Indonesian Honesty

In a cultural twist that I’m still learning to navigate, Indonesian society tends to be both very secretive about their real emotions and very honest about their real thoughts.

It is not acceptable to show anger or impatience here.  No matter how someone feels about you, you will find yourself greeted with a smile and polite words.  When people disagree, they talk around the issue instead of flat out telling you that they don’t agree.  I’ve been back and forth on this, wondering how to best not offend people while still talking through issues.

At other times though, people will say just about anything that crosses their mind.

Today, at the movie theater, was one of those times.

As a mildly related side note: going to the movies here is fantastic.  For five dollars, you can buy a ticket to “The Premiere”.  This means a fully reclining leather chair, blankets, huge armrests, and waiters that deliver drinks and food throughout.

Needless to say, this has had a major effect on my old I-rarely-go-to-movies habit.

We love the man who is the main waiter at the theater.  He is so sweet, recognizes and takes special care of us, and is always ready to help in any way that he can.

This afternoon, we went to watch Thor.  Before the movie, we ordered drinks that we wanted served during the film.  Specifically, I asked for the frozen green tea.

“Would you like jellies* in that?”, he asked.

“No, I don’t need any jellies.  Thank you though!”, I responded.

“Oh!”, he giggled, “Because you are already fat!”

Thank you, dear movie theater man.

*This is strangely prevalent here.  Everyone has to have chewy stuff in their drinks.  Whether it be jellies, tapioca, or some other mystery substance, they love it.


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