Bondowoso / Cultural Observations / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People

Cultural Observations, #1: Body Pillows

My ibu’s bed and her body pillow camouflaged against her dizzying sheets.

Some days ago I was in the best sleeping position ever nestled in between pillows and a blanket. The spot was so sweet I couldn’t even sleep, as an ode to my body pillow flowed through my head. The ode was really terrible, and I’ll spare you from reading it, but here’s what I will share: Body pillows are amazing.

Before coming to Indonesia, I thought body pillows were silly objects used by pregnant women and people with back problems. But here, a body pillow is an essential sleeping apparatus, expected to be included with every respectable bed. Everyone uses it. Ibus, bapaks, children – and now, most likely, every PCV. In fact, I’m willing to bet most of us will be prowling through Bed, Bath & Beyond on our first week back home for one of these, with good reason.

Indonesians have erratic sleeping patterns. They seem to hardly sleep through the night since most get up to pray at 3 or 4am, and don’t seem to go back to sleep since a usual work/school day starts at 5 or 6. Because of this, they sleep through the afternoon. These are sleep patterns I cannot get used to, but body pillows – Indonesia, I’m totally with you on that.

My host brother taking his nap after school. Note the body pillow in his unusual sleeping arrangement.

Only the best bee sheets for my body pillow. =)

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