Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dirgahayu Republik Indonesia!

August 17 is Independence Day, so there are red-and-white Long Live Republic of Indonesia! banners everywhere. I went down to the soccer field on our street to watch the little kids' games, such as the time-honored "trying to eat a big cracker on a string without using your hands" race.

I started chatting with a guy in his 20s who turned out to be waiting for his visa so he can go work in Kuwait. The government is putting on a big push to help people get jobs abroad, because of the unemployment here. People can make a lot more money as domestic workers in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia or the Middle East, although sometimes they get treated pretty badly. I hope this guy is lucky and lands a good job - he seemed very sweet.

Other than this little gathering, it's been a strangely quiet day. I was expecting round-the-clock sonic bombardment in honor of the holiday. I still cherish the hope that the passing of Independence Day will mean an end to the Saturday 7 a.m. children's marching band practices across the street from our apartment. For little kids, they actually play very well. But man, it's a rough way to start the weekend.

1 comment:

michele said...

that's a great tradition! do you have any idea what the cracker on a string game is about?

sounds like our halloween 'apple in a water bucket' game... no hands, just use your mouth to fish it out. i have no idea what that game is about either.

probably some desperate parents invented both of these games to keep the kids busy and the noise down. it's hard to scream and yell when you're trying to grab crackers and apples with your teeth.