I was twelve when my parents decided to relocate their family of seven from Indonesia to the Netherlands. It was 1966. As soon as the plane touched down at Amsterdam airport, my father said, ‘From now on I don’t want you to speak Indonesian anymore. You must learn to speak Dutch as quickly as possible.’ Probably because I was a good Asian daughter, I did. As our family chose the immigrant strategy of rapid assimilation into the ‘host society’, I stepped into a new world – a Western Europe in ferment. In my desire to create a meaningful identity for myself in this advanced white world, I embroiled myself in the new political and intellectual movements that swept across the West in the ‘radical’ decades of the 1960s and 1970s and, for better or worse, became what I am today – a cultural studies intellectual. Indonesia, the place we left behind, gradually disappeared from my dreams and worries, although never completely: my childhood years spent in the heat and dust of Surabaya have always remained somewhere in the back of my mind.