I watched Suicide Squad several weeks ago. Overall, I can say it doesn’t feel that bad. People were wrong about this country. Unless… I am just lucky to be in Hyderabad.

Because last week, I went to a city which was not really a city. It was more like a village with a very big university as its heart. If the university did not exist, so that the city. There was where I felt like in India that I have expected previously. It was full of cows complete with the pie, garbage everywhere, limited transportation, narrow road, and the worst: criminals. Well, once more. THANK GOD I AM IN HYDERABAD.

Overall, I cannot say I like to live far away from family, friends, and my comfort zone but I feel fine here. People should go out from their cave some day, looking for a new cave and so that until they die. So here is my new home, new cave, soon to be new comfort zone, and later to be a place I will miss.

P.S. I haven’t took many pictures

Posted in Hyderabad, India, Living Abroad, No Offense, Random, Random Thoughts, survival

Perspective and Expectation (Part 1)

It’s been a week and I get used to it surprisingly fast. I haven’t felt any massive culture shock that annoys me badly so far. Loud honks, crowded traffic, outstandingly ‘skillful’ drivers, crows caw every morning are some features I find everyday and the last one is actually my favorite.

I don’t know why but crows caw wakes me up better than roosters’. More, I also don’t know if it is only in Hyderabad or crows are massively spread everywhere all over the country. Either way, thanks crows. You will save my ass just in case I will have class in the morning later.

Another ‘music’ to my ears here is honk of every vehicle. Normally, you hear people honk at each other during crowded traffic. Here, they also honk to tell people when they will turn or go. So a driver who is about to turn left will honk while the others who hear the honk will also honk at that guy who is about to turn left. If I get 1 rupee for every honk that I hear in this first week, I could have bought a new iPhone. Well, at least the honk helps me to avoid a fatal accident caused by their ‘skillful’ driving skills.

I will share more about how Indian people amaze me and confuse me at the same time. Lastly for now, the less you expect, the wider your perspective will be.


P.S. : Next post will contain pictures.




Posted in Hyderabad, India, Living Abroad, survival

Over 9000 Away From Home

Bye home. Bye Indonesia. You will be missed, but not now. Not when I am writing this post because I have just entered my 4th day in Hyderabad. This is the first time for me to be so far away without any family member around. However, it was melancholic and emotional during my departure flight, then awkward during the arrival. My plane landed in the very early morning of Monday. I was too tired to notice the man who picked me up in the airport and I looked away for several minutes until he came up with a big sign and told me had waited for hours, I passed right in front of his nose and that damn big sign but I ignored him. He seems upset but I was lucky that the seniors were around to help me clarifying my fault and not-so-my fault since the flight was delayed from Kuala Lumpur. After 45 km from airport, I slammed the door as I usually did in my home-country and suddenly, “slowly, sir. Slowly. Chill.” He probably thought I was angry while I actually just closed the damn door. I gave him one of the best coffee from Indonesia as an apology. I hit the bed right after I got into the room in my dorm. Home sweet home, eh?

I did not remember how long I have slept but it was enough. I still felt like in Indonesia where getting up early is a daily mandatory. When I went out from the room, the hall was as empty as an old hospital in survival horror video game. I went back to my room and checked my phone. 8 A.M. and it was as quiet as 6 A.M. in Indonesia. Well, I guess I will like this country.

Everything starts late and ends late in this country. At least compared to Indonesia where everything starts in the morning and ends in the late afternoon, here,in India, they starts late at almost noon and ends in the early evening. For me, that’s cool.Say good bye to panic in the morning.

I am about to finish administration stuffs in my university today. Will share more about living as a stranger in an incredible country starts from today!


P.S.: About cows everywhere, that’s a big hoax. I saw crows everywhere instead.