I'm beginning to notice that I stick out like a sore thumb here.
But, it doesn't surprise me and it doesn't stress me too much. It's happened before. I always stuck out at school because I could read and stuff.
That's why I desperately need to start learning the language to have any chance of blending in.
But perhaps the funniest thing is when small children drop their mouths completely open in shock. Or I can hear the word "bule", which is slang for white person here, being used with sideways glances. I just wonder what the other words around "bule" are… probably "stupid bule who can't speak Indonesian" or "stupid big bule taking up the space of two people on the lift".
I haven't had this feeling for a long time… probably since I went to Vietnam. When I traveled Europe, I didn't stick out quite so much.
But it's kind of amusing. Especially to note the reaction amogst members of the community who are either too young or too old or too hormone-fuelled to have what is commonly known as tact.
Today I was at the supermarket and a little girl (well, baby really) was sitting in the chair of the trolley in front staring at me quite intently while her mum piled the groceries up on the checkout… she was staring so much that she dropped her toy. So I went "ooops!" and bent down and picked it up and handed it back to her and pulled a funny face.
She looked so shocked. She almost didn't take it back off me.
She held it close to her for a minute, then like someone pinching themselves to believe what they had seen, she quite deliberately dropped the toy again.
They had a big trolley, and I thought oh dear, this kid could throw this toy about five more times before their groceries are bagged, so I hesitated, pulled some more faces and pretended I couldn't see the toy. She kept on looking down at it, hinting.
So I picked it up again, and she grabbed my hand, just to examine it more closely. A very strange specimen.
Meanwhile, an elderly grandmother in the next aisle was nudging her middle aged daughter and looking right at me with what I would class as a "judgey stare".
I've also noticed that my moderately sized (very moderate if you rate it as a percentage of arse size) rack catches a fair bit of attention from the male populace, even though I have been dressing modestly and the girls have not been out to play. Especially a teenage boy in the swimming pool today who nearly smacked his head against the side of the pool for staring. It was a bit full on.
Big fat bule. Fun for all the family!