Out of Kampung Bugis: the Downside of the Expat Life

Expat life has many upsides: lots of travel and visiting new cultures and countries; a decent salary; the opportunity to meet folks that you might never have had the chance to meet before. But, the downside is that eventually you have to pay the piper. And for expats that work in one place and live in another, it means leaving family and friends to go back to work.

Another vacation is finished. I’ll be leaving for the airport in Denpasar in a few hours and then on the seaplane at 4 and back in Sumbawa by 5:30. As everyone here says, the two weeks just went by too quickly. Another 10 weeks of work and being out on my own again. Obviously, I’m not looking forward to this, but it needs to be done.

Toy boat race in Kampung Bugis

Toy boat race in Kampung Bugis

The vacation has been filled with getting things done as usual. Su leaves a lot for me to do when I get back. It’s cheaper for her to have me fix all this stuff, and while I complain about it, I like having things to do.

So what was done on this vacation? Some things peculiar to living in the tropics, and some things that just go along with being a teacher, a writer, a blogger, and a father. I took Daughter #1 down to Denpasar to get a new American passport – one of those things that expats have to do; dealing with issues of immigration, passports, visa, etc. I bought Daughter #2 a motorbike as an early birthday present as she will be starting high school in July (if she passes the national exams) and she will be able to drive herself to school. I bought Daughter #1 a new computer, fixed her old one for Daughter #2, and fixed Daughter #2’s computer and gave it to Daughter #3. I upgraded Son #2’s computer and installed new anti-virus software on it. I restrung Son #2’s guitar and tuned it. All of these are just things that Dads do (well it could be Moms as well, but not in our case).

I fixed two doors that had rusty hinges because of the salt air from the Bali Sea, and climbed up on the roof to check the leak on the third floor. I got some guys to come and fix the tiles that had blown off during the rainy season. Another expat thing if you live on the ocean.

I spent a lot of time snorkeling and taking photo and movies with my new camera. Then I spent a lot of time editing them and putting them up on YouTube. I did some blogging and worked a bit on Book #2 and did a little bit of revision of Book #1. I edited some video for the school website.

I spent a few days visiting with my friend from Sumbawa and talking about school and life. I spent some time visiting with neighbors and family. I spent a lot of time getting all of the cats off of tables, furniture, and out of the kitchen supplies.

I spent a few days visiting banks and checking on accounts and interest rates and the like. I did a lot of reading anthropology and thinking about what I want to write when I get the time. I had a visit to a local doctor and received some rather unsettling news, but more on that another time.

Heard an interesting story of a drunk Aussie who hit a flight attendant on a Garuda flight from Oz to Bali. The passengers got up and restrained him. He was arrested on arrival in Bali. Cheers to the passengers who took care of the idiot and to the police for arresting him. I hope he does some time in the local pen; he might think next time before he assaults a flight attendant.

The sum of all this? It’s been a good vacation, but one that has ended much too quickly.


~ by drbrucepk on April 5, 2009.

One Response to “Out of Kampung Bugis: the Downside of the Expat Life”

  1. Yes it ended too quickly but I was in a funny mood. The kittens are cute!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: