Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates

Check out What's New on the Expat Web Site
Information for foreigners moving to Indonesia

Home » Practical Information » Expat Stories

You Know You've Gone Native When ...

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

 

Translate this Page

Bookmark and Share
Links to hundreds of articles giving practical information for expats moving to Indonesia
Post your questions or communicate with other expats in Indonesia on the Expat Forum
Looking for a place to stay in Indonesia - check out the Housing Forum
Looking for a weekend or holiday getaway ... visit some of Indonesia's Great Escapes
Some great restuarants in Jakarta
Advice and resources for conducting business in Indonesia
Info on expatriate community organizations in Indonesia
Shops, Products and Services
Links to other useful Indonesian or expat-related web sites
Expat Humor - spread the joys of Living in Indonesia through e-postcards
Site Map
Return to the Home Page
expatriate information for Indonesia

  • If when you return to your native country you speak broken English for the next month
  • If you say Aduh or Astaga when you are surprised about something instead of saying 'Oh my goodness!'
  • If you carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer around in your bag all the time
  • If you sit on the street and eat with your hands rather than in a restaurant with a knife and fork
  • If you sit on the back of a motorbike as a passenger and don't have to hold on to anything
  • If you know every gang (alleyway) to slip down on your motorbike in Kuta to escape the police
  • If you know that when the sky is full of stars it is going to pour so you prepare your rain poncho early
  • If when you meet up with your Western friends in indonesia and greet them with Pagi...Apa kabar instead of 'Good Morning. How are you?'
  • If you now acknowledge your bed could just be a mattress on the floor
  • If you now consider a hose on a rusty nail with cold water adequate to shower
  • You can sleep in a room where lots of mosquitoes are flying.
  • Even when the light for the pedestrians is green, you still looking left and right before you cross.
  • you have lots of credit cards but most of them are over limit (that's ok, they're just for showing off anyway)
  • instead of going to Ranch Market, or Hero, or carrefour, you buy your veggies from the tukang sayur
  • You have a pet orangutan in your back garden and a stuffed, mounted Sumatran tiger in your office.
  • You believe you will never end up in jail because you are rich.
  • You believe that 'cut-off your nose to spite your face' is axiomatic of the path of the wise man.
  • You wear a thick coat on your motorcycle, to deflect the heat
  • You impress your neighbours with photos of yourself drinking coffee with piles of cream and sticky sweet stuff on it in Starbucks
  • You think a pair of fake RayBans is perfectly adequate for preventing arc-eye when welding
  • You never question why every garden gate you've ever seen (and most other steel things) is made from distinctive stolen rebar steel
  • Anyone can tell you enjoy riding your motorcycle, because you have squashed bugs stuck all over your teeth (conjure a picture)
  • You read the expat forum, and wonder were your grammer and speling was ever be so good as wot them am
  • You wonder why your Mum doesn't want your new recipe for fish head curry (oops sorry, I already wrote that one 5 years ago)
  • You have a pair of new BMW 7 series in the drive, but no food in the fridge
  • You have no idea why white people glare at you when you wear your Osama t-shirt
  • Alcohol-free wedding receptions that last 25 minutes no longer seem weird
  • You finally found a couple of maids that will stay, because they understand that Batak women are not permanently looking for a fight, but just talking really really loudly
  • You have learned to lip-read, because you can't tell whether the sound is on or off when watching TV in a Batak household
  • You automatically hide your supply of 21 year old Macallan whisky when you hear your father-in-law is on the way to your house
  • You dream in Jakarta slang
  • You think BATS is kampungan because they don't sell teh botol
  • It is classy to be seen paying $18 for the "international buffet", but you still load your plate up with nasi goreng and krupuk
  • You think the best bit of a chicken is that crunchy stuff on the end of the leg bones
  • Your wife keeps her engagement ring at Bank Mandiri
  • Your idea of a good joke is to lie about your age, or to call oxtail soup "sop pantat"
  • You gape at white foreigners as if they have rabbits growing out of their heads.
  • You believe that lies are good and truth is dumb.
  • You prefer warm beer and even warm water because cold beverages could cause 'masuk angin'.
  • The correct way to serve beer to your expatriate friends is to toss in a few chunks of e-coli infested ice.
  • You regard chicken heads and claws as a tasty treat - but consider McDonald's even more classy.
  • When cooking rice you add a generous handful of gravel for roughage.
  • You think nothing of borrowing money from an expatriate and never repaying it.
  • As a contestant on Famili 100, you clap your hands enthusiastically and smile happily, even though your answer was incorrect.
  • You can safely alight from a speeding MetroMini but still feel uneasy about using an escalator.
  • You believe spitting should be done as noisily as possible on every conceivable occasion.
  • You wash your genitals in the office urinals.
  • You are embarrassed to buy condoms but think it's cool to show them to your male friends.
  • You fantasize about Inul Daratista.
  • When buying food at the warung, you consider it perfectly normal behavior to push ahead of any expatriate stupid enough to be waiting to be served.
  • You start to believe the positive hype about Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, forgetting that people also once praised Wiranto, Prabowo and Suharto.
  • The main reason you wear a jilbab outdoors is to avoid sunburn and pollution. And because it has a nice Hello Kitty print.
  • A slumber party involves your friends coming over for a meal of rice and talking noisily while watching an action movie. Then everyone sleeps on a single woven mat on the tiled floor.
  • Your plastic wall clock chimes tinny nursery-rhyme tunes every hour.
  • Your idea of an exciting night's entertainment is to squat on the kerb and watch traffic and pedestrians go by.
  • You begin to suspect that most politicians/civil servants might be evil corrupters, but you still reverentially cringe, bow and scrape when meeting them.
  • You think a Communist is a 'bad person' but have absolutely no idea what Communism is.
  • You no longer make calls on your handphone but simply send SMSs.
  • You see nothing wrong with mobbing a cigarette thief to death on the street, but wouldn't dream of protesting against corrupt government officials who steal billions.
  • You think Mr Bean is hilarious but can longer understand the complex humor of Black Adder.
  • You think the main prerequisites for Indonesian presidential candidates are: singing and dancing with sultry dangdut singers; provision of free T-shirts; and lying and cheating.
  • Educational television commercials have convinced you that your baby won't grow up to be healthy, strong and clever unless raised on expensive powdered milk formula products, because breast-feeding is just totally kampungan.
  • You don't care about horrendous destruction of the environment or Indonesia's reputation as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
  • You no longer consider it strange that Jalan Sabang has 35 parking attendants, yet the worst traffic congestion in Jakarta.
  • You believe that cheeseburgers and french fries are 'light food' that don't fill you up or make you fat (as opposed to anything served with rice)
  • You go to McDonalds and order fried chicken and rice
  • You serve important visitors to your home KFC as a status symbol
  • When traveling in an un-airconditioned vehicle you insist on a window seat . . . so that you can ensure that it is CLOSED (and thus avoid getting masuk angin from the breeze)
  • You feel uncomfortable going out into the heat and humidity of Jakarta wearing shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt.
  • You introduce your current girlfriend to male acquaintances, who also happen to be on a first name basis with your wife
  • Your car costs more than your house
  • You have two cars and no garage
  • The cost of your handphone is equal to 2 months salary
  • You buy a new handphone twice per year
  • You wear your handphone around your neck on a little chain
  • You rate a given handphone's value as a status symbol by the number of extra features that you will never use.
  • You believe that Nokia is superior to all other handphones brands because . . . well, because other people think Nokia is better.
  • You think Anyer is a beautiful, romantic, quiet place for a weekend getaway.
  • You believe that any woman with very light colored skin is extraordinarily beautiful, but any woman with dark skin, no matter how beautiful is at best only a 'sweet darkie'.

Our thanks to Tupairoy for his posting on the Expat Forum which initiated this thread in the Expat Forum , and to subsequent contributions from Max and Dave.

© Held by Contributors

 

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

Practical Information |  Expat Forum |  Site Map  |  Search |  Home Page |  Contact

 

Return to top

Copyright © 1997-2014, Expat Web Site Association Jakarta, Indonesia http://www.expat.or.id All rights reserved. The information on Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates may not be retransmitted or reproduced in any form without permission. This information has been compiled from sources which we, the Expat Web Site Association and volunteers related to this site, believe to be reliable. While reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the facts are accurate and up-to-date, opinions and commentary are fair and reasonable, we accept no responsibility for them. The information contained does not make any recommendation upon which you can rely without further personal consideration and is not an offer or a solicitation to buy any products or services from us. Opinions and statements constitute the judgment of the contributors to this web site at the time the information was written and may change without notice.