First Impressions of Sidoarjo: By the Numbers

A warm welcome from students and teachers alike at my new desk in SMA Wachid Wasyim 2.
A warm welcome from students and teachers alike at my new desk in SMA Wachid Wasyim 2.

181 : Hours so far in Sidoarjo.
95 : Minutes to Jakarta by plane.
866,500 : Excess baggage fee to get my stuff from Jakarta to Surabaya (in IDR).
1,996,001 : Population of Sidoarjo, now including me and based on a 2014 estimate.
24 : Javanese words learned. When used properly, these words give the impression that I actually understand what people are saying.

The security guards at my housing complex are proving to be the best Javanese teachers so far.
The security guards at my housing complex are proving to be the best Javanese teachers so far.

8 : Gojek*/Uber rides around Sidoarjo and Surabaya.
2 : Other vegetarians besides me! They are Krupa, my sitemate (below, left) and Bu Ony (below, right) my fabulous counterpart and one of my co-teachers.

29 : Fulbright ETAs getting acquainted with their new communities at this very moment.
36 : Introductions I have done in various classes. One introduction takes about 10 minutes and includes Q&A and sometimes singing and dancing to Indonesian dangdut music.
500+ : Students I will be teaching this year, which includes all of class 10 at SMA Wachid Hasyim 2.
3 : Co-teachers I will work with to teach the aforementioned students. My co-teachers are Bu Ony, Bu Amaro, and Pak Burhan.
6 : Languages studied by Sensei Yoshi, the Japanese teacher-in-residence at SMA Wachid Hasyim 2.

300,000 : Rupiah spent on pulsa [phone credit] to access the internet and make phone calls this first week.
50 : Kilometers to Maduratna, a restaurant and batik gallery on the island of Madura that I visited a couple of days ago with teachers from my school.
1 : Party crashed at City Hall after Krupa and I sweet-talked the guards into letting us in. We got to see traditional dances, drink (juice) for free, and we even walked away with some cool swag. It’s the start to a very good year.

734 : Estimated number of ants who met their maker after coming into my house.
5 : Beds in my new house, including one in the kitchen. If you are passing through and need a place to stay, let me know!
0 : Trips to kantor imigrasi so far. This number is expected to rise soon.
Countless : Times I have felt grateful to be back in Indonesia. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to return for a second year: my bahasa Indonesia skills are tolerably conversational, I understand cultural cues and know how to be polite in return, and I even have some practical experience with teaching English. I didn’t realize how great the second year could be until I got here and realized how comfortable I already feel being back in this welcoming, wonderful, diverse, and baffling country.

* An ojek is a motorcycle taxi, so Gojek is an app like Uber but for motorcycles. You can also get food, beauticians, masseuses, and so much more delivered with Gojek.

3 thoughts on “First Impressions of Sidoarjo: By the Numbers

  1. One reason that I am so proud of you Kelly: you are so able to meet people and tell a story.
    I love the huge banner with pictures of you and Sensei Yoshi. This is going to be a big year. Love, Pops


  2. Awesome post Kelly. So glad things are going to well. Looks like you’ve met many wonderful people already. And wow, what a group of students you’ll be teaching this year. You go girl! Mommy Loves You. Love, Mom XXXO


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