by Christina, Co-Director, IHF Jakarta
A student in my SMA (high school) class was telling me about a special dish her mother made for dinner that day. I used this opportunity to have a small, impromptu discussion about what everyone’s favourite foods were. One of the students suggested that we have dinner together the next class. Everyone agreed to bring something.
I love these kind of spontaneous events and was really excited to try some new foods. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the names of everything we ate, but there was some meat cooked in coconut, fish steamed in banana leaves, fried noodles, vegetables with peanut sauce and fresh coconut water. Some of the foods were new to me, but I loved them all. As a special treat, I bought durian ice cream for all the students. It is a favorite among kids here, but not a flavor easily acquired by my Western taste buds. If you are not familiar with durian, it is a giant spiky fruit that smells, well, I’m too polite to say what it smells like, but it doesn’t smell nice. The fruit itself is sweet and creamy and makes a nice desert and the kids were really excited to eat it. I gave it another go myself and didn’t find it as bad as the first time. Maybe it is growing on me after all!