Warkop Aroma

I finally found my go-to cafe. Surrounded by old men offering me chairs, cigarettes, and sugar for my black coffee. “Misss you need sugar? No sugar?!!” And my sweetheart of a cafe lady who knew on the second day of me going there. A warm feeling of belonging somewhere. My cafe lady always says to me “please come again Miss.” And I do. Sorry miss no chocolate donuts today, but try Indonesian cookie. Because they already know I get the chocolate kind.

A simple cafe. Plastic chairs of the staple colors red, teal, and dark blue. Cafeteria long-length tables with groups of three or four men at an end with the random couple chairs that say “pick me.” When I walk in the door it’s a brief moment of panic…”Where do I sit…” Like I’m in the third grade and finger crossed that my friends have managed to save a seat for me…But now. I have a place. A midst all the men joking, reading the morning paper, smoking their fifth cigarette at 11 a.m, and their attempt in broken English to ask me, “Where are you from?” I really don’t know half of what they are saying, but their cheers and hellos welcome me back.

It’s a grand thing to find somewhere that you belong in a foreign land. I belong in my colorful neighborhood…people have started to notice my daily walks and usually a hand or two gives me a high five and always a wave. The children offer shy smiles and the old ladies carrying umbrellas stare, but return my smile as I pass. Never a whistle, just a call of “Hellloooooo….how are youuuu?” Today I found out they are also asking my name in Bahasa. So I told them. Sometimes there’s a pause and then the click of…”Oh Megan. Like Megan Fox…” Umm no. Not quite. Every so often someone wants to take a picture with me as well…sometimes celebrity status is nice…I do enjoy their friendliness and curiousity of meeting a foreigner for the first time.

The following day I went back. Talked to one of my dearest friends for a couple hours. Showed her the spot…in describing it she called it rustic. And it is. Rustic with character. Not modern or a chain like Starbucks…it’s better. The restroom is a sqatter toilet with no toilet paper. There is no hook for your bag either. The internet works though and the coffee is strong and black. Original. Traditional Indonesian coffee. We don’t know where we got the beans…my friend provides them. Then we grind them for coffee. I think I might be the only one who doesn’t take cream or sugar. I’m weird.

My cafe lady’s name is Ani. She asked me my name today as well. Isn’t she adorable?

Also if there’s an entirely empty table next to me, despite the fact that I’m sitting at another nearly empty table, I will instantaneously be surrounded by 5 or 6 people…slightly amusing.

Oh yes and if you get a chance to Skype (or FaceTime) me there, everyone WILL walk by and wave and see whom I am talking to…then after I hang up they try and ask who it was…sister? mom? dad? friend? boyfriend? It’s super cute! They all think everyone is beautiful or handsome…

I wrote the annual Family Christmas card on a laundry receipt the other day. Dropping off my laundry at the beginning of the day and having it freshly washed, dried, pressed, folded, and packaged by the end is a true luxury. I mean seriously…in my world travels I have hand washed, line-dried, washed and line-dried, washed and took my clothes to a laundromat…and now I have them done for me…while living in a third-world country. I do consider myself slightly spoiled knowing someone else is handling that task. And you should see the crispness of the folds…and they are plastic wrapped with a cardboard insert…seriously…the irony.

It’s been a weird week. One of my dear teacher friends won’t be teaching anymore at my school. It’s going to be an adjustment not having her positivity in the teacher’s room or encouragement after a rough class. I wish her the absolute best and I know she will succeed wherever she goes!

This weekend was rather quiet. On Saturday, went to the gym… then we picked up our fridge that was finally promised, and a blender. I also bought writing supplies at an office store. Saturday night, met a few friends at a cafe for dinner, and Sunday was spent lounging, grocery shopping, and making a smoothie! It rained a lot this afternoon and into the night…pounding rains!

yellow rice

outside the gym~ can’t believe it’s December!

guess which shelf is mine?


cafe hot chocolate
how pretty is this cup?

my house!

cool colored notebooks!

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