- 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
- You have no idea why white people glare at you when you wear your
- Alcohol-free wedding receptions that last 25 minutes no longer seem
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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