By Annika Wood (Semester 28/Feb 2009)
University of New South Wales

The concept of privacy is pretty foreign here so if you are someone who believes strongly in minding one’s own business you better get over that idea pretty fast… or just don’t move into my kos (boarding house). Everything from changing your shampoo to your bowel movements will be commented on. I live in a very social, busy, loud kos where there is always something happening from eggs and garbage being thrown on the birthday girl to a fellow kos mate crying over her naughty pacar. Are you better suited to a quiet life? Well stay at home my friend because here you shall be laughed at, talked about and become an expert in mau ke mana- dari mana responses. Wondering what kos life is all about? Let’s take a look in a typical day at Gang Jeruk….

4:30am ‘allllaaahhh aaakkhhbar’. Leave your alarm clock at home, haha you won’t need it in Gang Jeruk when the morning adzan (call to prayer) starts.
6:00am Gossip Pagi. A morning tradition where we all have breakfast from the delicious choices on offer cooked by the Ibu Kos and well, gossip. No subject is off limits with these girls, oh yes and don’t get touchy if you hear your name being whispered while in the kamar mandi, because tomorrow morning join in aja.
7:05am Head off on your bike towards campus for your 7am class.
7:15am Arrive at uni and sit with your friendly classmates who you rely on for everything from notification of classroom changes to translating jokes your Dosen (lecturer) is making about you.
12:30pm Head home from Uni. Swerve to miss that damn number 7 bus called Linda. You already have a road tattoo and your bike basket is bent out of shape from the last time you met. One of these days she will pay.
12:35pm In your room, homework maybe? Terserah…(depends)
3pm Woken from your afternoon sleep when Ticka your kos mate yells from her window ‘panaaaaasssss!!!!’ (hot). Thanks Tick for reminding me.
3:30pm Hear the loud thunder clap as you run to pull out all your electrical appliances. As the sky darkens and the raindrops fall once again Mbak Ticka yells ‘hujaaaannn!!!!’ A talented life commentator she is.
4pm Sunny again. You sit on the roof with your kos mates, omong-kosong (talking rubbish) and seeing who can hit the furthest roof with their salak seeds.
5pm Hearing the laughter coming from next door, your neighbour pokes her head into the compound to see what is going on. You give her a big smile as the sweet bule she calls Barbie surely would not be in the middle of giving her Kos mates a ‘naughty English lesson’ they always ask for, or would she??? It was a proud moment when Mbak Endah called Dewi a ‘kook’ in the right context.
6pm Suddenly realize you are sitting sendirian (alone) as everyone else has headed to their room to sholat.
6:10pm Alone not for long as now the girls and your Ibu Kos join you again to start our nightly venture to cari makan malam (look for food). Do not give in to peer pressure; eating chicken feet will not make you a better person.

So there we are, mucking around Gang Jeruk style…… Laughter is always easiest to translate.