Thanksgiving recipes, Indonesian style

Fall in Indonesia looks a lot like summer in Indonesia, except with a lot more rain. Although my idea of November does not usually include mangoes, sweat, or mosquitoes, Thanksgiving doesn’t pay attention to geography, and it’s still that time of year to think about turkey and pumpkin pie. As two of the few Americans…

An incident at Kupang Harbor

One night I was enjoying a beer while watching the sunset by the harbor near my house. I had met some of my students there, so I sat with them while they ate bakso (a hot meatball soup) and drank Pepsi. An elderly woman sat down next to us and began listening to our conversation.…

Confessions of a “Secret Bule”

It often starts with a changed expression. Furrowed eyebrows. An uncertain smile. Blinking. The person, usually a cashier or a waiter, has just realized something is off about me. Why is this Indonesian-looking person seeking assistance? they wonder. Why is she mumbling only a word or two at a time? Why does she only smile at polite enquiries? What…