Unlike Malaysia, Singapore and Philippine, English is not the first language or a common speaking language in Indonesia. I was fortunate enough to have gone to really good schools from elementary up to high school, therefore.. my English is pretty good.. I think.. :p And I spent about 3+ years in OZ, which I think helps too.
But still…. having been exposed to English language since I was a kid is not the same with having it as a first language. I’m pretty confident with my English in writing.. I think my grammar and my spelling are much better than kids nowadays :p Listening (face to face), I’m pretty good at that. Speaking, I think it’s pretty good.. though sometimes my lips are faster than my brain. But.. I’m really really bad at communicating through the phone. I find it quite hard to grasp what the other person is saying.. I’m not sure why…. maybe because I cannot read their lips? Sometimes it gets quite frustrating :(
And I also find, that sometimes my accent might not be as easy to understand for people who are not so used to me. That makes me not confident la :( Thank goodness my hubby can understand every single word that come out from my lips, so at least I could get that “talking quota” done every single day :p And somehow, not talking in your mother language every day (talking as in real talking, chatting and email are not included), kinda makes me feel a little bit lonely.
hhh.. I’m sure millions of immigrants feel the same way. Eventhough we are fluent in English, but still… it’s just different if English is not your first language.
On a totally different note, I feel the same way about the cultural difference. I live with my brother in law, so usually during dinner time or after dinner time conversation, my hubby and his brother talk about some cultural stuff (like old movies, weird jokes, some supposedly famous person), and I have no idea what are they talking about. Jokes that I find funny, they don’t find it funny. Some stuff that they find hilarious, I find it mean or cruel or just simply not funny. hhh.. there’s something about some American jokes that I don’t get -.-“
It’s stuffs like that that sometimes make me feel…. not home.. kinda like a lost salmon who swam too far.
I like to talk about Indonesia’s politics stuff, traffic jam in Jakarta, weird food that people here find disgusting, rainy season and that yearly flood in my beloved city, stuffs that are familiar.. stuffs from back home.. because they make me feel home-y. I’m sure lots of people feel this way when they move to a new country eh…. esp if they are in mixed marriages, somehow the move feels more.. permanent. I go through this cycle between being fine and homesick almost every other day….
*sigh* I know friends and job will bring me back to my old routine, and I will feel more home-y.. but it’s not easy eh.. :D
All I can do is just…. give it time :)