Meeting “the mysterious Man from Austria”

This morning I met “the man from Austria”.

He is living in Sumba since over 20 years now and I would definitely say he is more Indonesian than Austrian now. Needless to say that he is fluent in speaking Bahasa and even his thinking seems much more Indonesian than European in any way.

He has got his own small farm (11 dogs, 30 or 50 ducks, 550 pigeons and a lot of pigs) here and since “Deutsche Welle” changed their broadcasting-system from radio to internet, he is not listening to European news anymore at all.

So he’s blank and absolutely uninformed?

No. He seems to be very much informed and aware of what is going on in the world! He just doesn’t bother himself with the details anymore, which is very smart if you ask me.

Rudi and Takdir

Even though he is 71 years old already, he is aware about the influence of “the almighty internet” and regrets a bit not knowing or understanding it more. He’s not really ambitious to learn more about it though.

As he didn’t know Multiple Sclerosis as well, he seems a very remarkable person to me.

Waikabubak and the mysterious “man from Austria”

Waikububak is remote. Even for Indonesian people living in Sumba its quite far off the path. But still there is a foreigner here – living here for some years already. He seems to have made “80% bad experiences” here, but he somehow managed to survive and having started the 20%. That is at least what Tadir, a guy that both of us know told me and that’s basically all I know.

MS – I thought I was indestructible

Well, I am not. After the second night with few/bad sleep, I was cruising through the beautiful 3rd world-jungle of the island of Sumba on the backseat of a local Ojek-driver (please note, its NOT a Go-jek-driver, it seems to be the precursor) and while I slowly started to realize that I am really knee-deep in an amazingly beautiful environment, I had a hard time not falling off that bike.

Small adjustments of the truth

If you ask a local person “Possible?” and the expected answer is as simple as “yes” or “no”, you might not get a true answer. The answer you might get is the answer that the person you asked thinks(!) you want to hear.

Why?

Probably its an act of politeness or even respect, but the answer is not necessarily true in a western meaning and I am a westerner.

Let me give you an example

If u ask how a third person is doing and the asked person thinks you are really interested in the wellbeing of the third person, you will probably get the answer “she/he is doing good” – even if the third person is quite sick.

Whats your problem with something minor like this?

My personal problem with such a minor adjustment like this is that I am really having a problem in building up trust and adjustment after adjustment is making it extra-hard for me to trust.

What does this have to do with Multiple Sclerosis?

The MS shook me in my foundations. The diagnosis literally took away the base that I was standing on and left me in a free fall. Loosing something quite essential like my ability to walk, slowing down my previously rather eloquent tongue and so much more.

So I long for trust – maybe more than ever before in my life.

Kuala Lumpur and me

I am on my so-called “visa-run” in Kuala Lumpur now. I booked a great place on a platform I don’t want to mention here, but you all probably know it. The place is quite good, the pool(s) are great, but probably Kuala Lumpur and me will never be best friends.

Why not? What is it you don’t like there?

Kula Lumpur is a mega-hot and mega-big megacity. Maybe its simply that. KL is very dirty and very hectic (probably like most cities classified as megacities), but maybe the reason is in my head like so many things of my disease are.

Kuala Lumpur-Pool

How do you mean?

I was negative about my visa-run. I expected it to be annoying, hot and hectic, that may be the reason why it became exactly that. Some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy

Like so many things, fears and negative expectations seem to become true in Multiple Sclerosis.

What to do about it?

In my opinion meditation and generally calming down ones mind might help. Unfortunately I failed to get it in my stubborn German mind so far. Maybe it would have changed this whole trip.