Archive for May 26th, 2013

May 26, 2013

FAQ

by Tabitha Kidwell

No matter how many Indonesian people I meet, they always seem to say the same things. The order varies, but I get the following questions/comments basically every time I meet someone new:

Where are you from?
Obama!
You speak Indonesian very well! (This often comes after hearing me say only a handful of words. They are easy to please.)
English is very difficult.
How can I learn English?
Where do you live? (They mean, like, which street, which is creepy in America, but just curiosity here… I think…)
What do you do?
What do you think of Indonesian people? (Duh, they’re awesome!)
Which is better, Indonesia or America? (Duh again… I give the people what they want.)
How old are you?
Do you have children?
Are you married?
You should marry an Indonesian man!

I have perfected the answers to these questions, making me sound like a much better Indonesian speaker than I actually am. I even have a few comedy routines I can throw in (Yes, Obama and I are good friends!… I’d love to marry an Indonesian man, do you know any?) I don’t often get thrown for a loop. But this morning, my horse cart driver and I were making small-talk when he asked “So, are you a virgin?” as if it were the most logical and normal question to ask. I suppose it was, from his point of view, or he wouldn’t have asked it. After 2 years here, it’s amazing how surprises can still come up!