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Jakarta, Indonesia
a sucker for city lights.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Foodies Doodies

Hi guys!

Well it's 00:33 am in the morning but I don't quite feel like sleeping, probably because I literally slept all day today. Yes it's holiday time already! I received my report card and I'm quite satisfied with my score, alhamdulillah :) I'll have days off until 9th of January so I have plenty of time! Don't have any plan yet so feel free to hit me up!

So what I'm going to write on my page today (tonight?) is......food! Lol yeah I'm going to write all-about the food that I miss in America and how I overcome that in my lovely homeland.

It's always been one of the common question in my exchange-student's life; either people in my host community ask about what do I eat in Indonesia or people in Indonesia ask how I eat in America. For the first question mostly I would just say Indonesian eat a lot of rice. My host family happened to love trying new food so yeah I cooked them some Indonesian food. Of course, with adjusted taste and recipe. So in a year, I managed to cook 'em soto ayam, nasi goreng, bihun goreng, gado-gado, tempe mendoan, perkedel jagung, kerupuk udang, kerupuk bawang aaand kerupuk ikan :D

My host family they love to cook and to eat (well we all most do right) but it's true that we have tons of food at home because my host mom likes to stock on stuff...so we never run out of anything. well, rarely :p but yeah the food is quite different from us. My host mom always cooks for dinner, we usually would have whether Italian (pasta of many different kind; ravioli, spaghetti, lasagna, manicotti, farfalle mostly with tomato based sauce or pesto) Mexican (burritos(!!), quesadilla, chili) Asian (noodle with peanut sauce, thai curry, stir-fry, tofu, spring roll, couscous) American (home made burger, grilled cheese, omelettes, grilled chicken, pizza(?)) Indian (curry, lentils with lots and lots of condiments) always accompanied by a yummy bowl of fresh garden salad (we had a chef salad for dinner one day it was daaamn good) with vinegar/ranch/russian/goddess dressing, my mom's famous homemade bread (or sometimes replaced with challah, jewish bread for shabbat night) . And sometimes Jewish food during holiday times like charoset, challah, gilte fish, latkes, matzos, hamantashen, kugel(!!), etc etc. Because my mom cooks a lot, we always have leftover for the next day that my host sisters would usually bring as lunch to school (me sometimes :p) but besides we always have something to eat. like, always :) love you mom :* (reminds me of how often she went grocery shopping)

I've been missing some american food since I came back home! This is a list of food I miss the most (but I manage to fulfill it, thank God I live in Jakarta) :

1. Granola!
For God's sake I miss granola sooo bad! At first I really dislike it; I thought its texture was weird and way way too sweet. But the fact is...I love granola. I haven't found any decent granola anywhere so far but I did find granola bars :') exactly the one I always ate in the US. Nature Valley crunchy granola bar (still looking for the chewy ones!) Got it at Food Hall for about $6 for 6.

2. PB&J sandwich
I was pretty disappointed when I bought Jif peanut butter at Carrefour (it wasn't cheap!) it didn't taste like the one I used to eat. Then I saw the ingredients...that's why. The peanut butter that I love is the one that only has peanut and oil in the ingredients..so yummy. For the jelly, naah just used regular fruit jam, they're just as good :)

3. Salad!
Uh-oh. Salad! I found perfect salad at Food Hall (again!) with a lot of dressing choices (honey mustard until vinaigrette). Tamani has decent caesar salad, too. I miss light vinegar dressing so bad so when I found Hellmann's light vinaigrette dressing I instantly bought it. I ate only apple, cucumber, and lettuce salad for a while. Recipe : take half an apple, cut into cubes. a cup of lettuce (but lately I don't use it again, dislike Indonesian lettuce), shredded. Half a cucumber, cubed. 2 tablespoons of dressing (14 calories!), mix well. then add cheddar cheese, either grated or cubed. mix well. (raisins and/or wonton strips goes well with them too). Refrigerate for 10 mins before serving. Enjoy :)

4. Apple pie!!
I am extremely fond of pies. Apple, pumpkin, pecan, name it. But mostly is apple! Love it love it. I made it once (with help, of course) and it turned so yummy! Apple pie and vanilla ice cream is sooo American. I haven't found any ready-to-use pie crust (I'm sure Jakarta has it somewhere) so I just baked some apples instead! Taste just like the filling. Recipe : take an apple, remove the core then cut into thin slices. Put in a bowl. Pour some cinnamon powder (around a teaspoon) mix well until apple slices well-coated. sprinkle some sugar. place alumunium foil on the pan. preheat oven to 170-ish. put it in for about 15-20 mins. enjoy your warm juicy baked apple!

5. Frozen bananas and grapes.
One of my favorite snack. Just peeled the bananas, cut into two. put into freezer. grapes; just put into freezer.

6. Cookies
I baked chocolate chip cookies and it tasted just yumm :) for christmas I baked gingerbread cookies and oatmeal raisin along with American YES students in Indonesia; Amy Andrew and Nathan. Was a lot of fun :) :) find the recipe online!

7. Grilled cheese sandwich
Obviously one of the easiest lunch choice. I miss grilled cheese with tomato soup! I made some grilled cheese lately. Sooo easy. Just take two slices of bread, smear it with butter. every side. then put a slice of cheddar cheese (or any cheese) in the middle. put in an oven 170 for about 15 minutes.

8. Pretzels :(
So pretzel is officially my favorite snack of all time. The small baked one not the hot pretzel in NYC's side street (well they are also good actually). Haven't found it anywhere, but I just bought Snyder's of Hanover pretzel pieces honey mustard and onion flavor..was so good. Can't recall where to find Auntie Anne's besides Taman Anggrek. Anyone?


Well, yeah, in short, I miss American food :( but well I guess I just have to be more creative to find any way to taste it again! :)

P.S : If anyone ever wonder how big is the portion of food in typical American restaurant, please try Chili's (Sarinah building). Enjoy! :D

bye for now, hope I didn't make you hungry reading this!



Wednesday, December 14, 2011


On my first day in Vermont, I remember we drove home then we went out again for a walk. Silly me, I thought they were asking me to go for a walk to sightsee the town (that's why I said yes). Yeah, going for a walk means you literally going walking in a place...in this story, a woods near Park-McCullough house. Mom, Zoe, Kati, and I went for a walk with Ivy.

While walking, Zoe kept asking me couple question...well, it's our first day meeting each other! I was concentrating on keeping up my pace with theirs (Did I ever say about how American walk? FAST) but Zoe caught my attention with one question.

"What club do you want to join?"

And almost reflex, I answered "Drama club."

I've never participated in any kind of play slash performance slash anything on stage except singing.......in a choir. But being in a play, actually doing something on stage and have actual people come to see the play is different. I have no idea how it works; how play are selected, how set is built, how the roles are casted, how the lighting works, the sounds, the props, the costume, I know nothing about them before I decide to join in Drama club. I honestly cannot recall when and where did I get that interest, curiosity and passion about drama and being on stage because nothing I've experienced in my life prior to it has anything influential or somehow significant or even important to that much of passion toward theater arts inside me.

And that thing-I-cannot-recall also led me to the decision to take Theater Arts class for both semester; practically a whole academic year. I had no doubt at all; I did not worry about anything. I didn't think about the how-ifs; I was convinced, I was sure that this class is the right class for me, that I belong to the class. My host mom and my counselor were telling me I could change it after sometimes if it didn't work, but I was a hundred percent sure I won't and this is what I want. It almost felt like.......fate.

First day at the class....it was almost like in sit-com. I sat there, watching all my classmates with all their different personalities which is absolutely fun to watch. For a whole year the class never let me being gloomy or sad for too long; it was just a perfect class to end my day and I brought home some good stories from the class.

Then I was involved in my first play ever, it was a musical The Sound of Music. It was fascinating. I almost cried on the rehearsal day when we actually did it with the orchestra. It was beautiful. The feeling when I saw the house was full...when I walked on stage even just for singing and not saying lines...when the spotlights blinding you from seeing the audiences.....it was magical.

And for the last project in my first semester was writing an original One Act play and I did it. I wrote a play titled No Matter What and had Amber,Seth,Rachelle,and Alexis to be in it. The feeling when the lights came up, and they appeared, saying lines that you wrote, with you watching it, knowing exactly what's coming up, all the unspoken message, the body language, the gesture....the feeling was just indescribable :)

I slowly got more and more lines in the play I was involved in. The Sound of Music, A Midsummer Night's Dream, One Act play, and Arabian Night. Even when I had no lines at all, I still enjoyed my time. I love spending my times building set, hanging out with drama kids, memorizing lines, or even take a good look at the treasure in the costume room :p

I miss it, badly.

cheers :)