Expat experiences: making new friends, approaching foreigners

The other day at the gym, a Chinese/Indonesian woman I know comes up to me and says, “Why don’t you ever talk to anyone at the gym?”, “And you always wear headphones, so no one can talk to you. And when you workout you don’t smile.” Those of you reading this from the States or similar countries will agree with me that this isn’t exactly something a gym-friend would normally ask you in America. (gym-friend is a term I coinedRead more

Random Thoughts

This post is going to be all over the place, as I’ve had enough caffeine to make a cappuccino nervous. As I was strolling through the insanity of one Jakarta’s mega-malls this afternoon, two completely different thoughts crossed my cortex. One – Being an expat (or tourist, traveller) staying in a country that speaks something other than your first language, you tend to have much more time to think while in public. Instead of picking up on the conversations ofRead more

Approaching Strangers

One of my weakest areas in taking photos has been capturing people. The other has been night photography. Both have been subject areas that I’ve shied away from. It’s so much easier while traveling, to pick up a camera and shoot a serene landscape than the old woman in the foreground. ItÂ’s often easier to kick back after sundown than to make the effort of venturing out into the night with the hope of taking shots (well those kind ofRead more


Why is it that anytime we learn a foreign language, the “dirty” words are the first to be learned and never forgotten? Is it because we are all perverts? Cause we are fascinated by the sound of swearing in a foreign language? I think that guy had it right in the movie “Matrix Reloaded” in the scene where he swore all in French – sometimes it just sounds better. I know that I simply enjoy being able to shock theRead more


You’ve probably heard that word before. “Eye of the Day”, in Bahasa Indonesia, the language here, it’s quite the understatement. I’ve been here for 10 months now, and guess how many times it has rained? . . . 8 . . . No, that’s not a drenching, all day, can’t go outside and play, wet t-shirt contest, this sucks, type of rainy day. That’s only a couple of hours out of 8 days in over 300 total days. Before comingRead more