It’s raining outside. I ordered room service. I was out earlier. There was a staff birthday party. It usually happens every end of the month. I have no intention of joining today. I went back to my room unusually early and changed into my pajamas. Then I got a call. One of the organizers was asking if I will join the party. I dragged myself out of bed and got dressed again. I have become the unofficial gift-giver of the birthday celebrants. The staff somehow looks forward to me giving them the gift that the management prepared for them and they enjoy it when I kiss them on the cheeks as I hand it over. Sometimes, when I am in the mood, I give the guy celebrants a peck on the cheek as well. Just to rouse the crowd.
Anyway, so the program of the party was over. A long line ensued. A line for food. Usually, I stay longer in the area to chat with some employees and eat with them as well. Today, I was not in the mood.
After the signal that food is ready, I quietly slipped out of the hall. Of course, it will never go unnoticed. Being one of the only three expats, and a female at that, in a workplace of more than 200 employees, everything I do is magnified. I cannot be invisible here. The crowd parted when I passed and jumped into my buggy. I have been used to this special treatment. No, I don’t relish it. But I just have to live with it because that’s the way it will be.
I think that’s the reason why I got sad. I realized, I will never be one of them. Though I can be thrown in the sea of Indonesian girls and not pop out differently as I look very much like each and everyone here, I am still different. And that difference is what is keeping me from being one of them.
I guess I suddenly missed the camaraderie and belongingness I feel back home. Even though I can speak (read baby talk) their language now, I still don’t understand it fully. The nuances and inner meaning of each and every word will never be a part of me. Even though I am friendly with them and they are friendly with me, that relationship is never gonna deepen because they see me as different.
Even though I have lived here for almost 3 months now and somehow knows every nook and cranny of this place, this is still not home.
Funny. I know I am just doing this to myself, making myself feel sad because really, there is no need to be sad. This place is paradise. But then once in a while the comfort of familiarity is missed.
I know I thrive in adventure and novelty but in moments like this I am also craving for normalcy and solidarity.