Madeleine Weiss emigrated to Yogyakarta years ago along with her Indonesian husband and their two sons. The 31-yr-vintage radio journalist and German trainer love the easy way of life in an area that best knows one season.
Swissinfo.Ch: When and why did you go away to Switzerland? Do you intend to go back at some point?
Madeleine Weiss: On 30 June 2015, my husband and I took our small kids, who had been aged three years and 22 months old, in addition to 4 suitcases and boarded a plane to Indonesia. We did now not take tons. We had no idea how and wherein we might stay and how we would earn our dwelling. But we were complete with optimism and energy and had been equipped for a new adventure.
We were supposed to live here for two years. We wanted to live in my husband’s domestic country, grow to adore it, and present our youngsters the opportunity to discover what existence is like in their second home, some distance away from well-protected Switzerland. That was our plan. Two years have exceeded, and we’re nonetheless right here. We nevertheless plan to move again to Switzerland sooner or later; however, now we don’t recognize whilst to be able to be.

Swissinfo.Ch: What do you do for a living? How did you find your job, and how is it going?

Madeleine Weiss
M.W.: We run a homestay, which means we lease a room in our house within the Javanese city of Yogyakarta. Every week, travelers from around the arena come and live in our domestic. My husband works as an excursion guide. He drives the tourists around, and choices them up, and drops them off wherever they want. I appearance after the children, the residence, and the lawn and do a million different things simultaneously.
For instance, I educate German as a 2d language at a language institute in Yogyakarta. I write articles for newspapers and ship Indonesian food returned to Switzerland 4 instances according to yr. I actually have additionally just finished translating an Indonesian cook dinner book into German.

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Swissinfo.Ch: Where precisely do you stay, and what’re lifestyles like there?

M.W.: We stay next to a giant rice area on the threshold of Yogyakartaexternal hyperlink, which isn’t to be pressured with the huge, grey capital of Jakarta. Yogyakarta is tons smaller, greener, and more rural. Life occurs plenty greater slowly here. However, it’s also complete with contrasts. On the one hand, Yogyakarta has managed to hold up most of the vintage Javanese traditions; on the opposite, the town’s precise and famous universities have attracted several young human beings to transport right here. This is wherein vintage meets new, which makes this city so innovative and active. I love living here.
Swissinfo.Ch: What is Indonesian cuisine like?
M.W.: It’s very distinct from the Swiss cuisine. There are actually no dairy merchandise available, and if you happen to find a few, they’re excruciatingly costly. A piece of Gruyere cheese, which big supermarkets now and again inventory in their worldwide product segment, can cost up to CHF10 ($10). Considering that the average monthly profits in Indonesia is CHF100, that is lots of cash.
It’s tough to get cheese here; once in a while, I even dream about unique types of cheeses smiling at me from the shelves inside the without end lengthy aisles in Swiss supermarkets like Migros or Coop.

Swissinfo.Ch: What do you want extra approximately in Indonesia than in Switzerland? What is the biggest distinction between the 2 countries?
M.W.: We don’t have the four seasons we’ve got in Switzerland. It is warm at some point of the year, and the temperatures don’t truly trade. Occasionally, we get a piece of rain. However, it doesn’t cool down.


Even though I had by no means taken into consideration myself as one of these humans wanting to emigrate to another usa for the climate, I have to say I genuinely recognize the Indonesian climate. It makes existence loads much less complicated.
First, you want fewer garments. I share a small shelf for my clothes with my husband, and that’s sufficient. After all, we don’t want jackets, socks, or jumpers in Indonesia. Living with such few matters is luxurious for me, which I would conflict with surrendering.
Swissinfo.Ch: What’s your view on Switzerland from afar?
M.W.: Switzerland is my home. That is in which I come from. That is in which my parents, my sisters, and my buddies stay. That’s why I love Switzerland, and I omit it massively at times.
I love the easy rivers and lakes you may jump in at some stage in the summer season. It doesn’t be counted whether or not it’s someplace in the middle of nowhere or right in the center of a metropolis. It would be remarkable if we should swim in the rivers of Yogyakarta. Unfortunately, that is simply unthinkable because of the rubbish, which is being dumped into the river every day.

Swissinfo.Ch: What does the political landscape appear to be in Indonesia? Are you inquisitive about Indonesian politics?
M.W.: Yes, I am inquisitive about Indonesian politics. I like paying attention to the news on the radio. If my Indonesian is not right to apprehend the fine details, I ask my husband to explain it to me in extra detail. What I am maximum involved about is Indonesia’s healthy patriotism. I don’t think I could ever hoist a Swiss flag on Swiss countrywide day, but I do it here in Indonesia, like anyone else. People proudly celebrate their nation’s birthday, and they do it with the aid of playing games, setting up competitions, and just spending first-rate time with each different.
Swissinfo.Ch: Do you vote in Swiss elections or famous votes? Do you vote via mail or electronically?
M.W.: Being a Swiss overseas, balloting in elections and famous votes in Switzerland is surely important. Unfortunately, the voting documents on occasion do not arrive in time to go back to Switzerland in time for the elections or famous votes. That’s a disgrace. I wish that I will soon be able to use e-vote casting.

Swissinfo.Ch: What do you miss most about Switzerland?
M.W.: In the summer season, I miss the long days and swimming in our crystal-clear lakes; in autumn, I miss drinking our freshly fermented young grape wine (Sauser) and the brightly colored forests; in iciness, I leave out the stillness while the snow falls and being wrapped up in a comfortable quilt; and in spring, I leave out the sparkling air and the luxurious blooming fruit timber.