Saturday, February 25, 2012


Hey ladies.  This here is Lincoln, the eponymous author of this blog.  It's been a while, I know.  I heard some of you were asking for me.  I'm not surprised.  I mean, look at me.

Things have been good here in Jakarta.  I get around... couch, bed, bookshelf, even the balcony.  I've met some folks here, including this new chick, Tiga (Indonesian for "three").  

She's cool, although occasionally a little, um, energetic for my taste (despite having arrived here with a broken leg after sleeping in the gutters of the mean streets of Jakarta.)

We play.

 We hang out. 

We wrestle.

But mostly I spend a lot of time looking at her like she's crazy while she bats at everything.

Hookah Hangover

Last night was a bit of a Middle East night for us here in Jakarta.

First dinner at a great Turkish restaurant in our neighborhood, Turkuaz.

This was the medium sized sesame bread.
 Then some beers out and about in the Kemang area (ok, that was not very Middle East-y at all).

Tower of power.

Finally, we topped off with some hookah at the "Extremely Good" Shisha Cafe, which was like a trip to Morocco in the middle of Jakarta. 

Cardamom tobacco + cool lanterns + belly dancers = good times.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grocery Games: Back from the Dead

It's been a long time since I've done one of these Grocery Games posts, but somewhere along the way, maybe when we moved into our permanent apartment, I decided I felt a little bit weird about taking photos at the grocery store.  At my grocery store, I should say.  I guess it seemed like it would ruin my street cred as a resident to bust out my camera while doing the daily shopping.  But let's be honest: I have no street cred.  It's hard to fit in and dodge the whole bule thing when people call out "Hey, bule!" or "Hey, Mister!" as I walk by.  Why bother trying... might as well have my camera at the ready to capture the good stuff!

Anywho... some amusing/interesting photos from my perjalanan (journey) to the toko makanan (grocery store) today:

Cocks in cages: it's not clear to me for what purpose these roosters are being sold (breeding? eating? fighting?), but I have noticed that sometimes they're in these bamboo cages and sometimes they're free to roam the jalan tikus (side road; literally translated as "rat road") between my house and the closest grocery store. 

Lady Drivers Only:  In grocery store parking lot there is a sign that says "Khusus Pengemudi Wanita/ Lady Drivers Only" (the Indonesian directly translates to "special lady drivers," I think).  Special parking spot? Is this the equivalent of those mother-to-be parking spots that started popping up in U.S. strip mall parking lots recently?

Nothing deceptive about these spuds:  Honesty potatoes... because all other potatoes are just flattering you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Interesting Blogs About Indonesia

While I don't have any new or exciting photos or stories to share so far this week (the usual here... lots of rain [which foiled our Car Free Day biking plans this past Sunday], an attempt to buy bedside lamps turned into an experience akin to our bedsheet fiasco...), I have discovered some Indonesia-centric blogs that may be of interest if you don't have a full picture of what Indonesia looks/feels/tastes like (since I am still a little bit chicken about taking photos of people/asking people if I can take their photos).  If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to check out these great blogs!

Mobile roadside tailors using what I think may be the vintage featherweight Singer sewing machines that my mom is always looking for for her quilting buddies (I had been promising to take a photo of this and share with Martha, but hadn't yet):

Image from We Love Jakarta
Image from We Love Jakarta

Shoeless construction workers on every corner: 

Image from We Love Jakarta
Image from We Love Jakarta

I've also found some great blogs about Indonesian food (I know there are tons of Indonesia food blogs in Bahasa Indonesia, but I didn't think those would be as useful to share with my Bahasa Inggris-speaking audience!):

Indonesia Eats has a ton of recipes that I want to try (and share on my other blog) once I decipher the ingredients at the grocery store (I've learned the basic ingredient names, but some of the very specific types of coconut, etc., escape me).  I'd love to take a stab at cooking with tempeh, which is used pretty frequently here in Indonesia.  Perhaps this tempeh sate from Indonesia Eats?

Image from Indonesia Eats

Cooking Tackle has some absolutely beautiful photos of Indonesian food and some tasty looking recipes, too.  I'd love to try some of the stuffed banana-leaf dishes they have here, including the nasi bakar rica-rica from Cooking Tackle:

Image from Cooking Tackle
I'd also love to try Cooking Tackle's version of the Balinese lemongrass fish satay, sate lilit Bali.  It's so fragrant and delicious!

Image from Cooking Tackle

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Indonesian Greeting Card?

I'm pretty sure they don't have Hallmark here in Jakarta, but they make up for that in grand fashion with these massive (maybe 6 feet across?), colorful, floral "greeting card" displays for happy events.  

 Weddings, grand openings, graduations... all of these events are marked by tens of these ornate flower "cards" set up outside the venue.  This particular wedding was at a house on our block that seems to frequently host big events, but I've also seen them outside of hotels, recently opened offices or stores, newly completed construction sites.

"selamat" = best wishes, "bahagia" = happiness/contentedness (I think)

They get a little drippy and droopy after it rains on them, but they are pretty eye-catching nonetheless. 

Cool Post-Storm Rainbow

After a massive thunderstorm yesterday afternoon here in Jakarta, at dusk there was a crazy yellow glow in the sky... I went out on our balcony to check it out and caught this cool rainbow:

A few minutes later the yellow glow shifted to red, like the whole sky was on fire.  Crazy.  I didn't get a photo, but one of the English-language newspapers here, the Jakarta Globe, did:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Frequently Spotted in Jakarta

Frequently seen on the roads in Jakarta:  

Hundreds of motorbikes weaving through traffic, then inching forward at a red light, ready to jump the gun (usually approximately 6 seconds before the light turns green).  The occasional bajaj scoots in there, too. 

This is right in front of Tim's office building.
Construction... so much construction.  This 10-meter high elevated flyover road is being built in order to alleviate traffic in the future (we'll see about that), but is currently wreaking havoc on traffic throughout the city.  And also looking mighty precarious in the meantime.

This makes me nervous... notice how it is seemingly floating, unconnected on either end?
Not a lot of cones, ropes or other protective equipment to warn passersby of the construction overhead.

Old dirty buses, burping bajaj... I know I've mentioned these before, but they really are omnipresent and unforgettable for several reasons: 1) the fumes... the fumes!  2) the fact that they are always trying to either pick you up or run you over.

Sorry for the blur... took this photo as I crossed the street on foot.  Stop for a second and you will be roadkill.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pulau Sepa, Take 2

This past weekend Tim and I returned to Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands), specifically to Pulau Sepa (again), this time for a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course...  After Komodo piqued our interest in diving, we were itching to head back out and under.  Additionally, we were hoping to improve upon our diving skillz and get some more diving experience after being thrown into some pretty intense underwater scenarios in Komodo.  The PADI course covered a lot of dives that we'd already done in Komodo, but we wanted to get the official introduction to these dives and to get our advanced certification in case future dive outfits are more conscientious about checking to make sure we're qualified to do the more adventurous dives.
Pulau's Sepa's reef poking out of the water during a very low tide...
We had a great weekend... 5 fun dives.  I hope to have more diving photos soon (we used the dive company's camera during the dives), but in the meantime I am linking to some cool photos I found online from the same sites.

1. A deep dive: Deep dives for recreational divers are considered those that go down to depths of 18-30 meters (60-100 feet).  Once we descended to those depths on our dive, the instructor had us do some small tasks to show the differences when you get down that deep- colors don't appear the same at deep depths as they do on the surface because the red part of the light spectrum is filtered out by the water.  We also did some minor math problems to potentially illustrate the effects of nitrogen narcosis

2. A navigation dive: We used a compass to navigate around underwater (in pretty bad visibility), and counted our kick cycles to estimate how far we were going.  

3. A night dive: We took torches out on the Sepa reef and dove around in the darkness... pretty trippy.  I definitely get a little bit of a claustrophobic feeling when night diving since you can't see a single thing outside of the light emanating from your flashlight.  Pitch black all around you, coral and fish sneaking up on you from all sides.  Kinda freaky.  But diving at night gives you the chance to see stuff that you aren't necessarily able to see during the day... crabs, cool anemone (we saw a ton of bright yellow ones that weren't visible during the day on the uprights for Sepa's docks), etc.

4. A wreck dive:  This dive was really cool... we dove down to check out Papa Theo, the wreck of an old shipping vessel that had crashed near Sepa in 1982Super eerie in the low visibility, the wreck is basically split in half, rusted over and covered in hard and soft corals.  Fish swim in and out of the doors and gaping holes in the wreck, and in certain spots you can still see the cargo that the ship carried- ball point pens, umbrellas...

5. A "peak performance buoyancy" dive:  This one was barely about buoyancy... we dispensed with the requirements right away (to my dismay, I was actually hoping to get some more tips on perfecting buoyancy) and rode a mild current down to another wreck, this time a small fishing boat.  On the way we saw a blue spotted stingray, some teeny tiny whipcoral shrimp, and the coolest thing: a juvenile batfish. 

In addition to diving, we also did some chilling on the island...
Tim, enjoying his first bag of real, American Cheetos (not roasted chicken flavor) since we moved here in October.
Mmm... warm sand, clear water.

Super Bowl Monday Morning

Watching the Super Bowl in Jakarta required us to get us at 6:30 on Monday morning so Tim could don his Giants gear and yell obscenities.  

Me, I made bloody marys and breakfast.  Bloody Mary recipe at my other blog...

UPDATE:  Tim was happy he got up early.  He also stood for the last 10 minutes of the game, which was a little awkward.  Welcome to my life.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I've done my fair share of complaining about restaurants here in Jakarta, but there are many things at which restaurants here excel.

For example: decor.  The decor at restaurants here is insane.  Funky, coordinated, modern.  I love it.

Also: presentation.  The food is generally presented in a really cool way... fun dishes, neat arrangements, etc.
Pitcher of fresh minty limeade, complete with accompanying mini-pitcher of simple syrup.,

Finally: drinks.  The array of options for interesting non-alcoholic beverages here is outstanding.  I guess when the majority of the country (or at least this island) doesn't drink alcohol, restaurants have to come up with exciting ways to entice diners into buying a fancy non-alcoholic drink with their meals rather than sticking to water.  As opposed to the U.S. where your non-alcoholic options are typically limited to soda or overly sweetened iced tea, here they go out of their way with fresh squeezed juices and smoothies, fun virgin cocktails, refreshing sparkling lemon or limeade drinks with fresh juice and herbs. 

Plus, on top of that, they typically let you sweeten your own iced tea or lemonade with simple syrup served in a cute, tiny pitcher.  This is awesome.  I hate in the U.S. that either the drink is pre-sweetened and it's far too sweet, or you have to stir in crystallized sugar that never really dissolves into your iced tea.  First world problems, indeed. It's so easy to make simple syrup!  Even the Starbucks here have it here as the default sweetener.  I love it, as you can probably tell.  It's a simple (har har) thing, but it's a really nice touch.