Have you ever thought that you no longer fit to live in one place? Well, I do think of that question many times. Since I was still primary school it stucked in my mind. Somehow I feel … that I don’t belong here. Or, maybe because there are dissatisfaction, disappointment and imagination. Until today, I can’t find the right words to describe it.
Then one day in July 2010 this old Californian man read my painting. After a few minutes he told me something that wasn’t quite shocked to me. He said, „Did you always paint a house like this one?“. I wasn’t reply his question immediately. I knew it was kind of rudeness. But, I didn’t mean to be like that. I was thinking. Why? What’s wrong with my painting? Was the house, the people ( I mean my family) and the trees were not good painted? No. He didn’t say anything as I thought. He said only, „It looks, that you no longer fit to live here. You see this chimney? Where the hell you get that kind of idea to paint a chimney in an Indonesian house? You see where your family members and you stand? They all stand in front of the house, and you? You paint yourself under this tree, far from them. And you stand under a tree. A big one. Well, it’s been said in this painting. You’ll live far away from your family and your homeland. It looks like that you going to live in a cold place. Europe maybe? Or in the States?“ I was in silence in a noisy room.
It is. Somehow, I don’t like to stay in any places in my homeland, Indonesia. I’ve met many people and they said the same thoughts. You no longer fit to live here. What they wanted to say, I have to look in me. Is this what I really want? To live here in Indonesia? Actually, no I don’t want to. It’s not that I don’t love my homeland anymore. But, there’s something that I see very clear. I am different. Different with my thoughts, opinions, way of thinking, way of life, way of treating others, more open-minded, advanced, adventurer, more tolerance, socialized, straight-talking than most of the people in my homeland. I really don’t know where does it come from. Television? Books? Newspaper? Parents? Siblings? Neighbourhood? I don’t know. For example, in the third grade I even can spoke, understood, and remembered English words fluently. It shocked my sports teacher, because he was the only teacher in my school who can speak English. I can remembered a whole english song’s lyric. As a note, I never joined any English courses. Ok. I have to admitted that Hollywood movies gave me the best influences more than anything. Of course I learned also English at school. In my time, English only taught from middle high school until university. But now start from playgroup. Glad to hear it, honestly.
I even talk directly with my parents and older people. But still with good manner. Most of the time. Once, when I came back from Germany for almost 2 years working there and got back to finish my college’s final task in my home city, I said to my father in front of my family when we were watching tv, that the Japanese people are good in sex. Bwoah! Hahahaha. I do speak my mind. In seconds my parents and my siblings stared at me. I can accepted their look. I knew, it is very weird and peculiar for most of the families in Indonesia and Moslem families too to talk about sex. I don’t mind if they think I’m crazy, rude, and so on. But, I speak my mind. That’s it. If there any Japanese who read this, I am so sorry. I don’t mean to underestimate certain people.
I was so confused. Was I smart or just an ordinary girl with full of curiousity for things in the world? Never stop thinking until I’m asleep. If neighbour’s kids playing outside in sunday morning, I watched cartoons and other kids channel from 6 until 12 am. If other kids watched cartoons, I prefered to watch tv shows with animal, musics, technics, cooking, news from foreign countries. When my father never stop complained why all the tv channels were gone everytime he turned on the tv again, I always tried to find out what for all those buttons that attached to the television. It was from my house, how it begun to watch 2 other national private television station. Then the neighbours came and wanted to know how I found it. When my father only wanted to use his tape deck, well … I wanted to know how it works and find out what is the function of all small parts of it. Until the inside parts. That’s me.
Before I flew to Copenhagen for working, I heard something not really shocked thing from my aunty. She said to me, „When your younger sister was here, she said that you no longer fit to live here.“ I can’t say nothing more but smiled. I asked her, what does my sister meant by saying something like that? She didn’t know exactly either.
Another time, a friend of my aunty said, „Just look at her (he means me to her wife). Her haircut so short like a man. Her style is different. In her age and she’s still not getting married.“ I was just laughing out loud. Well, It’s not that I don’t want to get married. But I just haven’t found my soulmate. I can’t marry a man, if I don’t have chemistry with him. Okay. That’s another story.
Then, a Danish man said, „You are an open-minded person, not like the others from your country or from Asia.“ Hmmm. Ok. Accepted. But, my question is, for this kind of job, what kind of person you need? A close-minded and robotic person? Please, do not underestimate Asian, especially women from South East Asia.
And the last person asked me, „Don’t you want to go to United States?“. I looked at him, smiled and said, „Yes, I do. I want it really bad. I want to go to Alaska.“
I want you to know, Skat. I will go, wherever you will go. I want to live in a place, where my mind, my body and soul are fit in. I still don’t know where is the place. But, I’ll know, if I feel and connected with that place.