Friday, September 12, 2014

Things we like about Bandung

In our first month, here are three things we already like about Bandung:

1. People
The people are generally friendly and helpful. They smile at our attempts to communicate - and ask about us, our family, and why we're here. They try hard to understand our questions or where we need to go.

Language school students: our cultural experience was making batik
Indonesians are generous. The Christian charities - which we know about - volunteer help, time, and money to the less fortunate. The Muslim collection bins for change at many shops seem to collect a good amount.

2. The neighborhood
Our neighbors hang out with each other. They sometimes wave at us and chat (as much as we can) when we go by. Our next-door neighbor would be someone I'd choose for a friend: she's smart, funny, and an individual who has chosen to be herself within a community that values conformity.

The view from our front door

3. The food
There's a great variety of Indonesian foods we haven't tried, but we're making good progress. We don't know enough yet to recognize the spices or tastes from different regions. Indonesians like to snack, eat meals, and share their finds. Food venues range from well-known restaurants to warungs (little eateries) to food carts.

Gado-gado: tofu and vegetables in peanut sauce
At night, people crowd their favorite spots to eat and chat. We've been told that anywhere crowds eat will be safe for us. In contrast, if a place is empty, locals know it's not worth risking a stomach ache or wasting money on bad food. Following that rule, we have stayed healthy and eaten some wonderful meals.

Something we're less excited about: BUGS

The 3" grasshopper in our bathroom.

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