By Shirley Fenton Huie
It truly is by no means effortless dwelling in an individual else's kingdom, however the trials of adapting to a brand new weather, an alien tradition and an strange language tend to be outweighed through the camaraderie of expatriate existence and the wealthy rewards of experiencing one other tradition first-hand. Australian Shirley Fenton Huie spent so much of her marriage to helicopter pilot Ed Fenton following him from one international nation to a different whereas elevating 4 teenagers and dealing with the dangers of residing in distant components. In 1972, Shirley and of her little ones joined Ed within the wild, frontier city of Balikpapan at the east coast of Indonesian Borneo and spent the following decade dwelling within the swiftly constructing kingdom of Indonesia less than the rule of thumb of President Suharto. during this biographical account of that point, Shirley recollects her stories of the easiest and worst this impressive kingdom needed to supply. In Balikpapan, she realized to deal with the intense warmth and isolation, wild animals, ghosts and curious neighborhood customs whereas construction a home nestled among the seashore and the untamed jungle. A circulation to the chinese language businessmen's city of Semarang in crucial Java introduced the relative comforts of civilisation and a lifelong friendship with the popular Affandi kinfolk of artists - in addition to encounters with an often-corrupt forms and the brutal truth of lifestyles less than an army dictatorship. Shirley's ultimate years in Indonesia have been spent at the vacation island of Bali, however the triumph of creating a thriving pub company and construction her dream condominium during this island paradise have been threatened through black magic, betrayal and demise. via all of it, Shirley conveys her love for the Indonesian humans and her ardour for his or her tradition, in addition to the energy and experience of humour that helped her continue to exist during this turbulent interval of Indonesia's historical past.
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Additional info for Someone Else's Country: Living In Suharto's Indonesia
We never found out why he was so afraid but he was determined to conquer it and came back for more, night after night. ’) He treasured his exercise books and filled dozens of them, however, his hand still shook as he wrote words, although never when writing numbers. Visitors to our house admired Mansur’s carpentry and soon asked if he could make tables, bookshelves and beds for them. There was plenty of good wood available in Balikpapan, such as mercoban and meranti, types of cedar, so he was soon able to set up in business and earn extra money.
But for Mansur, to see a dog devouring big pieces of steak when all his life meat had been a luxury, was a hurdle. Foreigners were hard to understand. Mansur himself now ate all the meat he wanted, but he still felt it was wrong to give meat to a dog. ’ ‘But I am the guard,’ said Mansur. ‘I am Bugis. Everyone knows I am Bugis and no one will come here to steal. They know Bugis carry a knife. ’ It was quite true — people from other islands were afraid of the Bugis. Sometimes it caused trouble on the oil rigs and shore stations.
But it was a good job. The Koreans, who looked like Chinese but had a different language, paid us money as well as giving us rice so I began to feel very rich. I planned to save as much as I could and, when I had enough, send for my beautiful Intan. I worked for about six months then Intan came to join me. She made the dangerous journey with our newborn son, who I named Khadir. Mansur’s life then changed dramatically. Through the good offices of his uncle Situju, Mansur came to work for us permanently and, with his wife and children, became our dear friend in Borneo and, later, in Java.