The yearning to speak Indonesian

I miss speaking the language.

If only at least, I could speak Indonesian with someone here.

And by saying "someone", I mean someone I can meet in real life, not online where I can only chat thru the monitor. Or thru phone call where I have to pay a hefty sum for my call balance.

"Someone" I can meet face-to-face and have a cup of tea with.

You know, as do all most newcomers to America who come from elsewhere, there is always a part of their heritage that they can still link to.

The Japanese newcomers in San Fransisco and Seattle can always find fellow Japanese there.

Italian speakers can always find anyone who speaks Italian when they come to New York City.

Pakistanis and Indians can always find their fellow people working in a grocery store or a minimart in all cities throughout the country.

And Mexicans...ah, don't ask. They're scattered everywhere in all industries, just like the Filipinos.

While it is a known fact that there is no Indonesian community here (except that one in Philadelphia), Indonesians have one common attribute when they come to the country:

A large proportion of them come to live in a big city and bring their family or come in to live close by to a friend.

While me?

Nope, no family. Unfair, I am one rare specimen. I just heard the news that Uncle R most likely won't be coming back to the USA too.

Gee. I thought he and I could live together once he's done with his business over there, if not close by.

No Indonesian friend nor family.

I believe that there is even not a single person who can understand Indonesian within a radius of 200 kilometres from Florence, because in order to find an Indonesian interpreter, one has to go to the city of Louisville, Kentucky.

What about an Indonesian restaurant?

There was one in Cincinnati, Ohio (where a plate of nasi goreng was sold for $17). Until last September, when the owner decided to relocate to Bali for good.

There is absolutely nothing in the region to link me with my Indonesian heritage, save for the internet.

Sad, ay?

I know..I'm exiled from any Indonesian links.

So I have made it a habit that when I send my prayers to God, I pray in Indonesian. I used to pray in English all the time when I was in Indonesia, but now that I can only speak English (or sometimes French) on a daily basis, I realised that God is perhaps the only single being left who can understand my native tongue.

And I also sing in Indonesian every now and then. Just sing out loud the known popular songs by Chrisye, Bunga Citra Lestari, Nidji, Letto, Gita Gutawa, Sheila on 7, Audy...

akhlis  – (21 January 2010 at 23:04)  

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but familiarity breeds contempt.

Ahhh...itulah hidup, Tosh. Orang jadi lebih nasionalis dan patriotis kalo dah kluar Indonesia. Kite2 yg di dalem ini dah bosen kl disuruh pake bhs Indo. hihi..Tapi u kan US citizen? kok masih mau pake bahasa Indonesia? Weird..:P

Pake Skype video call aja biar bisa ngobrol face to face.hihi ^_^

Ujan terus ni di Indonesia, ga mpe banjir sih tapi cucian ga kering2.LOL

toshi  – (22 January 2010 at 14:16)  

I was raised in the country, my dear Watson... Just like iff u're raised by adoptive parents instead of ur own biological ones, u'll grow more love towards your adoptive, right? :)

and that's what i said, i'm done with online means of communication.. Meeting them and Skyping with them are two different things. Haha.

akhlis  – (22 January 2010 at 22:58)  

O yeah, Mr. Holmes!I got that so it's about 'adoptive' and 'biological' homeland. :)

But it's like stranded between two worlds. You're not fully Indonesian or American. Caught in between, in grey area where you belong to neither black nor white. But being cosmopolitan is kind of cool, isn't it? But not with complications..

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