Things still feel a little weird here. Chad just got back from Yogya this morning with a mountain of tape and a list of deadlines. In preparation for his arrival, absolutely everything stopped working: his computer, our new internet connection, the phone line. I mean, the lights are still on, and the refrigerator's running, but I wouldn't have been surprised if those died too.
Now it's a few hours later and most of it is working again. I feel unsettled, though. I'm still in sort of a half-earthquake mentality, and so is Jakarta: there are donation posts on almost every corner, and all sorts of other charity drives. But there's also a sense of disillusionment. The papers are full of news about aid not reaching the right people, and everybody's getting cranky about the teenagers who walk around at traffic lights collecting donations (further messing up the already nightmarish traffic).
But for those of us who aren't in the earthquake zone, life goes on as usual, and so must blogging I suppose. In times like these we turn to the things we know. In my case, that's food. So here's a nice little picture of nasi goreng.
Nasi goreng, or fried rice, is the quintessential Jakarta dish. I believe it's traditionally a breakfast food, but you can get everywhere, all the time. I often get it for dinner at one of the street stalls near the Post. There's a guy with on little gas burner and a large, beat-up aluminum wok, and on busy nights like last night, he just keeps cooking up one scoop of rice after another as people perch on the little plastic stools, waiting.
If it's a good version, like this one from our favorite local restaurant, it has spices and little bits of meat and vegetables in it. It also often has a fried egg on top -- fried till till the yolk is hard all the way through, the way my brother-in-law does his. I have given him grief about this in the past, but for health reasons I'm just as happy to have the eggs cooked to death here. Large amounts of local fresh chili sauce go well with nasi goreng.
Luckily for us, most nasi goreng is quite good, even from a cheap cart in the street. Sometimes, especially from a cheap cart in the street!