Tag Archives: travelling

Eight Things I Learned in Indonesia

A little over a year ago I spent four months in Indonesia. I didn’t really travel across the country, at least not in the way you would expect during that much time abroad. Instead I had the great privilege to live in Indonesia, and see it from the inside. It’s hard to put to words all that I learned, and impossible to do justice to the people I met and the experiences I had. Here is my attempt to share are a few things I learned while I was travelling.

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1) Hospitality

The first notable quality of almost every Indonesian I encountered, and especially of my host family, was their hospitality. Within 12 hours of arriving my concept of generosity and hospitality had been put to shame. My hosts not only shared their home, they shared their family, lives, and friends with me. I was adopted into their social circle, taken for day- or week-long trips by their friends while I was there. I was honoured to be one of the first people to greet the family’s first grandson alongside the immediate family.

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2) Hijabs aren’t scary

This is a fairly potent topic these days so I won’t comment too much. Over half the women on Java wear hijabs, a head covering worn by Muslim women. When I asked why they wore them, all the women I asked answered with “I wear it because I choose to.” I began to recognize beauty and comfort in these headdresses, as well as freedom of expression. These women were neither ashamed nor pious in their religion, it was simply a part of their life.

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Shame Day: Yours Truly

First thing’s first: I’m currently paying $0.19 a minute for internet right now, so I don’t have a lot of time. Secondly, I’m writing this from the floor of the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. I’m waiting for my flight to Chiang Mai, in the north, where I will be spending Christmas with my family.

Due to these developments there will probably not be an “Evan and Gordon Talk” for tomorrow, or at least not one that will be on time. I will also be posting an official update as to when Culture War Reporters as a whole will be taking a break, because I think we both deserve one.

Thanks for now for all of the readership we’ve been getting, especially the traffic that’s gotten my post on Aveline de Grandpré to number three on Google. That’s pretty amazing, and I’m glad I was able to write something that can reach so many.

That’s it for now, guys and girls. Time [and money] is a’ wasting.