Sunday, January 11, 2009

Indonesia and life

So I know that I should have posted the Monday I got back but I had some drama in my life and wasn't sleeping as much as I would like and nothing, nothing makes me less likely to want to update my blog as sleeping 4 hours a night and then teaching my kids all day.

Life in the Other Camp

Indonesia was amazing. Balikpapan isn't really a tourist area. If you read the guide books, they pretty much all say the same thing: Balikpapan is an oil rich area full of oil expats. Good night life, not much touristy goodness. That being said, I had a fabulous time. I was craving a more mellow vacation anyways after my first 4 months of teaching kindergarten. My first day in Indonesia I ended up having lunch with the family I was staying with and then just lounging by the pool on the compound. Did I mention I was staying with said oil expats? The Chevron oil compound no less. It meant that I needed to be careful discussing politics (ie don't) but other than that it was fine.

A gorgeous pool that was pretty much always that empty. My preferred method of entry: the slide. So much fun. I can't believe I was scared to go down it the first time. Pool snacks were also absurdly cheap, 45 cents for french fries. Chevron really subsidizes the expat club which made ordering french fries and freshly made lemonade everyday very affordable.

There was this crazy turtle statue...I'm not really sure if turtles ever chill like that in real life but it was entertaining enough as a sculpture.

After the first day, we got a routine down. Do something touristy in the morning. Have lunch, either cooked by the maid of the family I was staying with (who was the most fantastic cook, ever) and then go lounge by the pool with the other expat kids visiting for the holidays. Seriously though, the food was incredible. I never thought I'd say this but the maid could give my mother a run for her money. Everything was to die for. I even got fresh rolls made (without milk or butter) just for me!

At night we generally went out to dinner and then J. and I (J is the friend I was staying with) would go out with the other kids our age to the clubs or bars and hang out.

Some food highlights:
Satay: A very Indonesian dish. Usually chicken or beef cooked in a peanut sauce. A little bit spicy but more rich than anything. This was from a hotel dinner we went out to but the stuff we got at home was just as good only it's a little odd to whip out your camera in someones home and take a picture of dinner so my food pictures are only from restaurant excursions.
Frog legs! I kid you not, I tried fried frog legs and they were DELICIOUS. I ate 3 of them. My mom says they taste like chicken but personally I thought they tasted like a white fish fillet. Maybe Indonesian frogs are different from frogs in the states. Who knows. Pigeon was also on the menu but I'm not That adventurous. Also, pigeon is definitely an avian rat, at least in Asia, which made me much less inclined to want to try it.

What sort of touristy things you ask?
Well I went to a market and bought some cool jewelry and trinkets one morning. Another time I went to an Orangutan and Sun Bear reserve in Sambrosia. That was amazing. Imagine walking through the jungle to get out to where the animals are and then getting to observe them on acres of land instead of a depressing zoo cage.

...I think I'm at my picture limit since it isn't letting me insert any more. Next post: pictures of orangutans, bears, crocodiles and night time excursions.

1 comment:

Josh said...

it's not THAT lame of a post kiddo...... sometimes touristy posts are GOOD.... and I LOVE ANYTHING IN SATAY SAUCE!!!!!!