Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bahasa (1)

Bahasa means language, Indonesian speaks Bahasa Indonesia, but westerners say Indonesian speak Bahasa. That's wrong :)

Bahasa Indonesia is simple. There is no present and past tense, there is no masculine or feminine words.

The structure of Bahasa Indonesia is similar to English:

Subject + Predicate + Object + Place/Time

We can also put Place/Time before the Subject.

These are the list of important words that we usually use as subjects:

Saya, Aku : I
Kamu : You
Kalian : You (for more than one people)
Dia : He/She
Mereka : They

So let's try:

Tadi malam saya makan nasi goreng di restoran.

Tadi malam : last night
Di restoran: at a restaurant.

You should be able to understand the whole sentences ...

Thursday, July 29, 2010


These are the words that you supposed to use to me :)

sayang = honey
cantik = pretty, beautiful
manis = sweet

Of course you also have to know these words, that sometimes also describes me ... only sometimes, hahaha ...

galak = mean
manja = spoiled

Last but not least, your favorite ...

pendek = short, shortie :))

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trivia facts

These are trivia facts about Indonesia that you might find interesting

1. Indonesia has more than 10,000 islands, I don't know exactly how many they are. I remember my school books said 13,000 something.

2. Indonesia has three time zones: west, central, and east. Places where we will visit are mostly in western time zone, which in summer time 11 hours ahead of eastern time here.

3. Indonesian are generally religious - because they "have to" believe in God, otherwise they are going to be in trouble with the Government.

4. If you think that all Indonesians have skin tone like me, you are wrong. Most of them yes. Some of them has fair skin, more like Chinese, some of them looks more like African than Asian, with dark skin and curly hair. They come from island of Papua, in the eastern part of Indonesia.

5. Yes, a lot of people believe in ghosts and spirits.

6. Celebrities are just the same like here. They have a lot of unimportant drama, and the media overexposes them.

7. We have so many local languange (duh, of course, we have more than 13,000 islands) but in general our generation speak Indonesian.

8. Some Indonesians are super rich, some are extremely poor, the difference are just too extreme, especially in Jakarta. I can easily bring you to a "field trip" to see both sides ...

I am out of ideas ... my brain is fried from the long day at customer site. Good night!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nasi Goreng and Kecap Manis

Who can resist nasi goreng ?? You might reject the idea of having a full meal for breakfast, but nasi goreng is simply irresistible.

My mom grinds some shallots, red chili, garlic, saute them a little bit followed by a plate of white rice, then pour some sweet soy sauce and salt, stir it until done. Don't forget to garnish it with sunny side up, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Voila, it looks like the picture above ...

Do you know what is the Indonesian word for sweet soy sauce? Kecap manis, and it is pronounced very similar to "ketcup". Funny isn't it :) ? Kecap = soy sauce, manis = sweet. Believe me or not, kecap is one of the most important item for Indonesian.

I am craving for nasi goreng ...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Hey, I am not talking about alcohol :p ... since traditionally Indonesian do not drink alcohol. What I am talking about here is the variety of drink that we have in Indonesia.

Number one: air putih or water. If you translate it word by word, air putih = white water, but it simply means water. Most of Indonesian like to drink air putih, yes, we do not drink soda that much. Keep in mind that never drink tap water in Indonesia, as we do not have a good drinking water system. People who live in big cities usually buy drinking water, but my parents are still kinda traditional, they always boil the water, cool it down, and put it in the bottles or jug.

In a lot of areas including where my parents live, people like to drink tea. They served it differently though. In West Java (where Iis from) they serve it unsweetened, while in my hometown they are crazy about sweet tea. We do not put milk or anything else other than sugar, whether it is for hot tea or ice tea. Among the common type of tea are jasmine tea and black tea. My mom usually prepares tea for everybody each morning and evening. How do we pronounce tea in Indonesia? Teh. The 'e' is pronounced like 'e' in the word "else". Don't forget to pronounce the 'h' at the end.

Despite the fact that we have one of the best coffee in the world (you name it! Toraja, Sumatra, Java, Kopi Luwak) Indonesian do not drink coffee as much as tea. In some areas maybe, but certainly not in Yogyakarta. But don't forget to remind me to shop for some coffee when we are there.

We have some unique drinks like boiled ginger
- not my favorite, es cendol (ice = es) - remember the drink that we ordered in Penang, es jeruk = squeezed orange ice, this is my favorite, and young coconut ice. I am sure you will enjoy most of them, because generally they are very tasty and refreshing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Let me talk about one of my favorite thing, f o o d :)

As you know, Indonesian foods are good :) Some people sometimes generalize that Indonesian food are spicy, which is generally true, but it's not always the case.

We always eat full meal, three times a day - I know I know, you find it weird, but sometimes I am missing having full meal for my breakfast. What I meant by full meal is we always have rice - or its substitute, along with some vegetables and protein side dish which could be meat, fish, or vegan dish. We call those protein side dish as lauk.Meat are luxury dishes for some of us, therefore we don't always have it in our menu. We substitute it with cheaper protein such as tofu, tempe (Americans call it tempeh - fermented soy beans), or eggs.

We usually have sayur - vegetables in every meal. It can be soup, curry-like-dish, or sauted vegetables. Like what you might have read in the book, Indonesian normally eat cooked vegetables, sometimes it's overcooked :) We don't have a lot of salad, but we sometimes eat raw vegetables as side dish when we eat grilled chicken or fish. We call it lalapan. Lalapan is normally eaten with sambal and steamed rice. Can you remember the Indonesian word for rice? Yes dear, correct, nasi :).

After we finish with our main dish, we sometimes have fruits as our dessert. We don't have much sweet dessert like ice cream or cakes. Well, let me correct it, we do have those, but I don't think they are necessarily served as desserts.

Oh, before I forget, did I tell you that sometimes we eat with our bare hands? Of course we don't do it all the time, but when we eat dry meals like fried or grilled chicken or fish with sambal and lalapan, we normally do it. Do you find it gross :)? Well, you can always use spoon and fork if you don't want to do that. Yes, remember how I always use spoon and fork. Spoon in the right hand, fork in the left hand. If you still find it hard, I'll find knife for you so you can eat with fork and knife, hahaha.

I'll continue talking about food in some other time. Now I am tired, need some rest before the crazy work tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mas Dave

When you meet my family, relatives, and friends, of course you will need to introduce yourself. You can say "Nama saya Dave", which literally means "My name is Dave".

Unlike in United States, people don't call only by name - except among friends. If you call older people by name, it is considered impolite. For example, if you call an older person or a co-worker, or any adult in general, you can always start with Pak (Mr.) or Ibu (Miss), followed by first name. Yes, first name, we rarely call somebody by their last name, except for those who only have single name.

When you meet my parents, you can always call them Om and Tante, which is the equivalent of Uncle and Auntie.

Since I am from Yogyakarta, a lot of people use Javanese words. A lot of people will call me "Mbak" which means older sister. We can also use this as the substitute of "Ibu" for less formal occasions. The male version of "Mbak" is "Mas". Don't be surprised if somebody call you "Mas Dave" :p

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Selamat Datang and Terima Kasih

When you come to Indonesia, a lot of people will say "Selamat Datang di Indonesia", which means "Welcome to Indonesia".

Like I've told you several times ... a lot of greetings are using the word "Selamat", such as: Selamat Pagi - Good Morning, Selamat Siang - Good Afternoon, Selamat Sore - you might say it if it's not dark yet but it's past afternoon :p, Selamat Malam - Good Night. In addition, there will be Selamat Natal - Merry Christmas, Selamat Ulang Tahun - Happy Birthday, etc, etc.

But for now, let's stick with those "Selamats" above. How do you suppose to response to a "Selamat Datang"? Of course you the simplest response is to say "Thank you" or "Terima kasih".

You might hear several version of how people saying "Terima kasih", such as "Makasih" or "Trims" -- see how lazy we are, so we shorten and shorten each word :) But if you can't remember all the versions, just remember the formal version "Terima kasih" and you will see Indonesian will smile back to you because you reply in their mother languange :)

Indonesia 101

After months - if not years of absence of blogging - I want to start writing again for personal reason. I am going to visit home this November with my boyfriend, Dave, and I have difficulties to start introducing little stuff about Indonesia.

I hope by writing in blog it will be easier for me ... so Dave: welcome to Indonesia 101, or I should say ... selamat datang di Indonesia 101