Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jakarta | Indonesia

Thanks to the high school basketball tournament over the weekend, we celebrated our fifth 3-day weekend since Christmas break by taking a trip to Jakarta. It was a much-needed getaway to civilization. I don't mean that to sound derogatory towards where I currently reside, but high-speed internet and air-conditioning are nice once in awhile! Here's a quick instagram overview of our trip:

We got up Saturday morning and drove to Solo, about an hour away. Luckily our flight was only delayed an hour (which is a comparatively short delay in Indonesia). Upon arriving, Kari and I hit up Grand Indonesian mall for some much needed culinary normalcy. After browsing the food court, we topped off our meal with a Dairy Queen Blizzard. Yes, Blizzard. Yum.

Our hotel was super posh and in a great location across from two malls. But, getting there involved walking across a footbridge littered with various Indonesian trinkets for sale. Here's a view of the infamous Jakarta traffic from the bridge: 

The next day, we woke up and went to church...real church. We even got a headset with an English translation. After the service, we immediately hopped on a bus to the nearest Domino's.

Indonesia has left me feeling somewhat pizza deprived, thanks to many ketchup substitutes, so I'm proud to say that I downed a whole 10" pizza, by myself. It even had real pepperoni's. I also got to enjoy the big-city conveniences of an English-language bookstore and Coffee Bean. Simultaneously. I also discovered the joys of bubble tea.

The weekend culminated with the piercing of my cartlidge. The internet is a bit slow this week so I can't upload the video, compliments of Kriston (it involves some squealing) but with a sealed, sterilized needle and some latex gloves it was a success!

In other news, international day took place today (we presented France)...posts to follow this weekend.

Also, my passport is on it's way back from the Indian embassy in Jakarta, with a new visa, which means 
One week from Saturday. Yesssssss.
To get the rest of you as excited as I am for this backpacking adventure, here is some vintage inspiration:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

School | Growing Cilantro

Unfortunately, the rain got to it first. It was about 2 pm and Pak Budi came by my classroom with a giant plastic bag. Inside was my Valentine's package. Although it was sweet of him to deliver, it was strange because normally I have to go to the business office to pick up packges.

You might notice that this box appears to be yellow which might not seem weird except that the boxes from the USPS are white, not yellow. My box is yellow because it was haphazardly taped back together. Once I opened the plastic bag, I figured out why the business office wanted nothing to do with it:

I was almost knocked off my feet by the smell alone. Not only did I find coffee, salsa, soap, and books, but I also found some critters who had decided to hole up in the damp, fuzzy surroundings of my box. If you look closely, you can see the green dots that penetrated the cardboard.

I obviously reconized the mold (green and white fuzz) and the coffee grinds but was befuddled by the larger chunks that were also omnipresent. After Laura helped me salvage the belongings inside, I discovered that the large chunks were the cilantro seeds that had begun to sprout. At least we know that it can grow here!

At my request, my medicine had been stashed inside the bag of coffee beans, so that it wouldn't be taken by the customs guys. Unfortunately, it was apprehended in the course of this journey :( 
Eloise (above right) was looking pretty rough and my Valentine's letters are decomposing under a blanket of white fuzz but on the bright side, everything else except the salsa made it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Roti Bakar | Salatiga | Indonesia

Check. This. Out.

Most of you might think that this looks like the leftovers from a restaurant that you might feed to your dog, but I can assure you that what you are looking at is by far the BEST culinary treat that Indonesia has to offer. This is roti bakar. Another Indonesian street food, roti bakar literally means grilled bread...although, the term bread should be used loosely with this particular dish. Instead of explaining roti bakar, I took video of the woman preparing this delicacy on the cart in front of her house.

Take a loaf of bread. Make three butterfly-style cuts. Slather with layers of butter, chocolate sprinkles and condensed milk. Repeat for all three sections. Place on an open grill. Toast until golden brown. Add more butter just for kicks. Enjoy under tent. Die of heart attack.