Expat wife, expat life

As of tomorrow I will have been in Jakarta for two weeks. That means that two weeks ago today I was drinking martinis and wine and French 75s and why did my head hurt so badly on the flight over? Riiiiiight. Two weeks already. The time has flown. On one hand this feels nice and normal and on the other hand, everything is completely foreign. Of course. I occasionally have to remind myself that everything will feel completely foreign for the next 18 months-ish.

For the last six weeks or so in Australia I had to answer the same question over and over (and over and over) again until I wanted to scream: so what are you going to do over there? I said that I didn’t know, but I always felt like this answer had to be justified. Like, I might do this or this or this, but I don’t really know yet. Two weeks in my answer hasn’t changed. What has changed is that I don’t care what I’m going to do. And I don’t feel like I have to justify how I spend my time to anyone. It’s terrific.

So what am I doing with all this free time?

  • I’m re-reading The Corrections. I recently read Freedom and I was pretty sure I preferred it, but I wanted to be sure. I’ve read it a number of times over the years, but it’s been a while. It’s interesting to think that I read this book for the first time when I was 20 and here I am reading it again when I’m 30. I see myself in characters that I’ve never identified with before. It’s…startling. As for The Corrections versus Freedom debate, I think I’ll now need to re-read Freedom before I can say for sure which one I prefer. This could go on for a while.
  • I’ve been shopping. Surprise, surprise. I spent the other afternoon at Zara, GAP and Forever 21 and it was GOOD. It was too GOOD. I’m pretty sure I spent my clothing budget for the month in a matter of hours. It felt great though!
  • And speaking of shopping, I went on a gem market tour yesterday. It was exactly what it sounds like: we were led into a gem market, pointed towards the most reputable sellers and set loose. The lesson I learned: gems are PRETTY. Me likey. I bought 12 small sapphires that I am going to have set into channel set ring to match my wedding band.

  • We had dinner at our neighbours’ place. Our building is made up of four towers and our tower contains one unit per floor. From the first floor to the penthouse, every apartment is essentially exactly the same (I think there may be some variations in layout, but the living spaces are identical). Combine this with the fact that these apartments come furnished and it was like going for dinner in our own apartment. Exactly the same, but different. Their place felt a bit more personal since their things have arrived from Australia (they’ve been here for a couple of months) and their view was… higher. It was a pleasant evening anyways. It’s always nice to pick the brain of people with some more experience and I’ve now got a couple of familiar faces in the building. I was even invited to join their movie club.
  • Our maid started on Monday. I thought that it would be weird having someone in the apartment and it sort of is, but it’s also sort of really freaking awesome. The house just smells so clean. All the time! She irons and folds my underwear! She prepares fresh fruit plates. She’ll go do the shopping for us once I figure out what kind of food we might like to keep in the house.
  • We went to Lombok for a long weekend. Lombok deserves its own post, but I will say that it was beautiful and relaxing and we almost died in a squall, but we didn’t so it’s all good!
  • I’m doing the Couch to 5k program. I’ve only completed two weeks, but I feel good about it. I’ve been going to the gym 5 days a week which was the goal I set for myself. It’s just so easy when the gym is right downstairs.
  • I start Indonesian classes on Monday. That should be interesting. I’m looking forward to it because I detest not speaking the language here, but I am nervous. If you know me then you know than languages are not my thing. I am determined not to psych myself out before I even start, but it’s tough.
  • I have a cold. Whinging about my sore throat and stuffy nose will fill HOURS over the next few days. Lucky husband.

Now it’s the weekend and we’re headed out to the markets to pick up pet supplies and maybe furniture and some housewares and whatever takes our fancy. New shoes? I’d really like some new shoes.

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~ by Jenny-la on 12 February 2011.

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