All we ever heard in Provo was ‘DON’T eat off the street like the missionaries’. The full-time missionaries all over the country do it because it’s usually too much trouble to go back to their apartment at meal time. So they do it and eventually the non-Indonesian missionaries’ stomachs adapt and they get used to it. The Church employees from our office (all locals) do as well, but they’re Indonesian, so their stomachs are already used to it. So up to now, we’ve resisted.
The other day, President Rowley (the Mission President, who eats on the street all the time) brought some sate to the office at lunch time. Sate is grilled meat – usually chicken (ayam), goat (kambing) or lamb (anak domba) – on a wooden skewer with a peanut sauce. We’ve had sate many times, but always at a restaurant and not from a street vendor. So we tried some and it was absolutely delicious – and the important thing was we did not get sick.
Right near the office is a small side street with a number of little food stands and carts selling all kinds of stuff, including sate. So, today at lunch time, I went down the street, found the sate vendor and bought an order (10 skewers) of sate ayam for our lunch.
Across the street was the nasi (rice) vendor,so I went there and got some nasi.
Took it back to the office and it was fantastic! The best part: the rice was 6,000 Rp ($.45) and the chicken was 17,000 Rp ($1.30), so about $1.75 for our lunch. There was some discussion at the office that I paid too much for the rice – no doubt becuase I was a bule (white guy), but we’re arguing about $.20, so I didn’t mind.
The walk back to the office (a few hundred yards):