Serpong Locals

Sunset from Serpong

Sunset from Serpong

Bikram yoga

Mucking around at Bikram Yoga Serpong for my 365 day Scorpion Challenge

Week 21

Day 133

Serpong, Indonesia

6°15’5″S 106°37’39″E

Since I last wrote, Tom and I have become locals in Serpong–Just in time to leave. 🙁

We have 3 more days in the BSD (Bumi Serpong Damai) before we take a long weekend up to Singapore.  Following our trip to Singapore, I am being relocated within the 42º Bikram Franchise to their studio in KG (Kelapa Gading).

jakarta travel

Mucking around with the Bikram Serpong Ladies after lunch

We’ve ventured out a little more since I last wrote.

Since I’d been in town for a while, the ladies at the studio decided it was time I venture out from the food court across the street and try some other local Indonesian cuisine.

Friday following yoga, the ladies at the studio took me out to lunch to try Ayam Pedas (Spicy Chicken!)

Since I’d shared that Tom and I love the spicy food here, they wanted see how true this statement was.

They weren’t sure if I could handle authentic Indonesian spice.

I was a little afraid given how many times they ask me, “Are you sure you like spicy?” but lunch turned out to be delicious!

My lunch!

My lunch!  The chicken itself wasn’t spicy, but the green leave mix on the side was!

I got Ayam Mercon and Gado Gado.  The Ayam Mercon was spicier than any other dish I have had yet in Indonesia, but it was still tolerable.  I supposedly only had 5/10 stars though…not sure if it would have been enjoyable any hotter than that!

After our spicy chicken feast the ladies took me to another restaurant to try another authentic Indonesian dish, fish cakes.

Fish cakes come in all kinds of shapes and textures.  We ordered up one of each and while I really appreciate their efforts to expand my taste buds, I can’t say fish cakes were my favorite Indonesian dish.

We experienced more Indonesian hospitality when Vira and Margie (students at the Bikram studio) offered to take Tom and I to sushi with their family Saturday afternoon in Jakarta.

Tom and Kaynen at Sushi.  Kaynen's probably telling Tom how quickly he beat Call of Duty.

Tom and Kaynen at Sushi. Kaynen’s probably telling Tom how quickly he beat Call of Duty.

We had met Vira, Margie, and their eldest daughter Selena at the studio, but we had yet to meet their younger kiddos Kaynen and Gweny who turned out to be a  hoot!

Sushi was of course amazing, but the highlight of the day was hanging out with the family.  Vira is originally from Indonesia, but spent most of his childhood in the states.  His wife Margie is Dutch and the kids all have dual citizenship in Indonesia and the Netherlands.  The family has traveled quite a bit around the world and have some amazing stories!

Their kids; Selena, Kaynen, and Gweny are all extremely intelligent children with tons of charisma!

Kaynen and Gweny breaking out into dance halfway through lunch

Kaynen and Gweny breaking out into dance halfway through lunch

Tom and Kaynen posing with a gaming character at the mall

Tom and Kaynen posing with a gaming character at the mall

Kaynen latched on to Tom as soon as he found out he knew how to play Call of Duty. I believe that is one of the games that Kaynen can beat in 2 hours!…it was hard to keep straight which ones he’s best at, but he’s very passionate about his gaming and proud of his gaming abilities! 🙂

In addition to being an avid gamer, Kaynen also dabbles in break dancing, breaking out in dance a couple times during lunch.

Gweny unwilling to let Kaynen steal the show hopped into dance right along with him.  I feel bad for Margie and Vira, because I’m sure Tom’s and my laughs only encouraged the kids to louder and more talkative, but we very much enjoyed all the kids antics and stories!

Before heading back to Serpong, after lunch we headed to the mall to walk off the meal.

Indonesian malls are very similar to the malls in the states, but there are a lot more of them and they are huge!

This mall in particular had an indoor ice skating arena and children’s “snow” playing area.  I say “snow” because it was actually just a giant plastic walled in area filled with ice cubes.  None-the-less is was packed with kids shoveling and mucking around in the “snow.”

Kids playing in the "snow."

Kids playing in the “snow.”

More of the seasonal winter decorations in the mall.

More of the seasonal winter decorations in the mall.

I believe the ice rink and snow playground are just seasonal features in the mall.

One thing Tom and I have noticed is the effort Indonesia takes to celebrate holidays and seasons.

In the three weeks we’ve been in Serpong, the Teraskota mall has changed their decorations 3 times!  When we first got here it was decked out with Christmas decorations, which quickly came down on the 26th to set up decorations for New Years.  We noticed yesterday that the decorations have changed once again to get ready for Chinese New Year.

Following our walk through the mall, we all headed back to Vira and Margie’s house where they treated us to a tasty dinner featuring Sate Ayam (Chicken skewers with Peanut Sauce.)  Sate Ayam is one of Tom’s and my favorite dishes here so this was an awesome treat as Vira knows one of the best places to get Sate in the city!

My newly painted skittle toes!

My newly painted skittle toes!

Sunday I had the day off!

Tom and I had a nice relaxing day, ending with me checking out the women’s spa Puteri (princess) down the street.

For 250000rp ($21) I was able to get a pedicure, manicure, and a 60 min reflexology treatment!

We’ll have to find a coed spa before we go, so Tom can get pampered as well!  He’s been working super hard and definitely deserves it!…Maybe I’ll even convince him to get his nails did! 😉

Mucking around at the International School

Mucking around at the International School

Monday we met up with Margie again where she works at the International School.  We had mentioned to her on Saturday that the internet at our Kost can be slow so she offered to let us come and use the internet at her school and show us around.

The International school is unlike any school I’ve ever seen.  I’m sure there are private schools in the states that are equivalent, but I haven’t been to them.

Before logging onto the fast internet, Margie gave us a tour around the campus which featured an Olympic sized pool, gym for teachers and parents in addition to the normal gymnasium for the kids, a Chinese peace garden, a Japanese bamboo garden, and about 5 separate buildings for the high school, grade school, and elementary school.

chinese peace garden

Can you believe this is on an elementary/high school campus???

Monday it was back to work and back to our normal routine.

I’ve taught each day this week and Tom has been busy typing away as well.

What I see everyday when I come down to meet Tom at Starbucks after teaching.

What I see everyday when I come down to meet Tom at Starbucks after teaching.

The yoga studio isn’t the only place that has taken us in, the cooks and workers at the food court where we eat have also begun to take us in!

Soto mee!  One of our favorite dishes

Soto mee! One of our favorite dishes

One woman in particular named Wati who speaks pretty good English has gone out of her way to talk to us each day.  She makes an amazing dish that Tom loves called Roti Cane (one of the more expensive dishes but worth it! 18000rp or $1.35), but we’ve also convinced her to make us a customized dish.  The best way to describe it is to call it an Indian Burrito as it’s made with naan like bread, chicken, cheese, and her yummy cane curry sauce.

Another new favorite we’ve found since last week is Soto Mee (14000rp or $1.15).

I have been on the hunt for a yummy soup since we got here and I finally found the best one last week.  Tom agrees and we both order one at least once if not twice a day!

It is crazy how fast our time is flying by here!  We feel like we just got here!

We’re excited to post about Singapore next week!  Does anyone have any suggestions for things we should do while we’re there?

Any suggestions for what color Tom should paint his toes?

Feel free to comment below!  We love hearing from you! 🙂

Until next time, Peace out Mister Mister!



Comments 10

  1. Mary T Wilson

    Wow! Another fabulous post.
    Let’s us know what you are up to. Does Kaynen look like a young Johnny Depp! Read and reread what you’re doing. Would love to teach at that beautiful school –the International School—do they need a French/Spanish teacher? Tom needs orange nails. Just sayin’!
    Aunt T

  2. Post

    I’m sure there are some international schools that do Aunt T! I agree orange is tom’s color we’ll see what we can do!

  3. Vira Soemakno

    Finally got to really read your awesome blog. Thanks for taking the time to spend a little time with our little family and hope you are having a great time in Singapore. I still want to take Tom out for some goat soup

  4. margie

    Hi Courtney and Tom, thanks for the lovely writing about our family. We miss you guys in the yoga studio…Anyways wishing you all the best, and hope that Singapore is a blast. Keep updating, we will follow your journey.


  5. Post

    I think we’re getting our nails did together either today or tomorrow!

    There is a place in our new apartment building that does mani/pedi and polish for 35,000RP (divide that by 12,000 to get the price in $)

  6. Post

    Thank you so much for yours and your family’s hospitality Vira! We had so much fun with you all! As we are way out in KG now, I’m not sure soup will be able to happen this trip, but we hope that we all stay in touch and meet up somewhere else eventually or in the future! 🙂

  7. Post

    Thanks Margie! We had so much fun with you and your family! Your hospitality really made our time in Serpong! We hope our paths cross with you all in the future as we would love to reciprocate your generosity perhaps in our country one day! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Vacation from Travel in Pai

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