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Saturday, November 28, 2009

putu, kelepon, terang bulan

While enjoying this vacation, I managed to steal few hours to do some fun coding. Nothing spectacular, but it yielded something I will surely share in the near future. However, since I am still in the mood of bombing the planet again, here is another post with food pictures.

Something else we were glad to taste during our extremely short visit to Bandung were Putu and Kelepon, typically sold at the price of 1 EUR for 25 pieces. They are basically rice cake filled with palm sugar and served with grated coconut. Putu is steamed, while kelepon is boiled. The latter is also colored using pandan leaves.

putu and kelepon

While sampling culinary specialties means that we do not cook quite often, when the opportunity presents itself, it is of course a good feeling to eat something home-made once a while. Here is one: Terang Bulan (literally: bright moon). It is some sort of pancake, very similar to Martabak except Terang Bulan is filled with sugar, sprinkles, condensed milk, cheese, and the likes. Hence, it is also known as Martabak Manis (literally: sweet Martabak), a term that is somehow I dislike (because language-wise it is unnecessary as there exists a good name for that and thus it extends and pollutes the meaning of Martabak with a very weak reason).

The recipe? Check what this lady has posted. Terang Bulan is sweet and healthy (reduce the amount of sugar if in doubt), it makes for a good snack in the afternoon.

Home-made Terang Bulan

Last but not least: Eid Mubarak to everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

parijs van java

Somehow the wind finally leads me to Bandung, the place where I spent years studying at ITB. While still trying to absorb all the deja-vu sensations (last time I was here, when I left the place, was 6 years ago!), nothing beats having breakfast (and potentially also lunch and dinner later on) in one of those food stalls. Since I promised to write about my culinary excitement, here is one to pollute the planets (the aggregated blogs, not our blue marble): Kupat Tahu. Essentially it is fried tofu, bean sprouts, and lontong (compressed rice) served with peanut sauce and some crackers. That makes it for a good breakfast.

kupat tahu bandung

I will be in Bandung today and tomorrow, mostly just around the university. If you are around and want to have a chat, feel free to drop me an email!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

english vs indonesian

One thing which recently made it into my reverse-culture-shock impact list is the widespread use of incomprehensible (read: broken), mixed-language expressions, potentially due to many reasons (to name a few: innocent show-off, following the mainstream, or just trying to look more "educated"). It starts with an easy one, like denoting the printer cartridge types as "black" and "color", i.e. in English, although we have good Indonesian words for that ("hitam" and "warna", in case you can't recall). The worse part is yet to come, it kills me when someone starts to sprinkle English words in an otherwise perfect sentence, e.g. "tapi you mesti ngajak aku to follow your, ehm [can't find the English words], kegiatan, which is sebenarnya quite interesting". This wonderful fragment is ridiculously non-sense for both foreigners who never learned Indonesian and for my fellow countrymen who do not know English at all.

Of course it won't surprise you if I say that you can easily find flyers and other promotion materials exactly using the same pattern. Just today we found a state-sponsored, free Shopping & Travelling Guide booklet featuring dozens of pages with English headings. Again, the contents are written in Indonesian. This leads to a number of striking typos and mistakes, one of which is shown here:

the typical typo

I have nothing against foreign languages (I have my share by learning few of them), but I also still love my wonderful mother tongue, Bahasa Indonesia.