my painful childhood

My Life Back in Indonesia

In 2012 after 3 years in Malaysia my contract completed, I moved back to Indonesia. I went to Jakarta and stayed with my Auntie and her family. My one niece has grown quite a bit while I have been gone and is now bigger than me and there is a new niece in the family. I love them very much as I love my whole family. It is so good to see everyone again. I flew back to my village to see my grandparents and other family members; my auntie and uncle and my mother. My village has not changed. Everyone still struggles to get water and electricity. They do farming to earn just enough for food. It is sad to see them struggle with their life, but it is all they know. The families are growing now as my aunt has three children and my uncle has two. My grandparents are getting older and it is sad for me to see that their life continues to be going to the field to collect grass and trying to help their children best that they are able. My family is grateful that I have been helping my grandparents financially and I feel good that I am able to help. After one month in the village I explain that I am going to Jakarta to find work. My grandparents are sad to see me go as they wanted me to stay and they regret they were mean to me when I was little. I have no hard feelings towards them and tell them everything is ok. I really love my family and feel bad that I cannot help them more. I made an offer to my aunt and uncle that I would take them to Jakarta and find work and support them. Also, I would pay their tuition to get training, so they could get better jobs, but they refuse and said they just want to be farmers in the village and take care of the grandparents. Sometimes people are just afraid to try something new and just want to stay with what they know even if there are better options. I could not persuade them to explore something new, but I love them just the same. Once I return to Jakarta I find a job as a property agent. I receive a small base salary and commission if I sell an apartment or house. It is hard to find customers, but I do make sales and earn money. Although it is difficult to make a good income I do not worry because the person that helped me with my schooling is always there. BaPak Joe always stays in touch with me and is ready to help if I need anything. I don’t depend on him though as I am always able to find work and take care of myself. I find that I am getting better and better in property sales and I then decide to open a beauty salon. I open a shop in an apartment complex in Jakarta and sign a contract for two years. Initially, I have many customers and very good employees. However, after one year a large beauty salon and spa opens close by and they have much better and more equipment than I have, and I lose many customers to the competition. My business suffered and when my renewal contract came up I did not renew and many of my employees went to work for the other salon. I could not compete effectively as I did not have the expensive equipment to provide quality facials. After my salon business closed my friend and I opened a guest house in Gili Island and the business there was very good. I did not like traveling to Gili Island however. It is a long trip. I had to fly from Jakarta to Lombok which is about a 2-hour flight, then drive to Gili Island Harbor which took 4-hours and then take a ferry for about 30 minutes or 15 minutes by private boat. I once tried going to Gili Island from Bali, but the boat ride is over 2-hours by ferry and with bad weather and heavy waves I become very seasick. The business there was very good until many hotels came to the island and other guest houses. These were all closer to the beach and hurt our business quite a bit. I was however, able to save money to pay for my travels around Asia until my passport was completely full of immigration stamps. The other good thing about being back in Jakarta was I had many friends with which to socialize. Usually every Friday night we went to have fun. We would often start at someplace like the Sky Bar at the BCA Tower by Grand Indonesia and then continue to Bats Bar at the Shangri-La Hotel as the DJ was very good. Other times we would go to C’Jaz at the Mulia Hotel in Senayan where the young ladies always hang out. Friday nights were a lot of fun with my friends. I also have friends that work in the Mining Industry which is very big in Indonesia. I went to Kalimantan where a lot of the mining takes place to see what it looks like. I also went to the Curuk Pahu Forest and the Coal Place. The trips from Balik Papan to the coal mining locations by helicopter was really amazing but also scary. This saved a lot of time but there had been several helicopter accidents in the forests and many times the bodies could not be found so the rides were always a bit scary.I also tried selling insurance. I had my initial training and passed my licensing test to become an agent. I was very excited as the training was very good and it seemed easy. The commissions seemed very good as well. But what I discovered was it was very hard to find customers and make the sale of Life Insurance. There was so much rejection I became discouraged and quit. I decided it was better for me to focus on property sales.

My Learnings from my time back in Indonesia While it was difficult to leave Kuala Lumpur because I enjoyed my job and missed my friends it was good to return to see my family. I found that people around you can give you motivation. I hated to see my family in the village struggle, but it taught me that I never wanted to go back to that life. It motivated me to try new things to make money and be self-sufficient. I also discovered that it is ok to fail. If you never try something you fail before you even start. Many successful people in life have tried many things and failed but they kept trying and finally succeeded. I am not afraid of failing but I am afraid of not being able to take care of myself, so I keep trying and I know I will find the secret to success. The other thing I have learned is riches are not only counted in how much money you have but also in how close you are with your friends and family. It has been proven through studies that people who have close ties with their family and good relationships with their friends enjoy better health and live longer and I truly believe this. I also exercise regularly, don’t drink much alcohol and don’t smoke. You can replace money if it is lost but you can never replace your health. A healthy body also leads to a healthy mind and provides you with the energy you need to achieve great things.

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