Saya Dari America

Saya Dari America: Translates to “I”m from America”. And you better believe they know it here from a mile away.-Sometimes I feel like a circus side show.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I was in Jakarta or Bali, but out of the 4 million people who reside in Surabaya, there are probably about 250 “Bules” (the Indonesian term for a white foreigner). So it is not uncommon to walk down the street and be gawked at or asked to have a photo taken with you. At first it was kind of humorous, however it has started to get a bit annoying. I went running for the first time since arriving in Surabaya this morning.  It has taken a week to work up the courage because the streets are so chaotic that there really isn’t any room to run freely, and with all the potholes it is almost like an obstacle course. So there I was, Nike and Ipod clad in my work out shorts and tee shirt-I felt like a running side show. People were stopping their cars and mopeds to stare at me! After the first couple of miles I just started ignoring them, but I’m hoping after a month or so of them seeing me run every morning they will get over it and simply think , there is that crazy Bule running again”. Who knows.

Ramadan started yesterdsay. Coincidently that was also my first day of teaching. The students who are fasting look glazed over, and by the time 5:30 p.m. rolls around they are out the door to drink and eat, which kind of disrupts the lesson plan. You can’t blame them though. I would be out of there like a flash of lightning for the nearest peanut butter sandwich.  On another note, my students are very nice and polite. I teach kids from 5 years old all the way to adults 25 years old. This makes it a little more difficult for me because I am planning lessons everyday for all different age groups and levels. I have 3 to 4  classes a day, each one lasting one hour and twenty minutes.  I was talking to a friend of mine who is teaching in Korea and he said the style of teaching is way different there.  He has two classes of 6-8 year old kids and the lessons are already planned out for him by the school. Lucky! That literally takes all the work out of it because lesson planning is the hardest part. But I’m in Indonesia and he is in Korea.  I’d rather work a bit harder.


  1. Andrea O. says:


    I finally had a chance to catch up on all of your blog entries. Indonesia seems like such a unique and interesting place to be living.

    I started laughing to myself with your running description..I can just see you now in your cute workout gear with an iPod. Definitely know the peanutbutter cool to not have crap added to all of their foods.

    I saw Eat, Pray, Love last weekend and your experience reminds of that story, but better! I’m sure the book is a lot more inspirational, but of course..I’m still just reading the third Twilight book – much more cultural.

    I miss you girlie and I’ll visit Oliver soon for a play date with Chandler.

    Be careful!!

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