Sunday, May 20, 2012

First Day Fully Awake in Indonesia

My room, which was formally the study
Selamat Siang!
I came in yesterday at around 1:30pm Indonesia time. I met my boss Matilda at the airport. My initial impression of her is that she is super cool but will also demand good work, which is fine by me because that is what I am here to do! She is originally from Texas. Daniel the 2nd intern was also on the same flight and I actually met him in Hong Kong while waiting for our flight to Jakarta. He goes to the University of Texas for graduate school. His bahasa Indonesian is really good. He lived in Indonesia for 5 years as a young child. In the coming weeks there will be 2 more interns joining us. Later that night, we were invited to eat dinner with Daniel’s boss Michael and his wife Anna (she is Filipina). It was a really nice restaurant and my meal was equivalent to 5 dollars and I had leftovers to take home for lunch! It’s such a pleasant thing to eat out so cheaply.

Today, Michael and Anna picked us up around 10am to go shopping for essentials. Daniel and I split the bill and we got a good amount of stuff for about 60 dollars each.  Also, Daniel and I have agreed to cook at least twice a week. Let’s see how that goes! By the way, I blend here very nicely! No one has asked me where I am from. So far, I of course have had people come up to me and just talk to me in Indonesian. And I of course look like a deer caught in headlights every time. Therefore, I’ve started to learn basic phrases and have had Daniel’s help with this. I’ve memorized greetings and how to say ‘I can’t speak Indonesian’ along with, ‘can you speak English?’ I was also able to find out more about the Management section’s culture and it seems so far that I have chosen the right “cone” for me. 

My colleague Daniel
They are the least formally dressed because they work mainly with FSNs and locals. They don’t normally meet with higher ranking officials and I am totally okay with this. Guess I won’t be using my suits very much. I am so glad I packed dresses too because apparently that is what most of the female employees in that section wear. Besides Matilda, I will be the only American in the housing section, the rest are Indonesian nationals. Also, I am the Housing Coordinator! Therefore, I will be helping FSO’s who come here for post with their living arrangements. I also asked about July 4th celebrations and what the embassy normally does. Apparently, the Management section bears the brunt of the July 4th celebration but I am okay with this too. There is a planning committee and I heard that those who deal with the food and beverages get to do food tasting at various caterers – I’ll see if I can join! Hee-hee

So excited to start my first day at the embassy tomorrow!
Sampai nanti,

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