First, the clothes. I have to readjust myself in wearing layers of thick clothes which is heavy and tiring. Forget skirts and short pants. I just hope that I’ll be lucky enough to wear them sometime…
Second, the skin. The humidity is low so the skin is getting dry easily. I am so amazed that my skin is very oily in the tropics but then it’s getting extra dry in the cold. Now if I don’t put any lotion, then my skin will feel itchy…
Third, the hair. At first I don’t believe it when my hairdresser told me that cold weather makes the hair flat. I thought, as far as I remember, my hair was the same in the cold weather, still wavy and wild. But now it happens. My hair is less curly than when I am in the tropics. So weird and not right. Where’s my curly hair gone?
Also the transportation stuff. I have to readjust for scheduled route. I have to be on the bus or tram stop on time or else I have to wait for about 10 minutes to get the next one. This also means I have to calculate my walking so I know when exactly I should leave my room to catch particular tram or bus. A bit annoying sometime, because in my country, one can have many public transportation options although without schedule.
I also have to remember some places; like location or how to go there. I already getting lost in my first visit to the university. I have to go Studentenwerk (office for student apartments), and I completely forgot where the building is. I remember that I have to go to 2nd floor, but I can’t remember which building that I have to enter. In the end, I have to ask people for it. I really have to refresh my memory.
Other thing is readjusting to the people. I am not sure whether this can be called as readjustment because actually what I meant is some of my friends are not in Bremen anymore; and I have to face the reality that I can’t see them on a regular basis as before. This is really matters because I live in foreign country where I don’t really know many people; so counting your friend is important.
But people come and go. I also got new friends even when I haven’t arrived in Bremen yet. I have 3 new friends due to this blog. Two of them are foreign students who (at that time) plan to study in Bremen. So when they browse about Bremen, they find my blog and find it useful. So I guess I shouldn’t be sad cause I am also part of the cycle: sometimes I come and sometimes I go.
When the big luggage scaled, it shows 28 kg while I am only allowed to bring 22 kg!!! The airline officer asks me to trim it down to 22 kg and he also asks me to scale the small luggage. The small one is 11 kg while it’s only allowed to bring 7 kg!!! And it’s a déjà vu again; I have to rearrange and leave some of my stuffs at the airport.
The problem this time, I can’t take out the gifts because none of them has significant weight loss if they are removed. And the sad things, only my books that have significant weight. When I take out all of my books, my luggage weight is 22 kg! So I really don’t have a clue how to arrange it. But since I try to follow the rules, I submit my luggage without my books inside.
Then my small luggage. Since it’s consists of some jackets, so to less the weight, I wear the 2 normal jackets and tie my winter jacket on my waist. Don’t ask how I feel at that time, I am still in the tropics! Then also I have to remove some stuffs; but still not enough; if I put my books there, it’ll gain more weight than before. So I am totally clueless…
Luckily, my foster sister is joining me to the airport. She has a husband who has a cousin that work as an immigration officer at the airport. She then contacts the guy and asks for help. And with his help, he convinces airplane officers that I am a student and need more bag allowance because most of what I bring is books. Thank God, they believe it without checking; because if they open my big luggage, the first one to appear is bolster!!
So that’s it. I can put all my books back in the big luggage and fly to Germany without further drama.
Actually I only allowed having a field research for 6 months i.e. from September to February. However, since I got Malaria during my field research; I am allowed to have one month extension.
During my extension period, means March, I join an excursion led by my research supervisor. For this, I never regret that I got Malaria. The excursion was held for 9 days. With total participants around 30 people (including the boat crews); we visit 4 islands in Spermonde archipelago using big sailing boat or called Phinisi in Indonesian language.
And of course after 9 days together, we become close to each other. We share stories, works, and most important thing: laughs! The participants come from various backgrounds: students and lecturers from anthropology, marine science, fishery, politics, and communication; documentary film makers; social scientists; natural scientists; and journalist. So imagine, we all learn each other’s background and interest. But for sure we all have one similar interest: marine affairs.
This excursion really set a nice ending of my field research work. And after 7 months staying in my home country, surely it’s not easy for me to go back to Germany. Everything is different now. When I went to Germany before, I am all excited and curious. But now since I can compare Germany and Indonesia, I have to adjust my mood for going back.
Don’t take it wrong. I don’t hate Germany; and there’re many things or situations that I think are way better than in Indonesia. But home is home; especially if you have many friends, families and relatives who love you.
I guess now all I have to do is thinking about nice things in Germany. Also, I have to remind myself that this is only a part of my life journey; and all the supports from my loved ones will give me strength to face everything. So Germany, here I come again.