Bandung was never empty during the weekend, especially that Saturday. Prior to my departure on Sunday afternoon, my husband and I planned to settle some things up. Our plan included getting a haircut (this was very important because haircut was much more expensive compared to one in Indonesia), copying some important documents, and eating Bakmi Akung for lunch. He drove me with his motorcycle to downtown. This was exactly one thing I was going to miss for several years: being a passenger on his old motorcycle.
Everything happened at a fast pace! We just had our wedding a few months ago, settled down to a small rented room, planned our financial for living in Bandung; and now within hours, we were packing our stuff. However, the moving part was planned. We made this decision to take the offer because we knew it was going to be fun and challenging! And that’s why I decided to apply for the position: my husband supported me and even proofread my submitted essays. He was definitely a behind-the-scenes hero! ILY, AI.
The moving part wasn’t as smooth as I was in 2012. Firstly, we barely found any apartment because we came in summer and most landlords preferred to rent for a short-term through AirBnB (FYI, the country had been over-flooded with tourists even until October) and not to mention, the increasing price for properties lately. Secondly, my residence VISA application took almost two months because the embassy was confused whether I was going to work or study (finally, my VISA was issued with me entitled as a research worker. FYI, some doctorate vacancies in Europe are counted as working vacancy so it means that the scholarship amount is deducted with tax and social security). Furthermore, my husband’s VISA was only approved after my VISA had been approved.
OK, now let’s move to the fun part: fitting my tons of stuff to my XL luggage with the maximum allowed weight of 30kg. This part had always been a challenging way back in 2012-2014, only that now I had a husband who had much more power to close my overloaded luggage. Lucky that my husband carried fewer items so I piled my (extra) items to his luggage. I felt like returning to my Erasmus days dealing with luggage, accommodation, VISA, and tons of bureaucracies again.
I boarded alone through Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. My husband came after two weeks because we hadn’t had an apartment yet and I crashed to my friend’s while looking for one. Another reason was that I had to start my (research) work within a week.
A month has passed. I am now used to my new role as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) in Services Design and Innovation within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions – Research Fellowship Program. He is used to getting up early morning for his remote work in Indonesia. We are starting to get adapted to this new city. Although previously I had lived in Portugal, living in Lisbon is different than living in Porto. As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is, of course, bigger and more crowded than Porto. Yet, it pampers us with some perks: more cool events happening in town, more beautiful parks for our weekend lunch-date, more places to be reviewed on this blog, and much more. While my husband is happy because October still feels like summer, unlikely his previous October in Sweden.
PS. Now we are going to move to (hopefully) a fixed apartment, settling down the bureaucracy things, and moving on with this new adventure. Wish us luck!
PSS. If you have any plan to come to Lisbon, please let us now. If we are available, we would love to introduce the city to you.