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

Leaving The Cave: What to Prepare and Anticipate

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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.

Before

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.

Food!

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.

Culture-Shock(s)

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: https://unsplash.com/search/suitcase?photo=_g1WdcKcV3w

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

India: It is Surely Incredible, Though

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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

https://unsplash.com/search/peace?photo=bLiHqa-xK0w

Maddening Madness makes Incredible Country

 

Posted in Confession, Contemplation, Daily Prompt, ENTP's Thought, Hyderabad, India, Joke, Living In India, No Offense, Random Thoughts, survival, Triggered, Uncategorized

Maddening Madness makes Incredible Country

via Daily Prompt: Maddening

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I have been keeping this for almost a half year. You wonder what ‘this’ is? The answer is fury.

Since last July up to June 2018, I will be staying in the one and only incredible country, India, to finish my study while at the same time wishing it could be done faster which is quite impossible. Well, I am a quarter way done anyway and I am not joking by saying I wish it could be done faster because they were right. My lecturers, my friends, everyone that gave me words of wisdom ARE right about this country. India is incredible in very frustrating way.

I always have very little expectation about almost everything, but this country has successfully triggered me to reach an unexpected level of my limit. I have written a list of what the seniors, lecturers, and everyone who have experienced the life in this country had ever said and then divided it into the ups and downs. Here they are as I remembered and how I found it true after several months of surviving:

It is better to start from the negatives so that we would have a good and happy ending for the conclusion.

  1. Lots of people do not like to use toilet

    I have known this ever since. Though I still keep the positive mentality in my mind, thinking lots of possibilities. Maybe only when they are far away from public places. Maybe there are not enough public toilets and so forth. Everything changed once I saw a group of men peeing right next to a public toilet. Well, maybe they just like it that way.

  2. When they say tomorrow, it means three days later

    and when they say next week, it means you probably have to come back next month. I have a Vodafone sim card that is still inactive and obviously useless after three complains to the store and they just shook their head like a dashboard doll in a car while kept promising me that the card will be activated tomorrow. Tomorrow never ends.Only that? Nope. The heater in my bathroom is broken, I have given up waiting for tomorrow that the electrician has promised me a month ago.

  3. If you are not get poisoned by the food, you are not cool, Mate!

    Thank God I am not cool. However, my friends here are super cool! Especially my flatmate, he hold the record of our batch by getting three food poisoning in five months. He even got diarrhea after consuming a well packed snack from supermarket.

  4. It is probably not poisonous. It just has the same ingredients as your ointment

    Seriously, it is overly spiced. You can feel Vicks Vaporub in your mutton curry. Enough said about food!

  5. Some people are racist

    I did not think so on my first three days here. I thought everything was normal until my third month. I realized the security treat us differently. Not only me but also my friends who have different physical features to Indians. I saw an Indian stranger who lived outside the campus may pass the security check but they keep checking event interrogating us as we are stranger. When I asked why don’t they remember the answer was simple: you and your friend look like Asians. WE ARE, SO WHAT?

Right then, I do not want to burn myself in fury. Now let’s see what’s good about this country.

……

However, it is not relevant anymore if I share the good things here. The prompt says ‘Maddening’. Thus, those are the maddening madness that I have encountered so far. Next time will be about the good stuffs in India. Cheers. 

Picture Credit: Know Your Meme

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