Monday, January 30, 2012

School | Nissin and Coca Cola Field Trip

Today, I hit an important landmark as a teacher: my first field trip. Fortunately, Ibu Maria, the Indonesian instructor, arranged for the whole thing and I just got to go along for the ride! Our first stop was the Nissin Biscuit factory in Ungaran (somewhere between here and Semarang). Pardon the rough quality of this picture, I took it while some of my girls blocked for me and the guard accompanying us was looking the other direction (I momentarily felt like a spy on an espionage mission :)

You know that saying about a kid in a candy store? It should be changed to the kid in a biscuit factory. After asking a plethora of questions ranging from the annual salary of a worker to which biscuit was best, the kids made their way to the shop and managed to purchase enough to last them well past Valentine's Day.

Of course, after buying so many biscuits, crackers, and wafers (pronunced waffers) the kids needed something to wash it down with, so we headed to the Coca-Cola factory.

After an unlimited flow of Coke, we watched several promotional videos (entirely in Indonesian) before heading to the factory floor. Before I was told to stop taking pictures, I snagged this shot of the bottling process (which is quite different here since mostly glass bottles are dispensed, recycled and refilled). In the top right corner, you can see the two-story dishwasher...pretty cool!

 Planning ahead for my unrational fear of vomit, I bribed the students in my car with a prize if all of them made it back without puking. It worked for my car but unfortunately for the bus the temptation of endless soda and cookies was too much to bear and four went down on the ride home. And now, since the bell has rung, I'm off to a much-needed shower and nap!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chinese New Year | Solo City | Indonesia

Here in Indonesia, Chinese New Year is a national holiday which resulted in our third consecutive three-day weekend. Because my roomate's sister was coming into town (hint hint Haley) we decided to make a weekend of going to pick her up. Since none of us had spent much time in Solo, that's where we flew her into. I spent the majority of our weekend here, by the pool:

Yes, in January, I spent the weekend by the good perk of living on the equator! We went to several malls and saw not one but TWO movies in a real theater!

We also got to see some Chinese New Year celebrations and try some new, yummy treats. My favorite one we dubbed "The Bun". I have no idea what the actual name is but I was also able to sample one of these sweet and savory treats in Hong Kong. It's basically a white, sticky bun filled with a variety of savory and sweet choices. I have experienced both barbecued pork and choclat (which was actually red bean) but the latter of the two was my favorite:

We were fortunate enough to see the Solo Fashion Show, which featured come pretty interesting apparel:

Her hair was quite possibly my favorite but unfortunately, it got cut off in the picture. More interesting, perhaps, were her shoes. Platform gladiators, minus a stiletto or any form of heel. Pretty impressive that the models were able to make it down the runway in those!

I leave you with one more final image from the poolside, for all of you who are stateside and will hopefully experience some real winter-weather soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm a Pepper!

Rumor began circulating around Salatiga, early last week, that Dr. Pepper had landed in Salatiga. I was skeptical for several days until two of my colleagues showed up at recess, drinking Dr. Pepper!

Apparently, it was being stocked at Toko Jimmy's, which I have heard about since my arrival but never visited. After recieving a make-shift map (streets aren't labeled anyways) I drove to the outskirts of Salatiga, where I saw a small white sign on a moss-covered fence, indicating I had found the alley leading to Jimmy's. Toko Jimmy's is literally in the living room of someone's house BUT check it out!:

Yes, that's a 12 pack...and it only cost $12. Yes, $12. And worth every penny :)
I was so excited, I had to do something special:

Also, equally as rare as Dr. Pepper, was a package of pork (yes, pork!) bacon in the freezer section. Since the pig is considered unclean in the muslim faith, pork products are rather difficult to come by here. Two homeruns in one day. Despite it's location, Jimmy's is definitely on my regular shopping route now!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Seoul | South Korea

Last weekend, I stopped through Seoul on the way back to Indonesia. Aside from the freezing cold weather and my lack of jacket, it was a pretty awesome city!

Above: an ancient palace that we toured in the middle of the city. 

Ever heard of the lover's bridge in Paris? Korea has one too! Couples can attach a padlock to the fence to symbolize their eternal love. This stretched the entire perimeter of the outlook point. Wonder how many of them are still together?
My hotel was on top of one of these shops. Great location!
Another part of the palace. Note the frozen pond around the island.
Juxtaposition of old and new.
And for those of you on the Hollon side of the family, I got to meet up with Eddie and his family for a few minutes during their housewarming party Saturday night.

Hong Kong coming soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Heading Home | Dallas | USA

Tomorrow, I embark on this journey, back to Indonesia. 
7 flights, 6 countries, 5 days. 

Luckily, I get to tour on the way!