I arrived in Adelaide on May 15th 2018 morning after a 7.5 hour long flights in total (via Singapore). At that time, it’s autumn already in Adelaide while just two weeks before I came, the weather was perfectly warm (that’s what people said).
This is my first travel to a western country which has more than two seasons. In Indonesia, I don’t need to really concern about clothes when travelling, because every where and every season, it’s relatively similar temperature. What can affect how one should dress when travelling in Indonesia is not the temperature, but the religions and beliefs of the people in the area.
For me as a tropical human, I get cold easily, even if I turn on the AC to 25 Celcius, imagine how Adelaide’s 13 C – 17 C temperature was torturing me at that first time. I admit that it was also my fault to underestimate the temperature and prioritized which clothes would make me look good in photos instead of ones that can comfort and secure me from cold. 70% of my luggage is knee-length dresses which I thought would look good with old European-influenced buildings in Adelaide, this decision turned out to be a big fail.
Lucky I brought some stockings and yoga pants (yes I thought of trying yoga classes or even morning jogging, but the cold made me step back –..–” ), so I wore yoga pants underneath my stockings. Phew!
The first day I arrived, we went to my bro’s university for a reception party (a small party for the graduates’ families), but it started in the late afternoon, I felt that I should not just waste time waiting, so we decided to go early to look around the city. And I decided to challenge myself with this outfit (in photo), I wanted to adjust my body to the cold fast so that I would be able to enjoy the city instead of hiding under layers of blanket at home.
The first time we landed at the airport, there’s a funny feeling I felt that may be unusual to hear if you’re white. In my country, white people call their selves expats–just like everywhere–, and they’re mostly treated a level higher than others. In Bali–I lived in Bali for half a year–there are so many foreigners (mostly white), whether they’re only tourists or work/ have business there. Even if they’re working in Indonesia, most of them have descent jobs or higher class, or if they work as, say, teachers, they’re paid four times higher than local teachers in international schools. So, visiting a dominantly-white country and seeing white people doing blue-collar jobs, it felt different for me, especially when I saw white homeless people on the street (yes, there are still people living on the street in Aussie too!), I mean that’s just not common to see for me, even though I know that people are just the same everywhere, we do what we gotta do, we gotta work even it means a job that people don’t really appreciate. It felt different–I don’t know which word can describe it best–when a white cleaning lady cleaned my table in a cafe, I imagined if she’s not in that uniform and not holding broom, and she’s in Bali, she would be treated with the so-called expats service, she would suddenly be a princess. It’s unusual for my eyes, because usually it’s the other way around in Indonesia.
The people I saw in the airport were the ones that gave me the first impression about a country and my first impressions about Australians were they’re very nice and friendly. They always say “Thank you” and “Sorry”, even for minor things and sometimes it’s my fault, it made me feel that I’d been impolite all my life because I didn’t say those words as much, LOL. The airport officers, even though they’re strict in doing their jobs (which I am not used to see people in uniforms being string doing their jobs in Indonesia), they’re very friendly and helpful. Even the immigration officer made a small talk with me and my mom asking whether we’re excited about our holiday in Aussie. It may be just a little thing, but it made us felt welcome. This experience made me feel that maybe Indonesia needs to review/ evaluate our airport staffs.
As soon as I stepped out of the airport building and saw Adelaide’s sky, I was amazed to see how blue the blue sky in Adelaide. I saw sky that blue in Indonesia only when I was sent to remote areas when I was still working for WWF and in Gili Air (Lombok) during a holiday, that’s because in those areas, there are not many motor vehicles (especially in Gili Air, motor vehicles are prohibited). Adelaide’s sky is not polluted, it’s bright, maybe even brighter than my future. LOL. But how come we live under the same sky but the sky can look different?
Another thing that wowed me was the fact it’s sooo clean. My eyes couldn’t find any trash on the street! If this is the impression that I first got coming to their country, I wonder what they think when coming to my country and see our streets. Ouch!!
**For more stories in Adelaide by me, click here.