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Merah Putih

Gw sama Indonesia itu ibarat dua sejoli dalam love and hate relationship. Gw terlahir di tanah yang diperjuangkan orang-orang terdahulu. Nggak keitung berapa juta nyawa hilang untuk itu. Gw bersyukur gw nggak perlu lagi bawa bambu runcing untuk merebut negeri ini dari tangan penjajah. Sejak sebelum nikah gw mulai "berteman" dengan birokrasi dua negara. Birokrasi dari Belanda, tentu saja tidak seribet birokrasi di negeri ini. Segala macam email akan segera dibalas dan dibantu untuk dihubungkan ke pihak terkait atau yang menangani itu. Bahkan untuk permintaan Schengen visa tipe kunjungan keluarga di masa pandemik ini diberikan high priority dan email dibalas dalam sekejap. Sedangkan di Indonesia, aaahhh yaaa gitu dehh.

Tapi, nggak akan pernah gw pungkiri tiap kali gw denger lagu Indonesia Raya gw selalu mewek. Tiap kali liat bendera Indonesia, gw diam sebentar  berterima kasih atas nikmat bisa tinggal di negeri ini tanpa perlu memegang senjata. Gw bener-bener marah saat suami g…

Little bit about multicultural marriage

This is an easy post about multicultural marriage (or relationship). Take it as entertainment if you are in the same situation as ours 😆 

Differences always fascinate me. Then I am married to someone from a different culture. It's challenging but also fun at the same time, here's why:

One becomes grammar nazi and one becomes grammar police. 

I can say that he is a kind of polyglot and I speak 4 languages daily (most Indonesians are bilingual already 😉). But we talk to each other in English because my Dutch is super broken, his Bahasa Indonesia is much better than my Dutch but we usually use it for ordering foods in when we are in Indonesia only.

So as a fluent English speaker, he always corrects me when I got it wrong. That's totally okay. Only it is not that okay when he did it during the fight 😂 Like how could you do that during the fight? Though I sometimes correct his Bahasa Indonesia when he tries to talk in Bahasa here, ordering something or trying to impress local people 😳 

"Saya mau beli bakso dua, es teh manis untuk dia, es teh tawar untuk saya" 
"Wah pinter yaaa bahasa Indonesianya" 
sembari menyiapkan pesanan yang kemudian dilanjutkan dengan membuka percakapan denganku 
"Udah pinter banget ya mbak bahasa Indonesianya, mbak yang ajari ya? Pinter banget ini bisa ngobrol Bahasa Indonesia" 😖

No, I did not. I did not teach him, he learned it himself, took a course in Ubud, read the books in Bahasa Indonesia, try to answer the questions. I only help when he asked me how to pronounce it or become the grammar police 😌 That's the joy. 

Must pass the language test to get the visa for living together.

This one is so clear. Some countries don't ask you to pass the language test but if your spouse is coming from countries like Germany, Nederlands, UK, US, that require you to pass the test to live together in their home country, then that's one of your homework to do. 

To live in Indonesia, my husband doesn't need to pass the language test. But if I have to live in his country, then I have to pass the exam to get the MVV to stay there. Passing the exam could be one of the easiest things, but waiting for a visa to be approved will be another thing. Some people need less than 3 months, some people even need more than 6 months. It's one of your lucky games. 

One word, different interpretations.

Still, related to the language barrier, sometimes when we chat we read stuff based on our mood right? It can be interpreted differently. Have you ever feel that you're talking in the same language and had the whole misunderstanding over a word? Happens a lot to multicultural marriage people where they speak in a language that is not their native language. Like us, speaking English. 

But I think I got lucky when a word in English has a high potential to cause a mess during the convo, I can find it in Dutch which usually has the same meaning as in Javanese or Bahasa Indonesia. I guess that's one of the perks of married to Dutch in terms of language. My dad in law usually can't find the English word during the convo and I said to try it in Dutch, turns out that is the word I usually use in Javanese 😎.

Convo-delay during family time. Subtitle needed. 

I am Javanese, of course, my family speaks Javanese more often than Bahasa Indonesia. He learned Bahasa Indonesia in order to speak to my family because they can't speak English. But Javanese is used daily in our family so he sometimes feels that it is useless to learn Bahasa Indonesia 😅 You know sometimes we slipped tongue and speak in Javanese nonstop and he became like 😕😖😐😑😣😠😤😡 because he doesn't understand what we're talking about. I know how that feels when he talks to his parents in Dutch and I can only understand a bit of it. Like, really a bit. Though I have no problem talking with them in English because English is generally spoken there. 

Too many zeroes in Rupiah.

Rupiah has too many zeroes, right? He always gets annoyed by too many zeroes (me too!) so he always has this currency converter app in his phone to get it right in USD or EUR. I have my mathematical mind so it's easy for me to convert it right away. But like usual, he won't trust my calculation although it is working pretty good 😓 . So we always convert everything in USD or EUR from Rupiah. It is working great for us to get the price range in fewer zeroes. 

A lot of documents. Always. 

This is not a new thing, documents and waiting have been part of our journeys. There is CNI (Certificate of No Impediment) that we need to keep copied for thousand times. Because it is released only once before you get married and you'll need this your whole life to manage your documents. Any kind of documents related to your marriage and staying permit. 

Keep updated the latest news in both countries. 

So you have to keep updated to any kind of released news from both countries. Why? Because when one makes new regulations about something, it can affect the other part. That probably your marriage life too.

I (almost) always need a visa, while he can fly anytime anywhere freely. 

This is for people from the third country like Indonesia, marrying super cool passport holder. Whenever we want to fly somewhere, we need to make sure that we can get the visa on time. As I always (almost) need a visa, so I am familiar with how to manage visa stuff. I am more experienced here. The only country so far that I don't need a visa while he needs to apply for a visa is Myanmar. 

Knowing how experienced I am in visa stuff, I will always be careful when applying for a visa. So when something feels too easy, it directly tells me "No, why is it this easy? Which one I got it wrong? Did I left something?" Even when knowing that as a spouse of EU citizen I paid zero for Schengen visa still left me the feeling of "something wrong" until I found the statement on their website.

So sometimes we fight as he thinks that he knows it while I am the one who usually applies for that 😂

CheeseBecause he is Dutch.

I don't fancy cheese. But he's coming from a country where cheese is their lovely baby. Whenever we are on the same flight and had cheese as an extra in our meals, he always takes mine. It just happens naturally. Like my cheese moving out itself to his tray. Not only that, he even asks flight attendants to give him more cheese; can I get more cheese if you have more? And he'll get at least 3 more cheese. 

I remember when we were in Yangon having our breakfast, they serve European breakfast as well. It definitely has cheese there and it doesn't cut properly. They use a regular knife for that. Do you know how long he kept talking about how cheese should have its own cheese knife and being cut properly? Long enough.

Although we both are great eater, we do have a different taste of foods. He loves cheese sticks in mustard as a snack for beer. While I prefer bakso. But we do have our middle ground food everywhere we go, Italian pizza. It never wrong. 

The different ways of everything.

We are raised in a different culture so we have a different way to solve problems. Sometimes we see things differently. It could be okay for him but not okay for me, vice versa. We are always trying to find the middle ground for everything. What we can accept and what we can't accept. I think this is the basic way to survive the relationship, right? 

You know when you came from the same area and culture, you'll be like "Oh yea because this is the way it is" when you have problems. But for people in different cultures, we'll be like "Yea but let's see it from my point of view and yours then we can compare what can we accept logically." Especially if that is culturally related.

Not to mention about the faiths both choose, or which faith they're going to raise the kids. Let it be the personal choice that doesn't need to tell. Overall, all relationships need hard work from both sides. In every aspect. This is just about things you'll encounter if you happen to have a multicultural relationship.  


  1. Runyam ya sis punya pasangan bule. Alhamdulillah pasangan saya bulepotan, jadi gak keder-keder amat.

    1. ya gitu deh sis, suka capek sama birokrasi terutama huhu


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