Adventures living as expats.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice)

This post is a little overdue. Early last week I tried my first Indonesian recipe. Most of the recipes for Nasi Goreng that I've seen so far use tons of oil so this is a healthier version. I used this recipe and subbed in brown rice and pre-cooked chicken which I had on hand.
Dining on the balcony
The recipe turned out pretty tasty. The green chile peppers we bought were really mild so next time I'll try some hotter peppers or add some hot sauce.

We also tried some new fruits. Clockwise from right - Marquisa Telur Kodok (similar to passion fruit), snake fruit, and star fruit. The snake fruit looked like garlic cloves and tasted like rotten Robitussin, although Jeff didn't think it was too bad. I really liked the Indonesian passion fruit, but was a little nervous when I opened it up. Turns out that "Telur kodok” means “frog’s eggs" so the name fits!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Off to the market

Jeff and I have been eyeing a market that we can see from our balcony. After some wandering around, dodging motorbikes, and avoiding drainage ditches we made it on foot! It feels like we live in such a Disneyland setting where the gardeners literally sweep the grass and mop the pool deck constantly, so getting out of the complex is a welcome contrast.

Wide load
There were so many different types of bananas
Sun dried fish, so smelly!
So many stalls with veggies
We wound up buying 3 avos, 6 mangos, shallots, garlic, many hot peppers, and a tomato for under $5. I'm pretty sure we paid about double the local prices, but our bahasa is still too limited for good bargaining. The experience was well worth a few extra dollars, but I'm starting my language lessons this Wed so look out vendors! :-)

Here's some comparison prices at Ranch Market (the Whole Foods of Jakarta). 10,000 rp is about $1.
1 Budweiser = $5 (yes just 1)
1 smashed box of taquitos = $35!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

First weekend in Jakarta

Last Friday Jeff and I met with a big group of Indonesians from his office for lunch. We went to a restaurant serving Padang food which I believe originates from West Sumatra, but seems to be very popular throughout. When you get to the restaurant, they bring out many dishes and you just pay for the ones you eat from. My favorites were the curry chicken and spice rubbed chicken. We even tried fish head and some type of brain which luckily was covered in a tasty sauce so i could try to ignore what I was actually eating.

Padang Food
One highlight of the weekend was plant shopping. There is huge market that sells tons of tropical plants and handmade pots. Jeff and I wandered around for a few hours and finally settled in on 2 for the patio and 1 for the dining room after some tough bargaining where Jeff tried to offer a vendor 20% more after misunderstanding his bahasa Indonesia. Haha we need some more practice with our numbers.

Couldn't commit to any orchids after how badly mine looked in Oregon
Relaxing by the Pool
Sunday eve Leslie invited us to tag along to her friends Lea and Dale's chili party. Lea lives in Pakabuwono also and has a great view from the balcony. It was great food, great drinks, and we got to meet some new friends. It's been a while since I woke up with a headache on a Monday morning. :-)
Hard to tell but downtown Jakarta is in the background

Friday, July 20, 2012

New fruits

Whew I'm starting to settle in and try to cozy up the apartment a bit. First on the agenda is replacing the lamp in the living room.

It's hard to tell in the picture, but there's electrical tape holding it together and its bent so it leans quite a bit. Jeff picked out an awesome hanging lamp, but getting it hung up has been quite the process. I've heard this is to be expected here but hopefully soon!

Here's a picture of the guest room - please come visit! :-)

Here's our only decoration so far (miss you Vanderboms). So glad it made it safe and sound.

So far we havent gotten much exploring in, but today we're headed out. Grocery shopping has been really fun. There are so many new fruits and veggies to try. The fish selection is awesome so I'm going to have to try some new recipes. We forgot the camera, but next time we'll get some pics. We're going to get so spoiled by the tropical's sooooooo delicious.

Here's a few that we've tried so far. The first is a mangosteen. The shell is pretty hard, but once you break it open the fruit is so delicate and sweet - definitely one of my favorites so far. The one on the bottom right is a lychee.

Mangoes, kiwis, avos, and pineapple are so delicious here too. Alright headed out, we miss everyone!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Traveling in style

Finally I made it to Jakarta! Wow was business class awesome - tons of room, very comfy seat/bed, lots of food and drink, and all the movies/ tv series I could fit in. I felt so spoiled and hardly realized I was on a plane for 13 + 5 hours.

Our apartment is really nice and feels huge. The crazy furniture doesn't quite feel like home, but luckily I've got some extra time now to decorate. I will post some pics soon. Here's a view from our balcony.

I've quickly managed to break/fry my flat iron. I thought I had the converter on the right setting but the burning smell and smoke clued me in. A 1 hour van ride later we arrive at the mall thats just down the street. Luckily I had 3 personal shoppers to help me select the perfect flat iron, explain all the settings , review the warranty, and even staple/tape it into a bag for safe traveling. Haha I think the shopping will take some getting used to. :-)

More to come soon.