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We woke up on Sunday morning to 14 cows living in those quickly erected next door pavilions. There is a second empty pavilion that seems to promise some more “new neighbors.” There is also a third hit with an elevated platform that 2-6 men watch cows from while chatting/drinking coffee/eating 24 hours a day.

To be clear, we live in a city of about 1 million close to Jakarta and yes, it definitely smells!

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Yesterday it stormed for about 7-8 hours. Torrential rain, wind, thunder, lightning….. Yet somehow all of this progress has been made from yesterday’s photo.

To add to it, assuming the builders are Muslim (which is highly likely), they started work late. Fridays are a prayer day and many people don’t work until after the midday prayers. I took this photo around 1:30 pm.

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We have a star fruit tree outside my school and there’s always lots of teeny fruits on the ground and porch attached to the teachers’ offices. I love it because as a little kid (and as an adult!) I thought star fruits were SO COOL looking.

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This is a photo of the empty lot next to to our apartment. It looks like a semipermanent structure is going up. They’re usually made of 100% bamboo, even down to the nails and thin strips to tie together poles. It’s really amazing to watch one of these being built and to see how solid they are once finished. Tomorrow morning I’ll try to get a closer shot of their progress.

BACON!

It took nearly a month of living in Indonesia, but tucked away on the back wall of the supermarket we found this….

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bacon. chorizo. three kinds of ham. sausages.

I felt a bit ashamed at my glee at our purchase as the Muslim cashier scanned our items across the barcode reader.  I wondered if our desire for a ham and cheese sandwich was somehow disruptive and she’d have to take a break to go pray or clean her hands in a special way.

Somehow hoping it would lessen my guilt and serve as some sort of non-verbal apology, I gave exact change.  I didn’t forget to use both hands accepting our bags or to say “Thank you” solemnly in Bahasa.

But then, she just smiled and called the next customer forward.

Korea in America

My second week back in the US I went to Wilmington, NC to visit my grandparents.  One morning, the TV was on and the Today show was advertising an upcoming clip on the “latest Asian cosmetic craze.”  I thought to myself, “I bet it’s BB cream,” and sure enough, it was.  Later that night, the news was on and they were talking about the outdoor gyms in China.  A clip floated up that could’ve been anywhere in Korea–adults working out on what looked like playground equipment.

On the Fourth of July, I went out for Korean food for lunch (it was a little salty but I enjoyed speaking some Korean with our ajumma server and have been back since) and after that, to the nearby grocery store where I discovered TONS of mandu, bbq eel, various rice cakes, fish cakes, pickled radish, kimchi, cold noodle soup mix, galbi marinades….

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Unlimited kimchi bar and soju place mats–where am I?!

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On my second visit to Koreana, David tends to the galbi, which you can cook at your table just like in the RoK 🙂

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Mom loves all banchan

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After all this, I’m left wondering if America always had this much Korea and I just didn’t notice or Korea is finding it’s popularity outside of the big cities.  This past weekend in DC, I even saw a take out bibimbap restaurant!  I’ll be on the look out for even more Korea in America.

From Joobin

I am really missing my little students.  My manager mailed this to me last week:

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Joobin was in my six year old class.  I love that he drew me thinking about his cute face!