Musings on Living Cross Culturally

Swimming Upstream

I have been absolutely shocked by how stubbornly habitualized I have been to walk on the right side of the sidewalk.  Driving on the other side of the road is one thing – there are signs and clear rules and such.  However, when I get into that awkward game of chicken with the person approaching me, I find I never veer in the correct direction!

Feeling Foreign

Despite the fact that I am on a new side of the world, under the equator, on a new continent, residing in a new country, the strangest atmosphere for me has been… my apartment!  It’s quiet.  That, my friends, is what makes it weird – this may not seem so out of-the-ordinary to most, but I grew up with four little brothers and sisters and an impressively social pair of parents.  Enough said.

Picture Menus

Indonesia not only has American fast food beat on caloric intake, but also on honest picture menus.  No more of this fake-food-looking-awesome photos that tempt the hungry customer in the States – these are straight up (awful looking) real pictures.  They have, in fact, made me appreciate the fake food photographed throughout the homeland.  Why have a picture menu when it will push people away!?

Bronzed Beauty

It’s funny how the grass is always greener on the other side – at home, women (and men) strive toward tanned bods, going to all kinds of cancer-inducing measures to accomplish this feat.  Here, the vampire look is the cool thing to do.  Spas actually offer skin bleaching treatments!

Make-believe Friends

The inexplicable bond between all white people in this area never ceases to make me wonder at the implications behind it.  It’s like an unspoken rule that every foreigner has unknowingly grown up with:  if you see another person your shade at the mall, eye contact and a regarding nod are in order.  You may have never seen each other, but for that moment, you are to pretend knowledge of one another.  It makes me feel like I’m part of the mafia.

These are just a few of the things that I’ve been turning over in my brain recently, and I’m sure that a “Musings #2” post will eventually be in order.  Honestly, though, most of these are reflections on my own life assumptions, and less about what this country is like.  Who am I to say that my natural perceptions are the correct way of looking at things?  I am realizing just how strong my subconscious is!

Have you had any strange realizations like the above while traveling?


2 thoughts on “Musings on Living Cross Culturally

  1. Lynne Etheart says:

    Lauren..I just finished reading your blog (complete) and I have to say you are truly gifted in relating your thoughts,ideas and experiences. I enjoyed every experience you had with all of the pictures that were given to help me with the visual adrenaline rush. I look forward to living vicariously through your adventures! God Bless you Lauren everyday and keep you safe in His loving arms!! Until your next blog..Lynne Etheart
    (making peace group)

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