After 3 days of teaching, I think I aged 3 years. Right after I finished typing that sentence, I looked down at my arm and found a gray hair. I can’t stay up past 9:30pm, and I can’t sleep in past 7am. I am rapidly approaching old geezer status.
In my last post, I mentioned that my first day of teaching wasn’t the best. After 2 more days of teaching, I am feeling a lot better about it. Once I get to know my students better, and they get to know me as both a teacher and a person, I am confident that my classes are going to go a whole lot better. I am really excited for that point and hoping it comes soon.
It seems the only thing that keeps me clinging to my youth these days is time spent goofing off on the weekend with my fellow teachers and our friend Jason. Below I have attached some pictures from the past few days, a couple of which are from an adventure Jason led us on yesterday.
Sign in the stalls at the school.
This picture is in each stall at the school I work at. We were informed that when Western-style toilets began to appear in Jakarta, many people didn’t know how to use them. You see, the toilet most people were (and many still are) accustomed to using is commonly referred to as a “squat pot”, and consists of a bowl-type thing installed in floor. See picture below (this is actually the toilet in the vacant maid quarters inside my apartment).
A more traditional style Indonesian toilet ("squat pot")
As you can guess, people squat down while using this type of toilet. We were informed that many places with Western-style toilets have to put up signs instructing bathroom patrons how to use the toilets. This is because so many people would hop up onto the toilet seat and squat down, leaving dirty shoe prints all over the toilet seat. Picturing that happening still makes me laugh quietly to myself.
Lady in the revolving door at the mall.
Yesterday we went to a mall (actually we went to 4 malls), and in a small cubby thing in the revolving doorway was a lady facedown on a desk (as seen above). “Well that is slightly alarming”, I thought to myself as I stared at her going around and around and not moving. It turns out she was not real, just accurately stuffed clothes and a wig. There was a sign on one side of the door reading “Too scared to face the world?”, letting me know that revolving-door-lady was actually an effective marketing scheme. Good work unknown, too-scared-to-face-the-world company.
Roxy Cell Phone Mall
Jason speaks Indonesian, so he took me to the cell phone mall in order to get my iPhone unlocked so I can use it here. The place is insane. In the above picture, you can see store after store after store, all of which deal cell phones. That is how the entire mall is, 5 giant floors of cell phone stores. And people everywhere. Although an overwhelming and overstimulating trip, it was successful and I can now use my iPhone for local calls and texts.
Anika and Ruth taking pictures with locals.
After the malls, Jason took us to Ancol beach, which is right outside of the city. We were enjoying the scenery and fresh(er) air, when surprise, surprise, 2 ladies approached Anika and Ruth for a picture. There must have been some other Bule-watchers out that night, because after this picture was taken, us Bules were approached by 2 other groups wanting pictures. It is such a weird feeling getting your pictures taken with strangers…
Sunset at Ancol beach right outside of Jakarta.
After the picture charades, we set out to find McDonalds on the beach. Some of us have this thing where we really like to go to McDonalds in other countries, because each country varies in what they offer on the menu. This is the sixth country where I have been to a McDonalds, and there was absolutely something different here: fried chicken and rice. And it was good!
Back to the photo, on our way to McDonald’s, we got to watch the sunset, and it was very pretty. Look at the picture for proof.