Halloween, Odds and Ends – and Toilets

I have to show off our super-talented daughter’s family!  Every year, Holly goes all out for Halloween and gets the family all decked out in theme costumes.  This year was the circus, which makes sense, since their Skype name is “The Kelley Circus”!


There’s a little bit of Halloween here – not much.  Saw a lady in a mall the other day dressed as a witch and there’s a few signs around, but it’s not really a big deal here.

While we were in Jogja (Yogyakarta for you non-locals) this past week, we stayed at a nice hotel that had a balcony.  It started pouring rain one late afternoon, so we sat out and enjoyed the rain:



I mentioned in my last post that we purchased a  quilt made of Batik scraps – really nice.  175,000 Rp ($13.50)


One of the odd things here is that cooking oil comes in a bag – why, we do not know.  Yes, it can dump over and spill – ask us how we know this….


I was reading an interesting article the other day about pointers for newcomers in Jakarta and found them all to be true.  Here’s a few (with my comments):


  1. Carry small change – taxi drivers don’t carry much.  (The 100,000 Rupiah is the largest bill they print – $7.50.  Imagine the cash you need to carry in the US if $5 or $10 was the largest bill available).  So if the ride is 30,000 Rp, you might be leaving a big tip!
  2. Carry a phone charger and a book in the taxi – you will be in it for a while because of the traffic….
  3. Wear Batik – especially on Friday – it shows respect for the culture.  (Everyone wears Batik all the time, not just on Friday.)
  4. Learn a little of the language – the locals love it when you try!
  5. Do business the Indonesian way – less direct and more personal.
  6. Hand out your business card using both hands.  When you receive one, accept it with both hands and actually read it.
  7. Get ready to pose for photos with EVERYONE.  They will all want a picture with you!  Oh man, do they ever.  I’ve had my picture taken a thousand times already!)


  1. Raise your voice.
  2. Expect to get anything done at ‘normal’ US speed.
  3. Exhibit any PDA (public display of affection) – it’s just not done.
  4. Wear a bikini – you will NEVER see this or anything close to it.  (Muslim women will swim at the pool, but they wear a burkha.)
  5. Be surprised if people show up an hour or two late – ‘it was the traffic….’
  6. Be surprised if you are asked personal questions (what’s your salary?).
  7. Be offended if you get told you look tired or you’ve gained weight.  (They are honest!)
  8. Get too personal with greetings – not everyone likes a peck on the cheek.  (Any many Muslim women will not shake hands with a man, so you need to wait to see if they offer theirs.)
  9. Complain about the noise from the Mosques – this is a VERY touchy subject.  (The call to prayer is five times a day from a very loud public address system.)
  10. Be surprised to hear a belch after a meal.
  11. Be surprised at wet toilets in the public restrooms – they will pour water on the seat (or hose it down) after they use it.
  12. Give anything to someone using your left hand.  (Its the hand they use to clean themselves after going #2.  OK – here’s how it works – in every bathroom (public, private, etc. – everywhere – is a small hose or a bucket of water with a ladle.  After they go #2, they use the hose (or bucket) and their left hand to clean themselves, then wash their hands.  More modern restrooms now have toilet paper, but ALL bathrooms here have the hose or bucket.  The older ones in small restaurants, gas stations or any of them not in the city, don’t even have a hose – just a bucket – and no toilet paper.  And there is no sit-down toilet – only a ‘squatty potty’.  DeeAnn has learned to take her own TP just in case.  OK enough about Indonesian bathrooms.)



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