‘Tos’ means Cheers in Bahasa!

October 29th, 2014

I tend to get on the back of motorcycles with random strangers. Maybe I’m too trusting of men on motorcycles. I think it started with Zanzibar and at this random salsa club in Stonetown this guy was like oh hey wanna ride on my motorcycle and I was like yeah…and then Uganda taking off on a boda bodas which are basically like motorcycles…I had to go get money at the bank in Jinga before heading to the Outfitter Camp by the river bank…according to my group I was not supposed to do that without them. And then in Taiwan I rode on the back of high powered scooters on an almost daily basis. So really today seemed logical when none of the becak (bikes with carts attached) drivers would accept my fare to the coffee shop and a guy who spoke English asked if I needed help and offered me to ride on the back of his motorcycle after he finished eating his breakfast on the ledge overlooking the ocean. He drove me to the coffee shop, had coffee with me, and drove me home. All before 9 a.m., perhaps I wasn’t thinking clearly; I guess in the back of my head I had this back up plan if shit went down that I would just run…to the nearest hotel or restaurant. Maybe I shouldn’t do that again. However, in the end I did make a friend who wants to go running and have breakfast in the mornings every once in a while.

I have an address. Here it is: (btw, p.s. I collect postcards!) Plus if you give me your address I will send you mail too. Super old school and wicked fun. Because seriously no one writes anymore. Like hand writes. And I pretty much love sending and getting mail. It’s just special.

Megan Fuehrer
c/o English First
JL. Mesjid Raya No. 68G
Makassar, South Sulawesi

JL- Jalan, means street, Mesjid Raya is the name of the mosque I’m close to, Makassar is the city, and South Sulawesi is the Island
It’s the little things you know. Like crossing a busy street and making it out alive. Having sweet friends who drive you to buy fruit. Finding Indonesian cashews and carmel and candy bars that are going to be hard to resist. Buying tape to hang pictures. Finding a place to print pictures. And having students tell you after only observing the class and introducing myself and asking them a few questions and slightly being in charge of a computer lab session that they hope you get to teach them.. It’s also being thankful I packed coconut oil to soothe the million mosquito bites that have attacked my feet. And it’s knowing there’s a Carrefour in my new city like in Taiwan. Ahh Familiarity. 
first glimpse of a ocean sunrise in this country…

i love this picture.
lime green.orange.teal.
bright. fabulous.

October 31st. Happy Halloween from Indonesia.

I have made another new friend. From Chicago! She is a fellow traveler and the school’s new teacher and my new roommate in addition to an Indonesian girl and Englishman. I think we will all get along well and have a pleasant stay in the house. yay! Tonight, after the school’s Halloween party we went to this place called Live Music that had Live Music… haha…we now have semi-celebrity status with the manager and his mother, the owner. Listened to local music and drank local brews and eventually danced a song or two.  The manager gave us a ride home so we didn’t have to take a taxi! 🙂 Another man at the club taught my friend and I “tos” which means cheers in Bahasa. The local brew is called Bali Hai. I mean it’s a drinkable beer.

November 1st. 

Went shopping with the roommates. Bought a few other things for the house. At the supermarket (Carrefour!) I got to pick out my eggs and weigh them. Have you ever done that before? Then I just put them in a plastic bag like you would with fruit. Came home. Scoured the upstairs hallway and bathroom and scrubbed my bedroom. Finally feels a bit more like home.  So much better. Encountered my first lizard in my room. Killed my daily 20 mosquitos. Time for bed.

November 2nd.

Well I have officially survived my first week in Makassar. Today reminded me that I am living here and not a tourist. Tourists don’t often see the dirty side of an exotic location. This morning started out normal enough. Until I open the gate of the house. Remind you that goats live across from me. I had barely adjusted my eyes and I realized what was happening. By the side of the goat shelter a bunch of people were gathering around, one was taking a picture and the other was videoing. Two men were bent over on the ground. And then I saw it. The goat. Blood. The knife. They just sliced it. Bleck. I walked past because my friend and I were walking to the main road. I started dry heaving and gagging. I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t even 7 am and thank goodness I hadn’t eaten anything yet. Gross.

Ana (my Indonesian roommate) and I were headed to the park to go running. Instead of running, because there was a festival of sorts going on for “Makassar’s birthday” so there were too many people to actually run, we came across Zumba in the park! Ana loves to dance. We did Zumba for a while. It was really fun. I recognized a few songs and dances from taking Zumba in Chile! Funstuff. Many food stands were all around the park so I tried baroncong, a treat made of coconut over a fire. After dancing we headed to the traditional market to find coconut oil. Apparently you can get it for just over a dollar. Unfortunately this market didn’t have it, but it did have bunches of banana stands, other fruits and vegetables. All bargainable. Came across a fresh tea stand and bought some fresh lime tea. It was amazing! On our way home we stopped at a coconut stand and had fresh coconut water from the actual coconut.

Zumba in the park!

fresh lime tea

my friend Ana

November 4/5th, 2014
Today I spoke Bahasa to the food stand man…Berapa harga? How much is it?… terima kasih Thank you!… I am picking up vocabulary super fast…It’s amazing how much faster I learn when I can read a language…much faster than Korean or Chinese…Bahasa is basically pronounced how it’s spelled…K-K sound so it’s Kopi for Coffee….Also, if I am spelling my name to the locals I must say “e” as in elephant not “e” as in eat… 🙂

Hard to believe my birthday will be in about a week. I’m in my 4th teaching country. Before leaving for Indonesia I was going through old papers and boxes of stuff. Cleaning stuff out and reading old post its (omg I keep them!) and journals and to do lists that have been stuck between random book pages or notebooks with old airline tickets. And I came across my 5 year plan…and it included every country,but the ones I have taught in. Funny how life works that way, right? Every country I have lived in I have met great friends and encountered such special people. More than I could have ever imagined. I have landed in a franchise surrounded by more caring people. My first couple of teaching days have gone well…It’s a lot of prep, but mainly because I know myself and I need to be detailed and have a plan. Being dropped in a third world country has started to change me. In ways I cannot quite put a finger on, but even in the second week I feel different. I know these next months are going to be some of the toughest, and I know deep down I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t supposed to experience these challenges. And the heat is the least of the endurances. At least I haven’t seen cockroaches in my apartment. I do however, have a live-in lizard that I am praying eats the mosquitos in my room and doesn’t crawl on my pillow. I have a smoke thing going at night to keep those pesky things from biting. I am not sure the details to share… some want to know about the plumbing and housing, others want to know about the fruits and market goods, and others want to know about shopping and the beach…

So here are today’s top five facts:
1. I have AC in my room. But not the house. I also don’t have windows to the outside in my room. I am still getting used to this…we do have a small window area down the hall that we just need to get a chair for so we can sit and enjoy the sunlight.
2. We have regular plumbing in one bathroom upstairs, and we actually have a squatter and additional tub in an outside bathroom.
3. I have a feeling that the people who herd the goats and sit on their becaks outside the house watch over us and make sure we are safe. They are very kind.
4. My light switch is outside my room and the other outlets are downstairs or in other rooms. I may be guilty of going into the hallway for 10 seconds in my underwear to turn on the light…
5. Sometimes the electricity goes out randomly…I have never been so grateful for windows and automatic electricity…things I am guilty of taking advantage of.

If you have any subject you’d like to know about feel free to send a message! Sometimes I have so many overwhelming crazy thoughts and things to talk about that I don’t know where to start! 🙂 Cheers~

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