TIME & CHANGE - Pamela Kahar
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“You said you missed home. But, when it’s time to go you don’t want to leave.” My friend said that to me during our late night talk few days before I left Seoul. Even after three days I went back to my home country, I could remember precisely what she said. The truth is, I do miss Korea. I haven’t been myself in the past three days. Using the term ‘reverse culture’ might be too extreme to explain it.

Reverse culture is defined as shock suffered by some people when they go back to their home after years overseas. They find it difficult to readjust with the cultures and values of their home country. See, it’s really exaggerating if I use that term. First, I just came back from Korea after only 4 months staying there. Second, I did not adjust with Indonesian cultures as a whole.

I know that you want to slap my face the moment you read this.lol. But, let me be honest. I found myself really hard to speak Indonesian to stranger in my first 24 hours home. For many times I was about to say “Yogiyo” (Korean term for excuse me) to the waitress in the restaurant while raising my hand. I said “excuse me” instead of “Permisi” (Indonesian term of excuse me) and “water please” to the local flight attendant. Even I lost my word when I wanted to say “Ya” (The Indonesian language of yes). Instead, I said “Ne” (The Korean of yes) or “Yes”.

Four months I live alone, far from my family. I did all of my private stuffs by myself. I have a lot of space for me. I did not have to say where I was or where I wanted to go. The typical Asian family habit is you need to know a lot of things about your family’s daily activities, which lately I find it kinda bothersome. Four months seems not a long time. But, that’s enough for me to say that it has become my comfort zone. It’s only four months. How about years? It will be even more frustrating for me to change. It will be hard to readjust with the culture, even though I know I should. My mind suddenly goes somewhere else.

It makes me realize that forcing someone to change hardly works. You may have some traits that you don’t like and desperately hope that person to change. In fact, he/she was born and grow up with that traits. It becomes their comfort zone. You don’t need any further explanation, you know better than anyone else that leaving your comfort zone is really difficult.

As much as I hate to admit this cliché saying, I need to. Rather than expecting him/her to change, accept him/her just the way they are. You are something new for him/her. But, keep in mind that they do try to adjust with you. They just need more time. In that time of being, you will learn more about him/her. It’s not impossible that you find yourself being in love with them even more for all of his/her flaws. He/she isn’t perfect. You aren’t either. That’s the beauty of loving, perfectly love someone for their imperfection.

Pamela Kahar
[email protected]

A woman who is blessed to be a blessing. A marketer who reads and writes.

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