Monday, October 19, 2009

Ants in my pants and confused faces

alright so first thing's first, school is exhausting. i like it, the kids are all really nice and most of the teachers are too, but just the strain of sitting there everyday and listening so hard to everything that's said, trying to make some sense of it, it really wears me out sometimes. today was awful because the power shut off halfway through our first class and did not ever come back, so the whole day i was so sweaty and hot. one of my friends let me borrow her fan, for the last half hour of school. oh well. i feel like i'm doing really well in school. i mean aside from the fact that my lowest grade is in english because the teacher grades me harder than everyone else, everything's going well. i'm starting to understand a lot more. my speaking is still painfully limited, but i'm working on it. so where i sit in class is right next to a wall where a constant string of ants is moving, i don't know where they come from and where they end, but they're always there and usually we scoot the desks away from the wall so if we sit back the ants won't crawl on us. a couple days ago my desk was a lot closer to the wall then i realized and my friend olive told me to move, but i didn't want to do i said i'd be ok. oh man i was wrong. that day after i came back from school i had 13 ant bites all over my legs and 5 on my arms. i didn't even notice they were there! ahh i hate ants. it seems like the ants in america are usually tame, and they don't bite unless they feel especially vicious that day, but here they're just malevolent beasts. any time you find an ant on you, chances are its already bitten you at least once, and all its friends are on their way to bite you too.

i'm finally feeling the full swing of life here. for the most part i haven't been missing school for whatever reason and i dunno, just getting used to how it all flows. i still have the social skills of a peanut, but i'm working on that too. two months has really flown by, but at the same time taken so long i can hardly believe it. do i seriously only have 8 months left here?! that can't be! there's so much i still want to do and so much i have to see and learn, can i possibly fit all that into 8 short months? i better be able to.

a couple weeks ago all the YES kids went to yogya for a big YES alumni conference there for 3 days. it was so much fun! me omar and jillian took the train, which was really exciting. in my head i saw it more as the hogwarts express, but in reality it was just a regular old train. it was really fun to catch up and see each other again. there were a lot of sessions in yogya, mostly all for the real YES alumni, so we only had to go to some, giving us lots of free time. one day we went to a big traditional market and it was so cool. its so weird to me that i bought so much stuff and in the end it all cost me about $15. also one night we went and did karaoke, which was hilarious. i took some videos, and if i can figure out how i'll put them on facebook sooner or later.

so now on to the rest of my title. one thing i think all foreign exchange students have in common is the want to find ways out of doing stuff. even if the alternative is just sitting at home all day, nothing beats the satisfaction that you found a way out of doing something maybe you weren't too keen on doing. the biggest thing i find myself doing is pretending like i don't understand what people want. this only happens in school though. a lot of the time my friends will ask me to give my opinion of one of the kids sitting right next to me or a teacher will want me to just write something simple about the topic they teach instead of taking the quiz with all the other kids, and i don't know what to say or just feel too plain lazy to do it, i make my confused face. mostly it consists of me looking like i'm trying to understand what they want and looking back and forth, from person to person or from person to paper, trying to draw some connection between them. or i just furrow my brow and try to look like i'm very deep in thought, and i can't seem to figure out what they want from me. it works like a charm. i fully intend on using it up to the point when its just plain ridiculous that i can't understand what they want. this means i probably only have a month or two left. because if not sooner, i know that by christmas i'm going to know and understand everything. i'm trying to make it sooner though, because nothing frustrates me more than not being able to speak or understand everything. at this point, i understand 50% of what is said. which i think is good progress, i mean i didn't exactly try as hard as i should have to learn bahasa before i got here, so if you think about coming to a place with only the very most basic knowledge, i'm proud of myself. but i know i can try harder, so i'm going to.

knowing that where i come from the seasons are changing and seeing the same sunny sky or rain storm everyday instead of the colorful leaves and the brisk temperature is so strange. its weird to live in a place with no seasons. i mean there is the rainy season and the dry season here, but other than more frequent rainstorms you can't tell the difference between them. i miss seasons. the feeling, the sights, the smell. its something you never think about until its gone. that seems to happen a lot, i suddenly find some small thing that i didn't think twice about in america and here it seems so monumental, so huge i can't believe i ever took it for granted. i'm curious to see what ends up happening during the holiday season here. i know that the us embassy is setting something up for the YES kids for thanksgiving, but other than that the rest seems up to fate. hopefully, if our ramshackle plans work out, the YES kids will be able to hang out on halloween. i wish desperately that we could go trick or treating, but i dunno, kind of seems like that wouldn't fly too well for some reason ;)
until later, cheers