Backlog: Pictures from Bandung

Note: I have already typed this post once, but a misplaced click sent it off into oblivion. Touch screens are nice…. Sometimes. The second time around I am getting wise and typing in Word first.

Today marks the month-iversary of my being in Indonesia. Fittingly, it is also an unexpected holiday. I was informed yesterday after school that class today, Wednesday September 23, has been canceled so that observant Muslims (a.k.a. most of the population of Pangkal Pinang) can prepare for Idul Adha tomorrow.

Idul Adha is also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice because it celebrates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command. It is also a day of — what else? — animal sacrifices and subsequent feasting. In the past couple of weeks people have been stocking up on everything from goats to sheep to chickens to cows (but not pigs). My school will be sacrificing a cow on Saturday, though I am excused from this particular cultural activity.

In addition to sacrifices, Idul Adha is also about visiting neighbors, showing love to family and friends, and eating copious amounts of desserts. I am all in for this part of the holiday and bought fixings for PBJs so that I can take small sample sandwiches American-style for my neighbors to try tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, I have been keeping a very low profile today. I have a painfully sore throat and feel generally lethargic, so I’ve been resting and drinking lots of water. I also figure that I will take this opportunity to work on the backlog of blog posts that I want to write, starting with pictures from Bandung. Though orientation feels like it was a long time ago, the pictures are still worth sharing.

Pocari Sweat, the humorously named Indonesian (imported from Japan) drink is just the thing when you need to replace some electrolytes. Next to the bottle is the trilingual instructions on my plane from PP to Jakarta.
Pocari Sweat, the humorously named Indonesian (imported from Japan) drink is just the thing when you need to replace some electrolytes. Next to the bottle is the trilingual instructions on my plane from PP to Jakarta.
These two dancers (plus endless glasses of pineapple juice and tidy rolls of hot towels) were in the lobby of the Sheraton Bandung to greet us with a traditional Javanese dance.
These two dancers (plus endless glasses of pineapple juice and tidy rolls of hot towels) were in the lobby of the Sheraton Bandung to greet us with a traditional Javanese dance.
Most of orientation was spent in meetings, where I dutifully took notes and tried my best to stay hydrated and engaged. We had almost 10 hours of meetings each day for two weeks, which was quite a marathon by anyone's standards.
Most of orientation was spent in meetings, where I dutifully took notes and tried my best to stay hydrated and engaged. We had almost 10 hours of meetings each day for two weeks, which was quite a marathon by anyone’s standards.
Almost all of the meetings were useful, and it was also helpful that we were able to do two sample lessons at a local school. The kids were good sports about being our guinea pigs in the classroom.
Almost all of the meetings were useful, and it was also helpful that we were able to do two sample lessons at a local school. The kids were good sports about being our guinea pigs in the classroom.
This is SMA1 Bandung, the school where we did sample lessons. It is also the host of one of our ETAs.
This is SMA1 Bandung, the school where we did sample lessons. It is also the host of one of our ETAs.
Most evenings I decided to stay in at the hotel and relax. I figure that there will be plenty of time to explore Indonesia when I don't have access to nice amenities such as this lounging pod by the pool.
Most evenings I decided to stay in at the hotel and relax. I figure that there will be plenty of time to explore Indonesia when I don’t have access to nice amenities such as this lounging pod by the pool.
This evening I was planning on staying in, but a group of English-speaking Indonesians that I met in the lobby invited me out for some local coconut soup and I couldn't refuse. It turns out that this group works for Uber (yes, the international car-sharing service is a thing in Indonesia). We (me plus other ETAs) spent a lot more time together in the evenings after this first meeting.
This evening I was planning on staying in, but a group of English-speaking Indonesians that I met in the lobby invited me out for some local coconut soup and I couldn’t refuse. It turns out that this group works for Uber (yes, the international car-sharing service is a thing in Indonesia). We (me plus other ETAs) spent a lot more time together in the evenings after this first meeting.
The roughly ten hours spent each day in an artificially Arctic room meant that most people got sick during orientation. This drink is supposedly good for the throat, and the yellow satchel is fulll of a dark golden goo that feels wonderful on the throat. I stocked up on both now that I am back in PP.
The roughly ten hours spent each day in an artificially Arctic room meant that most people got sick during orientation. This drink is supposedly good for the throat, and the yellow satchel is full  of a dark golden goo that feels wonderful on the throat. I stocked up on both now that I am back in PP.
One evening, a large group that included AMINEF staff and our Bahasa Indonesia teachers went out to karaoke. This is Rizqi, one of the AMINEF staff, letting out his wild side. Everyone sang that evening, even me when
One evening, a large group that included AMINEF staff and our Bahasa Indonesia teachers went out to karaoke. This is Rizqi, one of the AMINEF staff, letting out his wild side. Everyone sang that evening, even me when “Bohemian Rhapsody” came on.
This sign was in the elevator of the karaoke place. For an elevator full of Fulbrighters, a surprising number of jokes were made.
This sign was in the elevator of the karaoke place. For an elevator full of Fulbrighters, a surprising number of jokes were made.
Whenever we went somewhere as a large group, our preferred mode of transit was definitely angkot. Angkots are converted minibuses that can be full of character, depending on the taste of the driver. Usually they have a set route but with a little negotiation they are also willing to work as overside taxis that fit an alarming number of people. And for you car buffs out there: our hotel had a car show for a couple of days. The Ferraris and Porsches and BMWs (oh my!) looked a little out of place, but they are still nice to look at.
Whenever we went somewhere as a large group, our preferred mode of transit was definitely angkot. Angkots are converted minibuses that can be full of character, depending on the taste of the driver. Usually they have a set route but with a little negotiation they are also willing to work as overside taxis that fit an alarming number of people. And for you car buffs out there: our hotel had a car show for a couple of days. The Ferraris and Porsches and BMWs (oh my!) looked a little out of place, but they are still nice to look at.
Though definitely not a Porsche by anyone's standards, angkots sometimes are surprisingly nice inside. This angkot boasted a flat-screen TV (not pictured) as well as WiFi and a charging station.
Though definitely not a Porsche by anyone’s standards, angkots sometimes are surprisingly nice inside. This angkot boasted a flat-screen TV (not pictured) as well as WiFi and a charging station.
In Bandung I saw everything from people riding on horseback through the streets to Uber to angkots to giant tourist buses. But the preferred mode of transit for the masses is definitely motorbike.
In Bandung I saw everything from people riding on horseback through the streets to Uber to angkots to giant tourist buses. But the preferred mode of transit for the masses is definitely motorbike.
One afternoon there were small group sessions, meaning that a number of us had a longer break than the usual 50 minutes for lunch. This group decided to explore Bandung and see some of the noteworthy sites. Behind us is Gadung Sate, a government building that serves an unknown purpose. It is famous for the sate-like spire on top that you can see in this picture if you squint.
One afternoon there were small group sessions, meaning that a number of us had a longer break than the usual 50 minutes for lunch. This group decided to explore Bandung and see some of the noteworthy sites. Behind us is Gadung Sate, a government building that serves an unknown purpose. It is famous for the sate-like spire on top that you can see in this picture if you squint.
A quieter street near Gadung Sate.
A quieter street near Gadung Sate.
Saturday morning we had an official field trip to Pasar Baru, or the New Market, so that we could do some shopping and practice our Bahasa. This fruit seller was one block down from the start of the main market.
Saturday morning we had an official field trip to Pasar Baru, or the New Market, so that we could do some shopping and practice our Bahasa. This fruit seller was one block down from the start of the main market.
Sunday we had a blessed day off. I organized a trip with Uber people as well as ETAs to explore Tebing Keraton, a mountain on the outskirts of the city. We weren't the only ones to have that idea, however, and the road up was crowded by 6:30 a.m. This tilled field was one of many along the way.
Sunday we had a blessed day off. I organized a trip with Uber people as well as ETAs to explore Tebing Keraton, a mountain on the outskirts of the city. We weren’t the only ones to have that idea, however, and the road up was crowded by 6:30 a.m. This tilled field was one of many along the way.
Made it to the top! Bandung is the sprawl of buildings in the background.
Made it to the top! Bandung is the sprawl of buildings in the background.
Selfie-ing is an Indonesian passtime. It wouldn't surprise me if Indonesia was the selfie-stick capital of the world.
Selfie-ing is an Indonesian passtime. It wouldn’t surprise me if Indonesia was the selfie-stick capital of the world.
From Tebing Keraton, we walked through jungled areas in search of a coffee house down the road. There were plenty of wild monkeys along the way. Though cute, we definitely kept our distance.
From Tebing Keraton, we walked through jungled areas in search of a coffee house down the road. There were plenty of wild monkeys along the way. Though cute, we definitely kept our distance.
Some local kids taking their cue from the local monkeys. These cuties waved and called out greetings as our group passed.
Some local kids taking their cue from the local monkeys. These cuties waved and called out greetings as our group passed.
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