— By Sarahann Yeh —
I live in a small, neon green house nestled in the outskirts of Bandar Lampung city on Sumatra island. On my street, homes are painted bright blue, pink, yellow, and daring orange. The yards are snug, and the roads are large enough for one car, but not two. In the mornings I’m woken by the sliding of metals gates, roosters, and putt putt of motorcycle engines. In the evening, children’s voices, music, and the neighborhood mosque’s call to prayer lull me to sleep.
My house has two bedrooms, a sitting area, kitchen, and bathroom. Like most Indonesian homes, my shower and toilet are next to each other, so it’s impossible not to get everything wet when bathing. A single sink is located in the small kitchen. I suspect the kitchen was once separate from the house because it’s only covered by a small metal sheet for a roof.
Making the place feel like home has been a constant battle. After six weeks of living in Indonesia, I’m still scared by the cockroaches, geckos, and rats running through my walls. Every day I come home to piles of ant carcasses (thanks the exorbitant amount of bug spray I use) on the dusty floor. I sweep nearly three times a day, but there’s always a fresh pile of dirt.
Nevertheless, there are parts of my house that I dearly love. I love my giant bed. I love my photo wall of friends and family back home. I love my rice cooker. I love my blank walls: a canvas beckoning me to fill it with tapestries, paintings, sketches, and photographs. Every week, I change something about my house decor: add a new picture to the wall, move the tapestries, rearrange the chairs. I’d like to think that my house is growing and changing with me: every day bringing a new adventure.
Check out the video tour of my house below! Enjoy!
Sarahann Yeh is a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at SMA Negeri 7 Bandar Lampung. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2016 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and minor in International Development and Conflict Management. In her free time, Sarahann enjoys devouring green tea ice cream, falling asleep on public transportation, and playing the guitalele. You can follow her daily misadventures at sarahannvstheworld.wordpress.com.