Selamat ulang tahun means ‘happy birthday’ in Bahasa Indonesian, and yes, it was my birthday on the weekend. I officially turned 15 on Sunday the 12th, but celebrations started before that (after all, why wait?). Rosie had a sleepover at a friend’s house on Friday night, and didn’t come home until Saturday afternoon, so Mama, Papa and I went to Ambassador Mall in Central Jakarta. It is our favourite mall ever, because it is basically a multi-story, upper-class flea market.
We first went on a batik hunt, as Rosie and I don’t have any batik clothing. I got a nice shirt, as did Rosie, and Papa got a second shirt as well. We then wandered around, scoping out the sights, and then going for a bite to eat the Rice Bowl, our old haunt. We then got a taxi back to Kemang, and went to Hypermart to do some shopping. We got home and, after a delicious supper of veggie burgers and potato salad, went upstairs to watch ‘Forrest Gump’. It was suuuuper good! really funny, but also quite sad. I loved it!
Next morning, I woke up a 15-year-old! Rosie and I went over and fed our neighbour’s cats, then came back and had Birthday Breakfast: french toast with watermelon and orange juice. Mama and Papa had put up loads of baby photos all around the downstairs area, which was super lovely. After breakfast, Mama and Papa had arranged that Ijah, the maid of one of our neighbours, would come over and give cooking lessons. We got a taxi to Pasar Minggu (Sunday Market), the biggest market in the area. It was like going straight back to Dhaka. The market was massive, with loads of fruits and veggies, and reeked of meat and fish. I remember the first time we went to a market in Dhaka. I was horrified by the meat section: chicken getting killed in front of you, massive hunks of bloody meat lying around, and fish just flopping around everywhere. I had to leave, as it was just too much. Now I am completely unfazed by it, which is cool and not cool at the same time. We spent most of the time in the vegetable section, and there was so much stuff there! Loads of familiar things, and not so familiar things. I tried this thing called snakefruit, which was quite weird. Foodies love it, but I wasn’t such a fan. But we got loads of great vegetables from this one lady, and saw some interesting things, including this machine that squeezes all the milk out of desiccated coconut. Awesome! After making our purchases, we got a taxi back home, then started on lunch: nasi goreng, fried tempe, and sayur asam (a vegetable soup). Ijah and I did most of the cooking, and it all turned out great! There were a few mishaps along the way, but everything tasted great. We all sat and ate together, and then Ijah left to get home (it was her day off), and Rosie and I went to play badminton. It was really fun, and we weren’t really playing, just goofing around. We then went for a swim in our neighbours pool, and when Papa jumped in, we played a game of baseball, with a kickboard as a bat. There was loads of making up (and breaking) of rules, and it was really fun. We then chillaxed, and then later in the evening, had Birthday Supper: pizza with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and CHEESE! Cheese is really expensive here, so it was such a treat to have it! After that, we had some birthday cake, which was truly awesome. It was a gooey chocolate cake with Chachas on top, which are basically Indonesian M&Ms. It was soooooo good! Another great job from Mama! After that was presents, and I got some lovely things (including a years supply of lemon tea, some great DVDs, and… my very own recipe book from Mama and Papa!).
I had such a great birthday! I look forward to being 15, and getting to know Jakarta more. Loads of love to my family, and thank you especially to Mama, Papa and Rosie for a great year of being 14! Here’s to a great year to come…