“This Is Indonesia”

While the phrase “This is Indonesia” was first introduced to me by way of Teresa, it turns out that the teachers at my campus say a variation of the same phrase: “This is Jakarta.”

While the meaning is the essentially same (we live in a crazy developing country on the other side of the planet), I thought I would give you some examples of the TII/ TIJ life, and what makes it so…. well, so Indonesia.

This is one of the light switches in my apartment.
The issue is self-evident.
Measuring, like planning, is not a strong point here.  (Don’t even ask about the un-usable parking garage, even I don’t get that one….)

“Bega” is my favourite brand of cheese. Because it’s an Indonesian brand, it doesn’t cost 12 dollars. It’s still expensive, and, like many things in Indonesia, it will disappear for a few weeks before making an appearance in stores again.  (Right now, for example, they are only selling mild.) But it’s extra tasty, so it’s worth it.


This is an example of the milk that the school gave us in our welcome packet.  It’s 1) in a juice box package 2) Ultra….?IMG_0172

Yeah, I did buy a cats in space mug. I chose the one that looks as if the tiger is Mufasa from The Lion King. It was 55 cents at a store in Karawaci. Don’t pretend like you wouldn’t have bought one, too.



This is what the eggs look like in the store. I pay the extra dollar to get them in a package because 1) who know how old those eggs on the bottom are 2) what if they crack when you put them in the plastic bag?! And 3) because they smell like a chicken coop, still.  And that is not a testament to their freshness.

In Indonesia, you don’t buy boxes of Kleenex.  You buy a plastic box, and then you buy the tissues.  I chose this cute Hansel and Gretel box.  It’s pretty adorable.

I am sure that, over the course of two years, I will find many other cute/ confusing things to show you, but that gives you an idea of some of the different and interesting variations on life here.


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