Things I Miss About Teaching Abroad

This post has been written by guest blogger, Laura Ambrey. It’s been a few years now since I’ve left the ESL teaching game… Sometimes I miss it. Here’s why: I miss… the cultural immersion. In no other job or travel experience did I have such instant involvement in the culture. Working with and teaching Indonesians […]

Oh Allaaaaah!!

“Oh Allah!!” A phrase commonly used by Indonesians using their God’s name. Literal translation in English “Eureka!” Okay. So I know my maid and I have had our differences. But today, I had an “Ohhhh Allaaaah” moment. Tonight, I ran into Reina while she was making dinner. However, I was getting ready to prepare my […]

Say No to Dictatorship… AND Say No to Democracy?

No kidding. These were the signs I saw held up at a protest the other day in Surabaya. It was an Anti-Mubarak protest held by the Muslim Brotherhood who are pushing for Sharia Law. However, isn’t Sharia Law a form of dictatorship in itself? And say no to democracy? Don’t these people realize that it is democracy that is […]

Desperate Housemaids

Bakso– a traditional Indonesian soup made with beef meatballs, noodles, and vegetables. And according to my maid, the stuff is worth its weight in gold. The school I work for provides all their teachers with maids. It took me awhile to get accustomed to this luxury, and it has left me a little spoiled. I […]


Ayo: Translates in English to “lets go”. Learning how to ride my motorbike was challenging in the beginning. First of all, because I have never driven one before, and secondly, because I am learning how to drive it in a different country with different driving etiquette. I quickly realized that Indonesians do not look back in […]

A place exists where people do not burn their trash?

“These walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized. ” -Shawshank Redemption This is how I am feeling at the moment. I know it will pass. Living in another country brings about a rollercoaster of emotions. But I […]

Ok La….

As a woman in Indonesia, certain things are expected from you…One musn’t bare their shoulders, one must be modest, one must be quiet, one must be subservient, one must be…hell….everything that I am the opposite of. However, out of respect for the culture that has been kind enough to take me in, I am trying my best […]

Gila Gili Islands

The Gili Islands suck you in.  The biggest of the the three, Trawangan, has the power to make the  line between reality and dreams hazy, while at the same time making you slowly forget that an outside world even exists. What is at first glance just another stretch of white sand, edged with turqouise water and sprinkled with souvenir shops […]

An Imperialised Nation

Today marks my first month in Surabaya. And besides the perma-goo that I wake up with coating my eyes every morning from the pollution, the city does have its redeeming qualities and I seem to learn something new everyday.  Regardless, there are moments that make my time in Surabaya endurable, and sometimes even rewarding. Think Bali..Think […]

Eat, Sleep, Shop??

So it hit. I had my first day of being homesick. I knew it was bound to happen at some point, and sure enough the flood came- but as always it resided. I feel a bit frustrated not being able to get everywhere independently-seeing as I am still relying on taxis. However Indonesia is great-I like […]