Dada Solo Sayang

Lisa and her assistants
369 days I called Solo home. Well, somehow I still do sometimes. When I was about to arrive there, I was scared like rarely before. But the smiles greeting me at the airport after my 24 hours journey promised a lot. And even though it was sure not an easy year, I can say it was definitely a good one. I met amazing people, I learned a lot about myself, and my relationship with Fabs got to another level.

I have never smiled so often from the bottom of my heart as I did during my time in Indonesia. I never felt so warm for an entire year, as the temperature never drops below 25 degrees (as long as you don't climb mountains). I heard so many interesting new stories of wonderful people in such a short time. And I never had a job that I loved so much before, probably also because of the people I worked with.

On Bromo with Lisa's assistants and the team of the UNS
I got so many chances to grow in every aspect of my life, and I think I mastered most of them in a very good way. The Indonesian culture gave me many things and allowed me a lot that I could not experience in Switzerland. People care. And they show openly how much they do. My wonderful host family made me feel home and provided me with everything I could ever wish for.

That all made it incredibly hard to say goodbye. When I realized that my year would end soon I had to start thinking of all the wonderful people I missed so bad, who would be waiting for us in Switzerland, just to make it a little easier to say goodbye to my new indonesian family. That worked quite well. But to know that some of the people, whom I met during this intense year, would be gone
Goodbye lunch in Solo with our hostmum
from my life forever as soon as I board the airplane, was really really hard. Luckily, I had Fabian with me, who would be there for me, just as he was the seven years before. And lucky me, to have so many adventures coming up, knowing that there will be more people whose company I will enjoy, and knowing that I will never forget any of the wonderful people in Solo.

Compared to Lisa, I had quite an easy start. While she struggled in the beginning and “suffered” at least a minor culture shock, I arrived into a nest already made. Of course I had to get to know the people Lisa called family and friends already. But we already had a good home, Lisa knew the city quite well and could explain me all the quirks of the Indonesian culture. But while I enjoy being pampered and guided around for a couple of days, I also tried to immerse myself into the Indonesian and Javanese culture as fast as possible.

Listening to keronjong in a Solo neighborhood
Having had almost no previous Asian experience, I think I managed pretty well. I learned (again) to be patient and wait. Because in the end, everything always works out. Maybe not with the speed I'm used to. But in a much more laid-back way. I learned to smile at everyone for no obvious reason. I learned to appreciate the little things and to not take anything for granted. And I stopped planning ahead, as things never turn out as planned anyway. Nowadays, I just enjoy the element of surprise.

Looking back at the six or more months I called Solo home I feel first and foremost thankful. Thankful for the friendship, thankful for the love and inspiration I experienced.


  1. Just read this one and I miss you guys already


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