Daily journal in Jakarta — Day 13

My morning was spent away from the computer for the first time. After the usual hearty breakfast, I sat idly away at the dining area, listening to music. Ayu then joined me and we had a nice long talk about my previous experience with people from other parts of the world. I told her about the people I met when I was in Germany. It was good fun recollecting memories and sharing them with her to see what her perspectives were. Although I do fear after my talk that all she knows now about eastern Europeans is their ability to hold their drink very well and still ace every exam!

The house was excited about the monument trip that evening. Ayu and I planned logistics, such as what to bring, what games we should play, where should we buy our snacks and drinks. we went to alfamart across the street to get 2 huge bottles of mineral water for later, and being ceweks (girls), we got carried away in the beauty section of the mart and ended up buying a lot of creams, soaps and shampoo as well =D of course, I couldn’t help but buy all the packets of Teh Sosro in the mart’s fridge. And had a craving for their sandwiches so i bought 3 to split between Ayu and me.

I was telling Ibu Rrini worriedly how my appetite here has been of epic proportions and that I was worried about what would happen when I go back to Singapore. No Ibu Rini’s or Ayu’s cooking, no big family to eat with. I realize now how social an eater I am, more than I am technically a big eater.

Classes zoomed past. Katie, the new local volunteer, settled right in with her first class. it’s always awesome to meet other volunteers and share perspectives with each other about life in Jakarta, teaching English, handling kids, managing rowdy classes, etc. the coolest thing about all the volunteers I’ve met is they will be visiting Singapore soon at some point and we’ve all linked up on facebook. And they have strict orders from me to buzz me when they’re in Singapore so I can bring them to the cool hang-out pockets of sg.

My last senior class of the evening took lots of pictures with me. I felt so touched and so happy and I really wish them absolute success in whatever ambitions they have in life. There really is nothing more heartening than to see youths like that so committed and dedicated about learning – which is something taken for granted in a country like Singapore.

Then it’s Monas (monument) time! Fajar, the local volunteer was so sweet to offer us his car as transport. All 6 of us were on our way, with one stopover at the Jakarta night market (which is really something awesome altogether) because I had to buy a lock for my luggage. If I had more time, i would have scoured every part of that night market.

When we reached the Monas, I bought Kerak Telur (egg pancake) for everyone to share.Jakarta street snack? Freaking insane, I tell you. We found a nice spot to sit, eat, and play card games. We played Frisbee. We played ‘nenek’ which is a variation of the game ‘tag you’re it’. dj oko (Joko) brought his portable speakers so we were blasting music.

I love hanging out at the Monas. Friday nights are packed with families and couples just lounging around and tuning out, really! There were a lot of groups playing soccer. I saw a group doing silat (no kidding). There were smaller groups singing and playing guitar.

We also took lots and lots of pictures for keepsakes. We took a long stroll around the monument, which was actually quite a distance.

Then the best part of the night began, which was food hunting. We drove to one street but the food we were craving for was no longer sold there. So we drove in the direction of the Center and there it was – indomie goreng corned keju!!!

By then it was already 1am. Nhiiaa and Adit took naps in the car whenever they could. But by the time we had supper, everyone was wide awake and alert! we south-east Asians really have a passion for food. for some reason, I still had space in my tummy for dessert (?!) so I ordered bubur kacang hijau (green bean paste soup) for Joko and me to share. I told Fajar that i would be worried if I was still not full after dessert. Thankfully, i was major full! Joko finished Adit’s and Nhiiaa’s share and shared dessert with me so you can imagine how he felt after all that!

Semua sudah begok (everyone was senselessly full till they are ready for bed) so we drove back to the house, all ready to collapse into bed.

I’m now up early because mas cahyo and kak chandra are coming to fetch me so we can go out, eat, probably do last-minute shopping, meet kak chan’s friends from nus (yay, i can speak some singlish!) and then go for the wedding. while waiting for them to come, ibu rini has bought me lots of cabek (chillies) for me to bring home and I think we’re going to make the sambal now.

I’ve been so overwhelmed by my experiences so far. I cannot believe I’m leaving tomorrow! I’ve met so many new interesting people in these 2 weeks, from ALL walks of life. Who would have thought?! Truly, I am more than blessed.

-written by Yasmin

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