just an observation

earlier this week, MOH tagged along when i went to apply for the living permit thingy. when he told me he was coming, i was all, ‘why? i don’t need you. you don’t have to come.’ he insisted. i kept saying i could go myself but he said he wanted to come. he then decided to take his passport and renew his own permit which made it kinda ok. i just thought it was embarassing to have him with me because people would think i wasn’t capable of taking care of things myself.

MOH has always let me do things by myself.

my first day at norskkurs, he drove me to the bus stop. i went on the bus myself, walked from the bus stop to my school myself, figured out where i had to go myself.

the first time i had to renew my living and work permit, i went with a friend. the second time, i went alone.

when i got the job, i had to figure out how to get there myself. nobody showed me the way from the bus stop to my work, i just guessed.

and before i got my norwegian license, i had to bus it everywhere. even way at the beginning when i didn’t know my way around, i didn’t have him as my personal driver.

when i had to open a bank account, i went to the bank myself.

and i’ve noticed that it was the same for some of my fellow foreigners-married-to-locals.  

there are two such people at work who don’t drive and have to take the bus to work at night shift. we start working at 2am and they have to take the bus. and then, if no one who can give them a lift home finishes at the same time, they wait for the bus to take home. night after night after night.

my closest friend here is someone i met from norskkurs. during the three years we’ve known each other, she’s been pregnant twice and now has two kids under the age of 3. she goes around by herself, pushing the younger kid in pram and holding on to the older one’s hand. she also has to do things like renewing her living permit by herself. because, you know, her husband work full-time and she’s a grown woman.

but there are some (not many but they do exist) who are like little kids i.e. need their partner by their side to hold their hands all the time.

at my norskkurs, there was a person whose partner came into class and they sat next to each other all day long. it went on for more than a week, up until one of the teachers said the partner wasn’t allowed to sit inside the classroom anymore.

and then there was a person who accompanied the partner to class and then took photo of this partner sitting at their desk. in the middle of the freaking lesson, this person got up and took a photo! i was sitting next to the partner and went a little, ‘excuse me?!’ in my head but didn’t do anything because i was so surprised by it all. like, seriously? it wasn’t your kid’s first day at the school, you know. we were all grown-ups. this person also came to the class when the partner gave us a presentation about their home country. and when we celebrated the partner’s birthday in class. we have celebrated other people’s birthday in class, nobody’s partner came along.

when this happened (the norskkurs was three years ago), i came home and asked MOH, ‘don’t this people have a job to go to?’

if he could, i reckon MOH would help me do things. i mean, it’s not like he let me do things myself because he’s too lazy to help me. i think he does it because  i’m a big girl and he knows he doesn’t need to babysit me. rightly so. i am, after all, an adult. and even though i didn’t understand norwegian when i first came, i could speak english to just anybody here. when he had the time, or when it was absolutely necessary, of course he helped. that’s how it is today too. but he does have a full time job so most of the time, i have to do things myself.

i’m not complaining. not at all. i don’t mind. after all, i’ve always prideded myself on being an independent woman so it’s all good. in fact, if he did come with me to the first day of norskkurs, i’d be sooooo embarassed. bloody hell. a married woman in her 20’s can’t even sit in a classroom without a familiar face waiting for her outside? my mum would disown me. my siblings would laugh their heads off. my friends would delete my name from their mobiles.

oh… and on monday, after we submitted my application, turned out we needed an extra paper. i had to go to another office to get the paper. i had to go alone because MOH had to go back to work. yep, it was back to normal and it felt so good.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thewriter
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 18:41:07

    They, who need to be accompanied by their partners, are different kind of people from you and me. I always met those women whenever I went to Danish Immigration Service. Some of them couldn’t speak English (it makes me wonder what kind of language they speak with their partners-body language?) and they were always scared.

    I know also an Indonesian girl from a small village in Solo. She had never been to Jakarta, let alone abroad. She met her husband from the internet and was picked up by her husband and moved here. I don’t mean to be rude or looking down on her but I got pissed at her after several times going out with her (I took her with pity the first time because she was always scared) because she didn’t dare to go outside her apartment without being accompanied by her husband first.

    or at least, asking for the husband’s permission first.

    ……and not to mention her kampung attitude. Duh! I gave up eventually. I need to have friends who are as independent as I am, and at least kalo ngomong nyambung 😛


  2. Soe
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 20:14:29

    Sampe nemenin di kelas ya, gile..
    Aku biasanya dikasih peta, gak bakal nyasar di kota secuil ini, he2..


  3. 1980chandra
    Oct 11, 2008 @ 15:48:34

    t w – i wonder the same thing. when they came here and they don’t have a common language to communicate with their partner, how the heck do they understand each other?

    tp yg ditemenin di kelas itu cowok. dari belanda. mid 20’s.
    yang difoto di kelas itu cewek dari rusia. awal 30-an. bukan orang ga berpendidikan, dulunya dia guru di negaranya sono. trus atlit nasional yg disekolahkan khusus.

    bener bgt, just because we’re from the same country doesn’t mean we’ll get along. tergantung orangnya masing2.

    s – iya. kayak anak tk di hari pertama aja. mo nyasar jg nyasar ke mana? ålesund jg kecil bgt. apalagi kamu dr tinggal di jakarta, molde mah ga ada apa2nya…


  4. thewriter
    Oct 11, 2008 @ 15:56:48

    heee? cowok dari belanda yang ditemenin? buset…ada2 aja, itu emang anak mami kali 😀

    orang rusia dan sekitarnya emang suka ajaib. dulu di kelas danish ku ada cewek dari ukraina, tiap ada orang ngomong selalu mau ikutan (gurunya sampe bete), kaya merasa yang paling pinter aja, kita sampe geregetan


  5. christy
    Oct 12, 2008 @ 16:58:21


    kalo saya yang ditemani ke mana-mana bakal lebih menggelikan lagi..

    waktu masih TK, se nda pernah ditemani ke sekolah, yang ada cuma mobil antar jemput yang jemput dari rumah, kasi turun di depan sekolah, trus jemput lagi pas pulangnya.

    SD ke sekolah naik becak sendiri. kalopun ada yang jemput itu mah si uncle, itupun kalo dia sudah pulang sekolah -si uncle waktu itu masih SMA-

    apa-apa disuruh sendiri. ini itu kerja sendiri. ke mana-mana sendiri. sampe kadang sungkan juga tanya kalo sudah kesasar. maunya kalo sudah ada peta, ya ikut peta saja, nda bakal ilang.

    duhh, kalo sampe se ditemani masuk ke kelas, se kayaknya lebih baik ditelan bumi saja. XD sampe seekstrim itu.. hahaha


  6. 1980chandra
    Oct 13, 2008 @ 13:40:53

    t w – di sini kita bilangnya the russian mafia hehehe habis buanyak banget di sini cewek2 russia. trus mereka bergaulnya cuma sesama russians. ke mana2 bareng, ngomong russian volumenya gede dan hampir ga ada yg bisa inggris. dan baru mulai belajar norwegian jd termasuk grup yg ga punya common language sama suaminya.

    iya tuh cowok, heran. ga malu apa ditemenin istri?

    c – waktu sma se pindah sby, nda kenal siapa2 di sana, nda tau jalan jadi tong ji naik becak sama bemo.
    se jg biasa sekali kerja apa2 sendiri sampe kl sekarang harus minta tolong orang, nda enak hati. pokoknya semua mo bikin sendiri. kl nda tau caranya cari tau sendiri. makanya se heran, knp ada orang dewasa bisa sebegitu tdk ‘berdaya’nya sampe harus ditemani begitu.


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