Life is like a wheel, sometimes we are at the top side, but going down at the other times. I do really know these life phases, but when we face a difficult situation, it isn’t so easy to go through it.
At the beginning of my arrival in Germany, it was difficult to find an apartment here, especially for a foreign student who also has a family. It was due to my poor german as well. One day, I had an appointment with the young lady, the old tenant of an apartment. She asked me, “How could you pay a living cost here only with your scholarship? While your husband also studies and he doesn’t work.” I have explained that I was pretty sure that the money was enough for three of us. Although I have convinced her that I could pay the rent, it seems that she didn’t really trust me. But, now at the end of my scholarship, I have proof my words.
Somehow I felt irritated with her question. But it also reminded me that I had been through one of the hardest phases of my life before going to Germany, when we only had in our pocket around 20,000 IDR (or less than 2 Euro) for 1 month. People living here might not be able to imagine it.
So, how could we still survive living in Indonesia with that money?
First, we chose tempe (a fermented soy product) for our meal, neither chicken nor beef (they were far more expensive). When we bought it in a traditional market in Indonesia, that tempe only cost around 1,000-2,000 IDR (about 10 cents) for one bucket and we can eat it for 3 days. The creative thing I have made was I variated how I cooked it, so we didn’t feel disgusting eat tempe every time. Fortunately, we also got a bag of the brown rice as a gift from my husband friend, Laras (she’s like an angel). The rice could last until one month.
Can you believe me now that everything is possible? Even with little money, we could still live a healthy life and I could still breastfeed my son at that time. Although tempe is a cheap food product in Indonesia, it contains high protein and fiber. The brown rice we got also had a lot of fiber.
Moreover, I said to myself that I could still save money from my scholarship. It is because my husband and I don’t either drink alcohol or smoke. We’re also not a party addicted. As far as I know, if you are an alcoholic, you need to spend money at least 10 Euro per week. It also costs you 5 Euro for a pack of cigarette. Not to mention if you have to go to the club every weekend, it can cost you more.
At the end, it’s not the matter of the money you have, yet your lifestyle does matter. I believe that in the emergency situation, you’ll run your survival instinct and become more creative.
Now I think my wheel will be going down again from the top side. Again, it reminds me of that story.
My husband has ever told me about the philosophy of the heart impulse. It’s always going up and down. When your impulse signal becomes flat, it means that you have died. So if you find yourself facing the hard phase in your life, it means that you’re still alive.
Nevertheless, the up-and-down life cycle is becoming a reminder for me. On the one hand, I learn to appreciate everything good I have received. On the other hand, I need to prepare myself for the worst case.
The hard situation would not be easy for everyone, for sure. But let’s take it as a challenge to be more creative! Moreover, I believe that this time, we—three of us—need to consolidate each other (as the family member) to be more solid as a team. That’s what it means to be the Nawira family! 🙂