Monday, 23 April 2012

Other 17th Birthday Experiences

So I've been to quite a lot of birthday parties recently. Including two 17th birthday parties which as you know are equivalent to sweet sixteens in Amerika.
   The first took place on another trip of mine to Bandung with my host parents. Neither of my h.sisters went but I met up with my American friend Amy there. I've only met the cousin who's birthday it was a couple of times but the more the merrier? It was at the family house with the killer view so she gets points for location.

Yup view from the house
 The party was more formal than Caca's surprise 17th. There were chairs set up to watch the speakers and the entertainment. Her cake floated on the pool behind a huge sign of her name. Candles lit up the backyard.
Food was mostly meat which was disappointing. I ate spaghetti with no sauce. There was a soup too.  I was so jealous because there were quesadilla type things but they had meat in them.
   Now for what surprised me that night. One, most everyone was smoking. I know smoking's more popular in Indonesia but I've always seen it among college students or older men. My host family, school, and community don't tolerate high school aged kids smoking. But at this party just everyone was. Then when it was time for the birthday girl to come down she was preceded by 2 drag queens. Yup - one was dressed like Lady Gaga and danced the other was just a presenter. They were both really tall and wearing outfits befitting their characters as Lady Gaga and some other famous person. It was really interesting.And apparently not too unusual for Indonesia even though the grandma looked just a bit confused. Got to love it.
   The party was watch the birthday girl come down, watch the drag queens, listen to the band, eat and smoke. It was very structured which I could not see happening often in America. Me and Amy missed the end of the party but the next morning we tried the cake. Pretty tasty

Now the other 17th birthday I went to was a friend of the family's who also goes to school with Caca and I. It was actually at the same restuarant that Caca had her birthday at. So the food was the same. They have friends in common being at the same school too. But the party was different. This one was more games and door prizes. There was a video all her friends made for her.
See happy people but NOT due to karoaking and dancing and the general crazy funniness that was at Caca's bday. Different but also good

Just a look at different ways to celebrate the Big 17 in Indonesia. And you get to see what I've been up to.

Me yaay

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Amy's Birthday and Karawang Countryside

I recently went to Karawang to surprise Amy for her birthday. On Friday Caca and her friend drove me to Bekasi which is another city maybe 30 minutes outside of Jakarta. From there I met up with Nathan and we went to Karawang which is maybe another hour away. We went to Andrew's house first to prepare for the surprise. We made a sign - out of batik letters. As presents we had ourselves (because it was a surprise) and red peppers and cupcakes and a cake as well.

    After we were readily prepared we took becak to a karoke place. Karoke is really popular in Indonesia - think of it as their national hobby. Becak is a bicycle with a seat area in the front for passengers. This was my first time riding one. In Jakarta I could not imagine them being very pleasant to ride in with all the traffic and heat and smog. In Karawang it works because there's less traffic. There's lots of rice fields (sawah) and little market/stores but not much else. One classmate said when she goes to Karawang she likes to play in the sawah and 'get back to nature'. I like that. I laughed so much. Apparently it's almost like a beach because in the water there's eels and crabs. I have to go back so I can really get back to nature and play in the rice fields.
    Nathan and I waited a bit as Andrew went to get Amy. Then we did the surprise bit of the surprise birthday party. Always a good part. But we weren't done after being escorted to our karaoke room Nathan brought out his computer so Amy could skype her family back home. We presented the vegetables, cupcakes, and then got to singing. We mixed it up - Indonesian and English songs.
The infamous Alamat Palsu song
After this we did a little host family visiting. I'd never been to Karawang so this was my first time seeing their houses. At home we ate the cake and watched a movie.
You might ask why it says Ankhet on there too. Well ... that is a long story
I plan on going back to Karawang so you can actually see pictures of how different the countryside is from Jakarta. It would've been a totally different year if I was being hosted there.