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The Arrival of Our 'Home' Lifts Up My Mood

Our container was delivered yesterday, 174 boxes, big and small. Kids shrieked in excitement when finding  their toys, books and  beds, I didn't stop humming Henry Bishop's "Home! Sweet Home!" while opening the boxes full of my very own kitchen tools, and husband immediately rearranged the furniture for a work corner. It's good to have our 'home' back.

It's also a relieve to know that I will be busy tidying up our place for the next couple of weeks. I feel rather lost and bored lately. Sydney is wonderful, I enjoy living here and cannot say enough thank you to the Creator for everything we have. However the lack of challenge when fitting myself into the practical matters in Sydney brings me to another stage too early.

What I meant by practical matters are, for examples: getting myself used to the F-word regularly shout by the locals, picking-up my kids with the far-from-perfect public transportation system, accepting the slighlthy unfair health-care for Temporary Residents, etc. It takes a bit of courage to settle those kind of things, but they are just part of another culture to conquer, another system to follow. The experience can be annoying, however  I find it mostly interesting, amusing and entertaining. It rarely consumes my mind and energy.

Besides, there is almost no obstacle in the language department. Living in an English speaking country eliminates the urgency to learn another language. Beyond the sometimes-weird Australian accent, there is hardly any pumping adrenaline and guessing game while dealing with the locals.

So far my kids have no problem at school, husband is satisfied with his new job and with everything sails so smoothly suddenly there is not enough things to keep me busy. My writing and research are still on-going and Louise are at home three days per week, yet  I still have more than sufficient time to let my mind wanders and  found myself leaping into the 'desperately needing a confidante' stage a bit too soon.

Those who (used to) move often might know the pain of finding a true friend in a new place. I'm not somebody who eagerly joins a large group of people to make friends with everybody but I'm also not a kind of person who can live without another female companion. I would rather get together with those I feel comfortable with -hoping to build some friendships that will last - than merely mingle with anybody available on the spot.  Although some bad experiences did occur (this usually happened when I opened up myself too much to somobedy, thinking that we were clicking very well  while actually we just misunderstood and misinterpreted every single thing),  it never stopped my effort to find (an)other three-dimensional true friend(s) whenever I moved to a new country.

The urgency to have a confidante could be lowered by occupying myself with other things. Like when in the year 2000 I moved back to Holland after our marriage, I immediately hit the job market and worked full time. Four years later, we moved to the US. Although I just turned myself from an office worker into a homemaker,  I was busy with my newborn Joseph and  was lucky enough to have found friends down there before we left Holland. 

In 2008 we arrived in Munich with one-year-old Louise and a German language to learn. The four of us went through a full of adrenaline fitting-in period and eventhough I began to make friends only 5 months later, with my book project I wrote in between, I had enough things in mind to think about loneliness. Later when we knew that we were about to move to Australia, I made lots of plans and ideas while still in Munich but feeling lonely too soon is a bit of a hindrance to my spirit and productivity.

Skyping my faraway best friends helps though, sharing stories with old pals never failed to cheer me  up. Plus actually I knew very well fitting ourselves into a new country is a complex experience and one way or another, sooner or later,  we will hit the unpleasent spot. I also knew that the best thing to do is simply to take the ride until we get through it. Still sometimes things are easier said than done, eventhough we've been through the same things several times in our lives.

Now that our 'home' is delivered,  I'm in a much better mood. Yesterday I have found some memorabilia which reminded me to those good days I spent with my old confidantes in my previous hometowns. Who knows, maybe a good aura will speed-up the process of me meeting the new one(s).


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 12th, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)

So glad to hear that...senangnya denger semua udah sampai dengan selamat di apartemen baru :)))

tinggal capeknya deh, rearrange semua furniture and stuff. Wish I were there to help you...
Mar. 14th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
It's ok Mon to unpack .. it will take months but we never fail to enjoy it.
Mar. 12th, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
Comment dari Faizal
San kayaknya kerjaan banyak tuh, btw punya pembantu nggak seh ? gw kagak kebanyang bini gw nyelesain tuh sendiri
Mar. 14th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Re: Comment dari Faizal
Faizal, yg ngerjain both gw dan suami gw. Ngga ada lah pembantu kita di sini hehehhe
Mar. 12th, 2010 02:09 pm (UTC)
semoga lekas merasa nyaman dengan tempat baru :)
ami wewarna
Mar. 14th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
Makasih, Mi :D.
Mar. 13th, 2010 08:33 am (UTC)
Transplanting living creatures is a delicate process. The success of it partly depends on the new conditions. Waiting three months for your personal belongings is tough.

Yet now 'the castle which is your home' at long last can be build. I'm sure the real settling down has started. It may also help to create new bonds of friendship.And, who knows, the recent pangs of uneasiness may have provided you with fuel for a new book..

PS: Though I would like to move to Australia, I for obvious reasons can't provide "female companion"...


Mar. 14th, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
Haaa having you around would definitely be a joy! As a matter of fact, you're among very small number of male who I feel comfortable with!
Mar. 13th, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
Hi Mba Santi,

Saya baru kali ini pindah negara karna mengikuti suami yang memang orang aussie, kami tinggal di Brisbane. Saya tinggal di Australia hampir 2 tahun dan kurang lebih 6 bulan lalu saya mengalami suatu kejadian yang kata counselor saya 'separation anxiety' (kalo ngga salah denger).
Saya sampai harus ikut counseling karna suami merasa kuatir dengan keadaan saya. Memang pada saat itu saya merasa down sekali, feeling helpless and worthless. Menurut Counselor saya, hal seperti itu banyak terjadi kepada immigrant ato pendatang baru, terutama yang beda bahasa dan kebudayaan. Beliau juga bilang biasanya proses tersebut bisa sampai 2-3 tahun.
Terus terang sampai sekarang saya belum merasa settle in banget di sini dan juga belum menemukan sesuatu yang membuat saya feeling secure karna saya masih merasa takut kalau di tinggal suami work trip berhari-hari.
Mungkin mba Santi bisa kasih saran-saran buat saya untuk menjalani proses settling in di negara lain.

Mar. 14th, 2010 12:43 am (UTC)
Hi Mila, pindah negara memang berat. Perasaan down, helpless dan worthless adalah bagian dari tahap penyesuain diri. Tapi kalau perasaan2 itu terus berkepanjangan sangatlah ngga nyaman dan bagus kamu sudah ikutan counseling. Punya teman yang dalam situasi dan kehidupan sama (contohnya istri yg juga pindah ke brisbane krn mengikuti suami)mungkin akan bagus juga untuk bisa saling berbagi.

Saya sama sekali bukan ahli dalam bidang ini. Cerita2 di blog saya hanyalah berdasarkan pengalaman pribadi berpindah budaya sejak masa kecil. Buku mengenai 'wife living abroad' seperti ini http://www.amazon.com/Successful-Living-Abroad-Culture-Practical/dp/155868123X/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268527204&sr=1-7 mungkin bisa jadi pegangan buat pegangan.

Mar. 18th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)

I like your attitude about the new country, it's positive not bitching about the new place nor compare to old country and say the old country is better bla bla bla.

I should learn from you in accepting and adjusting to the new place. Bravo
Jun. 11th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
Ecky ...yeah I will get crazy if I keep on focusing on the bad sides!! My happiness depends on myself, so I better looks for things that cheer me up!!
Mar. 19th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
Horee.. kardus2 nyampe ! Serasa buka kado ga ? hehehe... Kebayang happynya ketemu barang2 yg bikin a house be a home. Selamat beres2 yah. ditunggu fotonya di rumah baru.
Jun. 11th, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
Kardus masih banyak dan ternyata kali ini banyak barang2 yg ngga perlu kita bawa dari Muenchen .. yang ada begitu buka kardus, langsung buang barang hehehe.
Thank you, Cindy! BTW ... gw baru nyadar buku Ayu Utami elo kebawa sampe ke OZ bow!! hahahah dari chicago, ke muenchen, ke Sydney. Gw akan ada di Jkt dari akhr June-awal agust. Gw boleh minta alamat ortu elo di Bogor? Nanti biar gw Tiki-in aja bukunya. Sorry banget ...
Jun. 12th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Hi San.. oh elo mau ke Indo jg ? gua jg lagi di Indo nih. Siapa tau bisa ketemu ya. Tp gua balik akhir juli. Ternyata buku gua ikutan melanglang buana sama elo ya.. hahaha.
Bisa pake alamat tante gua kalo mau kirim, gua di sini nomad abis :)
Jl Suryakencana 311A/315 (Toko Obor)
Bogor 16142. telp 0812 840 76762 (hp gua di sini).
thanks, San. But hoping to see you too... I miss jojo and babu Lu :)
Mar. 19th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
I heard that there are lots of Indonesians in Sidney. I hope you'll make some friend soon. I love reading your journal. Thanks for sharing your adventures across the globe.

Jun. 11th, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
Thank you, Sam. I hope you, hubby and your two little munchkins are doing fine!
Mar. 31st, 2010 05:28 am (UTC)
I so can relate to your post.

Even though we did not move around as 'crazy' as you and your family, at one period in time in our lives we've moved around between three countries in a period of two years, so I totally 'get' you.

Selamat beres2 yah. Paling enak emang kalo 'reunian' sama barang2 sendiri, ibarat udah ga ketemu 3 tahun aja. Can't help but think that those familiar things are big parts of our lives, whether u like it or not..

Salam kenal,


Jun. 11th, 2010 07:45 am (UTC)
Salam kenal dan thank you, Ayu. We hope to stay in Sydney for another 10 years ... start to be tired of moving around :D.
Apr. 10th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Hiiii Santiiii !!!
Dear Santi,

My browsing activities in blogs are becoming less lately. How are you, dear ? ... Hope everything turns out right as planned.

Sure, your life must be 'roller-coasterer' than mine ... but taking part in Indonesian research activities is a jungle journey sometimes.

Best regards for you and family,
Jun. 11th, 2010 07:46 am (UTC)
Re: Hiiii Santiiii !!!
Mbak Anky! How are you doing?? Same here .. it's been many months since my last post. Will be sending you an e mail asap :D.
Apr. 28th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Dear Santi,

I've been incommunicado for months now, which means I haven't been reading many blogs. (I did finally start reposting on my own, though, which feels good.) So I didn't have a chance to wish you "bon voyage" or read about how you were adjusting to life in Australia! So please accept my very tardy best wishes on this new adventures. You are amazing!

I'm also curious about the "book project" that you mentioned in this post--clearly I've missed out on a lot in the past year or so! Tell me more--you wrote a book?!

At some point, I would love to post an update to the profile of your family that I featured on my blog three (!) years ago. Remember this? http://babybilingual.blogspot.com/2007/05/profile-joseph-learning-indonesian.html

I have updated the questionnaire and would be happy to send it to you to fill out any time! Please write to me at babybilingual (at) gmail (dot) com if you're interested.

Take care and enjoy life in Australia!
--Sarah (babybilingual.blogspot.com)
Jun. 11th, 2010 07:46 am (UTC)
Sarah, thank you for stopping by. I myself has been neglecting the bloggin world for nearly 3 months. Moving to Sydney has changed my writing habit :D.
Hope to visit your blog soon.
May. 27th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
It's a long time since you last posted!
How's life going? :)
Jun. 11th, 2010 07:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, very sorry. Moving to a new country creates a new writing habit. I will make effort to blog again, though. Thank you for your concern, ziggyzest!!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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