Friday, April 26, 2013

Chopsticks and My Favorite Part of the Day

California roll (front) 
Last Sunday April 21st I went with a friend to Sushi Hana my first time really having sushi. I tried a California roll once but I don't know that it was really sushi, a friend made it.  So, this time I had real sushi. I know that some people are surprised that I have lived here for almost three years and haven't had sushi. There was one place in the town I lived in Malaysia that had sushi. It was owned by the parents of one of our students. For a period of time we tried it at school (as we didn't have a cafeteria we had food brought in). I was worried about getting food poisoning though as I didn't know how long the food would be sitting out  before it reached school. Also, at some time in the past I read and article about people getting food poisoning and other I think, maybe salmonella or something from sushi and read that it was bad to eat raw fish. Plus, I grew up way inland in the US and so fresh fish was rare and frozen fish was expensive. I did grow up fishing in Minnesota when I visited my grandparents but we only caught little sunfish, and I don't remember that I ever really liked the taste.

Chicken Teriyaki

 I am very picky about how fish tastes. If it is what I consider fishy I won't eat it. There was one restaurant in the town I lived in Malaysia that had really fresh fish and it was great. Other restaurants I tried in Malaysia still had that fishy flavor. Anyway back to Sushi Hana.

pan fried dumplings

We went there and I got the California roll, Chicken Teriyaki roll and also pan fried dumplings. I also tried one of my friend's smoked salmon rolls and pickled ginger. I liked everything that I tried. My friend also showed me how to use chopsticks. I have tried using chopsticks many times before but never got it. Well, I don't know if how she does it is slightly different or not, but I was finally able to use chopsticks. I know it is a little thing but I was really happy that I finally was able to use chopsticks. I need to buy some and continue to use them when I eat at home so that I don't lose the ability to use them. 

My Favorite Part of the Day in Indonesia

My favorite part of the day in Indonesia is in the morning on the way to work. Where I live in Indonesia there are security guards at the entrance of every neighborhood. They are also at the entrance of many businesses. I have to go through three sets of security guards stations on the way to work. The first is as I am exiting my neighborhood. The second is actually a road block that they make most people go around. Since the sign is in Indonesian I don’t know why the road is blocked. It is blocked from 10p.m. to 8a.m. The last is the entrance to work. The reason I love this part of my day is because it starts the day off with a smile.  Whenever I see the guards I always smile really big and wave enthusiastically. They all respond in kind. Sometimes when they see my vehicle they will all gather and then I will have around 10 Indonesian men smiling and waving enthusiastically to me. I always roll down my window and call out “Selamat Pagi” . Another thing I like is that they are not reserved in telling me I am beautiful.  I don’t hear it all the time but I do hear it at least once a week. Not that I never heard in back in the US but I hear it way more here. It is also nice because I consider Asian people very beautiful and it is nice to hear that to some of them I am also beautiful in my own way.
I think it also makes me feel good because when I lived in Malaysia I was not able to exercise as I didn't have access to a gym and it was super hot and humid outside. Plus, I didn't really like the people that followed me in their vehicles when I was walking around the neighborhood.

 So, I didn't have much to do and put on weight. Since I have lived in Indonesia I have access to a club with a gym that is super close to my house. The club also has a pool and I love, love to swim. I have been swimming almost every day. That is my favorite thing about Indonesia is that I can swim outside 365 days a year if I want to do that. So, I have lost lots of weight and am in better shape than I was in Malaysia. In the US even though for the last several years news, media, people have been talking about that we need to not all be skinny people and that different sizes are beautiful, etc. there is still lots pressure to be skinny and look a certain way. There maybe that pressure in other countries, but as an outsider I don't feel that pressure. Sure, it is hard for me to find clothes that fit or are long enough, but it doesn't bother me like it did when I first moved overseas. I have also gotten more use to people staring at me when I am out and about. I hate being the center of attention and like to blend in the background, but I realize I stick out and it is part of living in Asia. I think I am more comfortable since people have told me that I am beautiful that they are not staring at me because I am ugly, but they think I am beautiful in my own way.