Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ankhet dan Angkot

Another old unpublished post...
One of the words above is my name and the other is the name of a type of transportation in Indonesia. They sound the same though so there have been many jokes about Ankhet riding in angkots.

So let's start with the form of public transportation I frequent most often - the angkot. It is a small van, most in Jakarta are red, with an open door that you just hop into and ride for however long you need along an arranged path. When you reach your destination you just yell out 'Kiri' (it means left I guess because the driver pulls over to the left) or you can thump on the top of van. They are really convenient if you need to ride short distances like home from school. I don't like riding them during rush hour because they can get really full. One time I was riding an angkot along a popular route back to my house and counted 14 people inside! Are they dangerous? Well I guess if you think about 14 people smushing into 1 van that keeps its doors open (some people will stand in the door if it gets full) while trying to weave its way through traffic as fast as it can, then yeah you could say it's not the safest. More so people are worried about thievery because in the tight space it would be easy for someone to steal your wallet or phone. Really though I love it. It gets me home quickly, and conveniently for only 20 cents.
On one empty ride I took out my camera to get a few pictures of the inside. I would not chance this had it been a bit more full
Trans Jakarta/busway As the name suggests this type of bus is found only in Jakarta. I've heard plans of it being extended to cities surrounding Jakarta (the greater Jakarta are) because many people commute to Jkt. It's a huge bus raised high off the ground with many 'stations' placed around the city. You can not just hop in - you have to purchase a ticket (35cents) and then you wait in the station until your bus comes. You can transit and go on different lines. When Indonesians ask me about the subway I compare it to busway. It takes you along a designated route with designated stops in its own lane. I love Trans too even though it can get really crowded and you might have to stand.

The actual bus (bis) - I've only taken the actual bus twice; when I was returning from Karawang and when I went to the airport to go to Kalimantan. It's a regular travel bus that can take you to different cities. They range in how nice they are. The one to the airport was pretty nice - almost everyone had a seat, there was music playing, you got a receipt upon payment. It cost 25,000rp so about $2.50. There's no real difference between these and American buses except these are meant to go farther and they can stop whenever a customer decides they want to get out. There is a designated end but if you see your street before that - feel free to hop out.

Becak - I've only ridden this once in Karawang but they have them in many cities. It is a little cart placed in front of a bicycle. They go as fast as the driver can pedal and will take you for a short while. There's not much use for them in the large streets of Jakarta - too slow, too much traffic, your destination is probably a bit far but in smaller towns or even just smaller area they are a fun way to look around as you get to where you want to go.

There's another cart similar to the becak but it's behind a three wheeled car. I've only ridden it once and it was only to go down the street a bit. It was meeehh. Again only useful if you need to go somewhere pretty close.

    When I'm not taking public transportation I am in my family's car or walking. My family has a driver which is not uncommon for families that can afford it. If I'm being picked up or dropped off at school he usually takes us. 
    I walk only by myself or when I'm with other Americans. Indonesians aren't very fond of walking. They are really surprised when I tell them I walk to Tamini my local mall which is less than 25 minutes walking. One time I even walked from my school there and people were just shocked. It was less than an hour and I was walking very slowly. I like walking places for the exercise but I do not like all the smog I inhale along the way.

Friday, 26 July 2013


Here begins the trip into unpublished posts of mine. 

Fruit! One of the staples of my diet as a vegetarian and as a human. I love fruit so much. I eat tons of different types in my house in Amerika and have found more here. I don't know if everyone knows the fruit I know even the kinds I eat regularly in California so I'll just write any that seem the slightest bit uncommon.

Durian - I've already given you a description of the taste from the little trip I took with my friends to go try it. Sweet, strong smelling and very slimy. Durian flavor is also popular for other treats like ice cream

Rambutan - I love these little red fruits. Rambut means hair in B. Indonesia and they really are covered in their own type of hair. They are usually covered in ants so you might want to bounce them on the floor a bit before pulling them open. They're sweet with a largish seed in the middle you spit out. I could spend whole afternoons eating them with my family here.

Manga - Ok everyone knows about mangoes but here they have different types. These are red and incredibly sweet. My host mama buys and sells them in large quantities which is great for me.

Kelapa aka Coconut - Again everyone knows these but here people get them fresh to drink. I'm not too fond of coconut water - the consistany of it always gets to me. After drinking one you can use a spoon to eat out the sides. They also use lots of coconuts in food too. There is nasi uduk which is rice made with coconut water water. There are drinks where the meat of the coconut floats with other fruit in a sweetened juice.

Salak - It's brown and scaly like a snake. Easily peelable. The kind from Yogya I like - the Bali kind I don't.

Jicama or Bangkowan (B. Indo)- Ok it's actually a vegetable I guess. I just looked it up right now. But its put with all the other fruits so it can be added to this list. I love it and always have (I eat it in LA too). It tastes like water to me. Not sweet

Dukuh - I live in an area where dukuh is grown hence the name Kampung Dukuh. Dukuh are small whitish fruit that you can break open with you hands. Easier than peeling an orange. Inside there are small white parts. It's not very sweet maybe comparable to a grape in it's possibility to have an almost bitter/sour edge to its sweetness.

Papaya - it's orange with very black seeds. It looks like a gaping toothy mouth. I don't think it's very sweet but makes for a good mindless snack.
You can see my feets
Starfruit - It's shaped like a star!

And there are certain unpopular fruits here too. Such as kismis which are raisins but a couple people have translated it to me as plums like in the movie Barbie and 12 Plums. Then I gave my host mom dried cranberries and she called them kismis too. Either way if they're actually raisins or plums or whatever they are not popular.

There are fruit dishes here - like this soup below - just a bunch of fruits in sweet liquid stuff. There are lots of drinks too - some use jelly or avocado (which I hate).

Because I Stopped Before the End

Before I left for Indonesia I promised myself a couple things about my blog.
  1. I'd have lots of pictures
  2. I wouldn't be overly wordy
  3. And I wouldn't stop in the middle. I would see the whole year through.
    The last one is where I had the most problems. I did better than the middle but I still stopped before my year was over. I don't really regret it because I spent those last couple of weeks really being present in Indonesia but it has been bothering me recently.
    And so I am here a year later to rectify that situation. There are a couple of posts I never got around to publishing and even if just for myself I want this blog's story to end properly. And that is my explanation for the next couple of seemingly out of the blue posts about my year in Indonesia... a year later. Better late than never though, right?