I will tell you something: not getting paid to blog takes away much of the appeal. That’s only a small part of why I haven’t updated. The other parts are things like the fact that I’m busy and tired all the time and the fact that I don’t have anything narratively interesting to tell you (besides something about playing violin in JFK at three in the morning, which deserves its own post). But I know that at least some of you want to know what I’ve been doing, if I’ll be able to survive the food, and things of that nature, so prepare for a dry blog post about my daily life.
My basic schedule looks like this:
7:00 AM: Wake up. Catalogue new mosquito bites. Lay in bed and wish that I felt more awake.
7:15 AM: Breakfast. Breakfasts here are more than I can handle quantity-wise. Friday, for example, we had fried rice. A lot of fried rice.
|Breakfast. It was delicious, but also much more than I’m used to eating in the morning.|
8:00 AM: Cram for class, surf the internet, remind myself that I’ll never get over the jet lag if I sleep at odd times.
10:00 AM: Class. Class lasts for two hours and it’s just me and a teacher, which is good because I can’t really zone out but also bad for the same reason. My teachers are very nice, though, and very patient with me.
12:00 PM: Lunch. My first few days here, I went out with my senior fellow, but she has now moved on to bigger and better things (traveling around Asia till August) and so now I’m on my own. Luckily, I’ve now learned numbers and food words so I haven’t starved.
|Saturday’s lunch. I finally gave in and had mee goreng. I’ve been trying to avoid food that I recognize from Malaysia so that I could work on broadening my horizons, but sometimes all the broadening gets to be too much.|
1:00 PM: Class. Another two-hour session. I’d forgotten how utterly frustrating it is to start learning a language from scratch. I have all these ideas that I want to get across in conversation, but my vocabulary is nowhere near the necessary level. I’m still saying things like, “I get up at seven o’clock. I start studying at ten o’clock.”
3:00 PM: Go back to my room.
7:00 PM-ish: Dinner. Dinner also tends to be a lot of food, but at least for dinner I get to serve myself so I can be a little more conservative on the portions. We eat dinner with my host mother, who is very nice and a fantastic cook.
8:00 PM: Attempt to study, attempt to do homework, mainly lie on my bed reading young adult fiction and thinking about all the writing I should be doing. It’s a hard life.
10:00 PM: Sleep.
Put like that, it’s not so bad, but interspersed between everything else are trips to immigration (the Indonesian visa process is long and arduous), trips to get license plates for my motorbike, trips to try (and fail) to buy clothing, and Javanese dance classes (thanks to my senior fellow). In conclusion: I’m busy. Not unmanageably so, but enough that I don’t really have a lot of time to just sit around, which is the way I like it.