A love Letter To Indonesia

Posted on August 19th, 2010 at 7:24 am by Bambang

You had me at “Selamat datang”.

We’ve been together for month now, and it’s time we had that talk. I don’t know where you see this going, but I could say “the hell with it” to the rest of my year-long trip and stay here with you.

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out. You didn’t really expect that, huh? Oh, stop giggling and listen.

Yes, you have beautiful beaches, scenic mountains, and hallowed temples, but it’s not just your body I fell in love with.

I feel really good with you. You treat me so well, and it’s not because of my money. Most times you don’t even ask for money. You just like being around me.

You give me a lift on a motorcycle in the rain then take me home to give me a dry shirt and some hot coffee. You talk to me on the train and take time off work the next day to show me around town. You teach me that it’s idiotic to keep a schedule, since you stop me every 30 meters to talk.

No, I don’t mind that you ask me 20 times a day where I’m from and how long I’ve been here. I don’t mind getting the occasional mouthful of truck exhaust and being nearly deafened by 100 passing motorbikes. You’re like a lover that farts in bed because she’s so comfortable and self-assured. You secretly know I’ll love you no matter what.

You don’t bother learning English because you’re too smart for that. You know that if I make the effort to speak your language, I’ll be rewarded in spades: a motorcycle ride through your narrow alleys, a free coconut sweet, your adorable laughter.

You’re religious, but not insufferably. You trim and mould religion to suit your lifestyle, not the other way around. You wear your Muslim headscarf with tight jeans and heels (and have no idea how confusingly hot that is). And you’re a good sport about it: you train monkeys to bow to Allah in town squares then poke them in the butt with a drumstick.

So you’re not exactly the best chef. Your food is good, but it can get pretty repetitive and sometimes outright disturbing. What the hell is this? A flattened and deep-fried lung? And yet, you manage to make me feel like a gastronomical Indiana Jones when your ugly streets explode to life with a million food stalls that tug me 10 different ways with their peanutty garlic grease.

But for God’s sake, go easy on the sugar. I can’t even taste the tea in this glass of diabetes. And do you have to smoke your clove cigarettes while you drive the bus? It’s not exactly well-ventilated in here.


Oh, whatever. Just go ahead, take my picture and add me on Facebook. I won’t understand anything you say there, but that’s ok. After all, our relationship is complicated.


Thank you, Ricky for sharing the good news!

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