In Indonesia, we can’t afford to do anything ourselves: It’s cheaper to buy a meal on the street than cook from scratch, to be driven by an ojek than to buy a car, to employ a maid than to spend the time cooking, cleaning and doing laundry.
In America, we can’t afford to have anything done for us. We get the control to do what we want, when we want, but we have to do everything ourselves.
The challenge is when we want a little of both.
To be honest, I can’t imagine having to do my laundry again. Having my clothes perfectly ironed and folded like the Gap, waiting for me in my bedroom each evening is a delight and I love my maid for it. But there is a lack of control with it all. Not knowing where anything is, how supplies are being used, and for god sakes, can we not eat rice tonight?!
It’s a compromise. One we are still grappling with. We miss having a car. We miss gardening. We miss walking down the street without the stares.
However, we don’t miss feeling rushed to get everything done. One of the benefits is that life slowed down just enough for us to catch our breath or to even notice.