Summer is definitely over.
November 6, 2009, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Asia, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I spent the summer in Indonesia. Half of my family are from there and I spent a lot of time there as a child, but this year was the first real opportunity I’ve had to explore it. I went to central Java and Bali and really saw it. I wasn’t staring out at it from behind a car window. I guess having a new level of fluency in the language (I studied it for two years at SOAS) really helped to overcome the barrier of having fair skin and European facial features. I felt overwhelmingly global – not British, Indonesian, Irish, European or Asian – for the first time and got to really listen to people speaking about life in Indonesia, instead of inferring it for myself.

I know I can’t learn every language of the world so I can’t (half) blend in anywhere else on my to-visit list in the same way, but I guess there’s something I can take away from it – to look at the similarities rather than the differences between people and communities of people

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