Just to let you know…

30 09 2009

There was yet another major earthquake here in Indonesia. It was centered in Padung, on the island of Sumatra. One of the ETAs, Ab, is in that city and none of us have been able to get a hold of him, and that was a few hours ago. Please think good thoughts for him and for everyone on the islands– these seem to be dangerous times!

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Finally, a reliable internet connection.

30 09 2009

So a while back (like two weeks ago…) I tried posting a blog about our time in Bandung. However, the Novotel internet didn’t think I should get to a good saving point, so it crashed. And then I didn’t have the patience to try again.

Thankfully, I’m now in Surabaya, getting settled and situated.

But, I really enjoyed Bandung and the fun we had there, so I’ll get you all up to date with the highlights of the three weeks there.

In addition to all of the adventures, we also had teacher training and lessons in Bahasa Indonesia. Saya bisa sedikit bahasa Indonesia… sedikit-sedikit! (I can speak very little Indonesian! Very very little!)

And when I’m touching only on the highlights of travel, I like to use pictures.
Without further ado…

Actually, just kidding. My internet connection is being lame and I definitely need to get some shut eye.  Good night, lovely people.





In just 6 hours…

25 09 2009

I will be on a bus to Jakarta, where I will then pay a boatload of money (at least on Indo standards) and fly me and my two suitcases to Surabaya at 14:00.

And I like my teacher, too. Her name is Ennik. She’s small and softspoken, but I bet she gets rambunctious once you get to know her. AND… she drives a motorcycle.

Anyway, I don’t know how long it will take to get everything set up there, so for now, farewell, dear internet!

Sampai jumpa! (Hasta luego/see ya!)





Quick update

22 09 2009

Hello beautiful people,

The past 2 weeks in Bandung have been exciting, all sorts if sickening, and an all-around good time. Life is good, but my internet is too slow here to even upload a picture. There are things that are definitely worth seeing, so I’m going to wait until Saturday when I get to Surabaya (where I’ll have fast wireless internet in my room, unlike Novotel…) to upload pictures from the adventures.

Love you all and hope life is good back home or wherever life has you now 🙂
–Dani

Oh, and PS, my mom joined twitter. MLIAwesome!





Photos so far

6 09 2009

These are my favorite pictures that I’ve taken so far. All are from Jakarta, and Bandung pictures will be up soon (and by that I mean, “when I actually take some.”)

More antique market fun in Jakarta

More antique market fun in Jakarta

nom nom nom.

nom nom nom.

Maybe the Loch Ness monster was actually a Komodo?

Maybe the Loch Ness monster was actually a Komodo?

I

In the colonial Dutch area of Jakarta.

Tea tastes a little rustier from these antique teapots.

Tea tastes a little rustier from these antique teapots.

Everybody's going green, right?

Everybody's going green, right?

Extremely useful way to keep people out of the big cat cages. I'm not so sure it works the other way around.

Extremely useful way to keep people out of the big cat cages. I'm not so sure it works the other way around.

Reminds me of a wonderful Regina Spektor song, "Dance Anthem of the 80s."

Reminds me of a wonderful Regina Spektor song, "Dance Anthem of the 80s."

So wordpress is being a butthead. I’ll just blatantly post the link to Dance Anthem here. (That’s for Iain 🙂





Uh-huh, I’m all shook up!

3 09 2009

Well yesterday sure was exciting. Day 4 in Jakarta and we face a 7.0 earthquake and a tsunami warning.  Surely a sign of things to come? Let’s hope not.

Since we’ve been in Indonesia, we’ve been meeting with government officials, local educators, talking with other expats, and getting a general idea of what to expect while we’re here. Basically, the culture is very different, bathrooms are a nightmare, and so is traffic. Bugs are a completely different story. (I have to tell you a quick bug story though: I woke up to a big fatty cucaracha on the ceiling, right above my head. Towel snapping commenced shortly after.)

These are not clouds. This is smog.

These are not clouds. This is smog.

My view from the hotel. Again, not cloudy.

My view from the hotel. Again, not cloudy.

(By the way, those two photos have not been edited. At all. I wish I could clear away that smog.)

Michael McCoy, our local executive director of AMINEF, has been meeting with us and briefing us on expat educator life here. From the stories, we’re all going to die, basically. It really sounds like our time here is going to be filled with misery and illness (vehicular injuries, never-adjusting stomach ailments, dengue, malaria, rabies from monkeys and every dog in Bali, etc.) I really hope that this won’t be the case, but it really did take a few days before we heard the good things about living here. Already, I really enjoy the people. They smile, ALL THE TIME. They acknowledge you as you pass, and from what I’ve heard, they’re naturally curious. But we were warned not to be offended, because they really do ask VERY personal questions within the first 5 seconds of meeting you.

Today alone I was asked if I was married, if I had children, (and why I didn’t when I said no.) I was asked if I was fasting for Ramadan or if I was a Christian, and I was asked if I liked Asian men. I said that I like all people, and therefore he wanted to introduce me to a friend of his. WELL… if it weren’t so taboo, I probably would start responding how I threatened to back at Kyllo’s when the next new guy asked for my number. Then I realized it’s not like that, it’s just cultural. It’s going to take some getting used to.

I heard a pretty good joke today about why Indonesians are so curious.

Q: “Why do they ask such personal questions all the time?”
A: “The weather never changes here. Thus, no small-talk.”

In the opinion of an Oregonian, I find that funny. I always chatted with my customers about the weather. That’s all they wanted to know. When it was warm, it was “surprisingly nice.” When it was gross, it was “because the Valley was hot.” Here it’s just Scheizheiß all the time because we’re on the flipping Equator.

Speaking of German words… there’s a German news station here. I’ve been watching it in the mornings as I’m getting ready, and I definitely understand more on that station than the Indonesian local stations. However, whenever I try and communicate in a language that isn’t English, I immediately start saying words auf Deutsch. I was trying to convey “No electricity” and I said “kein” instead of “tidak.” I don’t even know what gender “electricity” is.
There’s something wrong with me. Dengue messes with your mind, right?  Haha.

We were also told that there are certain places in the country that we are not allowed to go to, under any circumstances. The secret service is watching! (Seriously, they told us this.) Central Sulawesi, anywhere near East Timor, or anywhere around Papua. About Papua we were warned, “This is a place where they are killing
each other, and this is also a place where they still eat each other.”
Suddenly, Papua lost some of its appeal.

Tomorrow, we leave the Aston Marina hotel and its glorious internet in the lobby for Bandung. I was told that Bandung is where about 50% of clothing worn in the US is produced. This is going to be the outlet of outlets, and I need some long sleeved shirts. And more pants. PANTS. I do not want pants! “Surabaya’s just like Jakarta, but smaller and hotter.” Not exactly the words I wanted to hear, but whatever, I’ll get used to it. Cassie’s place has a pool, so I’ll live.

Speaking of living, I am alive after yesterday’s 7.0 earthquake. We were on our way to the zoo, stopped on a little rickety bridge when it happened. There were several large trucks driving past us, so I thought it was caused by a truck. Our taxi driver started pointing up, like at the trucks up, and then he started laughing. It kept going even after the trucks stopped passing by, so I was a little concerned, but it didn’t seem like anyone else was worried. I said “earthquake?” and shook my hands like the ground would in the case of an earthquake. He shook his head no. And then I was at ease.

BATMAN

THEN WE WENT TO THE ZOO!!! We paid 4,000 Rupiah to get in (about 40 cents US) and it was awesome. It was strangely empty (probably due to the huge earthquake that we didn’t notice…) but all the animals were out and about. The orangutans were hands down my favorite. They looked like little old men. Oh, and imagine a bat with a body the size of a football. Then add wings. They were way cool!

Notice his hat of feathers. :D

Notice his hat of feathers. 😀

And then we found the Komodo dragons. When I saw the largest of the dragons, a string of profanities was the best way to explain my reaction. You could hear it thud walk. Thud… thud… thud… thud… Very slow, but clearly powerful. I would not want to run into that guy in a dark alley, an open field, or on a deserted island. No friggin way. I’m still going to the national park on a weekend, though!Komodo friggin dragon!

And I think I’ve written enough for now. Take care, lovelies!

And to the Kyllo’s crew:
Somebody called my mom to check on me, thanks for that. So in return, I made something that you might get a kick out of. Enjoy!  Trishie poo :)





Update

3 09 2009

Hey all,

I just got a bunch of messages about the quake that happened yesterday. I’m fine, life is good. We went to the zoo. It was the best zoo on the planet for an admission of 40 cents. I’ll tell more about it later, but for now, I have to go visit the immigration office… sounds like fun to me!








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