That’s an interesting way to say that

Jakarta is a huge city with residents from all over the world. Because of this, many companies try to employ the English language, since English is an international language. The funny part is many of the people attempting to use English don’t know it well enough to create grammatically correct messages.

Thus, here is the start to a new segment, English Fails:

This is sign the mall displays in closed stores

At one of the malls in Jakarta, I kept seeing this advertisement in many of the store windows. I thought it was an attention-grabbing marketing campaign, although I could never figure out what they were trying to sell. It turns out that the mall puts this in the windows of vacant stores as a sort of apology. It is supposed to say “We apologize for your inconvenience”.

And my internet is not being cooperative right now, so that is the only picture you get for today. Stay tuned for more English Fails.



A bad combination

Lately I have been struggling with a seemingly unavoidable dilemma: a shrinking body and stretching clothes.

The shrinking body: Everyone knows that Tyler’s body likes to be as thin and light as possible. Nobody knows why, though. Perhaps it’s so that my body can fit between narrow spaces easier. Maybe it’s because my joints and bones prefer not to be covered up by muscle and fat; they like to be seen. Or maybe my body wants to be lightweight so as to extend the life of the soles of my shoes, therefore making my shoes last longer (this is actually a fact, my shoes last forever.)

Whatever the reason, it is difficult for me to keep weight on my body. Now it is even more difficult for me to eat enough because it’s not as convenient. If I want to eat fruit, I have to thoroughly wash and dry it beforehand. If I want a granola bar, that sucks ’cause they don’t have them here. Pretty much if I want something, I have to prepare it like I would a meal. That being said, I’m not starving; I eat fairly big meals, it’s just the snacks in between the meals that I’m not getting much of.

The stretching clothes: When the people of Indonesia wash their clothes, they line dry them. And so do I. There really is no good that comes out of this, though. You might think it would be nice to have fresh air drying your clothes, and I would agree. However, as I have alluded to in previous posts, the air here is anything but fresh. Next, and the worst drawback of line drying, is gravity. When wet clothes hang, gravity pulls on them and they stretch out. I have found no way to shrink them. Dryers do not exist here.

So, as I sit here in Starbucks typing this, I am a little embarrassed wearing my white Hanes v-neck shirt. It’s a medium and I am swimming in it. The v-neck is so stretched out you can see my belly button. Pretty soon my shirts are going to be off-the-shoulder tops like what Jasmin wears in Aladdin. My shorts and pants are not doing well either. All of my shorts are so big out that if I do not wear a belt, I get pantsed by gravity.

If any of you have suggestions for helping me shrink my clothes, please let me know.

Also, I am trying to upload photos of my weekend excursion to Bandung. If you would like to see them, please refer to my Facebook page.

Who stole the [poison] from the [poison] jar?

We have a mystery on our hands.

-96 hours earlier-

I had just finished mopping up all of the dead ant bodies and wiping them from my counter, when I decided I better put out a little more of the borax ant poison. I hadn’t seen a living ant for days, but thought it smart to leave some borax out in case other ants tried to move in. I put a small pile of the powder in the corner of my counter, and a small pile in the corner of my floor.

-24 hours later-

Before I made my rice, tofu, and veggie stir fry, I needed to wash the dishes in my sink. As I was placing my dishes on the drying rack, I noticed how clean my counter was. “Hmm,” I thought to myself, “I thought I had put some borax on the counter yesterday.” I looked to the floor, and it, too, was spotless. “I must have decided not to put the poison out. Oh well, I will put some out now.” So I put a small pile in the corner on my counter, and a small pile in the corner on my floor.

-12 hours later (the next morning)-

As I went to grab my pan that I use for my oatmeal, I noticed the neat pile of ant killer I had put out the night before was now half gone. Only a third of the floor poison remained.

-10 hours later-

I arrived home from school and went into my kitchen for a snack. I chose a multi-probiotic yogurt drink. It’s in a tube like a Gogurt, which is kinda fun. It was apple flavored. I decided I didn’t really enjoy that flav–AH, all of the poison was gone! “Ok,” I thought to myself, “something is clearly eating this. But what could it be?” I decided to put 2 new piles of the death powder out, in hopes that I would be able to catch the culprit in action, and that the culprit would die.

-14 hours later (this morning)-

My 2 neat piles are half gone! This is getting out of hand very quickly. How is something consuming the borax so quickly?! It would have taken the ants 2 days to go through that much. And by then they would be dead.

-10 hours later (now)-

I am at the mall right now, so I am not sure how much powder is left. If I had to guess, I would say that my counter and floor are probably spotless. The only creature I can think of able to consume that much is my gecko, Albus Dumbledore, and his new fling that moved in this last weekend when my windows were open all day. Let’s call her Molly Weasley.

The reason they would be able to go through that much death powder and still live, is because it’s only poisonous to ants and cockroaches. In fact, the warning on the bottle says, “WARNING: If consumed, drink a glass of milk or contact a physician.” Can you picture it? Albus and Molly sitting with a glass of milk eating spoonfuls of borax while listening to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” on repeat.

I’m not 100% sure my hypothesis is correct, but it’s the only thing I can think of. If you have any information about these events, or have suspects to report, please let me know.

Lastly, you may have noticed my hours countdown did not equal 96 hours. I accidentally added an extra day in there, so this series of events actually has been happening for 72 hours, not 96. Woops.

Off the runway

On Saturday I went to my first fashion show.

Not just any fashion show, but a batik fashion show. What is batik, you ask? Batik is traditional Indonesian print fabric, which can be worn as clothes, made into blankets, used as decorations, etc. Think intricate, colorful patterns that may or may not resemble hawaiian floral patterns (see photos below for a more accurate view of what batik looks like).

But enough about batik.

The fashion show was complete with singers, dancers, pre-pubescent models, teen models, and twenty-something models. Oh and I can’t forget another popular attraction–bules in the crowd (us)! Actually, I think the only reason they let us have seats was because of our pale skin; our casual clothes (t-shirts, shorts, sandals) left us far underdressed for the occasion. Not to mention most of the audience was wearing batik. The closest thing I have to batik is nothing. I have nothing that resembles it.

But the show made me want some. Normally men’s batik clothing consists of an oversized, hawaiian-type button down t-shirt. Not in this show! The male models had shirts that were the correct size (by my standards), and they even had long sleeve shirts and hoodies. A batik hoody? Now we’re talking. Oh, what’s that you say? It’s 88 degrees outside? Nvm.

The models did pretty good, I think, but the singers were really good! One of the male singers even sang a song that was half Spanish, half Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian). I must say that Bahasa Indonesia allows for very accurate pronunciation of the Spanish language.

Ok it’s picture time:

Look it's a batik couple!

Do we think they are dating in real lyfe? Hopefully! It would be like a fairytale for them! Yay!

Ready for the beach in batik.

Braid girl at the end has some serious tude.

Batik prom dress?

I think I might buy this for my sister. She will probably end up going to prom again this year for the 6th time, so might as well try something new, right? Love you Ashley!

Everyday outfit?

Can you imagine wearing this to work?

  • Coworker: “Oh… did you get a new dress?”
  • Dress wearer: “Yeah it’s really useful: like look at my giant pouch that I can stick my hands in. I can also keep pens and a water bottle in there.”

Side note: look at the pose I captured in the last photo. I could do this for a living. I should try and sell it to the store for future fashion show promotions.

Happy thoughts

I write to you from Starbucks… The best Starbucks in Indonesia.

Yes, that’s right, one of Anika’s students told her that the Starbucks by our apartment complex is known as the best one in the country. Why? I have no idea, but it is pretty nice inside.

As I sit here mooching off of the free internet, I find myself experiencing a bit of writer’s block. So, I will just start talking about random things that will hopefully be entertaining.

Here we go.

Mosquitos are aweful. They have been particularly annoying the last two days, flying into my apartment for their fourthmeal before heading to bed for the night. This is what they say:

  • “Hey look, Jeremy, it’s a bule! You can tell he’s a bule because his skin looks and smells different. Want to suck his blood before heading to bed for the night?”
  • “Wow, Roquel, you are right, it is a bule! Yes let’s bite his feet and his arms and his neck and his hands! Then let’s retire for the evening.”
True story, that’s what they say.

I’ve learned that there are not many things more satisfying than clapping a mosquito out of the air. There are two reasons for the instant gratification: revenge and prevention. Not only do I avenge my poor, defenseless skin, but I also make sure to protect it from future bites. And that is what makes me happy.

Another thing that makes me happy is playing Taylor Swift in class. This past week, while my students are reading or writing, I have started to play Taylor Swift songs so that they have something to listen to. How can class get any better than that? *Note to any of my students who may be reading this: I will only continue to play music if you stay on task. If you aren’t able to do that, say bye bye to Taylor. I’m serious.

And here’s a random photo for this post. I found this while I was grading my students’ work, and it made me smile.

One of my student's notebooks

Is that bad to doooo?

I would like to start this post with 2 questions:

  • Is insect genocide bad?
  • Are ants insects?

I’m not sure if I had previously mentioned, but, in addition to my geckos, my apartment plays home to another species of animal: ants.

While sitting on my dull, dijon mustard yellow couch, you might feel a sting on your bare foot and look down to notice red ants crawling around beneath you. In my kitchen, you might be helping me dry my dishes and notice 30ish tiny black ants sprinting around my counter. Basically it’s really annoying.

Well, it used to be, anyway.

On Saturday I researched how to get rid of ants, and then on Sunday after seeing Harry Potter for the second time, I bought some borax ant killer from Ace Homewares. Long story short, I got home from school today to find dead ants scattered all over my tile floor.

At first I was relieved and excited. But then I questioned whether I should feel any remorse for killing so many living creatures. Maybe I will never know…

It’s been awhile since I last blogged, and that is because trying to watch the first 6 Harry Potter movies while grading assignments and planning lessons doesn’t leave much time for anything else. But fortunately for my teacher-self, Harry Potter is over (for now), leaving me more time to grade. This also means my personal life can resume and I can do things like blogging and photo editing.

In school-world, it’s getting easier for me to deal with my students, although some of them still need to work on their listening skills… I’m hoping that soon we will be able to get to the point where I can trust them enough to incorporate more fun into the classroom.

Well that is all I have for now. With my newfound freetime (about 2 out of every 24 hours), I think I will be able to blog on a more consistent basis. Stay tuned.