1. PEOPLE will stare at you because you are different, you are a tourist. Don’t make it worse by wearing glamorous flashy clothes; try to blend in with plain boring clothes. Don’t make yourself a target and show off your wealth- pick-pocketing is a real problem.
  2. INSTEAD of paying top dollar for a tourist package bus trip to Borobudur, take the local systems– it’s cheaper and if you’re friendly with the bus driver, you get a local tour guide. It gives the bus route a reason to keep running and it equates to under 80 000 rupiah instead of over 500 000 rupiah. The same goes for hotels. Stay in the outskirts of the city central and get local transport or walk. It is significantly cheaper to stay out of town and the quality of the stay won’t be any worse, in fact it may be better because they want to attract people.
  3. THE COFFEE is very different. Don’t expect Western coffee.
  4. IF YOU’RE NOT AN INDONESIAN CITIZEN expect to be very ripped off at tourist destinations like Borobudur. The price difference is 190 000R v 30 000R for an international v. a citizen for park entry. Try and get student or senior discounts if you can.
  5. TAKE CARE of your identity. Have a money belt with your passport and all your spare cash on your person, under your clothes and never expose it.
  6. PHOTOCOPY your identity, flight itinerary, visa and other important documents. Leave a copy at home with a family member and give a copy to every one of your travellers. This is in case you get separated or your original goes missing.
  7. BRING A SICK BAG on night buses. If not for you, then for your neighbour.
  8. BRING A DIARY because a long trip in a foreign country with a foreign language can be very taxing on your concentration and mental health. Write all your feelings and experiences to have some time to debrief with yourself.
  9. IT’S A GOOD IDEA to do in-country currency exchange. Definitely bring local currency INTO the country, however as a back-up, bring currency to exchange. The rate is astronomically better than the exchange rates at home.
  10. EVEN THOUGH a good indicator for a safe place to eat is the number of locals who frequent it, REMEMBER that the flora and fauna in your stomach are not the same as those in Indonesia.




Image credit:!east–indonesia-art-history/croi


Gua Maria Puhsarang, East Java

As an international tourist, I really enjoyed this place.

It’s an outdoor Catholic Church based in a cave that boasts the properties of Lourdes- that the natural springs that seep through the rocks have healing properties.
It’s a very holy place, and it’s very peaceful and tranquil. I went closer to the end time, so around dusk, when all the vendors were slowing down and the heat of the day had lessened. This gave the place a very eerie atmosphere, especially as it darkened through the trees and the candles in the cave around the Virgin Mary were lit. The fountains to taste the healing waters were flowing and the people who go there are less like tourists, and more like pilgrims. Apparently once a month there’s a cross-denominational and interfaith mass held, which really demonstrated to me just how this catholic church can unite through a sense of global peace and spirituality.

I loved it.


gua maria puhsarang.jpg

Image credit:



Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.


  1. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR local events and traditional cultural experiences. The Keraton in Yogya holds nightly Wayang Kulit, but we only found out because we flicked on the telly one night and heard about it.
  2. MIND YOUR PRONUNCIATION. What I said: “Wah, dia yang paling genteng”. What I thought I said: “Wah, he’s so handsome!” What I actually said: “Wha, he’s the most roof tiles.”
  3. WATCH THE LOCALS for local handshakes. These generally go according to status. Once you enter a room, you must greet every person in the room ASAP and to people older, you bend, pulling their hand to your forehead. To random acquaintances, handshake then touch your sternum. Some religions may be different in customs.
  4. CROSS THE TRAFFIC with other people in a group or with locals. On a busy main road, they just stick their hand out to point where they’re going and they very slowly walk into the traffic. The traffic will either go around you or slow to a halt.
  5. EAT FISH WITH your fingers. Fiddly bones are small and invisible. Chew and chew overtime just to make sure you haven’t missed any bones.
  6. BEWARE of early transit flights and red eyes. The company is irritable and less than excellent.
  7. IF YOU’RE AUSTRALIAN, register your details at Do your homework on their travel tips.
  8. INDONESIA has an upfront departure tax that gets sprung on you as you check in. 150 000R per person-!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. In fact, talk to your travel agent. I believe that the departure tax is included in most airfares these days, however it’s best to double check and ensure you’ve got enough cash on hand if need be.

  10. TRUST YOURSELF with the local language and practice. Jerky analysing of what you’re saying before you say it won’t get you anywhere.




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  1. ALWAYS listen to the people you are dealing with and confirm the final transaction. Apparently the Soekarno-Hatta airport, Jakarta’s international airport has a similar code to one in France. The check-in guy murmured- “So, two tickets to France then,” and we said “Uh-oh.” Always listen attentively.
  2. DON’T stare at anyone- officials, passengers, passers-by, anyone. A stare becomes a challenge and may result in confrontation.
  3. WEAN yourself onto spicy food until you love it. There is no other option.
  4. GET used to the noise level. If you’re from a Western country, you may be feeling a bit confronted by the overwhelming level of noise- traffic beeps, off-tune ukulele buskers, calls to prayer from the local mesjid, vendors yelling at the top of their lungs
  5. IF you have jet-lag, don’t sleep to your time, switch your body clock to the local time. Eye-masks are a blessing.
  6. JANGAN KUATIR. Don’t worry just because things a run differently here. I was panicking at the sight of Jakarta’s traffic mayhem, but the locals have a system and they stick to it. Don’t get in their way.
  7. AEROGUARD or any other Insect Repellent is crucial. I have a line on mosquito bites just around my ankles, just from where my socks met the bottoms of my trousers. Nyamuk are revolting vultures.
  8. WHERE possible, sleep with air-con. Firstly, it will cool you down from the sticky temperatures and, it will also rid the room of flies and mosquitoes.
  9. BE FRIENDLY to the locals.  Everything; from customs, currency and expectations to places to eat during Ramadan and street etiquette, everything is local knowledge.
  10. SAYING “no” to things is very difficult. When being served unwanted food, you say “nanti” (later) or “kenyang”(I’m full) and they won’t get offended that you don’t like it. Alternatively, you can offer then another option. For example, if you’re weary of the milk and dairy products there and you’re served a cup of milk (the condensed, powdered kind with hot-water, unstirred), then you say, “Wah! Thank you very much! While I like milk, I really really prefer hot tea without milk.” In the end, if you’re a guest, they just want to please you.





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“Language is the armoury of the human mind and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


Researchers study Language Attrition in elderly.

10 Jan 11 @ 04:47pm by THOMAS MORCOMBE

Language attrition is the weakening or loss of a first or second language by an individual. It is more common to speakers who routinely use one language more than the other.The phenomenon of language loss has caught the attention of two McMaster, Canada,  professors who are determined to explore how and why this occurs.

After observing second language loss in their own mothers who were native speakers of Chinese and German, Dr. Denis Yu and Dr. Selina Stroinska of the Department of Linguistics and Languages are researching the occurrence of second language loss in the ageing population. In other words, how non-native speakers who learned English and used it competently in adulthood, begin to lose elements of the language in their elderly years, reverting to their native tongue

Their research has lead them to discover that the older a person is, the easier it is to slip into their home language. If their current tongue is their second language, then the brain will, in later life, recede into a comfort zone where it can slow down and take less effort to process and think. Often they will struggle for words and meanings or not say anything at all. Research has shown that this tendency to slip into mother tongue is often coupled with diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia. The majority of the elderly may just find it easier to answer/respond in a comfortable and familiar tongue.

The study looked at the environment of the senior; an area where only the person’s second language is spoken is more likely to strengthen this language due to frequency and exposure, however, it they are not being directly spoken to, then they may not employ this language. To accommodate this phenomena, there has been an increase in specialised nursing homes, such as the selectively Greek or German Speaking nursing homes.


Dewi’s Dilemma:

To change the T.V channel or not.


  1. This music is no good to dance to. The beat is too cepat[1].
  2. Duduk di sini[2], my back hurts a little bit. Getting up might help me move around. A young carer came in and changed the channel.
  3. Hari ini hari Minggu. Dia menonton V Video Hits[3].
  4. Aduh! I didn’t know women could move that way. I didn’t think it was physically possible.
  5. Saya suka pakaiannya, dia cantik sekali[4].
  6. I suka[5] So frilly.
  7. Televisi terletak di depan saya. Televisi dekat saya[6].
  8. Saya beragama Catolik[7]. Aduh! Perempuannya kasar sekali[8].
  9. This is Christian Aged Care. Bolehkah saya[9] have some “Songs of Praise” or something?
  10. Saya tidak suka penyanyi yang terkenal ini[10].
  11. Saya lupa banyak[11].
  12. Kadang-kadang, saya suka lupa. Akibatnya, saya tidak harus pikir[12].
  13. The carer is tonton ini[13].
  14. Saya tidak mengerti[14]
  15. Saya berbahasa Indonesia[15].
  16. Saya orang Indonesia[16].
  17. I wonder if they know we don’t care for their Video Hits.
  18. Laki-lakinya akan bermain piano[17].
  19. Laki-lakinya akan matikan televisi menjadi saya mendengarkan musiknya[18].
  20. Tetapi, kapan laki-lakinya, tidak di sini, Katrina mengunjungi aku dan bermain music yang tua[19].
  21. Saya suka sekali Katrina. Karena dia berbahasa Indonesia sedikit dengan aku[20]. Or, at least she tries to.
  22. Tapi saya lupa waktu[21].
  23. Channel dua? Atau tidak channel dua[22]?


  1. Which button do I press?
  2. V Video Hits isn’t on anymore. It’s an advert tentang di laut dan obyek wisata di Yunani[23]. I wish. Saya belum mengunjungi Eropa[24].

[1] fast

[2] Sitting here

[3] It’s Sunday and he’s playing T.V Video Hits.

[4]I like their clothes. So dressy.

[5] Suka: like

[6] The T.V is in front of me. I only need to reach.

[7] I’m Catholic

[8] These gyrating women are not being respectable.

[9] may I

[10] I don’t like these singers.

[11] I forget a lot.

[12] Sometimes I like to forget. Because of this, I don’t have to think.

[13] watching, this

[14] I don’t understand

[15] I speak Indonesian.

[16] I am Indonesian.

[17] That boy plays piano.

[18] That boy turns off the TV so that I can hear his piano.

[19] But when the boy is not here comes to visit and she plays old-timey music.

[20] I really like Katrina because she speaks a bit of Indonesian with me.

[21] But I forget when.

[22] To flick to Channel 2? Or to not flick to channel 2?

[23] about the ocean and tourist attractions in Greece

[24] I’ve not yet been to Europe.