Pera o pag-ibig?

17 May

It’s only a couple more weeks of teaching and after that a couple more weeks for exams and finishing up with grades for the school year. How time does fly past! I’ve only got til the end of the month to stay here in my flat, and then I’m moving in with a friend for the rest of my stay in Indonesia. Yep, I am leaving this year. I’d be going back home sometime in the third week of June, and then leave for Germany on the first week of August. The first trip is going to be a short visit (if a couple of months is short), and then we will see how it goes from there.

I am going to miss my life in Indonesia. It’s been really more like a second home, because when I am here I feel at ease. I don’t remember feeling homesick in the five years that I have stayed here, and it being close enough (just a four-hour flight) makes it seem like it is just an extension of my home. Thursday I had one of two boxes of my belongings shipped. The next one is just before I leave my flat. I feel a bit sad leaving, also because there are so many opportunities suddenly open to expat teachers like me. The past year their manpower department has been implementing the regulations for expats to be issued work permits and temporary stay permit (KITAS). I had trouble with that as well, because when my KITAS expired last year the company I worked for could not secure another one for me for several months. That was the reason I almost did not return to Jakarta January this year. It was too risky to not have the proper permits. And just last night, a coworker told us that there was a ‘battalion’ of immigration officers that showed up at her kost at 1 am. She had her documents so she had no trouble, but she heard that there were people ‘taken’ from other neighboring kosts.

So yeah, with the immigration strictly regulating expat residency, all of a sudden the doors of opportunity opened for expats like me. While I am a career teacher, a lot of schools here employ western expats to teach, even if they do not have a background in teaching (I know of someone who does not even possess a bachelor’s degree). These bules, as they are so called, earn so much more because, well, they’re bules. Don’t get me wrong, there are also qualified western expat teachers, but I guess there are more who are not, especially since by first-world standards, they would be earning something close to minimum wage. But they would live like kings here because the standard of living is quite low. Anyway, teachers from the third world like me only earn a fraction of what they get. And even then a lot would go with it, because it is still a little better than what they would earn back home. But with the current demand for qualified teachers, schools are opening up to teachers like me (sorry, but I am intentionally skipping some telling descriptive words because I do not exactly want my thoughts coming up on Google searches – overly paranoid). A friend of mine recently got a contract with a school that offered perhaps double her current salary, with a very attractive compensation package (which unfortunately she couldn’t fully avail because her children are of legal age already). And I’m thinking, man, I wish I wasn’t leaving this year. Lol.

My boyfriend thinks that I am overly concerned and constantly worried about money. Me growing up poor in an impoverished country contributed much to it, I guess. Okay, I did not live in a slum (or he would disagree there again) because my family owned our house and we were actually sent to private school and college, but the constant financial problems that our family faced had a huge impact on me. While I did not plan on working abroad, when I did and got a taste of the comfortable life, I didn’t want to go back to how it was before.

But then, my boyfriend and I agreed that I would come with him to Germany this year. I’ve got a visa appointment at the end of the month, the flight is booked, and he is preparing for when I get there. I wish I wouldn’t infect him with my fears, but I can’t help it. I feel powerless without an income. Living in the moment means I don’t have much in the way of savings (errrrr). How can I be my evil self when I am dependent on someone else? #IndependentWomanProblems lol. But I know, I should also take my chances and make compromises for our relationship. I know as much. I wish I wasn’t as conflicted as I am, because it affects him too.

Oh well, gonna get my mind off these worries by DOING MORE WORK. Lol. b

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