‘Different Pond Different Fish’
‘Different Pond Different Fish’ (DPDF) is a newsletter. It is a cross-cultural newsletter
where people talk about cross-cultural issues between Indonesia and Australia. It is produced by the staff and
students of IALF Bali. It was first developed in 1996 as an in-house forum for IALF students. These students
were very enthusiastic about cross-cultural topics relevant to their preparations for living and studying in
Australia. Archive copies are available. Many of
the students were Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) students in IALF Bali. Since then, many other
individuals and educational institutions have taken an interest in receiving, using and contributing to DPDF.
Kang Guru has DPDF in each magazine plus regularly on the Kang Guru radio program. There is even a DPDF channel
on the Forum Page. DPDF has been voted one of Kang Guru's most popular segments.
Kang Guru's Compilation CD
Kang Guru has produced a compilation cassette/CD
called ‘Different Pond Different Fish’ for you.
It is FREE so ask Kang Guru for it as soon as you can. These two items are available FREE for English language
teachers and students who are interested in cross-cultural issues between Australia and Indonesia. If you would
like to order a copy then please write to Kang Guru and
tell us why you are so interested in Australia/Indonesia cross-cultural issues.
Topics & Title
Looking After Myself
Where Is My Change?
Who is Paying?
What? No Rice?
What an Awful Smell!
Black or White Tea, Please?
Tea? Not again …
‘Please Be Quiet’
Funny or Cute?
Communicating in Australia
How to begin a Conversation
Asking for Help and Saying Thank You
Berapa Harga Dalam Celana?
He Left Forever
Songs (with lyrics)
“I Still Call Australia Home”
“The Road to Gundagai”
“Love Is In The Air”
“I Am Australian”
“Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport”
Track #1 – Looking After Myself
I have been living in Australia for two years doing my postgraduate study. I have a story that I'd like to share
with you. This is about how to manage Australian money for living and how to manage my clothes the first time
I was in Oz.
I had never prepared and cooked my own food before so when I lived in Oz for the first time I always bought food
for my lunch and dinner. That cost a lot of money. I soon began to run out of my money. Then I had to start
learning how to prepare my own food beginning with grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning the utensils, etc. It
was a new experience in my life as generally Indonesian men never work in the kitchen for their entire life.
Well, this is true for my family anyway!
The second thing that I found a difficult experience was to manage my dirty clothes. I brought many clothes from
Indonesia. My total luggage weighed approximately 50 kgs. During the first, second and third week in Oz my clothes
were not a big problem. But for the fourth week I had a problem as nearly all my clothes were dirty, especially
the underwear. Then I thought how difficult life is in Oz as nobody was there to help me wash and iron my clothes.
Then I started to learn how to iron my clothes but first I learnt how to operate a washing machine.
Finally I learnt how to live in Oz as a single person and I started to enjoy life in Oz. Then when I got the
chance to continue my study again in Oz I took it. This year is my first year for my PhD. I have no problems
at all with how to manage money and clothes anymore.
Track #2 – Where Is My Change?
Shopping in a foreign country can be fun and exciting. Read about the following experiences from Australian
and Indonesian students.
During my short course in Bali I went shopping at one of the shopping malls near the school. It was the first
time I had ever been shopping in a foreign country. After paying for my goods, I waited at the cash desk for
— around a few hundred rupiah, but the cashier said ‘sudah’. I thought this was
a question so I replied, ‘Ya’. I carried on waiting for my change and eventually asked
the cashier, ‘Where is my change?’ She looked confused so I rephrased my question to ‘Where
is my money — the 300 rupiah?’ She understood but just pointed to a small plastic announcement
stuck on the cash register that said, ‘Please apologise. Small change will be replaced with candies.’ Yes,
I had three candies with my receipt but I thought they were complimentary from the mall. I was rather angry about
the change, especially when I thought I had to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the mall. Later I found
out the mall had mis-translated the word apologise and what they meant was sorry. Both words are ‘maaf’ in
Indonesian. So, they were sorry they had to give me candies instead of change, and I didn't have to apologise!
(A Bahasa In Bali student from Australia studying at IALF, Bali)
Track #3 – Shopping Malls
In Indonesia shopping malls are usually open 9 am to 10pm. So on our first weekend in Newcastle, Australia, my
sister and I went out to
‘explore’ the mall. To my surprise, when we arrived we found a closed door with a notice saying trading
hours on Saturday are only until 1 pm and on Sunday they are closed!!!
(Siti from IALF Bali visiting Newcastle in Australia)
Note: That's right. Most shops in Australia are closed on Sunday. Australians generally prefer to go to the beach,
play sport or visit relatives rather than go shopping!
Track #4 – Who is Paying?
My supervisor invited me and his other students and research staff to have lunch together. Ten of us went to
the restaurant straight from the university. I left my bag in my room. The restaurant served a very nice Indian
meal. All of us ordered our own food. I chose Indian yellow rice with fish curry. After lunch my supervisor
and other friends contributed their money for the meal. I had left my bag and had never expected to have to
pay for the meal. Fortunately I was sitting near my Nepali friend who was a new student too. She lent me some
cash to pay for lunch. We laughed because she had just enough cash to pay for both of us. She didn't know that
we had to pay for ourselves either.
(Aluh Nikmatullah studying at the University of Queensland)
Track #5 – What? No Rice?
In Surabaya we were having a day-long meeting with our foreign partners from the UK. Around 11am we got hungry
and ordered a take-away burgers and cokes from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Then we continued the meeting after our
meal. At 1 pm we called KFC again to deliver rice and fried chicken for lunch. When the food came, we (the Indonesians)
ate and asked our friends to join us. They said that they had already had their lunch and were full. When we
asked when they had had their lunch, they said, ‘When we ate the burgers!’ Oh dear,
we forgot they were not Indonesians. For Indonesians, lunch is rice and not burgers. Fortunately, they respected
us and really appreciated our kindness. They ate the meal too but only the fried chicken, not the rice!
(Lukman, EEDP student in Australia)
Track #6 – What an Awful Smell!
Once I lived in a dormitory with some Australian students. There were about twenty of us on the same floor and
there were only two fridges available. Our neighbours were so friendly but problems first emerged when my Singaporean
neighbour put her chopped garlic in the fridge. All the Australians complained about the garlic. But the Asians
complained about the smell of pasta (noodles) which to us, smelled like a toilet! At last, we decided to wrap
garlic and pasta before placing them in the fridge. This taught us to understand and respect each other's cultures.
So, it is not good to fry ‘ikan asin’ or ‘sambal terasi’ if
you live very near Australians!
(Daniel living in Australia and studying at the University of Melbourne)
Track #7 – Black or White Tea, Please?
I have another story about being embarrassed in Australia due to differences in culture. My story is about ordering
tea at a coffee shop. I always had a nice cup of tea every morning in Indonesia. It gave me a great feeling
in the morning. So when I arrived in the early morning for the first time at Sydney airport, the first thing
that I looked for was a coffee shop. Finally, I found a nice coffee shop with many people queuing to order.
Quite confidently I jumped into the queue. I thought that I had better English than before since I had recently
learnt English at IALF. Then a very friendly girl asked me if she could help me. I said that I would like to
have a cup of tea. Then she asked me what kind of tea I would like to order, black or white tea? I thought she
was making a morning joke with me. My quick response, but with some confusion, was that I said red tea please.
With a very unfriendly face she asked me again, ‘Black or white tea, please?’, I didn't
say anything as I didn't know what actually black or white tea was. I only knew that having tea is normally
with or without sugar. Then she said, ‘Next please’. She then asked the next customer
behind me. I realised then that I didn't understand Oz customs. One day I had a cup of tea at the University
tea room and I saw a lady drinking tea with milk in it. Then I asked her, ‘Can I say that you are
having a white tea?’ She smiled and said, ‘Yes you can’. Finally I understood
that black tea is no milk added and white tea is with milk. How big is the difference of having tea between
Indonesian and Oz people!!!
(Penta, former ADS student in Sydney now doing his PhD in Food Technology)
Track #8 – Tea? Not again…
I like drinking tea but not so often. One day my host-mother offered me tea in the morning. Later at school I
had tea during recess and once more with lunch. I felt a bit sick of tea actually but I had to respect them.
Soon after I arrived home from school I was offered another ‘cuppa’. I couldn't help
myself as my host invited me for tea just before dinner. ‘Adi, it's tea time’, shouted
my host. ‘What? Tea again? You know what? I drank a cuppa in the morning, then two at school, once
more as I got home and now again? Please, I can't have anymore. Can I have water?’, I asked. Immediately
all members of my host family turned their heads towards me in confusion. I felt I had hurt them by yelling
out. I felt guilty as my host mother said, ‘Adi, we're about to have dinner now. We're going to
have a cuppa later after dinner. If you'd like to. So would you like to have dinner with us?’.
Oh gosh, I found out later that Australians usually call dinner or ‘makan malam’ — ‘tea
time’. I got used to that but not drinking so much tea. I kept rejecting their offers for a cuppa
if I had already had one earlier in the day. But in my view, Australians really like drinking tea: they have
morning tea, afternoon tea and evening tea. And then there are the other occasions too. I don't know why.
(from Adi Waluyo, IALF Teacher on exchange to Goff's Harbour, NSW)
Track #9 – ‘Please Be Quiet’
When I studied in UNSW-Sydney during 1999-2000, I spent my Sunday mornings teaching Sunday School at the Indonesian
Presbyterian Church in Randwick. Although the church was an Indonesian church, we had to use English when teaching
because the students were no longer able to speak Indonesian fluently. One Sunday morning, because the class
was so noisy, I said, ‘Please shut-up!’ I wanted them to lower their noise. To my surprise
one of the students asked me, ‘How long have you been studying English?’ I was shocked.
I answered it honestly. I had been studying it for years since I was in elementary school. Later on my fellow
teacher explained that I should use ‘please be quite’ instead of ‘shut-up’.
The students thought I was being rude. I was so embarrassed. I will be more careful next time.
(Apriani Atahau, ADS Alumni).
Track #10 – Funny or Cute?
When I was a student, some friends and I went to a party and there was an American with her two-year-old daughter. ‘The
girl is beautiful. She is very funny’, we all said. Fortunately, the lady was a teacher.
She said, ‘I see you are trying to translate the expressions in your language into English. But,
in this case, the word funny is not appropriate. It can have a negative meaning. So you had better say cute instead.’
Track #11 – Surfing
When I first came to Bali I knew no Indonesian, but I was keen to speak it so usually I experimented with sentences
by guessing and putting words together. One day I was sitting on the beach and a lady came up to me offering
to sell me a sarong. I wanted to tell her that I had no money but I didn't know how so I decided to guess. ‘Saya
tidak orang’, I said. The lady stared at me in horror and touched me on the arm! Realising I wasn't
a ghost, she started to laugh and told me that it was ‘uang’ and that the word for ‘to
have’ was ‘punya’. I'll never forget my Indonesian lesson that day. So
the moral is don't be afraid to make mistakes — it's a great way of learning!
(Sarah Wood, an Australian exchange teacher working at IALF Bali)
Communicating in Australia
Track #12 – How to Begin a Conversation
I was surprised when I learnt that it was taboo to ask questions in your first meeting with Australian people.
How can we be acquainted with someone if we don't ask questions? We Indonesian people usually ask questions
to encourage friendship. That is our way to start a conversation. In Australia, however, we can't do that. Asking
questions in the first meeting with a stranger means intruding on someone's privacy. What Australian people
do is to make a general comment about something. Afterwards, we have to wait for the person's response. If there
isn't a response that means there isn't a conversation. To be honest, it is very funny for me as an Indonesian
Note: Yes, I agree Rony, it does seem funny from an Indonesian point of view! To understand why it's like that
though, we have to remember that in Australian culture you show your respect to others by respecting their space
and privacy. First, it's really important when you approach someone to read their non-verbal language to make
sure that they really want to be approached. Then you have to work out if they feel like having a conversation.
By making general comments you are giving them the chance to show if they want to talk or not. If they don't
respond much that means they don't feel like talking at the moment. In Australian culture it is OK if someone
just wants to be left alone sometimes. We see that as normal and healthy. If they do want to talk, we can ask
questions but we're careful with personal questions because we don't want to intrude on their privacy. So for
example if we want to find out where they live instead of asking, ‘What's your address?’ we
might ask, ‘Do you live around here?’ That way they don't feel pressured to give a
direct answer if they don't want to. In the same way, instead of asking ‘What's your name?’,
we might just introduce ourselves with a digression, for example, ‘Oh by the way, I'm Rony.’ Then
they can either choose to introduce themselves or not.
Track #13 – Reading Habits
Reading is a common hobby in Australia. During leisure time Australians often read novels and newspapers. This
is often done on trains and buses, during lunch time or relaxing at home or even at the beach. In Melbourne
we have a free magazine called ‘MX’ that is issued every afternoon. It has become ‘compulsory
reading’ and it is funny seeing most people on the train reading ‘MX’.
It is a really entertaining magazine. This is in contrast to Indonesia where reading habits are not so popular,
even in libraries. I'm already used to the reading habits of Aussies. Back here in Indonesia people use their
spare time for gossiping or taking a nap, even though it is during working time. My workmates tease me when
I take my reading wherever I go. They often say, ‘Don't be so diligent to read.’ What
a different context I face now!
(Evi Salasiah, ADS Alumni)
Track #14 – Bush Dancing!
I stayed in Perth almost a month. It is a clean and friendly city to stay in. Last weekend I was invited by Karen
Bailey, from SIDE, School of Isolated and Distance Education, to go to a bush dance. I assumed that we would
be transferred to some kind of forest with tall grass to do bush dancing. So I thought I would need clothing
that can protect myself like a pair of boots to protect my feet, a long-sleeve top to protect me from mosquitoes
and a hat of course. Since I didn't have them I just wore pants, a T-shirt and pair of sandals. I arrived at
the dance to see no forest at all! I entered the building where I saw some friends. There was lots of food and
drink and a band. They looked like country musicians — cowboy hats, leather vests and big boots. We started
chatting, eating and drinking. An hour later the guitarist asked us to gather around and make a big circle.
There were series of dances. First it was an easy one but then it became more difficult AND more fun. We basically
had to move our arms, legs and head a lot. We jumped up and down a lot and also reversing and changing spots.
The beat was slow at first but gradually it became faster and faster. We were not allowed to stop while the
music was playing. So, you could imagine how we ended up breathless! Age doesn't matter. Children, teenagers
and adults are all welcome. The only thing for sure is that you must posses strong stamina and be prepared because
after dancing you will feel a painful calf! It's FUN though. Bush dancing is really fun.
(by Fitriana Nur, Participant of Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) 2004, Perth, Western
Australia. Ana wrote to KGRE in late February 2004.)
Track #15 – Asking for Help and Saying Thank You
The thing about Australia that surprised me, when I learned about it in CC study, is the way Australians ask
for help. I thought before that Westerners were very informal in their manners and language, as I'd always seen
in Hollywood movies. But I was wrong; I didn't realize that although they are very informal in daily speaking
they have to use special words when asking for help. For example: ‘Would you please’, ‘Could
you please’, ‘Would you mind’, and so on. The word ‘please’ is
a very common word in asking for help, and if we don’t use it, Australians will think that we’re
being very rude. And after we receive what we asked for, we must say ‘thank you’ or ‘thanks’.
This is quite different in Indonesia, people do not say ‘thank you’ as often as Australians
do. Moreover, Australians speak like this to all people, whether they are children or elderly people, a taxi
driver or the prime minister.
Track #16 – Berapa Harga Dalam Celana?
An Australian man visited a supermarket in Indonesia. He had just started learning Bahasa Indonesia, so he could
not speak very fluently. He wanted to buy some underwear so asked the shop-assistant in Indonesian, ‘Berapa
harga dalam celana?’ (How much for underneath the pants?). This guy thought that the Indonesian
language had the same structure as English! Of course the shop-assistant laughed and the Australian man had
to ask him for clarification. Now he understands about the structure of Indonesian!
Track #17 – He Left Forever
When I was in senior high school, I got to know an Australian man — a father of three children. This man
was the foster father of one of my classmates. This Aussie and I wrote letters and sometimes I sent cassettes
because he liked dangdut songs. One day, the father of a mutual friend had an accident and I wanted to let my
Aussie friend know, so I wrote in my letter, ‘Her father left the family forever’.
My Aussie friend was shocked and wrote back asking why my friend's father had left the family forever. I then
explained that my friend's father was dead because of the accident. I realised then that we can't just translate
Indonesian expressions like ‘meninggalkan keluarga untuk selama-lamanya’ directly into
English. Instead, we have to say ‘passed way’. A different language, expresses the same
ideas in a different words.