Monday, October 31, 2011


As Wu Tang astutely rapped once upon a time, cash rules everything around me.  C.R.E.A.M. is certainly in effect in Jakarta...  most places are cash only establishments; credit cards are used sparingly, and only at fancier joints.

The U.S. dollar is equivalent to approximately 8,800 Indonesian rupiah, making day-to-day transactions an exciting exercise in quick off-the-top-of-your-head multiplication.

Here's how the bills break down:

It seems like the ATMs generally spit out the 100,000 rupiah bills, which are useful at restaurants and stores, but not so good in taxis, as most drivers won't give you change for them.  As a result, you end up hoarding the small bills since taxi rides are at least a thrice-a-day occurrence in Jakarta.  Damn those hundies.  They're really only equivalent to about $11 US dollars right now. The 10,000 rupiah bills are about $1.15 and the 1,000 is worth 11 cents, so you've really got to be paying attention to your zeros when you hand over your dolla dolla bills, y'all.

I think I've used change once since I got here, but I've got a lot of it!  The 200 rupiah coins are worth about 2 cents and the 500s are 5-6 cents.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cat Hotel

Hey ladies... it's your boy, Linc, back in action.  

I've settled in here at the cat hotel (otherwise known as Ben's apartment).  This place is pretty sweet.  Once I get my new pad, I'll still be able to visit since it's in the 'hood.

Let me introduce you to the other residents here:
Catania likes to roll around on the ground in an attempt to convince someone to let her outside.  Also, she jingles.
Manny is displeased by your presence on his quilt. 

Oh, hai!  Patches is a new and very cute addition to the household.
Patches' bro, Manny 2 (also known as Mango) is feisty and squeaky.

I'm using my skillz to make some new friends.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hotel Hell?

What do they call Montezuma's Revenge in Jakarta?  I know there must be some pithy saying for it... I've heard Bali belly, but I haven't had the fortune of landing on Bali yet.  Next week may be my chance to get Bali belly (but hopefully it'll miss me and I'll be able to spend my time there surfing and lounging on the beach).  Anywho, whatever you call it here, I've got it and I've had it for about 36 hours so far.  Unpleasant, to say the least.  I don't think I've ever had stomach cramps this painful... plus the shakes, a bit of a fever and general wooziness.

Sooooo... since I am trapped in my hotel room hell (a terrible place to be trapped, I know.  Poor, poor me.), here are some funny things I've seen here, in no particular order:

1. The hotel logo (a circular, sun-shaped design) is everywhere.  And by "everywhere" I mean some poor soul has to rake the sun shape into the sandy stuff into which people put their cigarettes butts.  Too much.

2. Tim got really desparate for clean underwear and t-shirts since he's been here 2 weeks, so he had the hotel do some of his laundry.  Here's how it came back to him:  
In a pick-a-nick basket...

All folded, with socks wrapped in paper like they were new. 

3. A mini Grocery Game for you, courtesy of the mini-bar in the hotel:

On the list of things I hope I never have to drink, sweat falls only shortly behind pee and sewage.

I tried these with one of Tim's coworkers.  Not too bad.  But try selling mushroom crisps to most Americans.  Good luck with that.  They're no Cheetos.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Grocery Games: Part 1

The first in a series in which I share interesting, disgusting and/or comical finds from the local grocery store.  Odd products, funny brand names, inappropriate mascots, mis-labels, etc.  Expect it all, limited only by what I can take a photo of without attracting too much attention from wary clerks.

This week's series brought to you by the Ranch 99 Market at Dharmawangsa Square:

A prime example of why you must look closely at everything you buy over here.  These are not your typical Lays.  Salt and vinegar pale in comparison.  Just wait 'till I nab a photo of the Cheetos flavors they have.  It's sacrilegious.

See the label on the item at the center... I do not think it means what they think it means

Lady of Leisure

Since we're still living the hotel life (still haven't pinned down a permanent abode in Jakarta), I still don't have a job in Indonesia (although am technically still on paid leave from my old job), and Tim still has to go to work (poor Tim), I get to lounge around as a lady of leisure this week.  It's definitely not a tough job... I think I am up for it.  It helps that the hotel where we're staying this week, the Dharmawangsa Hotel, is totally luxurious.  

Check out these photos:

Yes, this is a new camera and I am still figuring out how to crop out my toe.  But look at the pretty water!

Coffee by the pool.  Ain't nothin' wrong with that!

Inviting, eh?

Friday, October 21, 2011

On the Road

Selamat pagi to my friends out there... Or maybe it's selamat malam to some of you loyal readers. At this point jet lag has crashed my mental hard drive, and I'm not really sure what time it is!

Since brain function is so severely limited right now, I'll just post some pictures that Lincoln asked me to take to document his travel adventures.

Excuse the blurry iPad photos... still have to try out my new fancy camera (thank you, EPA ladies and gents!!!).
Lincoln, not happy about the 13 hour flight from Dulles to Narita (Tokyo, Japan).
Escape!  Must be Italian...
Lincoln was just as confused about the toilet directions in Narita as I was...
Maybe Linc and I are rubes, but what is the difference between the bidet button and the "spray" button with a drawing of a butt on it?  Also... flushing sound?  The best part is... none of these buttons actually flushes the toilet.  It's a regular horizontal bar flusher on the back of the toilet. 

Lincoln checks out the room in the Singapore Airport transit hotel.  Relieved to be out of the bag, no doubt.
Once his exploring was completed, he made himself at home in the Singapore airport.  Meanwhile, I made myself home in the butterfly garden that was next to the transit hotel... in the airport.  Pretty sweet!
Laksa for breakfast in the Singapore airport... plus green tea and oxygenated water.
The Dharmawangsa... certainly the fanciest hotel I have ever stayed at.
These photos don't do it justice.  Tomorrow I'll have photos of the lobby/lounges/pool area.  They are out of control luxurious.
Heeeeeeeeeey Tim!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Sup, ladies?

This here is your boy, Linc, comin' atcha from the red room bed.  

I'm loungin', chillaxin' and thinkin' 'bout civet cats and that crazy coffee made from their poop.  Yeah, it's a thing... in Indonesia, baby.  And that's where we're headed...  sweet.

I'll post more here once on my way to the home of batik, orangutans and komodo dragons.

But for now, it's back to nappin'.  Peace.