Indonesia, <3 U

I went to Indonesia in January, 2012.  I visited Jakarta and Bali.  Here is my top ten list of what I experienced during my holiday in the Southeast Asian archipelago.

10. The mall!  Okay, one mall out of the four I went to!  It was the perfect mix of America/global brands and layout with Asian charm!  It had all the best shops.  I knew then that if I lived in Jakarta, I would go to shop there.  And I wouldn’t miss America when I went to that mall.  I would be in shopping bliss instead!  But … can’t remember which mall it was.  Just the malls it wasn’t.  ^.~   Oh well!

Chinese New Year! ^^

9. The amazing weather!  It is so warm year-round!  Now, I went during winter, which is traditionally rainy season.  The rainy season means quick, heavy showers!  I miss rainy days in America being universal to all the seasons, but having a rainy season has its own quirky charm.  But during my stay, there was hardly any rain!  It rained twice maybe!  Sunshine follows me where I go. ^^ Maybe I am a princess?!

Flowers! I love summer!

8. Street vendors!  And the bustling streets!  You can buy all sorts of yummy food from morning until night in Indonesia!  It feels so friendly and active to have breakfast on plastic chairs outside in the morning heat (always hot).  The food is amazing, and everywhere someone will sell you food or clothes or souvenirs.  It is kind of sad, realizing the relative poverty compared to my Western homeland, but it’s an exotic experience.

7. Karaoke rooms are awesome!  They have computers!  They have fancy drink and food menus!  Maybe I just got to go to the nicest, least creepy places because my tour guide knew what he was doing, but being able to sing songs from all over Asia is awesome!  Karaoke is better in Indonesia! ^^ Love to sing!

6. Sweet tea!  Okay, I am not a Southern gal.  But sweet tea in Indonesia is indispensable.  Best drink to match your nasi goreng.  So yummy!  And it’s in a glass bottle!  Exotic!

Cool and Refreshing! Hey, that's not Cola!

5. Nasi goreng, tidak pedas!  I love fried rice!  Indonesian fried rice!  Hold the durian and hot sauce, but Indonesian food is amazing!  I love fried rice there.  I ate it almost everyday.

I was too scared to try to eat something with legs still attached! Break them off, one-by-one!

4. Secluded islands with white sand beaches!  Being one of a few tourists on a beach in a famous tropical spot like Indonesia is amazing.  Being on a clean, warm, beautiful beach is always amazing!

The ocean at Jimbaran!

3. Pizza Hut!  Sure, it’s American, but the price and menu is better in Indonesia.  And the taste is still classically Pizza Hut.

Pizza? I don't want pizza. Wait, Pizza Hut? That's different!

2. Going into a Korean make-up store and being told, “Welcome Princess!”  Sure, R had to translate it and they probably say the same thing in Korea, but R was so excited, I pretty much couldn’t stop blushing.  Yes, I am a princess.  I really do want guys to carry my things, open doors for me, and pay for everything on a date.  And guys that carry my purse and go shopping for earrings, hair bands, and nail polish with me make me feel like a princess! *^^*  It made Indonesia the best country (although maybe just for that brief moment).

1.  R’s smile – It’s free!

^_^
The beach at night! It was amazingly beautiful! Perfect beach holiday!

Year of the Dragon Part 2

The ocean from Bali! Yep, I was a dork readin' a book at the beach!

The beach is awesome!  After Lunar New Year, I began the Year of the Dragon in Bali, Indonesia.  It was somewhere I never imagined I would go three years ago.  It was somewhere I never imagined going by myself two years ago.  Life is amazing.  People get older.  People get bolder.

Black Water Dragon 2012
WATER DRAGON! BLACK DRAGON! OH NO, MY SKIN!

And some of us just get henna tattoos of dragons to celebrate the Chinese New Year!   Okay, I do love henna.  But I didn’t love remembering the news reporting when I was young (teenager, or even younger? So decades ago.) about black henna giving tourists rashes when they got a temporal tattoos during their beach vacations.  Rashes are not good vacation/new year fun!  But I couldn’t say no to the pushy vendors on the beach at Bali.  So yes, I got a black henna tattoo of a water dragon on my leg!  Go year of the dragon!  So far not itchy and no signs of infection/impending amputation (yet!) and it might fade away.  Maybe.  Um, but not really even faded to brown yet.

So here’s to you Indonesia and the Year of the Dragon-2012!

Real "Dragon"

Year of the Dragon Part 1

Mall Display for the Chinese New Year!

Welcome the year of the dragon in the Chinese New Year!

I say Chinese New Year because I escaped Korea to go see how the original people celebrate their lunar new year!

On Chinese New Year I went to an amusement park in Jakarta with lots of exhibits showcasing the best of Indonesia.  Indonesia consists of 17,508 islands, (thanks Wikipedia) which includes a lot of culture.

There were also animals like birds and fish.  And this …

Large Reptile

The Indonesian Dragon: The Komodo Dragon!

Giant Lizard
The Komodo Dragon isn't really a dragon at all-it's a giant lizard!
He is touching a snake!

My enthusiastic tour guide was very excited to show me the famous Indonesian dragon.  But I think he doesn’t realize little, white American girls who fall in love with Asia learn about China and Japan.  Not Indonesia so much.  And when I first heard of the Komodo Dragon, I thought it was the most fabulous thing-A REAL LIFE DRAGON!  But then, I realized Komodo is not a Japanese name and my interest in the dragon died.  It became just a poser-lizard.  Which is, in fact, what it is.  That or a land crocodile.   Or a giant monitor.

Yep, the Komodo dragon disappointed me for not being from or a tribute to the land of the rising sun.  That and my tour guide let the snake in the picture get close to me.  So scary!  I am against reptiles and their egg-born spawn.

So, here’s to you, Year of the Dragon!  May your dragons be more colorful, beautiful, and exciting than the giant Indonesian land crocodile.

Fireworks

In the TV show Glee, when Finn and Quinn kiss, they experience fireworks.

Is that normal?

Well, I guess there was a guy that made my heart beat fast when we kissed.  Our kisses felt more magical than just pairs of lips meeting.

But then again, Glee is just TV.  I mean, when Finn kissed Rachel he had an orgasm.  And that is certainly explosive.

I love fireworks.  I like the whistling sound they make before the explosion.  I like the colors.  I like how they expand and fade. I like the play of shapes and patterns different fireworks can make.  I like the music the play to match fireworks.

I feel happy watching fireworks.  I sit, and I don’t speak, and even being alone, I love to watch fireworks.

I go to the beach, by myself, even sitting through rain, and I watch big explosions in the night sky.  I see light and fire and smoke.

My ringtone is even the sound of fireworks.  It scares my friends’ dog.

So, why do I love fireworks so much?  Why do people love fireworks so much?

Sure, they are beautiful, but why go to see them in person rather than just watch on TV.

I guess I feel hopeful seeing them.  It’s part of a transcendental experience.  I sit there and I am bigger than myself and so small and surrounded at the same time.  I see fireworks and they are both near and far and I am completely aware of the moment.

Fireworks remind me what people can create together, what dreamers can imagine.  Fireworks symbolize hope and the optimism of the future.  They are a celebration and extravagant and fleeting and lovely.

So, enjoy the fireworks!