Sunday, October 28, 2012


This weekend is Eid Al-Adha (or Idul Adha here in Indonesia), the Feast of the Sacrifice, an important Muslim holiday to honor the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his young first-born son Ishmael (before God intervened to provide Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead).  Celebrations are also connected to the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

In practice, during this holiday, animals are sacrificed and their meat is split into 3 parts, one third for the family to eat, one third for extended family and friends and one third for the poor and needy.  The animal is typically a cow, I understand, but most of what I have seen for sale here for the holiday is goat.  Goat markets pop up everywhere- tied up a long fences, at intersections, in random fields...  Wikipedia tells me that during the 2 days of Eid Al-Adha each year, over 100 million animals are killed as part of the celebrations.

I caught a photo of these goats this afternoon in a lot near our grocery store, reveling in the fact that they were not sold for sacrifice over the holiday weekend.  I imagine them singing, to the tune of Destiny's Child's song, Survivor, "I'm a survivor, I'm gonna eat grass, not getting slaughtered, gonna eat more grass!"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lihat-Lihat di Pasar Mayestik

Inspired by the beautiful photos at this website, driven by a need for pink buttons for a dress I am working on for Zoe, and buoyed by the enthusiasm of a new friend, I set out to lihat-lihat (browse) a little at Pasar Mayestik, a local/traditional market in my neighborhood.

While the market itself was a little bit strange and somewhat empty (it has been recently renovated and we think perhaps all the vendors have not yet returned), the market is surrounded on all sides by haberdashery shops selling hundreds of different kinds of fabric and all the little sewing do-dads you could ever want (except 1/4" elastic, boo).

I didn't get any photos of the fabric shops as I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of fabric as well as the overzealous salesmanship of the shopkeepers.   However, at the slightly more low-key, albeit quite claustrophobia-inducing Toko Maju, I was able to take a bunch of shots.  

This place is crazy, dude.  It's like a rabbit hole of sewing and crafting paraphernalia... buttons (soooo many buttons), ribbon, zippers, hooks, needles, beads, wire, elastic, strangely worded patches, toggles, lace, sequins... the list goes on and on.

The aisles are really narrow.  Not made for giant bule butts like mine.

As you can see from the photo above, there is an upstairs.  And an upstairs above that, too.  I went up for a moment, but it was eerily quiet up there and I was worried that I would get lost, starve to death and no one would ever find me, buried amongst the sewing notions.

So, yeah, let me know if you need buttons.  They've got a few here.

They had a lot, a lot of these strips of hook and eye closures.  I think they're used for the traditional kebaya, a blouse/dress that is worn with a batik sarong:

Ribbons galore, as well as lots of elastic waistband material in case you want to create your own knock-off Nike shorts, Tommy Hilfiger underwear or other such name brand items.

All around the market were lots of food vendors selling lunch, sweet snacks, and fruit, including this fruit that neither Brooke nor I could identify.  Anyone?

This guy was making these waffle/funnel cake hybrids (final result in back row of the next photo):

Aaaand, some more street art I saw on the way home, to cap it off.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Car Free Day, Gangnam Style

Every time Tim and I ride our bikes during Jakarta's weekly Car Free Day we see something different.  A few weeks ago it was bike tricks and ondel-ondel dancers.  This week was a completely different kind of dancers, specifically the type that looked like they were striving to end up on one of those ubiquitous dance shows:

I think they need to work on their synchronization a bit.  But their song choice (skinny jeans on, skinny jeans on) was on point!

A few minutes later we had to stop biking after running into this massive crowd surrounding a group of kids doing ye olde Gangnam Style dance-along... so many people that I couldn't get in close for a good view, but took video nonetheless:

We saw some fun street art:

And some fun bikes, including a strange bike/scooter hybrid propelled by a guy wearing a fez who bounces up and down on it to make it move, as well as a couple triple-decker hipster bikes:

I always wondered how people got onto those tall bikes... a ladder?  Turns out, no, you just get the bike rolling and then carefully climb on (sorry for the blurry photos, I also on my bike, rolling along):

Jakarta Softball

Tim joined a softball league here in Jakarta, which he is pretty excited about.  I am less excited since it seems to be men only, and honestly the level of play is far beyond my weak softball skillz.  Waa waaaaa.

They play on a great field: walking distance from our house, lights, fences, actual lines and bases, palm trees, a scoreboard (and guys to run it).  It's no EPA league, though, and certainly no Sludgers. I am pretty sure I was the only person drinking on the sidelines.

I love that these guys actually kept score... usually at Sludgers games it was someone on the sidelines half-assedly keeping track of things, while more likely than not spilling their beer on the score book.

The umpire in the navy shirt (above and below) was really funny- he inexplicably yelled "YESSSS" at random times throughout the game.

I can't believe they had a guy on site to repaint the lines between games:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bangkok Market Trip and Cooking Class

Only in Bangkok for a very short time, besides hanging out with Mr. Ben and Erin and eating lots of good food, I made another stop on my unofficial quest to take a cooking lesson and/or market tour in every Southeast Asian country.

I took the course offered through the Blue Elephant restaurant, which is in a pretty cool old building (above).  From there we jumped on the MRT (Bangkok's elevated train system, the ease and cleanliness of which made me further lament Jakarta's lack of quality public transportation) to the Bang Rak Market, which was across from these old-school shophouses:

Lots of pretty fruits and veggies, as usual:

Some flower offerings:

A glare from a lady working a sweet old sewing machine:

Iced coffee or tea for everyone, served as I remember it from my last time in Bangkok, mixed in a mug and then poured in a bag to go:

When I went to Bangkok in college, we were so enthralled with the drinks-in-a-bag served all around the city that we decided that we would have a drinks-in-a-bag themed party at our apartment when we returned to St. Louis.  Luckily we saw the error in our thinking and nixed that idea... what happens when someone has to use the restroom or set their drink down?  Host's worst nightmare.

Eggses and meat hooks galore (looks like the scene of a bad '90s era teen slasher movie):

This guy was scraping the scales off this fish with such a fervor, they were flying everywhere:

Weighing greens:

Banana flowers, the world's tinest eggplants, and other wonders:

Garlic galore and all the chilies you can eat:

Strangely, these light-colored pomegranates were everywhere on the streets of Bangkok... seemed a little bit out of place, but people seemed to be snatching them up:

I'm not sure what this fried stuff was, but it was freshly fried and looked tasty:

This jello stand was the most popular one in the market when we were there... particularly among the ladies?:

After the market, we headed back to the restaurant for our cooking demo and chance to take a stab at some Thai dishes ourselves:

We made Pad Thai and Tod Man Plaa Grai (fish cakes) with Naam A-Jard (sweet and sour cucumber salad):

Yum Ma-Khua Yao Koong Sod (grilled long eggplant salad with prawns) and Kaeng Phed Kai Nor Mai (red curry with chicken and bamboo shoots):