Thursday, December 23, 2004

Pre-1997: Home Sweet Home Jakarta

Honestly, it was difficult to make the decision to leave home. Especially when "home" provided me with everything I needed.

Food? OK, at about 2 dollars per meal, McDonald's was probably a luxury, but Indonesia was home to some of the best cookings in the world, available from the street vendors for about 20 cents per meal. And I'm not talking fast food. Real cooked meals.

Laundry? If I put my clothes in the laundry basket--instead of on the bathroom floor--my mom would be happy.

Parents? They lived some 3 hours drive away. No, I did not live in boarding school. I had a townhouse all for myself.

Well, almost everything.

When, in 1997, I received offers of admissions to reputable universities in the US but was denied admissions to Indonesia's public universities, the decision was made for me. If I had to go half-way around the world to get better, so be it.

Which, in retrospect, was a blessing in disguise.

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