Category Archives: Culture

Hitler in Indonesia

Bruno and I saw a shocking sight while walking through a street market in Yogyakarta a few weeks ago. For sale at one stand, amid posters of Bob Marley, Asian boy bands, Spanish soccer teams and former Indonesian leaders, there … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Indonesia, Politics | 6 Comments

In Central Java, taking our time in a becak

This short story will tell you much about Indonesia. Bruno and I were in a part of Yogyakarta (a city in Central Java, about an hour’s flight from Jakarta) with heavy foot traffic, and it was time to head back … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Indonesia | 1 Comment

Tidak vs. Belum: It’s about outlook

Let’s assume you have never visited China, and have no plans to do so. If I asked you in English, ‘Have you visited China?’, what would you say? Probably just “no,” which in Indonesian is tidak. In Indonesia, however, you would not say tidak in this … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Indonesia, Language | 4 Comments

The Natural Alarm Clock

Our week of language classes in Yogyakarta yielded quite a few interesting lessons. During our long days in class, we got to discuss differences with people who were quite open to explaining their culture. One very telling difference was the symbol … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Indonesia, Our Daily Life | 3 Comments

The Two Temples

Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Central Java sit less than 26 miles apart. Built during the same century, one is Buddhist and the other Hindu. These two temples offer a powerful example of the confluence of religious cultures in Indonesia … Continue reading

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12 Signs You’ve Been Living Abroad

1.     You try to kiss people on the cheek when you meet or greet them, causing an awkward moment. 2.     Everything seems to lack salt. 3.     Americans look fat to you, as though they are all just a little bit … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Transition | Leave a comment

Back to the Future

Between leaving Ecuador and moving to Jakarta, I am spending a few weeks in New England with my parents. Though this blog is more traditionally about our adventures abroad, the experience of being ‘home’ merits a few entries of its … Continue reading

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Bullfights: Ethics, Culture and Politics

The bullfight displays much more appreciation for the bull itself than most people offer to the steak on their plate before they eat it. Continue reading

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Part 8: Mind your Manners

Social customs and manners are different in this country, naturally. It is at times exasperating to navigate them, and you have to remind yourself that Ecuadoreans DO have manners and etiquette – sometimes very formal and prescribed – but they’re … Continue reading

Posted in Bureaucracy, Culture, Ecuador | Leave a comment

Celebrating a loss: how Guayaquileños can find reason to celebrate even when their soccer team loses a match!

A couple of weeks ago we spent the weekend with some family friends at their beach house. To get anywhere on the coast from Quito easily, you fly to one of a few coastal cities (in this case my favorite … Continue reading

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