Showering by Candlelight: Mati Lampu

— By Grace Wivell — Mati lampu. It translates literally to “dead light,” and it is the Indonesian word for “blackout” or “power outage.” It’s a word you are bound to hear quite often in Indonesia, probably every day if you are in a more remote place. In Malang, I would usually have black outs…

20 Questions Game: Indonesian Version

— By Kelly Fitzgerald — After spending nearly two months as a Fulbright ETA in Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia, I have been through the gamut of getting-to-know-you questions. Some of them are standard and would be asked of foreigners in nearly any other country. However, others seem to be uniquely Indonesian. Listed below are twenty of…

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…