Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Surprise Visitor

I'm not entirely sure but I think that in the West, people usually call first before visiting someone at their home. In Asia, there is no need for this. Sometimes people do call but very often, they just show up. It isn't considered rude at all.

For someone like me, with only a handful of Indonesian friends, it is a rare occasion that we have any guests, announced or unannounced.

We had a pleasant surprise this afternoon when Linmas and his mom came over. We haven't met up with them for quite awhile because Aaron no longer wants to go for his morning walks.

I was so happy chatting with Ibu Tika (the mom). She is always shy for the first 5 minutes but then she relaxes and has all sorts of local information to share with me. Linmas and Aaron play together very easily. The only strange thing is there is absolutely no conversation between them. There is some low level collaboration on Lego projects but they mostly just play side by side.

The main topic of today's conversation was Ibu Tika cutting back on houses (she's a cleaner) to spend more time at home with Linmas. He will start primary school in July and she needs to teach him how to write the numbers 1 through 10, the ABCs and teach him to read by then. This is worrying her endlessly because if he doesn't pick all of that up, he won't be accepted into any schools.

I thought it sounded a little extreme. Don't you GO to school to learn those things. Linmas didn't go to any pre-schools because his mother couldn't afford it. And, I'm sure there are plenty of other children that are in similar situations.

Anyway, the irony of this is that our maid, currently studying for her high school certificate, has made it all the way through school without learning something as simple as one minus half equals half. So, why the high standard for entering school when it doesn't matter what you learn once you're in?

We all had a fun time this afternoon but somehow, I felt that Ibu Tika left a little more worried than when she arrived. As if the outing was supposed to be a fun one but instead she was reminded of this looming entry exam for Linmas. On the other hand, my day was certainly brightened with her visit.

8 comments:

Bilbo said...

Agnes and I enjoy having company and entertaining, but we definitely don't like being surprised. If someone shows up unexpectedly at the door, I will almost always be in my underwear, Agnes will be in the shower, or both. Glad you had a nice visit, though...I can imagine it gets a bit lonely sometimes if you don't have a lot of local friends.

Gratitude Gal said...

I don't really appreciate drop in company either but I should learn to honor any guests that stop by for a spell. It is nice to serve a homemade treat with tea or coffee if you are prepared though...

Cheryl

Mike said...

I can't remember the last time somebody dropped in. But my house is situated so that it doesn't encourage drop in's.

Kaylen said...

I think this is more common in Asia. When we lived in Korea, people would randomly stop by--people we barely had ever met before, and expect that we would serve them some kind of food and drink -which was awkward because I'm not someone who usually keeps a lot of food on hand for company...

But here in the states, it's VERY rare for someone to stop by. Even if I'm in town where my relatives live--we always call ahead of time. I can't remember the last time I went to anyone's house without making plans to do so well ahead of time.

Bilbo said...

Mike - e-mail me the contact information for the guy who installed your moat.

egan said...

Interesting feedback here school-wise. I assumed they'd teach counting and reading at school too. I mean we work on those things at home, but I recall getting the most coaching on these subjects in school.

egan said...

Oh, I'm a rare breed I think. I have no issues with drop-in visits and I've been known to make many unannounced visits much to the chagrin of my wife.

Amanda said...

OK. I got my confirmation then :)
When outside Asia, don't visit anyone (except Egan) unannounced.

Does the calling ahead also apply for visiting your parents (or children)?