Last week I was sitting in the English department office, eating lunch and chatting with some coworkers. The conversation went something like this:
Me: A good strategy is– uh… there’s a mouse in here.
Coworker: Huh? Oh, tsk tsk.
Me: Umm… well, okay, a good strategy is…
Yes, there was a rodent scurrying around the English office, and nobody seemed to be bothered by it. I’m not sure if it was a mouse or a rat. The body was maybe 5 inches long, plus a couple more inches if you add the tail. Is that mouse-sized? But it had a really pronounced snout, which I considered more rat-like. And since the word for both rat and mouse in Indonesian is “tukus,” hearing my coworkers sigh “Oh, tukus” didn’t help me either. No matter what you call it, no one really cared all that much. Predictably, I reacted the most out of any of my coworkers. But the odd thing is, I didn’t even react that strongly. Sure, I would have preferred if there weren’t a small rat wandering around. But I continued chatting and eating, occasionally stomping my foot or emitting a small squeal if the creature approached too closely. A couple coworkers made half-hearted attempts to shoo it out of the office, but that was about the extent of it. I’m not sure I would have been this calm 7 months ago. And I certainly wouldn’t have been this blasé if a small mammal were crawling around any of the other offices I’ve worked at. Actually, I can’t imagine seeing a rat/mouse in any other place I’ve worked. But this is Indonesia, and there are mice and rats here. And sometimes they want to have lunch in the English office.