Here are a few notions I find to be totally relative these day:
- Time : it expands or retracts funnily here. Indonesian time is a very elastic notion. So are deadlines, and the more you worry about those, the more you are likely to have a nervous breakdown. Maybe tomorrow, maybe later. But when you can sit in a hammock watching the sea, then does it matter so much? Not really. As someone I know put it recently "No one is dying, it can just wait tomorrow I guess". And I am nicely getting used to that. Living with no stress is quite an experience, you know. I had forgotten about it.
- Noise: or rather, noise tolerance. Very relative indeed, once you have experienced the Saturday night karaoke all around the village in Bira. Noise tolerance from Indonesians is very, very high. Well, deal with it.
- Questions: at home, being curious is a little bit of a nasty habit, or that's what you're told as a kid. "La curiosité est un vilain défaut". Here, it is mandatory: where are you from, where are you going, are you married, what is your job, etc. I get these almost every day. And I can now proudly answer most of them in Indonesian.
So it takes time, it takes adjustment, it takes an open-mind. But I am liking it.