Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bursting the Bubble

In Kenya, most people said that Rosslyn was a bubble. Especially those of us who lived on campus were quite insulated from normal Kenyan life. We could go for days on end and basically only come in contact with Rosslyn students and teachers and parents. A 5-minute ride to Village Market for groceries or a movie rental hardly changed things at all. Village Market was not exactly a Kenyan experience.

In most ways, we have moved from one bubble to another. The Rosslyn bubble has been changed for the Lippo Village bubble and let me be clear: the Lippo bubble is a double-layered, hard-coated silicone bubble…it’s not easy to pop. We’re going to have to do some real work if we expect to get to know Indonesia and Indonesians.

And so we thought we’d break out of the bubble a bit during this holiday break. Do some traveling. Do some exploring. The following narrative and accompanying pictures will testify to our total failure. While we geographically ventured a few kilometers out of Lippo, we more or less took our bubble with us.

Our first few days of vacation took us to the coast. It was a 2 ½ hour drive on mostly smooth roads in an air conditioned car. The end of Ramadan holiday is sort of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years all rolled into one. It’s big stuff so the rates for most things skyrocket. Several of the nice hotels at the beach would have cost us over $200 a night. Instead, after little internet surfing I found a budget place near the beach for $35 a night. Then, a 15 minute car ride takes us to the nice, expensive beach hotel where you can pay a small fee ($15 for our family) and use their pools and showers and private beach during the day. Love a good deal.

Next stop on our “breaking the bubble (but not really) tour” was Kidzania on the sixth floor of a fancy mall in downtown Jakarta. Kids spend the day learning jobs, making Kidzos (play money useful in Kidzania), and then spending their Kidzos. The picture of Kayla with the baking hat on was when she was learning her Biscuit Factory job. Kidzania was followed a day later by Waterbom, similar to water theme parks all over the States. In fact, it was hard to remember where we were. Bubbles all look alike, I guess. Interesting to see the few “modest” Muslim girls who wore the full bathing suit covering including over the head. That was about the only thing that added a different look to this bubble.

After all that travelling and activity, it was time today to do something close to home. I took Hannah out golfing and you can see from the pictures that the course is as beautiful as the players. Fees are usually around $23 and a caddy will be $10 for 18 holes. The great thing about this particular golf course is that it is a 4-minute drive from our house. A couple of other random photos you see...a typical breakfast for Hannah and one of our least favorite shopping stops: the aptly-named HyperMart.

Sorry. I know this is boring, uninspired writing. My mind is on holiday.

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