Back in Jak with a full backpack


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I am back “home” from my trip “home”.  I haven’t really had time to write much lately… it was flat chat!

But anyway… I went home to Albury and Sydney for a week.  It was really lovely to see my family again, especially the little sister who grows up ever so quickly.  She’s nearly as tall as me now (which isn’t saying a huge deal), but still.


(she even has teenage badass ballerina attitude)

It was lovely to see my friends, even though it was brief catch ups all around.  It was lovely to eat all the amazing food, go to the supermarket and buy fantastic produce to cook with, and buy cheap glasses of house wine at the pub that were rather fantastic compared to some of the wine I have paid a lot for here… and to have pale ale readily available instead of just Bintang!  And to walk and catch public transport and drive the car in Albury as well.  And to turn on the radio and hear cool stuff.  And to watch the Albury news where “kids having fun with clay” is actually a story.  And most of all, to be invisible again.  Just another person going for a walk.

People were asking me whether I was looking forward to going back to Jakarta.  I felt like I had to give judicious answers like “well, I’m happy there but I miss you all” or “I’m happy there but I miss dukkah eggs with bacon for breakfast”.  There was nothing untruthful in those replies, but one answer I never gave was “I am happy there, but spending time here again is making me realize that I left a huge part of myself behind in all the rush to move to Jakarta and settle in.”

The bits of me that used to write snappy analysis of shit Australian TV shows.  The part that used to spend Saturday mornings either brunching at one of the fantastic corner cafes or roaming the farmers markets, buying fresh produce to come home and cook something special.  The part of me which used to cook things just so I could share them with other people at work or at stay at home and bitch and watch movies boozy nights, their satisfaction giving me some sort of throwback to my childhood where my parents earned their money and satisfaction from serving people food.  The bit that used to follow Australian politics intensely. The bit that used to follow Home and Away and Neighbours equally intensely. The bit that used to emotionally beat myself up on a daily basis for not having progressed far enough up the Sydney career ladder (which has now been replaced by the bit that emotionally beats myself up for not having a job that directly generates positive change for disadvantaged people, which I why I am umming and ahhing about maybe going back to study policy or something).

Obviously not all of those things translate into Jakarta life, and I didn’t move overseas to live the same life as before.  But it seems a shame I have replaced some of these things I used to enjoy with… umm… not writing, not going to the gym regularly and not studying Indonesian?

So, I’ve decided I’m going to try and be a bit better with cooking good food now that I am back.  I’ve been horribly slack. Even though it’s a bit harder to find good produce than at home, and more expensive, I think I’ve let my nocturnal work hours make me lazy.  And really, there was a time when cooking was enjoyable for me instead of a chore, so I just need to get back in that mindset.

And I’m going to try and study my Indonesian more, because I have been getting quite slack. And write more.  Yadda yadda.  Let’s see how long it all lasts shall we?  I’m placing bets on the usual duration of five minutes…

One Response to " Back in Jak with a full backpack "

  1. Odit says:

    I would like to taste your fine cooking Miss Betteridge. 🙂 or help you with it. I like cooking as well. Aubrey and I managed to make Ratatoullie the other week and it was pretty good as well.