This man was in one of the food markets in North Jakarta. He was trying to maneuver his bike-cart out of the market so he could make a delivery. As soon as he saw my camera, he turned from a serious businessman to a comedian. He came alive for a few minutes when he became this entertainer.
Then, he needed to move on and get to work. Mood came on and off like a switch.
Everywhere I go in Indonesia, I find happy people.
A tip for all of you newly married (and maybe old-married) people out there: find out what your significant other’s favorite flower is and bring it home every once in a while. Just because.
Those are my kids. We were walking back from a short visit to Pura Batu Bolong, a Hindu temple near our hotel in Lombok. They got ahead of my wife and me. They are incredibly great kids. When I became a parent, I had no idea how much happiness my children would bring me. The happy is immeasurable.
Those smiles are dangerous.
The sun set on 2012, and another one rose this morning on the first day of January, 2013.
My friends are just going to bed back home in BC, Canada, and wishing each other a “Happy New Year”, while I’m just getting the kids ready for bed at the end of the first day of 2013. Weird.
Happy new year, to all my friends and family. I pray that this is a great year for you.
The photo above is of the sunset at Jimbaran Beach. We ate freshly caught and cooked fish on that beach on Christmas Day last week.
This year has been momentous. I have watched as my family and I have adapted to our move from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, to Jakarta, Indonesia. I moved from teaching in a public school to an international, private school. I moved from one of the most beautiful places in the world (nah…it is the most beautiful) to a place I haven’t figured out yet. I moved from mountains and rivers to busy streets and overpopulation. I moved from ease and comfort (with a bit of financial challenge) to a place of challenge.
2012…the year of the move.
I made dinner tonight. Instead of making sure that everything was well-balanced and healthy, I chose to make crepes. Crepes are, in our house, a system of delivery for the many toppings around our house. Everything comes out of the cupboard and fridge. Peanut butter, chocolate-hazelnut spread, blackberry and strawberry jam, syrup, chocolate syrup, butter, sugar, pears and apples, anything that might be delicious. Good times.
In the background is a crepe in the frying pan. Delicious, it was, but healthy it was not.
…is so happy right now. I make a point of stopping over at my new motorcycle whenever I return from work, and even though I have to wait for the licence plates (or not, according to my friend Setyo) I am still really excited. When I was a kid, I always wanted a motorcycle. Now…I’ve got one. The little boy inside my head is smiling all the time…and will continue to smile until I actually have to remember how to ride, shift, brake and throttle. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I had a lovely date with my wife tonight. We went Christmas shopping. That has nothing to do with the photo. I’m just happy and felt like sharing.
I hope you like the photo.
Well, I’m not American, but every day is a good day to be thankful. Having spent my life in Canada, and just having moved to South Asia, Jakarta specifically, I have had much…more than much…for which to be thankful. My walk to and from school makes me remember that I am in a privileged spot in this city, this country really. I have a lovely, relatively un-decorated, large apartment, a beautiful family, a well-appointed job, a couple of motorcycles to buy (this week, hopefully), and a well-stocked kitchen, even though we don’t always eat at home. A ridiculously high number of people in this country don’t have that, any of that. I am colossally, universally, cosmically thankful.
This was shot, by the way, at the Ragunan Zoo back in August. If this is any indication of the massively disparate economies of this country, it cost my family 14000 Rupiah to enter this zoo. That works out to about $1.50 Canadian, or American for that matter. All four of us for $1.50.
probably because, everywhere I go in Jakarta, there are so many security guards. Security is a micro-economy here in Jakarta. We have security at our apartment, as seen above, at our school, at the local grocery stores, in the malls, on the street directing traffic. They are ubiquitous. If I didn’t know better, security guards could be the national bird of Indonesia.
I love these guys, though. I’ve never met one who hasn’t flashed a gigantic grin when I say, ‘Hi,’ and who isn’t genuinely helpful. Thank you, security guys. You make me feel secure.
Too sick to write…not to sick to post.
We’ll talk soon.
Super Sokka means “excellent tile”. The stack of tiles, above, are roof tiles, made by hand, in a village Central Java. We met the woman who was making the tiles – she presses out the mix of mud and clay with this medieval looking manual press – and she said that this was her job and that she pressed these out all day long, all year long.
And she seemed happy. I don’t know if something that routine could keep me happy. I also don’t know if something that routine actually makes her happy, or if she was just smiling because a couple of expats found what she does so interesting.
I took this shot while driving back to our villa from Borobudur temple. We stopped to take some photos in a town of tile-makers. After wandering through one of the shops, I noticed these kids. They were trying to not be noticed, but were still following me around.
I asked them whether I could take their photo. One little guy wanted nothing to do with the photos. These three were incredibly agreeable. I got some brilliant shots of them, which I might share with you over the next week or so.
Today, I took the old walking route home…old, as in the one I used to walk. I met some wonderful people on the route today, and this guy was joking with me, inviting me to “bole foto” of the food he was selling. I asked him if I could take his photo. The photo above was his answer.
My family and I went on a trip with thirty (or more) of our closest new friends here in Indonesia. We travelled to Bandung, a city not too far from where we live, to visit a volcano, do some shopping, listen to some music, and have some fun. It was a good day and left me with some really happy memories. Hooray for everything, right?
There’s a place in Bandung called UDJO, and it is dedicated to the Angklung, an Indonesian musical instrument. It creates a beautiful sound, and they train young children to play this instrument. Then, when tourists like me come to see the performance, these beautiful little children come out and play. They are often enthusiastic and nervous and so fun to watch. This little girl, however, seemed nonplussed by the whole process.
That’s it. It’s Monday and I needed something that made me feel happy. Orchids make me happy. Thanks orchid.
Well…it is here in Jakarta. I know that many of you are just waking up to find my post and are thinking that there’s still a day left to go. I have already worked my Friday and made it home and have been enjoying some family time for the last couple of hours.
The view below is my view down Kemang Selatan I as I near home. It’s the moment when, in my walk home, I know I’m nearly home.
Aaaahhhhh…Friday has come at last. It’s the end of the first week of school here in Jakarta, and it feels pretty nice. I’m sitting by the pool, basking in the sun’s rays as they wash through the palm trees lining the edge of the pool. It feels pretty nice.
I shot this on my iPad, and processed it in Photoshop Touch. Not bad, I think.
We’re packing up and getting ready to go in a month and a bit. There is another garage sale coming soon – two weeks? – and too many decisions about what to keep, what to store, and what to transport.
If you have an eight year old son like I do, you’d have to figure out a way to transport some of the massive collection of Lego we’ve accrued over the last five years. I can tell you that this will be the hardest decision we have to make. How much to take. Which pieces to take. Which minifigures to bring along and which to abandon to the storage locker.
Hmm…Lego has never been such a stressful thing.
So, um…I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment. Between selling my house and making plans to move to Indonesia and trying to finish out the year at my school, I’m starting to feel as though my photoblog is becoming homework.
I didn’t ever want this to become an onerous task. Until recently, this blog has been nothing but a joy. Now…well, now I think I need to ease up a little on the daily blog posts. In fact, I think I’m going to switch over to a weekly post. Once a week. Fridays I think.
I hope you’ll bear with me. I hope you’ll patiently wait out this period. When everything settles down here, I’ll start posting on a daily basis again.
With the house in disarray, Lego and clothes all over the place and the family all happily lazy, I figured I’d post something peaceful. This photo sums up the way I feel right now – placid.
Thanks, Christmas, for the peace that is existing in my house and heart right now.