Culture Shock – Part 3

Before reading this, go check out the first and second post!

No #5: Living Independently

In Indonesia, people tend to stick longer with their family. For instance, you would live with your parents until you reach your early or middle twenties, and then you would move out. On the other hand, in the States, the time when you graduate from high school is also the time when you would move out of your parent’s home. Moreover, most of the time, if they choose to go to a college, they would have to chip in to pay the tuition fees, or in some cases, they would have to pay the tuition fees all by them. In Indonesia, if we had to pay our tuition fees all by ourselves, I don’t think I’d be in college right now.

I think the reason behind this is, in the States, when you reach the age of sixteen, you’re able to find a job. It might be just a part-time job, but hey, you’re already earning some income. In Indonesia, I don’t think you would be able to work if you’re sixteen. Not even a part-time job. Even if you found a job part-time, the wage would be so low that I don’t think it would make much of a difference.

Also, in Indonesia we normally have at least one pembantu working for us. What are pembantus? Well, they are maids that do our dishes, cooking, cleaning, laundry and some other things as well, and they live with us. In Indonesia, not many people have maids. In fact, during my six months here I’ve never even met a single one. This might also be why Americans are more independent that Indonesians.

No #6: Driving

First of all, Americans drive on the right side of the rode while Indonesians drive on the left side of the road. If you’re moving to the US from Indonesia, this would take some time adjusting to.

Americans are also more law-abiding compared to Indonesians. In America, people really respect the traffic laws, which I highly admire, because that doesn’t happen in Indonesia. It’s a good thing, because you don’t really have to be scared that someone’s going to suddenly pull over in front of you.

Also, in Indonesia, drivers do not treat pedestrians well. We have zebra crosses in Indonesia, and technically, the law says that once you step on the zebra cross, all the cars on the road are supposed to stop and wait until you cross the road. But in reality, that doesn’t happen. In America, drivers really respect pedestrians. You can think of it like this: in Indonesia, it’s the pedestrians that are scared of the cars. In America, it’s the cars that are scared of the pedestrians. Ironic but true.

Don’t forget to check out the fourth and fifth blogposts!

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