Regarding TCK #1

by Amalia

I’m slowly reading this book: Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, Revised Edition. The author lists some of the challenges of being a third culture kid (TCK). One of them describes the challenge that I always face…

TCKs are often sadly ignorant of national, local, and even family history. How many rides to various relatives’ homes are filled with parents coaching TCKs about who is related to whom?

People know that I’m quite ignorant about Indonesia, but not many people know that I have a bad memory of my own relatives’ names and their relations to my parents! My mom’s family is soooooooo huge that no matter how many times my mom explains to me about how they relate to her, those information just can’t stay in my brain! Worst still, I barely remember their names. It’s so bad. Every time I meet them, my smile and basa-basi become my only weapon. Otherwise, I’m screwed! hahaha.

Few things make people, including TCKs, feel more left out than seeing everyone else laughing at something they can’t understand as funny.

Been there, done that. It’s the most frustrating thing to not being able to understand what people are talking about. Not only that, their hesitation to explain to me about their conversation makes it so much worst. I did end up crying once — in front of my friends, and they’re all heartless boys — because they always made me feel like I didn’t deserve to know what they talked about. Every time I asked them what they meant, they always said "oh, you don’t understand" or "how come you didn’t know?!" and so on… It’s okay if you wanna make fun of me, but do please explain! Some people just need a little bit of punch to understand this thing 😛