Doing the Laundry – I can’t wait!

I got my return ticket all finalized today, which means that July 20, 2013, I will be landing in Detroit almost the exact same time that my family will be flying in from our annual vacation to Myrtle Beach. So bummed to be missing out on that one.

Anyways, that means that I have just over one month left in Indonesia. I have already cried a couple of times, for as frustrated as I get a lot of the time here, I do love it. Fighting back tears now.

That being said, I am out of my mind excited to get back to the USA! Yes, I look forward to seeing my family and my friends and being able to eat gravy with every meal if I want, but I bet you have no idea how excited I am to do laundry when I return.

I could probably sell my laundry machine here in an antique store. It’s old.

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When I wash my clothes, I fill up buckets of water to dump in the basin, set it to wash, and wait. When the timer goes off, I pull out this:

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After untangling the mess, I hand rinse everything, and dry it partially in the spinner, which doesn’t always work. The spinner is where doing laundry is really a pain. Sometimes it will spin with a full load, sometimes with only one T-shirt, and sometimes, not at all. Also, when it’s turned on, it sounds like there is a person trapped inside trying to escape. This whole process takes about 2 hours of agony and I hate it. HATE IT.

Mom, I know you love doing my laundry when I’m home for a visit, but please let me savor every load. Or we can do it together. Just please let me experience modern washing machines again, and warm, nice smelling clothes.

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I was walking with a ghost

The paranormal activity in Indonesia is unlike anything that I’ve ever experienced. There’s no escaping the presence of religion, ghosts, and psychics and my black-and-white, science driven logic is really struggling to get a good grasp on what exactly is going on here. I’m not going to touch religion, but here’s what I’ve worked out so far with the ghosts and the psychics.

Ghosts

Ghosts are not spirits of dead people, but separate beings. Certain ghosts are recognizable, but you really don’t want to see any. People who can see them can see them everywhere (I cannot) and apparently, our old house was riddled with them. Ghosts especially like to spend time in the trees. One student told me that after seeing a ghost in his grandmother’s tree, she immediately cut it down. Another student expressed that they struggle with the tree issue because ghosts live in the trees and that’s bad for people, but if you cut down the trees, it’s bad for the environment.

This picture is mostly up to show off last night's sunset, but do you see anything hanging out in our trees?

This picture is mostly up to show off last night’s sunset, but do you see anything hanging out in our trees?

Psychics

The police system here is pretty inefficient. Thank you, corruption. That being said, when you need to get to the bottom of something, you take it to your trusted paranormal specialist. This became especially relevant to me a couple of weeks ago when $200.00 USD went missing. Two different psychics said that that it was a female who is close to me. Amy is not a suspect. But who knows. Maybe he had a clear vision. Maybe it was made up. But either way, I’m out $200.00 and there’s nothing that can really be done about it.

The ghosts and the psychics really remind me that I’m operating in culture extremely different from the United States. It’s easy to forget that sometimes. You see a lot of traditional Indonesian clothing, but you see a lot of jeans and t-shirts too. I work in an English school, so I often hear these accounts from English speakers. I definitely have never heard someone speak so definitely about paranormal activity in English before I came here. Other moments that remind me how far away I am from home, geographically and culturally, are riding past the traditional markets being set up in the wee hours of the morning when I’m driving home from a night club and the frequent call to prayers. I also can’t forget the fact that I’m an outsider since people constantly remind me by shouting “bule!” (foreigner) as I pass. Yes, the bule shouts are getting old. Now that I’m over my culture shock hump, am settled into a routine, and can get around really well with my bahasa, the littleĀ intricacies of Indonesian culture are starting to show themselves. Who knows, maybe I’ll even see a ghost.