When Indonesian & French Collided

It was a cool autumn day. The trees are changing colors and the humidity is pretty much gone.

Two women sitting in a café, one with a cappuccino and the other with an espresso although she doesn’t really drink coffee, she was kind enough to meet up for coffee.

Coffee friends
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: namuit

They had ‘met’ online and bonded really well with similarities that drew them together. Such as being immigrants to the US of A, being married to Americans, both have boys, and most of all, both loves blogging. One is a French born and one is Indonesian,  it didn’t take long for the friendship to grow.

So tell me, did you ever get that famous culture shock moments when you first got here?” asked the Indonesian girl.

Maryline drew a smile, her mind wondering back to some years ago “You bet! I remember the overwhelming sensation of wide open space, a different relationship to distances, and the blatant demonstration of bigger is better. Gigantic soul-less shopping centers with the largest parking lots I have ever seen. 6 or 7-lane highways with cars competing for the most wheels you can have, the most leg room and the largest cargo space.”

Oh yeah…I know what you means!” they both smiled in agreements only immigrants can understands.

Maryline continues, “It was physically and emotionally overwhelming. I was missing the quaint towns, the proximity of things that belong together (and have for centuries!), the feeling of warmth and having-your-things together when you can easily wrap your arms around them. We have a French saying that says “The smaller, the cuter” (Plus c’est petit, plus c’est mignon). There is some truth to that!

They went on to talk about this. Comparing how things are between the great US of A and their own home countries. There are of course things that they both miss but they also love their adopted country.

Hey, is that true that French language is the sexiest in the world? Well, I have friends who thinks that’s true!” asked Maureen, remembering her college friends and how eager they were in learning how to say I love you and I miss you perfectly in French.

The French beauty threw her head back and started to laugh before continuing “It is?? I had no idea! I thought Spanish was, especially Spanish from Spain. Muy caliente!” More laugther from both.

The chit-chat turns into the blogsphere and their love for it. Maryline’s blog although still in infancy has grown so much in just a mere 3 months. How many blogs can reach that points? It truly is amazing. So Maureen just has to asked her “What’s your secret, girl? Your blog really has taken off in such a short time!

Again, Maryline laugh – and her laugh is so contagious “My blog has grown a lot? You’re kidding!? I am not sure what you are comparing it to, but in the absolute, yes, it’s grown. More readers, more posts, more subject matters. I think blogging integrity is key. If you say you blog about your life, don’t make it up. I’d also add that consistency is a must have to establish a loyal and coherent readership. If you pick a theme, stick to it. As long as you are honest and genuine, then connections will happen. I enjoy blogging a lot more now that I take more loosely — low stress, yet high expectations but no sweats over stats every day or must-post-daily. Not worth it!

“Surprisingly I can now go an entire day without logging on to Google Analytics! 🙂

Both laughing again “Hah, yeah the Analytics, isn’t it addicting to see those numbers go up? But you’re right I love that…integrity is key!

Maryline has been writing with just that, integrity and her heart. Her posts are genuine, sometimes comical but maybe that’s how they can get along so well in that small café being that’s the first time these two meet in persons because she’s real. She’s genuine and her writing depicts her personality.

She then shared her most fun and dear posts “The most fun: Because I love lists and this one ought to be viral!! 10 Email Tips to Maximize Counter-Performance We have a tie for the most dear: After the Butterflies Leave and No Domestic Diva.

These two shared their hopes and dreams for their ‘babies’ aka their blogs,  “I hope not hosted by Bluehost anymore. They’ve been very unreliable.” Mutual understanding laughter here “But seriously, I see it being the same, just me. Me and my cultural facts, my silly analogies with marriage and sex, my attempts at staying in shape with running and triathlons, my motherhood testimonials. Maybe with a new design? I would love the help of a designer to personalize my header and develop a color theme. For now, I am just continuing my work with words.

Amen, sistah!” Both agree that no matter where their blogs are heading they would stick with being true to their voices.

They switched gears to talk about the inevitable, motherhood, specially mothering mixed culture kids. Maryline has been speaking French exclusively to her son since he was born to maintain the balance of the two influencing cultures. She has a really cute nickname for her boy “Poisson”. Realizing it or not, she’s been doing One Parent One Language method in raising Poisson.

It’s hard because when other people get involved in our conversations I automatically switch to English. I should make an effort to continue speaking French, so that my husband and friends can also pick up some French 🙂 Overall it’s working out well because my son and I spend a fair amount of time one one one, and we only speak French then. I only read him French books, and sing French songs. He loves music!

True story for you: we’ve had two different friends who’ve watched Poisson recently as well as our caregiver tell us that they hear a French intonation in his baby speech. I cannot wait for him to talk more!!

That’s exciting isn’t? To think that our kiddos will master two languages (if not more) will really benefit them in the long run.

Again, both nodded and smiled knowingly.

The chats continues, they talked, they laughed and most importantly their friendship grows.

Thanks for being such a wonderful friend, Maryline. I hope one day – we will have a chance to grab those coffees and doing just this!

This has been my week 4 submission for Back 2 School, Back 2 Blogging.

Kludgy Mom




Lifestyle and travel blogger, founder of Single Moms Indonesia on a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook



  1. October 7, 2010 / 11:24 am

    Wow, just wow, you did an amazing job! I am very impressed!
    You know what’s funny, I can totally see it in real life, it really felt like we were having that conversation around a cup of coffee…
    Thank goodness for emails & Twitter!!
    There is something to be said about new medias and how they’ve changed the lives of millions of expats throughout the world!! I would miss my family too much, I have seen my nephew (who is the same age as Poisson) only twice since he was born. Sometimes I don’t see my parents for 18 months at a time! So the video conference is a huge help. My family also gets to see my little boy grow!

    Can I share a secret? Just you and I and the rest of the world watching?

    You and I are just the same. We were bloggy soulmates made in Heaven!

    And our boys? Are the most handsome boys I have ever seen 🙂 No bias!

    Much love to you Maureen, you are one of a kind.
    Maryline recently posted..Declutter Tuesday – CrossroadMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:28 pm

      So true on thanks God for Twitter, Emails & Chats 😀
      I wish one day we would be doing just this, having girls talk over coffees (or something else).
      I love your little secret, we really are bloggy soulmates and I am so happy to be your friend and hope our friendships will continue to blossoms. Thanks for being you, Maryline!

      Love ya!

  2. October 7, 2010 / 7:00 pm

    It is YOUR blog and voice that has grown as well, Mo.

    I coincidentally love and enjoy immensely both you and Maryline…b/c of the fresh, new perspective you bring to my world.

    You help me international without leaving my home.

    I love you both, and that is why others do, too.

    Discovering such wonderful, honest, humble, adorable women like you are what keep me putting in “free” hours on the computer.

    I love you both, sincerely.!

    What a wonderful post!
    Alexandra recently posted..SuperModel On My Days OffMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:29 pm

      Aww you really have a way of making others feels special, Alexandra. Thank you for all your kind words. I love you for your genuine caring words and your sweetness.

      Can’t wait to work with you on that ‘post’ we were talking about.

      Love you! XOXO

  3. October 7, 2010 / 8:00 pm

    Wonderful post! I enjoyed eavesdropping in on your shared conversation. You both are inspiring bloggers! Keep up the wonderful work!
    Jessica recently posted..Girls have more to lose than boysMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:30 pm

      Thanks Jessica, I want the world to know more about this special girl, Maryline 😀

  4. October 7, 2010 / 8:20 pm

    What a wonderful post. Being and expat myself I can relate to many statements made in this post! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I’m a new follower.

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:31 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Box of Chocolates! 😀 Love your name btw!

  5. October 7, 2010 / 8:34 pm

    Clever and fun to read, Maureen. Loved it!!! and I have been pleased to get to know Maryline through B2S/B2B and am so happy she’s part of the challenge!
    gigi recently posted..Tour de CaliforniaMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:32 pm

      Thank you, Gigi! You made this all possible because of your hard work so big big KUDOS to you! 😀

  6. October 7, 2010 / 10:00 pm

    This was excellent writing! Until I had read Maryline’s response I actually thought that you two had met in real life!
    You’re an incredible writer! Keep up the good work and in no time your blog will grow beyond your wildest dreams!

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:33 pm

      You are so sweet, Jackie! Thank you for your kind comment. I really wish Maryline and I live closer then we would be having plenty of coffees together lol.

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:34 pm

      I was worried it might be too long, but thank you so much, Jennifer 🙂 It comes so easy writing about someone you care deeply about.

  7. liz
    October 7, 2010 / 10:42 pm

    I love how it was fictional, but only kinda since we “know” the main characters of the story. 🙂

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:35 pm

      Thanks Liz, it was fun to write this 😀

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:36 pm

      Thanks, Joey! I sometimes imagines these things of how cool it would be to meet the fellow bloggers that I have become friends with in real life so it was really joyful to write a post about it.

  8. October 8, 2010 / 12:56 am

    thanks for stopping by!!! i’m looking forward to connecting with you more!!! 🙂 off to poke around! 😉
    julia recently posted..Mop up the savingsMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:36 pm

      Hi Julia! Thanks for visiting back and feel free to poke around, I need to return to your blog and learn more 😀

  9. October 8, 2010 / 3:48 am

    Awesome! How wonderful to have met your bloggy soulmate! Now for you two to meet over coffee in real life…

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:37 pm

      Hopefully, someday down the road…it will happen. Thank you! 😀

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:37 pm

      Thank you Serene! 😀

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:38 pm

      Hi Jo, thanks so much for the award, that’s very sweet of you! 😀

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:39 pm

      I second that, some of the greatest friendships I have made in real life blossomed online and I’m so happy Maryline is one of them.

  10. October 8, 2010 / 12:17 pm

    Omg, I didn’t know this wasn’t real life until the end of your posts. I really thought ya’ll had met in a coffee shop! You did an awesome job on this. This is a really beautiful friendship.
    L. Eleana recently posted..A Tale of 3 BloggersMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 9, 2010 / 8:40 pm

      LOL thanks Eleana! I thought it would be fun to wrote something a little different and it’s so awesome to know that you think it did happened in real life – maybe someday it will 😀

  11. October 12, 2010 / 10:35 pm

    I must admit that I thought this was a real encounter. It was a beautifully written story. I do have to tell you as someone that has traveled abroad a fair amount, you do get the same sense as an immigrant when you return home. It seems wrong to drive everywhere and shop at the megamarts. I think we were meant to walk and shop at markets and eat at cafes.

    But then you settle back into life. And the way of life. I love this country. Just wish it had more of an international flair 😉
    Fadra recently posted..How to Throw a Dinner PartyMy Profile

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