Being a foreigner in Indonesia I have always found that it was as if there was a “reverse” discrimination. Because you were a foreigner many assumed that you were smarter. I had felt this many times and didn’t agree with it.
I think that being different did not mean being better. It only meant that our experiences and backgrounds gave us a different insight into things. My kids being mixed was noticed immediately by all Indonesians. They know and love mixed kids. Once again it is this strange feeling of being different but in a positive way.
Sometimes to get into certain events they have the local price, tourist price and then back to the local price if you have a work permit. A few times I was going to be charged the tourist price until I pull out my BCA Bank-issued debit card.
Ah, that meant that I worked here and so I got the local price.
This type of thing was super strange. It often happened in Bali, for example at the Festival of Lights in Nusa Dua. Admission is this much but oh, you work here, thus you are now local…
Sometimes at the bank, the security would guide me to the front of the line. But this sort of thing didn’t sit well with me so I waited as I should because it was embarrassing.
This type of behaviour is normal I assume because they want to be friendly.
Many do take advantage of such respect, but I would rather blend in than stand out. I stood out enough already as a foreigner. I didn’t want to make enemies.
As time passed it became clear that my move to Jakarta Indonesia was a good one. I learned so much and continued learning a brand-new language, business and culture.
With support from friends and family, the switch to a new life and a new job was a good one.
I would encourage anyone and everyone to take opportunities and chances when they come along. Of course, there are plenty of details that need to be looked at, but the experience alone is worth it.
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