My translator is heart broken.
Why is this blog worthy? Where does it fit in with the expose of the world we live in? Why is this a "Cliche"?
First allow me to divulge what it is not. Its not obvious. Not for Erdian.
On glance and even during conversation, one would imagine that, like most Indonesians, Erdian is the happiest soul on the planet without a care in the world. His smile is infectious and he has an unteachable vivaciousness about life.
Besides my co-worker from the States, I spend most of my time with this happy islander and believe me, he is no where near the hands deep in pockets, head bowed, frowny, kickin rocks guy that I found out he could be right now, if he were more American.
Over breakfast the other day I engaged Erdian in the conversation I have had with different people all over the world. Questions about how they live, whats the average income, what their social circles look like, are they in love, etc. Questions that would make an American raise their eyebrows in suspicion are met with gusto over the rest of the world as most people are very excited that a foreigner wants to learn about their life.
That's when Erdian told me that just 4 months ago his girlfriend of 4 year,s that he was supposed to marry, left him for another man and moved home to Singapore. OUCH! Four months wouldn't even be enough time for most of us to get out of bed.
Keep in mind that we are dealing with a culture that literally doesn't say "he is not married". They say "he is not married YET." Marriage is what Indonesians do. Please leave a little room for my naive-ness as I have found that I gravitate to scenarios that directly relate to me rather than those that do not. I know quite well that there are 35 year old clubbers here...I have met them. I assume they all want to be married like me....its the best. But most of the population do look for a spouse, then a job in that order.
So Erdian had no details on the subject and I didn't press, for when he spoke about her was the only time he hasn't smiled and his eyes began to distance themselves from the table as they looked within at his shattered chest. All that matters is she left, and he is desperate to find a wife. He thought he had it figured out, and now at age 34 he was being forced to start over.
This depiction of loss was the same story I have heard from countless friends at home, his face had the same look that I have seen on many Americans, his pain was all too familiar of a pain that I have tasted myself.