Back to School!
About three weeks ago, Paul and I bit the bullet and began a month-long Indonesian language course. Although we have both been coming to Bali for many years—and living here for some of those years—I’m embarrassed to say our Indonesian language skills are less than optimal. As tourists though, it didn’t really seem necessary. Now, with the business, it’s no longer an option. Many of our suppliers our local people who do not speak English, and we really, really want to be able to communicate with them. And let’s face it—we live here, we work here, it was just time.
Several of our friends told us about a language school here in town—Cinta Bahasa. Cinta means love in Indonesian and Bahasa means language; so, there you have it, we’re loving language. We enrolled in a beginner’s group class—both of us with a bit of trepidation about how things would go.
I have to say though, that after over 30 hours of study, the main word I would use to describe it is fun! Arie, our instructor, is skilled at breaking things down and making the learning feel more approachable and digestible. And while we debated taking private lessons, I’m glad we didn’t. Half the fun has been being able to meet people from all over the world, learn, and laugh our way through the stumbling blocks.
The goal of the course is to give us basic conversational skills, and now in our last week, I would say we are well on our way. Paul and I have been practicing with our staff and around town as much as we possibly can. And although we almost always screw up the structure or forget a word, the Balinese people have been very receptive, kind, and helpful with our attempts.
Last week, the class went to the Ubud market to put our speaking skills to the test. We were given a small amount of money and instructed to bargain and purchase a few items. This was a terrifying prospect for both Paul and I as numbers have been one of the hardest things for us to learn! But, we got there in the end—even managing to purchase a few items for styling out some chocolate photography.
All in all, I have to say it’s been a really incredible experience. The staff and our teacher at Cinta Bahasa have been absolutely amazing, and Paul and I have already begun to think about when we can make time for the Intermediate course…after a bit more practice of course. As they say in Bali….pelan pelan!