And so we come to what really does feel like the end of an era. My family and I have been in Jakarta and at BSJ for 7 years but this is our final week. It’s rather surreal to think that once we get on the plane on Saturday morning we won’t be coming back but with every door that closes a new one opens up and we look forward to change ahead.
I wrote a post a few weeks back about identity and how where we live becomes home and I reflect on that as we leave Indonesia – home for the last 7 years. Jakarta can be a rather crazy place, but I’ve grown to love it (except the traffic of course – that’s impossible to love!). I’ll definitely miss the often bizarre sights on the road that have just become normal to me. Motorbikes carrying blocks of ice in 30 degree temperatures, children’s entertainment vehicles, oversized costumed puppet-like figures gliding down the street (I still don’t know what these are), and the way the motorcyclists don’t seem to understand that if you block up the whole road, no one can move anywhere. At least being stuck in traffic is interesting if we choose to look up from our smartphones and out of the window.
So what would be my advice to newcomers to Jakarta? I think, ‘take it as you find it’ best sums it up for me. Yes the traffic is frustrating, but you can either spend hours in an annoyed state in your car of just accept it as a fact of life and relax. No, everything won’t just work the way it does ‘back home’, but that’s ok. If you want everything to be like your home country when you travel, why even bother to leave? Make the most of every difference, notice the similarities, relax and make your time here happy. In the end happiness is not a place you live in, but a state of mind. You get to choose whether to be happy or not.
To the Year 12 (soon to be Year 13) students I leave behind: Remember that your life is a journey – quite a long one in some ways but mostly just very short. Your two years in IB are really not very much of your life. Make the most of the opportunities presented to you at BSJ. And best of luck for next year and your exams. You CAN do it!
To any parents and colleagues reading this: Thank you for your support over the last 7 years. I will miss this school and everyone in it.
Have a wonderful summer, and good luck to all of you moving on.
Over and Out!