Friday, September 18, 2009
He smiles. He seems nice. A brief awkward moment. I don't know how to say what I want in Bahasa. He points to the clothes.
I struggle to find some words that would remotely make sense.
"Iya. Ini di mana?"
He points down the room towards the washer and says something. I get the point though. I set up on the rack next to the box-like machine. He stands there grinning. He looks like a good fellow look despite the tattoos. If he was shooting for the tough-guy look he couldn't really pull it off. I still don't know his name. He goes back to watching TV. I went back upstairs. I later asked Dimas who he was. He said his name was Didi. Who is he? He didn't know how to explain his relationship with us. I asked if he was family, friend or like a servant? He said no to all of those. He couldn't put it into words. Didi the mystery man. For now I'll call him the friendly person who lives across the yard from me.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The language is coming along. At this point I can understand more than I can say. Bits of a conversation between my host family finally makes sense! I looked back over my journal the other day and found a list of vocab words that I had written to remember. They all seemed so basic and fundamental. I felt a little sense of accomplishment.
Anyways, we stayed at the school till buka puasa. And guess what they served us at school? Some good American food. Mac D. Well actually it isn't all that American. they serve rice and chicken mostly instead of the beefy burgers we are used to. Imagine that. enough Mac D to feed the entire school. that's alot of the stuff. after that everyone cruised outta there. school is out, for two weeks. whoop! but you already knew that. me and Dimas went home after that. gave another kid a ride home. I've forgotten his name though. That happens too much. Me forgetting names and everything.
I felt pretty sick on Sunday morning. I woke up and knew before I even tried to stand up that I was gonna puke. Which I did. and i did for the whole rest of the day (I apologize for the lack of proper capitalization of letters and stuff. the keyboard's shift key don't work too well). it was a blur of sleeping, puking, sipping on tea and my host dad telling me not to push myself. the next day i was better. Apparently it had been from me not eating enough and then eating alot. I guess my stomach doesn't like the fasting schedule too much. Or maybe I didn't drink enough. Who knows? Anyways Im fine now. Though I would like to get out of the house tomorrow. I have been resting and getting 100 % better again inside and the only time I went out was to buy a movie, some coffee and a bottle of water. Mostly cuz I was restless. It was nice, walking around my neighborhood to get to the store. The security guards are friendly, as well as these funny men who were sitting on the side of the road. As I walked back from the store one of them began talking to me in Indonesian. I found I understood him and we had a very short brief in-motion conversation about where I cam from and where I lived in Yasmin. I like it here. Indonesia. I like it.
Friday, September 11, 2009
About sleep. Apparantly I talk to crash cans. Dimas said I stood up and began talking really fast mumbled English to the little blastic bin. Dimas tried talking to me but I gave him a similar response and then proceed to declare that I was sleepy and pass out on the Fandra's (Dimas cousin) mattress instead of my own. When I woke up in the morning I couldn't remember any of it. My host family thought it was hilarious. So did I. I love things like that. My host mom said we should lock the doors just in case I try and wander out into the street. I wasn't sure if she was joking or not.
Did you know there are rats in my yard? Big ones too. Like huge and fatty things with tails. They only comeout at night and chase eachother around the fish pool. You can hear them during dinner. They don't come into the house or near us for that matter. They stay in their area, we stay in ours. It all works out. Everybody's happy.
Photography class was a blast. I probably wouldn't call it a class. It's an extra-cirricular activity offered at my school. My friend talked it up and said I should try it. I agreed. Plus I enjoy photography. I decided I'll see how it went.
It was pretty fun. Pretty much a group of students that I already sem-knew (plus my friend) hung out after school until this professional photographer showed up (at least I think he was pro. He seemed like it). He then proceeded to teach us some new tricks that we could do with our cameras. After that we were let loose around the school campus to try out our newly gained knowledge. It was a good experiance. I made some new friends and got to know people I had already met previously. Got names straight and stuff. I'm terriable with names. I hear a name and it goes straight out the window. But I'll remember the face anywhere. I should work on that. Anyways, photography was goofy, fun and great. Well, maybe not for some of the girls. At YPHB on fridays and during lebaran week the girls are required to wear their headscarves (it is an Islamic school afterall). These were the ones who normally don't wear them during the week. They got caught with their scarves off by one of the teachers and she made them run a couple laps around the basketball court. It was all fun though. They laughed about it and no harsh words were exchanged between them and the teacher. Well I don't know. I can't speak Bahasa.
Tommrow I've been asked to go to the English club and help out with whatever they do. I'm not sure what I will do. Besides help them with pronuciation and stuff. Besides from that just talk in English. I guess I'll see tommrow. Afterwards me and Ika are going to hangout. Should be fun. Maybe Dimas my host brother will come along. I haven't asked him yet if he wants to. Ha! I just remembered, school is almost out for two weeks! Just today (I am writing this at school). Today's going to be long though. All the students are breaking the fast here and I guess the school is providing all the food. But we have to hangaround unil then. I have no idea what we're gonna do all day. No one does. My friend Yuri said in response to my question of "what are we gonna do today" "sleeping"
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I love it when it rains here. The Indonesians probably think I'm a little odd. Everyone goes inside to sit it out but I always wanna go out in it. I think one of the maids was giving me kinda funny looks when I was standing out in thick of it. It's so heavy here. One time me and Dimas were at his elementary school reunion and the atmosphere dumped everything it had down on Bogor. The restaurant where the reunion was at was up on a hill at the road up to the place was like a river. We could see down to the actual river and it had become a mud bath. Not that it was flooding just that the once solid dusty riverbanks that had supported the odd rickety house and the like weren't looking too solid anymore. Nothing happened though. Everything was fine, no collapsed huts or anything. The roads become filthy sometimes when it rains though seeing as how dusty they are as well as a lot of wet dirt and mud along with garbage. Haha, I must be giving you a great image of Bogor. Don't believe what you might think, Bogor is great. The combination of reddish/brown tile roofs and dazzling green trees are fantastic. It's also not flat either. There are these odd intriguing ravine-like places where neighborhoods are clustered.
That's a little something about rain. It rains alot for being the summer season right now.
There are these kids that jump into the Angkot sometimes. These ones were pretty young. Maybe 7-8. I was with Riska and we were on the way to meet my host brother at a mall. One of the boys (two of them) played a small grungy guitar while the other passed out little slips of paper to put money in. He gave us all pleading looks. I've seen dozens of pairs of kids like these. Riska says they don't get the money that we give them. It's like something from Slum-dog Millionaire except its right there. She says they have to give the money to someone who lets them sleep somewhere and gives them whatever food he sees fit. She said she never gives them money. Instead she reached into her bag and pulled out a bag of chips that we had bought for the movie earlier. She handed the kid that instead. At the next stop after collecting nothing except for chips they jumped out and wandered elsewhere.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Communication is everything. Almost every problem has something to do with miscommunication or a lack of communication. Things get fed through a wire and become warped until they are totally different than what it originally was. People get fed by their own emotions which are a result of these misinterpretations and make situations worse. Confusion. Gaaah. Let's all be friends.
Some craziness. wow. Tension is no fun. Especially between people you know at a party, which is supposed to be fun. Sheesh.
I had an interesting day. I got told I practically flunked a test, was being made fun of right infront of my face and that I was being forced to practice Islam (which I am not). Again misinterpretation. Frankly I was hot and wanted to wash my face which happens to be what Muslims do before prayer. And as for the test, the teacher's words were (summerized) "you didn't do well at all. good luck this year." Well fuck thanks for the encouragement. Maybe it is just me, but it came off as if it was a goodluck that wasn't meant for some that succeeds. I might be confusing. Maybe I am just doing exactly what I talked about, more misinterpreting. I was so tired by the end of the day that I had no energy for anything. I'm afraid I might have come off as irritable. Which I was to some degree. Hopefully that didn't put anyone off.
What a crazy confusing week. Looking forward to the weekend and cooling my head. Mentally and physically.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Well, here I am, trying to summarize the past three weeks. I haven't touched on my entry into Indonesia (except for that warm greeting sign), first week in Bogor, LOC or school, the key component to this exchange program (my visa depends on me going to school so school basically enables me to live here for the next 11 1/4 months). Maybe I'll start with Indonesia itself, Jakarta and my first week in Bogor.
Indonesia is a vast, Jakarta is sprawling and Bogor is a small. After the first week or two I knew a very vague general layout of the city. Of course there are still areas I haven't been to. Every time I climb the stairs at school to get to my classroom I see this flat expanse of city that is unexplored. It's hard to think that I'm on one of many islands in vast archipelago actually. I didn't see the ocean at all in Jakarta, and Bogor is inland. That's not to say I dislike it here. On the contrary its been a blast. Within my first two days in Indonesia I ate cow tongue and squid. Not too fond of the tongue. A rather unappetizing texture. The squid was good though.
The initial orientation camp was an interesting experience. All of us Americans were jet-lagged, being bombarded by a new language and culture, and tired as fuck. Some of us slept through meals. It was fresh though, and new. I was excited despite my disoriented self. Indonesia surprised me. I half-expected it to be like Thailand. Which it isn't at all. The language for example, it has no distinct Asian tone which I expected. Chinese, Japanese, Korean I think and Thai have very distinct and classic Asian sounds. But Bahasa (Indonesian) sounds different, not typical. I don't know how to describe it. It still sounds Asian but not distinctly. It has underlying tones that are very different and unexpected. Hmmmm. I have too many ideas bouncing around. My writing might be a little bit ramblish. But I am pretty sleepy. Ramadan and fasting really takes the energy out of you. Sleepy all the time and you never get angry or upset cuz frankly, you can't. Anyways, I will write more so read if you like it so far.