Sunday, June 18, 2006

Nonton bareng

World Cup madness has struck. Every night when I leave work there are little kids playing soccer barefoot in front of our building. Along all the streets of our neighborhood there are "nonton bareng" (watching together) outposts like this -- 5, 10, maybe 20 people gathered around talking and cheering, some sitting on benches or plastic chairs, others standing in the back.

Because of the time difference, the games are at 8 pm, 11 pm and 2 am. The government has issued a stern statement saying watching the Cup is no excuse to miss work. But everybody's too sleepy to pay attention.

I watched the end of the Iran-Portugal game at this little spot last night, around the corner from our apartment. It was a little awkward because the crowd was almost all young men. But there was a middle-aged guy who sort of took charge of my comfort, got me a seat, and made me feel welcome. Everybody was rooting for Iran, so they went home disappointed. I was rooting for Iran, too, just because I tend to favor the underdog. But Portugal had pretty dazzling footwork and I couldn't feel too bad when they won.

There's supposed to be a really huge nonton bareng near here, where hundreds of people watch, so we're going to check that out soon. I even bought a World Cup shirt for the occasion, but it smells like petroleum and gave me a nasty rash. Something tells me it's not an official FIFA product!


sealhead said...

Hey T!
i finally got to see a few games: Brazil/Australia, which was a little boring, though the aussies came out of the gates great, US/Italy in which i was thoroughly enraged by the ref, and the best France/Korea... genuinely good game.

On Murtabanks... do they make the egg ones there? I still salivate over the idea of an egg murtabank and roti chanai. in fact i'm salivating right now.

On Chad... what's his last name? I think I heard him doing a spot just after the earthquake, but i didn't know his last name. i figured i had the right guy, but jenny and i talked about it later and we decided there might be a strange chad nexus in jakarta. have you met many other chads? if it was your man, he sounded good.

I have been waiting to hear you. are you still going to do the radio thing or are you doing something else?And how're you doing in a general sort of way? the blog is great... you're such a great writer.

Anyway lots o love to you two from me and jen and mel who you haven't met, but then chad hasn't met any of us and so there you go. jdh

kopisusu2 said...

Hey! Definitely a yes on the egg martabaks, which are tasty. My personal fried-food weakness is the deep-fried tempeh, though.

Ya, that was Chad, last name Bouchard. He's working a lot for VOA these days. I'm just dabbling in reporting at the moment - I did the story on lepers for WorldVision, which I'll post when they run it, and I'm working on going to the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra in a couple of weeks. That would be for a story about an aid organization founded by surfers, for Only a Game, and I hope a story about efforts by indigenous Mentawai to preserve their culture.

In a general sort of way, I'm fine! Studying the language, working at the newspaper, and sort of trying to figure out what's next. How are you?

jdh said...

Apa kebar!

So, no chad nexus? hmmm. suspicious. Nope, Bouchard is the one and he did sound good, coming from a non-professional, that is.

I am also fine in a general way and also sort of trying to figure out what's next. I haven't put much effort into that and haven't had much success. I suspect the two are linked.

Boatbuilding is fine: sometimes great, rarely horrible and everywhere in between. What are you doing at the paper? And at what paper for that matter?

Indonesia is the only place that I've truly enjoyed tempeh, by the way. I don't know what they do to it, but it really really tastes great. Whereas here it tastes a bit better than shoe leather, with as odd a taste. I recall gado gado as one of the truly foodgasmic experiences.

My Bahasa is really lame but here we go: Saya mou pergi ke jakarta, jalan jalan. I'll have to find my old journal/homemade dictionary to do much better. But the bigger point is how are you two liking it there? do you think you'll stay awhile? I would love to come and visit, though truth be told, I'm not sure I could handle Jakarta for very long. Also I'd like to go back to the island I lived on to see if any of my old friends are still alive... I wonder if you could check into that for me? I have no idea how hard it would be... it was a small village called Iboh or Tepi Laya near Sabang on Pulau wei just north of Banda Aceh. They didn't have phones or anything when I was there, I have no idea if the place still exists at all. Let me know if you think there's any possibility of finding out.

Ugh, just thinking about that has smushed the words out of me. Be well T-meist... I hope you two are having the best of times.

kopisusu2 said...

Sure, I'll see if I can find anything out! Any particular names you want me to ask about?

I'd have to say it's mostly the best of times, only rarely the worst of times, and almost always the most odd and interesting of times here -- so I think we're doing pretty well.

As for the tempeh, that deserves a blog entry of its own someday. You're right, it's completely different here than in the States. I eat it almost every day. Sooo tasty.

jdh said...

the only full name is Agus Salim. he'd be in his mid to early thirties now. other names i remember from Tepi Laya are Allawyah, who was Agus's dad or uncle's new wife; Yanti, at whose house we stayed for a time; and Agus's cousin Isau, who lived up the hill in Iboih. I can't remember any more names, but I do have pictures if I ever do make it back.

Anyway thanks for the help. I'd be interested to know how if it is very hard to trace people in Indonesia nowadays... didn't seem so organized when I was there, but maybe it was.

Glad to hear you'r having a good time.

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