In Which I Taste Death and Go To Bali Without Going To Bali

Hey. Yo.

So, this post is not really organized. I’m sorry. Neither is my head. It is a collaboration of stories, laziness (where there will be a statement and not a lot of explanation), and journalistic style reports.

It’s ok if you don’t really understand what I said there. I don’t think I did ether. Essentially,


Let’s start this mess.

I have officially decided that I am awful at counting. Earlier this week, I counted that today would be day 30. When I recounted today, I got 32. When I used an online counter, it said it is 28 days. So it is more or less


Whoah time buddy. Slow down a little. Santai (relax).

Right. So.

I had a very eye-opening experience this week. My host family and I went to a mall to go grocery shopping and get some WONDERFULLY MARVELOUS FROZEN YOGURT. So my host sister and I went to get the WONDERFULLY MARVELOUS FROZEN YOGURT and found out it was no longer offered. Instead, they offered two flavors of ice cream.

(quick disclaimer: this story may or may not be a little embellished for entertainment purposes)

“You can get vanilla. “My host sister’s gaze darkens. Softly, she adds, “Or you can get koyuki.”

What? Kayak? No thanks, I thought I was getting ice cream.

“It’s a special Japanese flavor of ice cream.” And then, it seemed completely ridiculous that I would not get this marvelous Japanese ice cream.

A couple minutes later, we get our special ice cream.

Immediately, I make an incredibly astute observation.

It’s black.


Black. As in the absence of color. This not-color-but-absence-of-color is found in many places, but immediately my mind decides that this particular not-shade is from the deep recesses of Tartarus in the Underworld. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. In my mortal and ever-sweaty hands was the ice cream of the Underworld. The ice cream flavor of Death.

My host sister and I watched each other carefully as we spooned the Death into our mouths. And then, it happened.

A pleasant flavor filled my mouth. It was accompanied by a steadily crescendoing moaning and wails of the dead. I could hear their reminisces, regrets, and whatever else they felt like moaning. Why they decide not to simply speak it to me, I will never know. (I think they were just really dramatic)

Who knew that Hades was so good at making ice cream? You know, in the stories, Hades is always made out to always angry, bitter, and unkind. Even supposed bad guys have a good side. You know, an ice cream man is a cool alter ego for a Greek god.

Moving on to other experiences in the week!

The same night (9/10), I visited Al Falakiyah with my host mom. I’ve visited there once before, and I really liked it. My thoughts of Greek deities were drowned out by the music of prayer. You see, we came during Magrib (the last prayer of the day), so everyone was at the mosque. The Thursday Magrib is different from the other Magribs. Friday is the Muslim holy day, so on Thursday night Magrib, they sing their prayers.

Their singing was really, really loud. They also had percussion accompaniment. Since I was prepared and thus appropriately covered, I was able to join them at the mosque. The boys sat inside and the girls sat on the porch. They (the girls) gave me side glances, giggled, or sang along.

It was a really unique and cool experience. I love to see people in unison. Here, it was in unison believing and worshipping Allah.

On Friday (9/11), I partook in typical Indonesian teenager activity. In other words, I went to the mall. I went with my host sister and the other AFS exchange student in Bogor. We ate sushi (my second time ever) and watched The Transporter Refueled, which was ok.

On 9/12, some friends from school and I went to Bogor’s amusement park, Jungleland. Besides the repetitive and extremely annoying theme song echoing through the park, it was enjoyable. It had a couple of really good rides, like a spin and swing one, or one where you were on moving boats and squirting other moving boats with water. Other rides included a little rollercoaster, a haunted house, a ferris wheel, etc. Overall, it was great to go, especially since I got to hang out with some of my new friends.

The girls and I at Jungleland.

My friends and I at Jungleland.

What wasn’t as pleasant was all the creeper photos people kept taking of me. I understand that I am quite a spectacle, and you may take my picture with my permission, but taking unauthorized photos just irritates me. Some people were secretive about it, and may weren’t.

On 9/13, I was able to attend church for the first time ( The people there were very excited to see me, extremely accommodating (even translating for me), and pleasant.

After church, my host parents, aunt, cousin and I went to Pure Agung Parahyangan, a Hindu temple with Balinese architecture in Bogor. It was nestled in the breathtaking green hills around Bogor. We weren’t allowed inside the temple, but my family made up for that with a plethora of photos.

With my host mom, aunt, and cousin at another Hindu worship part of Pure Agung Parahyangan.

With my host mom, aunt, and cousin at another Hindu worship part of Pure Agung Parahyangan.

Ganesh and I.

Ganesh and I.

Me and Pure Agung Parahyangan.

The hills around the temple.

The hills around the temple.

Around Bogor.

That night, I got my first massage ever. It was a traditional Balinese massage that apparently all the tourists want/always get. Although it was pleasant, it helped reconfirm that I am indeed exceedingly ticklish. Hypersensitivity, unfortunately, is not equal to relaxation. (The masseuse was like, “Relax!” I couldn’t reply/stop tensing because I was laughing)

Now, this week, (changing to bullet points here) I have:

~Been to a mall bookstore

~Read The Maze Runner

~Summarized Their Eyes Were Watching God in Indonesian (my friends translated the original summary for me and then I read it aloud) in front of the class

~Gone to English Club

~Tried to explain Biblical concepts in Indonesian/English to my host dad

~Watched a Thai tv show dubbed in Indonesian

~And my most exciting bullet point yet. In the previously mentioned book store, I found Brandon Sanderson’s The Rithmatist. For those of you who don’t know him, he lives in Utah. I knew his books were international, but it was really cool to see the proof.

And that, teman-teman, was my week (coughitwasmorethanthatbutIcan’tcountcough). Hopefully soon I can establish a day that I will post on once a week. And remember, I often do a midweek post (they’re mostly about random things).



2 thoughts on “In Which I Taste Death and Go To Bali Without Going To Bali

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