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.
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.