Friday, May 30, 2008

The neighbor's ciku tree

The house next to us has been empty for as long as we've been here. They have a large ciku tree that grows over their front fence and it has now become the neighborhood's ciku tree. I call it "ciku" but in Wikipedia, its referred to as Sapodilla.

Just take a look at all the fruit.

All the neighborhood kids help themselves to it. Their parents do the same. I got a bucket full today, as did two other ladies who live down the road.

This fruit is extremely sweet and has a unique texture. I can only describe it as soft, but firm, and grainy, if that makes any sense to you. I was quite surprised to find out that it has no sugar in it because it really is extremely sweet. According to Wikipedia, its also very low in sodium, and very high in dietary fiber and vitamin C. I guess I should take more advantage of this tree right outside our house. So far, we've only been using it as shade to park our car under.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #13

13 Things I Miss About Working (outside the house)

1) My cubicle. I liked having that little box of space all to myself.

2) Regular recognition of the work I did. I know Aaron rewards me too but I still miss that other type of 'tangible' acknowledgment.

3) Being a part of cutting-edge technology. I can't claim to have understood it all but the atmosphere was always so exciting and full of optimism.

4) Office gossip and "boss-bashing" sessions. Yes, gossiping isn't anything to be proud of but it happens and I do have fond memories of those funny times.

5) All expenses paid business trips. I REALLY miss those.

6) The international team I worked with. Of course I didn't like all those early morning or late night conference calls but I loved getting to know all those people. I'm thankful to still be able to call some of those people 'friends' even now.

7) Being able to call tech support whenever my computer was acting up.

8) Having the occasional day where there was just NO WORK to do.

9) Having many days where there was so much work that I could hardly fit in bathroom breaks.

10) Having the freedom to choose when to work on each task. I now have a little director supervising me. Well, I had a boss back then too but he was only interested in the end result.

11) The too cold air-conditioning. I could really use some of that now.

12) In a weird way, I miss Monday mornings and Friday afternoons. The mom job has equalized all 7 days.

13) In a small way, I miss my own income. Don't miss it a lot but I can't think of anything else that I miss.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Favourite Tops Needed

I have a uniform when it comes to my pyjamas. They are these three identical t-shirts that I just rotate through from night to night. I got them for free about 20 years ago when my mother bought some hair products.

They may be my favorite night time wear but last week, Aaron was genuinely upset when he noticed the row of holes along the middle section. I don't understand why but it bothered him so much that my clothes were 'broken'. He wouldn't go to bed until I changed. Last night, I happened to pick out the same shirt again, he saw them and insisted that I HAD to change before he went to bed. I'm still trying to understand why he reacts this way to the holes.

I don't know whether its just the age of all my favorite pieces of clothing or something to do with the way we do laundry here but I've noticed that many of my regulars are starting to wear out.

Ever since we moved to Palembang, I rarely need to dress up to go anywhere. Heck, I don't even need to dress 'going out casual'. Its just a tank top and shorts every day. So, I've fallen into a habit of wearing the same 3 favorite tops, 2 backups so I don't wear the same 3 too often and a pool of about 8 pairs of shorts.

Its not as if I don't have any other tops but I just like those few. I have tens of others that I've only worn a few times and even some with the tags still on but they just don't have that same worn feeling to them.

Well, the 'worn' feeling is fast turning into 'worn out' because they are starting to fray. I think its partly to do with the water here and also maybe the long hours that we leave the clothes out in the strong sun.

I need to appoint some new favorites soon so I can get them worn in.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Let Us Pray (Part 2)

I've blogged before about Aaron and prayers. So far, he has developed a consistent night time habit of reminding me to say our prayers before he goes to sleep. He'll put his hands together, palm to palm with fingers straight and insist that I do the same. Then he'll switch to having interlocking fingers and I have to do the same.

I say the same prayer every night so that he can get familiar with it. Lately, he's been trying to say it together with me. The funny part is when we say the 'Our Father'.

Here's what he says:

Our farter in heaven
Holy your name
Kingdom come
Will done

The longest part is when I try to wrap up the prayer. I say a simple "Please bless so-and-so". He insists on naming everybody he knows, including the members of The Wiggles. By the way, he talks about The Wiggles so much that instead of saying Mother Mary, he keeps saying Mother Murray. Murray is the red wiggle!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'm ashamed of my rent

I've mentioned before that our rent is paid by Richard's company so, up until now, I never gave it much thought. The rent is IDR 30 Million (USD 3221) per year (thats how rent is quoted here) and the total amount for the standard two year contract had to be paid up front. So that was IDR 60 Million to the landlord. When I did my conversions to Malaysian Ringgit, the monthly rental was not out of the ordinary by Malaysian standards and I just never thought about it again, until today.

Well, the talk on rent actually started yesterday when the Korean family asked us how much ours was. It turns out that they pay the same as us but have a smaller house. And that was pretty much it for yesterday's teaser on rent.

Today, I chatted with the cleaner at the gym and somehow, the topic of rent came up and she asked me how much ours was. I told her. She asked me again. I said the same thing. Then, she tried to correct me to say IDR 3 Million. But I corrected her back. She must have verified my answer about 4 times and then after that just stood there speechless.

I asked her how much she paid per year. Guess what? IDR 1 Million. She also told me that probably the most expensive rent that any Indonesian pays is IDR 3 Million.

Well, I felt pretty ashamed then. Not because we've been cheated because, in a way, we haven't. We're just being charged foreigner rates and making some sneaky, rich Indonesian richer. I felt ashamed because it has taken me 15 months of living here to find out that my rent is 30 times more than the most expensive Indonesian rent. I'm also ashamed because its an absurdly mind boggling sum of money in a country where a monthly salary of IDR 1 million is considered good. I also felt so bad for mentioning that ridiculous sum of money to a person that probably has to work for two and a half years to amass that amount (thats provided she didn't eat or pay her own rent).

The IDR 30 Million per year rent may work out to be insanely cheap in other parts of the world after a direct exchange rate conversion. However, just like everything else that we spend on here, the sum needs to be compared to how the everyday Indonesian earns and spends to really make sense.

OK. So I know I feel ashamed. But what will I do about it? What can I do about it? I don't know yet...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Korean guests for lunch

Richard must have read my Thursday Thirteen post about inviting people over for lunch. He invited a Korean family from our neighborhood over today. They have a four year old daughter and one year old son so it was a meeting to help us ALL make some new friends.

We don't speak Korean and they don't speak English so we all (including the little ones) conversed in Indonesian. They have been in Indonesia five years and were far better than us at the language but we still managed to have a great time talking about what its like living here. They were easy going and straight forward. The interesting thing I noted about them was the fact that they have no plans at all of returning to Korea. Its only the first time that we've had any extended conversation with them so I didn't want to ask too many personal questions but I'm so curious to know why they plan to live in Indonesia forever. We also found out that there are about five of six other Korean families in our neighborhood. I know there are probably a similar number of Malaysian houses here but no families. All the Malaysian men are here alone because their families aren't willing to make the move.

These days I feel that meeting new people is like going for an interview. So much so that I find myself hoping that we made a suitably pleasant impression that they would like to spend more time with us in the future. The wife leads a similar lifestyle to me (i.e. at home with the kids 7 days a week) so maybe I can arrange more play dates in the future.

So, what do you think the Malaysians served their Korean guests for lunch in Indonesia?

I had thought of Laksa Lemak but chickened out in the end because I've only made it once before with my mother's help. I fell back on something I knew I wouldn't screw up: Spaghetti with a homemade tomato sauce and a capsicum and cucumber salad to cool us in this hot weather.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My first tomatos!

I've been waiting for these little guys for a month.

When I first saw them as little green bubbles, I thought it would be a matter of days before they reached full size and then turned red. Well, they got big pretty quickly but stayed green for weeks! They looked so cute on the plant that I almost didn't want to pluck them off.

I did of course, and ate them all raw to fully appreciate their taste. They were the most delicious tomatoes I've ever had :)

There are a few more on the plant that are changing color as well. The problem now is that I don't see any new little green ones.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #12

13 Things To Get Done Soon-ish

1) Complete a new 'map' for Aaron with a musical and counting theme.

2) Resuscitate my garden. The combination of hot weather, no rain and poor soil seems to be taking its toll on all my plants. The Okra have lost most of their leaves. The winged beans also look like they are heading that way. I dug out the Zucchini plants some time ago because it just looked so sick. Right now, only the tomato plant seems relatively healthy. I need to rescue them all....

3) Research my 'old age list'. I try to stay healthy by exercising and eating right. However, I thought of boosting the effectiveness of this by making a list of all the common ailments people encounter in their later years. Then, perhaps I can do the right things from now to hopefully avoid some of them.

4) Complete my 1001 things in 101 days list.

5) Major clean up of my hard disk. I need more space.

6) Backup Aaron's photos. I should do this weekly but its so easy to put off. I think i have 13 weeks of photos sitting dangerously unbacked up on my hard disk.

7) Organise all my music CDs/MP3s. They're all over the place now. In my desk drawer, next to the TV, saved on my too full hard disk. We need some ORDER :)

8) Start a family photo album. My plan is to have one for each year. I think its nice to have a physical photo album that I can pull out to look at.

9) Go for our first professional family photos. I've noticed that its relatively inexpensive to get this done in Palembang. Why not give it a go?

10) Repack my first aid and emergency packs (y'know, passports, money etc in one place). I had this done some time ago but then made the mistake of dipping into them for odds and ends and now everything is a mess.

11) Invite the few new people that we've met over for lunch. I'd like to say barbecue but this is definitely not the climate to be standing in front of any sort of heat. I'll just order in since I don't want to scare them away from future invitations.

12) Go for a day trip to the outskirts of Palembang. There are a lot of smaller villages and farms there that we have not been to.

13) I'm not sure if I can actually do this one. I've noticed that there is at least one Bidan in every neighborhood. A Bidan is a 'midwife'. I'm not sure what sort of training they receive (probably traditional) but I think it would be very interesting to see how they operate. I've been wondering if one of them would let me spend a day following them around.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When will they stop itching?

I haven't been able to do anything today. The itching occupies my mind all the time and I can barely distract myself from it. Those little buggers left so little space in between bites I can't even scratch around them on my right leg. I've tried Tea Tree Oil, Papaw Cream, Ungvita, and today, a hydrocortisone cream but nothing works.

It hasn't all been bad though. There have been a few moments of joy today. I had to tell Aaron not to sit on my legs because it made them itchier. He kept saying "Poor Mama. Ask Papa put cream". He saw Richard trying out the various remedies on my legs yesterday. Sometimes, he'd come up to my leg and give the bites a bit of a caress. It made them worse but it made me smile. A couple of times, he caught me off guard and tried to scratch for me when I have been trying NOT to scratch.

When he did get to be just a little too trying during bed time, I begged him, in a really irritated way, to just go to sleep and leave me to my misery. He got so hurt and said something like "No cuddles also? Big hug?" and put on the most pathetic looking face. How could I refuse? He did try so hard to go to sleep after that and finally fell asleep holding my hand.

And guess what? In the moments that I was holding his hand and watching him fall asleep, I forgot all about my bites. A few moments of relative peace across all the bites. Now they're back :(

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Torture by Bedbugs at Avillion

I wonder if there is such a torture technique in use. If not, they really should try it out because I WILL TELL YOU ANYTHING right now if you can stop the itch from my 52 bites. Yes. Fifty Two. They are driving me c r a z y ! ! ! (Yesterday I posted fleas/ticks but after looking at bites on the internet, they look like bedbug bites)

I remember watching an episode of the Mythbusters that investigated the Chinese Water Torture. The conclusion was that the water droplets weren't all that stressful but the immobilization and inability to do anything about the water flowing down your face and the itch it caused was what caused this form of torture to be effective.

Since I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be scratching, I see it as a form of immobilization. I can't have anything brush up against any of the bites or the incessant itching kicks up a notch to an intense feeling of something wriggling around in the bite. This of course means that nights and Aaron's nap times are the worst because most of the bites are on my legs and laying down is torture!

The second part to this torture is when I do mobilize and succumb to a few seconds of intense scratching. Ah....a few moments of satisfaction but right after that, the itch comes back worse.

Alright, after the first day, I told Richard that I would definitely go back to that resort. That was before I was attacked. Now, I'm so disappointed. It was a lovely resort that is convenient to get to and fantastic for families with little kids. But, how can I willingly return to this place.

So, this post is my warning to any would be visitors of Avillion Port Dickson. By the way, I don't think I got the bites from the bed but from the beach deck chair instead. So next time, just remember to sit on towels? Who knows? Bedbugs really are everywhere when you travel....

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bits and 30+ Bites

As usual, our holiday was over much too quickly. We've only been back a day and yet all the images from the break are fading already. Here are some of the fragments that are left floating in my mind.

Aaron enjoyed all the talk of planes and looking at them. Funnily, he wasn't so interested in being INSIDE one. After take off and the first few minutes of looking out the window, he kept asking to go outside. We were flying above some clouds and he got the idea in his head that he could walk on them.

The most memorable line from the entire holiday came from Aaron. "Papa, wear your glasses! Its so loud!!". This was when we landed in KL and had to walk across the tarmac to get to the terminal. It really was noisy with several planes around. I already had my sunglasses on so I was safe.

Aaron really couldn't get enough of the beach. We were there...

...after breakfast,...

...after lunch (where he soon realized that the sunny parts were too hot to walk over)...

...and even after dinner.

My favorite of all his beach shots is this one:

Unavoidably, much of our attention was focused on Aaron. However, all three of us did get a say in what we did. We had time for the beach, swimming, lazing, the petting zoo and the playground. After all that playing around, both Richard and I got haircuts and facials. I was really surprised at how clean Richard's face ended up.

I have been unlucky enough to pick up 30+ bites from I-don't-know-what. At first I thought they were sand fly bites, but Richard and Aaron had them too and theirs faded within the hour. Now I'm thinking either fleas or ticks. WHY ME? Its actually my third time picking up bites on my travels. They itch all day long and as if thats not enough, they wake me up in the middle of the night for more scratching.

Amidst all the fun and food we had, each time we watched the news, we were faced with the sad images of the victims in Burma and China. It was a pleasant week away for us but the weekly news roundup we watched on BBC last night painted such a grim picture of the same week in different parts of the world.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day in Palembang

WOW! This is my second Mother's Day already! Last year, Richard took me out for a delicious lunch and gave me 3 massage vouchers. This year, I got a Hair Spa and 6 donuts. A Hair Spa is what they call some hair mask and a scalp massage here. Supposedly, Richard has planned for my real birthday and Mother's Day 'celebrations' during our break in Malaysia. I bet its going to be all about food :)

Not so long ago, I remember reading a comment somebody else's blog that mentioned budget airlines that charge for each piece of baggage checked in. At that time, I remember feeling thankful that while AirAsia is strict with the baggage weight, they didn't charge for each bag.

I guess AirAsia has gotten wise. They're charging. Not a lot but I've still packed all of our clothes into the one bag. I've also managed to squeeze two soft hand carry bags in there in anticipation of our return trip after lots of shopping.

You know what? We're all packed and ready to go but the plane isn't leaving for another 18 hours. Thats how much we're looking forward to this holiday. I'm having trouble keeping focused enough for this post.

I'll be back here again in a week. 'Till then, have a great week everyone!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Expect the Unexpected

21 months of being a mother should be long enough for me to learn about expecting the unexpected. Yet, there are still days, like today that something totally unexpected happens.

Each morning, Aaron and I sit outside in the garden to watch the birds and any other animals or insects that come by. This week, Aaron got interested in some of the pebbles we have and has been picking them up, looking them over, lining them up and just carrying them around.

Today, while he was with the pebbles, I went to fix up the earth in one of my pots. When I turned around, I saw Aaron sitting there, concentrating hard on LICKING THE PEBBLE! I probably over reacted with a loud, high pitched 'NO' but it was just so unthinkable an action at that moment. Why did he have to lick that incredibly dirty and germ filled pebble??

The worse was yet to come. When I took a look at the other lined up pebbles, they were WET! Guess who has been tasting them all?

I had calmed down by then and tried to talk reasonably and rationally to this toddler about why he must not lick his pebbles. In return, I got an intent yet confused stare back from him. In the end, I just said 'No Licking' and put all the pebbles back where they belong. He didn't protest that too much. I guess they weren't all that tasty.

I wonder what unexpected act of curiosity I should expect next?

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Surprisingly Frank Conversation

Last night, during dinner, the topic of family planning some how crept up. We were asking Aini (the girl I mentioned earlier this week) if she was excited about getting married next year and whether she would start a family quickly, as is the case with most people here. Well, Richard asked, not me. I somehow thought that girls here are too shy to talk about anything remotely to do with how babies are made.

Surprisingly, Aini talked very openly about how the generation today is much more aware of family planning and the benefits of having smaller families. When we asked what she meant by 'family planning' she actually spelled out what she learned in her sex ed classes. It turns out that I was the one not prepared for the conversation (LOL!). Unfortunately, they were taught all the various methods of contraception except for abstinence during those few days a month where it is possible for a woman to fall pregnant. I say 'unfortunately' because its the one method that would benefit any poor people who were trying to have any sort of planning.

Following on from that topic, she told us about the high school and university students, male and female, who get into prostitution. According to her, the practice is extremely common. Initially, I thought this was to help pay their way through school, or maybe help their families out. Nope! Its supposedly to buy cell phones, clothes and other such 'necessities' a young person needs. I'll definitely be doing more research into this to find out if the young people of Palembang are really so desperate for things my old fashioned mind really can't justify as needs.

Naturally, all the info on sex led me to ask about drugs. I know from others people that it is a major problem in Palembang (as it is anywhere else). She didn't mention any narcotics but spoke of the boys in school frequently sniffing glue because its cheap. She was so matter of fact about it.

All in all, it was interesting dinner conversation. Snippets of information that has given me some leads into further understanding life here in Palembang.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #11

13 Things I'm Looking Forward To Next Week

1) Aaron's reaction when we walk past a real plane. He looks for them each time we hear one fly overhead. He seems to be getting more excited about them. The Air Asia terminal in Kuala Lumpur is one of those without the tunnels directly inside. We'll need to walk down the stairs and across the tarmac. I think he'll enjoy it.

2) An over the water chalet with a supposedly spacious deck for me to enjoy the sea view.

3) An open sky bathroom. I'm really curious about what this must be like. We'll be having showers / baths under the stars (or hot sun!). What if it rains? What about birds flying overheard?

4) Splashing around the pool with Aaron and Richard. Up until now, it has only been Aaron and I whenever we go swimming.

5) Buffet breakfasts. This ought to be good after our three months of daily oatmeal here in Palembang.

6) A haircut. My hair is so long and heavy now I'm getting tangled in it in my sleep. Can't wait to get a bit of it lopped off. Perhaps some long layers like Eva Longoria?

7) A deep cleansing facial. The humidity and my own laziness has led to a face in need of some serious exfoliating and deep cleansing. Of course, the pampering that comes with a relaxing facial is the icing on the cake.

8) Some real Tau Foo Fah for Aaron. This is a beancurd dessert that Aaron can't get enough of.

9) Pancakes. The last time I was in KL, we went to a restaurant that served pancakes, and all its variations, from around the world. It was amazing! I didn't expect them to be so delicious. Can't wait to go try more of them.

10) Shopping. I'm not usually a shopper but living in Palembang has really made me miss aimlessly wondering around malls. The ones here are just too noisy and crowded to be enjoyable. Kuala Lumpur is definitely a shoppers paradise and the three of us are going to enjoy it. Yes, even Richard and Aaron will enjoy it.

11) A change in Aaron's sleep patterns. Each time we go on holidays, something improves with Aaron's sleep. I hope that this trip will bring more positive changes.

12) Stocking up on the essentials I need to bring back here. We'll not only be walking the malls. We'll also be scouring each and every aisle of the supermarket to replenish our supplies for the house in Palembang. Things as ordinary as Glad Cling Wrap, Bovril and some nappy liners.

13) Roti Canai, Char Koay Teow, Chee Cheong Fun......these are all Malaysian food that we can't get here in Palembang. Its going to be a week of lazing, eating and shopping!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tuna & Tempeh Perkedel

Since moving to Palembang, there have been two Indonesian foods that I have grown to really enjoy; Tempeh and Perkedel. Tempeh is basically a fermented soybean cake. Doesn't sound appetizing but it is delicious and very healthy. Perkedel is sort of like fried mashed potatoes.

So tonight, I tried making Perkedel for the first time and I used Tuna and Tempeh as the 'fillings'. I think the Indonesians usually just have it plain or with bits of minced chicken.

Here's the recipe:
3 potatoes (boiled & mashed)
2 shallots (chopped)
250g canned tuna
100g tempeh (chopped small then fried until golden)
2 large eggs (beaten)
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and then just spoon then into little round-ish balls and fry them up.

To cut down on the oil, I used a non stick pan. Usually, the Indonesians will use a wok and basically deep fry the balls.

The next time I try this recipe, I'm going to make it healthier by mixing in some sort of puree. That way, it can be a complete meal for Aaron too. I have been pureeing various vegetables (cauliflower, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots etc) to add easily and quickly into Aaron's meals after a good friend gave me the book "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. Instead of just limiting it to Aaron's meals, I've been adding the purees to our own as well because I always end up making too much and don't want to keep them too long.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

3 in 1 Submarine, House and Tunnel

I'm preparing Aaron for a visit to the Cuchi Tunnels.

Only kidding....

He grew bored of the Pentagon some time ago but I didn't have any other big boxes to make something new. We bought a new fridge over the weekend, so guess what?!

Aaron now has a house/submarine/tunnel depending on his mood. Sometimes its all three at once. And, not just anybody is allowed inside.

This time, I'm letting him decorate it. These big boxes are such great spaces for little kids to draw all over, inside and out. He can draw lying down or standing up. He's creating stories as he draws. Its fantastic! I'm having a great time watching him explore this simple cardboard box.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Funny Signs

Whenever we're out and about, stopped at traffic lights or in a traffic jam, I'm always scanning the signboards. There are some seriously funny signs about this place.

Sometimes, when there is a dry spell (as in, no funny signs) I tend to just stare at something absentmindedly. Like this particular one, until I found myself reading and re-reading the third line. I couldn't stop laughing afterwards. Little things like this make me laugh loud and long. These little errors sure make sitting in never ending traffic a whole lot more fun!

I'm still wondering what 'Grease Up' is.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Calculus and Expectations

The last time I did any calculus was about 15 years ago. I thought I had another 15 years before Aaron reached the age where I might have had to help him out with it.

Well, it looks like fate has forced us into some early revision, 15 years early. Instead of helping Aaron out, we are helping this girl called Aini. She started work here last week and I found out that three months ago, her father told her she had to stop school. She's 17 years old and has another 2 years of high school, if she passes the exams coming up in 10 days.

So anyway, I thought it was such a waste and felt that she had time during her work day here to study as well. To cut a long story short, she is now trying to catch up on those 3 months of missed school and sit for the exams in 10 days. 7 subjects, including English and Mathematics which we are helping her with. The calculus is killing me....

At the time that I jumped to the conclusion that she was a poor girl whose father sent her off to work instead of completing school, I didn't know that her father also has her engaged and set to marry in early 2009!!!! Well, she definitely is extremely poor but I didn't realize that she has probably grown up around people whose attitudes are that all will be taken care of in a woman's life as soon as she gets married. Education is probably last on the list of things a woman needs. It should have occurred to me but I didn't think of that until now.

I think the girl has been studying hard. Perhaps harder than her usual standards. She seems grateful and also seems to have some slight revelation regarding the importance of education. Yet, I don't expect her to suddenly realize all the additional doors it may (or may not) open for her in the future. I also have no idea if she'll just quit working for us (and automatically quit school as well) in a few months to get married earlier.

Like I told Richard, if we want to help somebody, we do it without any expectations. If the person is accepting and this opportunity helps better her future, then its a bonus for us. If she still ends up getting married at 18 and having 5 kids by the time she's 23, then, its just the way of life here. Who knows? Maybe the experience will influence the way she brings up her kids.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Amanda's Indonesian

My Indonesian has been improving quite a bit lately and I think I'm even starting to develop a bit of an accent. Vocabulary is on the rise but my grammar is still pretty awful. Something new that I've has picked up recently is speaking in the third person. I'm not sure if this is even refered to as 'third person' speak. Its just the substitution of names instead of 'I' and 'You'. I have some examples further down.

For some reason, people make that substitution a lot over here. Its a safe habit to adopt because I am never sure of which 'you' word to use. There are a few words that mean 'you' and are used for different people depending on the relationship with the other person (I think).

At the gym today, I was chatting with one of the staff there. Here name is Nia and she was asking me if she could come visit me at home some time. The conversation ended with her saying something like "OK. Nia will come over to Amanda's house on her day off". We were both right there and there was only the two of us in the room. I ended up texting her my number with the message "Here is Amanda's number for Nia."

Anyway, I find it a little strange to say things like "Amanda will be going for a walk with Aaron now." But, I'm starting to get the hang of it.

On a side note, it may feel strange speaking this way now but I wonder if this is how we all start out talking. Aaron often speaks in the third person. Aaron walk. Aaron play now. Aaron change pants. Etc etc etc.....

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #10

13 frequent phrases/questions from Aaron

1. Where's Aaron?

2. How 'bout that?

3. Other side, thank you, Mama.

4. Sudah makan? (Indonesian for 'Have you eaten?')

5. We're there!

6. Anthony drives Big Red Car. Anthony eating. (The blue Wiggle, Anthony, seems to be his favorite and he constantly says Anthony this and Anthony that)

7. Are you done?

8. What did you do?

9. No pram. Don't like. Aaron walk.

10. Apa ini? (Indonesian for 'What is this?')

11. Go outside.

12. Mama play with you. (He means 'Mama play with me')

13. Aaron good boy.