Monday, February 1, 2010

5 Simple Happy Things

I complain enough, don’t I? I figured it’s time for some happy stories. Here’s a countdown from the last week:

5. Sweet success

I made muffins! Sometimes it’s the little things, right? The delicious little things in foil wrappers. Mom bought me a camping oven for Christmas, and I assembled it, installed it, and cooked with it. Success is delicious.

4. Dirty laundry

I pay $30 every four weeks for a woman to wash my laundry. I’ve come a long way from when I arrived and felt “uncomfortable” asking someone else to wash my underwear. $30 is a lot of money, actually, but it’s that or transport my dirty clothes 45 minutes downtown and carry them on ojek/angkot, so I opted for the woman near my house. Except lately, she’s been slacking.

This week, my clothes still weren’t done two days after I was supposed to pick them up. Employing my new sassy attitude that worked at Telkom, I said “I need my clothes! I pay you a lot of money to have them done by Sunday night, and it is Tuesday!” (In Bahasa—woot!)

And later that night… she carried them over herself, apologizing for her laziness. We had a nice little chuckle, and I gave her a muffin.

3. Orange and black? That’s a go.

I discovered my fashion freedom. Do you know what Indonesians say when you wear green and red together? Nothing. They say nothing. Or they say, “You look so pretty today, miss.”

You can look like a Christmas tree or an Easter egg and it doesn’t remind them of anything but their own closet. And as a plus for me, it feels sort of ornery.

2. Sry learns to swear

One of the teachers at my school has started flipping through the pages of her English dictionary when she’s bored. She’s looking for dirty words. I would teach her some, but she’s never asked, and it’s more fun to watch her search.

After settling on a few new words, she says them as often and as loudly as she can in the teachers’ lounge.

Sry’s choices for this week? Tit, booger, and venereal disease. She uses them more than I use my hand sanitizer.

“Would people in America laugh if I yelled ‘nipple’ in a classroom?” she asks. I told her people would probably just find that awfully strange.

1. Auntie

I’ve been hanging out with an Indonesian couple named Andy and Sylvia a lot. They’re married with one daughter, and their second child is on the way. On Shanti’s birthday (their daughter), I went with them to Andy’s family’s house for the dinner and celebration.

I didn’t realize that one of my favorite teachers at IGM was giving some of the younger children private English lessons in one of the studies. When I finally saw her, we were both really surprised.

“But,” she said, looking at the kids, “They didn’t say a bule was here! They just said their Auntie Ketty was visiting.” (I am Ketty to most Indonesians.)

This was a huge victory celebrated with a single word. They didn’t say a bule was visiting, they said it was their Auntie Ketty.


  1. Sry is hilarious. That is extremely funny.

    I would like a muffin...

  2. huzzah! congratulations!

  3. OH MY GOSH! I laughed so hard at #2...I mean I really laughed out loud. Tim had to come in and read it right away. Then, we both started laughing when we realized I would be inclined to do what Sry is doing with the naughty words! You made our evening my dear!

  4. Ooohhh...your muffins look so yummy! And yes, that is a huge victory to be viewed as Aunt Ketty rather than as a bule. Congrats!

  5. If you keep baking like that, you're going to have to go from Aunt Ketty to Aunt Betty, Betty Crocker!

    You know, I don't think I've ever used the phrase veneral disease...until now. :-P I would love to see her just shouting dirty words like booger in the teacher' lounge.

    I love your blog, but not as much as I love you...and Princess Butter Bottom Puddy Tat Callie!