Sunday, June 13, 2010

Make the best out of it

I remember there were mixed reactions positive and negative about our move to Canberra. Most if his friends said that Canberra is a shit hole, boring place to live in, no beach nearby, it's colder than some of Australian cities and they say I wouldn't like it here and my friends think that it will be good to get away from polluted and crowded Jakarta.

Shinta Benilda, a good friend describes Canberra same as Klepon. She thinks their impression of Canberra is as if you just eat the outer part of the klepon and they didn’t really try the middle part of it. If they try to live here, then they’ll find out that Canberra is a very easy city to live in. It has gorgeous lakes, easy road to travel with no traffic jams, which makes our life more manageable and allows us to spend good quality time with our family & friends.

Indeed, Canberra is like a klepon where one has to taste it wholly in order to love it. I couldn't agree more with her :).

So I'm not complaining about Canberra, the only thing that I complaint about is the cold weather during Winter. I was born and grew up in a tropical country so the -3 degrees Celcius during Winter is an absolute torture for me, but I started to handle it better than the first time I got here. The key is to keep myself warm, stay in a warm place like my apartment and rugged up when I'm going outside and I'm good.

I have been living in Canberra for 16 months in August 2010 and we have to move again to Pohnpei.

Where the hell is Pohnpei?
Pohnpei "upon (pohn) a stone altar (pei)" (formerly known as Ponape) is the name of one of the four states in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), situated among the Senyavin Islands which are part of the larger Caroline Islands group. You can read more about it here and here.

So moving from Jakarta (Jabodetabek) with population of over 23 million to Canberra with population of 351,200 as at the end of June 2009 was surely create a culture shock for me. And I'm going to move to Pohnpei with the population approximately 34,000 well hellooo... no doubt that there will be another huge culture shock.

But I'm not going to complaint and bitching about it (hopefully I can keep this promise for 2 years while we live there), because: 1) I also responsible with the decision to tick the place and put it on the list of 10 places that he can apply for, 2) I choose to be with him, which his work requires him to move country every 2 years of less and back to Canberra after that, 3) I want to challenge myself out of my comfort zone.

The attitude that I will carry is I am going to make the best of it. The Belgian diplomat I met on Saturday inspired me that attitude. She has been living far from home for years and sometimes she has to live at places that comparatively bellow standard in compare to Belgium, but she always make the best of it.

I like that positive attitude. The key is don't compare to my comfort zone and acceptance. If I keep comparing then I will be bitching about it no doubt and it will be never ending complaint.

Here is a glimpse of what I will be facing in Pohnpei:

The view

One of not many clothes shops in the island

One of the lunch spot with good view

The breathtaking sunset

One of the wet markets where we can buy fresh fish

I'm praying there will be decent beauty salon there :)

Pohnpei photos taken by Peng Wee Tan, sunset photo found on internet.


Unknown said...

Hi Ecky,

Nice note you got there, nice view for the new place you are about to live in for the next 2 years. One thing for sure, enjoy every moment you have, not many people have the chance to experience what you have.

Guess this new place won't be that much of a different from Tasik ??!! .. :)

Miss you,

Finally Woken said...

I've learned there are several steps of settling down and having (small or big) reservation is the first thing. At first we would always compare everything with what we used to have before. It doesn't matter whether we move from Holland to Scotland, for example, we would find a thing to complain about, food, weather, language, people etc. It's normal. The second stage would be acceptance. We start accepting that the life is different, then we adjust with whatever the city or the country offers, and make the best out of it.

I don't know if embassy runs a settling down course for its employee and partners, but I found the course I took when I was back in Scotland (sort of mandatory from my husband's company) helps me a great deal to get through the settling down process, and to understand that what I felt was normal and I wasn't being ungrateful or sulky.

Good luck with your new posting, I'm sure there are plenty interesting things you could share with all of us!

Sandii said...

oh your blog has given me a dose of home sickness. i moved to canberra when i was 18 and spent 8 years there before moving to Perth, i moved back to Canberra 2 years later and called it home until my husband decided a move back to Perth is what we needed. i have only been back to Canberra once but your photos have brought it all back in a rush. i miss Lake Burley Griffin and my early morning runs in the -5 degree weather, i love the cold and i miss 'glove weather' and wearing scarves and jackets... ahhhhh such is the life of a traveling wilbury i guess...

Rob Baiton said...


I think you will manage. And, I think you will manage because deep down you want to, you want to make this work, and you want to enjoy it.

These sort of posts always remind me of the line out of Forrest Gump:

"life is like a box of chocolates"

The simply reality is that sometimes we just have to dive in and enjoy what we get.

Personally, I reckon you will really enjoy it out there :D

Ivy said...

the place looks really serene, ky.... maybe it's not much but then again, new place always excite me. Moga2 kamu kerasan di sana :)

atrix said...

the view indeed like most remote island scenery we found in most photo journals, keep inform what's interesting in the new place :)