This is more like it!

You, LORD, are all I want! You are my choice, and you keep me safe. You make my life pleasant, and my future is bright. Psalm 16:5-6

Silent Sunday

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Here is what a becak looks like.  This is a popular form of public transportation in the village, as well as in the city.  You flag one down and pay the equivalent of a dollar or less to get where you are going.

With the exhilaration of the wind in your face!

As well as the traffic coming right at you!

And there is nothing the becaks can’t hold.  Here’s proof:

The girls certainly didn’t want to miss their chance to ride this wonderful contraption, so here they are in Gombong, taking a ride.

And just to show that we can put lots of stuff in the becaks too, here is Papa and our suitcases arriving at the hotel in Gombong:

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Won’t you be my neighbor

Isn’t “Green Scenic Peace” a great name for a neighborhood?  This is where my sister, Jana’s house is.  The streets all have animal names like Jalan Menjangan, which is the name of a kind of deer and Jalan (Road) Gajah (Elephant).

There is a guard at the gate who “waves” you in or out.  He recognizes the cars, so there is a sense of security.  (There is only one other bule  (foreigner, literally “albino”) in the neighborhood, so we were very recognizable!)

Right inside the gate is this store that sells bottled water, the big bottles, for around 30 cents for a refill.

The neighborhood was really pretty, and when it wasn’t too unbearably hot, we went on a few walks.  Notice the cool-looking (but bumpy to drive on!) brick streets!

Here Jana found a “tukang” (roadside merchant/workman) selling this bamboo patio set she had her eye on.  We were heading out to eat, but when we saw him in the neighborhood, we stopped and she negotiated an agreeable price, bought the set, and showed him the way to the house so he could deliver it!  The patio set is now on their rooftop patio – you can see it here in this post.

Also in the neighborhood is this vegetable cart!  The lady selling these veggies also had fish and shrimp for sale.

The houses in the neighborhood were all unique – some with tended lawns and gardens, others not so much, but they all had these iron gates.  Most houses are concrete, but some of the houses had tile (yes tile!) covering the outside walls.

This one is Jana’s house, and ours for a month!

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Silent Sunday


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Experience it for yourself

Just a little taste…….

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We shopped till we dropped

The girls especially loved shopping and we were surprised that there were such nice malls to go to in Palembang!

The boys came with us a few times, but couldn’t understand how those girls could keep going again and again to the SAME mall!

The close mall was called PTC.  We went up….

and we went down….

And we found familiar sounding names like….


and we were surprised to even find some familiar “brand-names”!

And then also some not-so-familiar names:

The “Stroberi” – Teenager Accessories Station (think Claires)

And the fun “D Bubble” store which reminds you to “Be Funky Be Yourself”

The Batik Keris is a popular store for foreigners because of all the batik items – including clothing,  placemats, folding fans, key rings, and purses and bags of all sizes.

The majority religion is Islam, so clothing like this was seen everywhere.

There were soooooo many things to look at, you can see why we had to go so many times!

I found it interesting to see these books in a bookstore – Chicken Soup books translated into Indonesian, and then many helpful English-learning books!


Grocery Shopping – Asia style – Part II

The condiment aisle – mostly soy sauce, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), and many varieties of sambal (hot chili sauce).

I really wanted to bring these home with me!  JUGS of kecap manis and sambal!

A condiment many of you may be more familiar with – mayonnaise!  In a bag!

Something else familiar!  But these items are more expensive there.  This jar of picante sauce is about $5-6.

Jars of spaghetti sauce for about $4.

Bread is not eaten nearly as much in Asia like in the US.  It’s more of an afterthought, and is on this shelf by the checkout.  Some of the loaves are sold “crustless”, and some of the loaves are green – tinted with the pandan leaf.

Cooking oil is used a lot here for deep-frying and stir-frying.  I’m not sure of the practicality of oil in bags though…

Why don’t we have canned milk in the US?

Dried fish was available in all sizes.

Instead of bread, Asians eat rice, lots and lots of rice!  There were no small bags of rice, it was this or bigger.

So you could definitely see the need for this rice bucket.

Or even better, this rice box, that dispenses the number of servings you want to prepare!  I think I really want one of these.

I’m not exactly sure what this is, but it says “Cheesecake”.  I found it very interesting that they did sometimes sell sliced cheese, but it was on the shelf, not refrigerated…

Anyone want some “Oops” cookies?

Or how about some Lays chips in flavors like Fiesta BBQ, Salmon Teriyaki, Pizza, Paprika Grilled Chicken…

or the Kelley boys’ favorite – Seaweed flavor!

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Grocery Shopping – Asia style

Grocery shopping in Palembang with my sister was an adventure in itself!  We went almost every other day just to “pick up a few things.”

There were a few familiar things – like these apples, oranges, and pears (in white wrappers)….

But most of what we saw was quite different than a grocery store in the US….

Belimbing (star-fruit)  – ok, we do have those, but not near as BIG!

Weighing the fruit (that’s my sister, Jana)

Various beans and peas for sale – so colorful!

Hot chili peppers and other vegetables.

Various types of krupuks (chips) that you can buy uncooked – you fry them in oil to eat them.

Eggs by the pallet (actually you place your chosen number of eggs in a bag to purchase)

But in Asia, you have a variety of eggs to choose from, including these pigeon eggs.

Chicken heads – NOTHING is wasted in this country!

I wonder how you would go about cooking a sting-ray?

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Around the house fun

Besides all the shopping, and going out to eat, we enjoyed playing and hanging around the house:

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Back to the beginning

Ok, well, I managed to get only 2 posts on here while we were in Indonesia!  Now it is time to catch up and show you what fun we had!

We arrived on July 6th, and this is probably July 7th and I am probably mostly asleep.  That’s me on the left, and Jana, my sister on the right.  We are in front of her house.  See the beautiful 2-color bougainvillea bush?

Jana bought me some familiar candy that we enjoyed eating while growing up!

And we brought them a bunch of stuff too! A lot of food mixes, toiletries, candy, and games for the kids.

That’s the 3 cousins – Joel, Seth, and Aaron.

And there’s Kris and Jana.  This is their dining room (you can see the living room behind them).

The sitting room is on the other side of the room from the dining table.  All Indonesian houses have a front sitting area for guests.

Here we are playing a game called “Mafia” (fun game – instructions here)

The kids watching TV in the living room.  We really didn’t spend a whole lot of time watching TV as we spent a lot of time shopping, eating, and playing games.  Notice that the floors are all tiled – this is typical in Indonesia.  Behind the couch you see the school room.

The school-room is also the office, computer-room, game-room, and music room.

The kitchen was a popular gathering spot, naturally, since there was often food to prepare and munch on.

This picture was taken from the stairs which led up to the guest room where Eric and I stayed.

One of the best things about the house, was this cool roof-top patio!  When we first came, it didn’t have the awning or the furniture, so they are brand new!  You can see their clothes dryer to the right.

And you can’t beat this awesome view!

Last of all, meet the family cat, Eddy.