Indonesia by Mikayla

We stayed in Indonesia for nine days.  For the first six, we were in Bali.  The other three were spent in Jakarta.  In Bali, we stayed at the Sofitel hotel and in Jakarta, we were hosted by a friend of ours.

While in Bali, we took a private tour for a day.  During that day, we visited several main attractions including a jewelry workshop, a wood carving store, two temples, a coffee plantation, a monkey forest, a few shops, and a seafood dinner on the beach.

In Jakarta, we spent most of our time with our friend, Becca.  We went shopping in a local market, we visited the school she worked at, and we got facials (it was my first time 🙂 ) at a large mall.

Indonesia was our first stop in Asia…also, it was our first time ever being in Asia.  The first thing that caught my eye was how many little statues, temples, and offerings there were.  Even on the less popular streets and poorer sections, there were little offerings.

The second thing I noticed was the near-desperate attitude of all the shop-owners.  Whenever we showed the faintest interest in one of their products, they immediately began telling us the price and pressing us.  “You like?  Very pretty!  Look good on you.  Which one you like?  Which one you want?”  Me: “How much is this (ex:) dress?”  “(ex:) 120,000  rupia (about $10) but I give you diskon (discount).  100,000.  How much you pay?” Me:  “How about 50,000?”  “No, no, 75,000.”  “No thank you.  Have a nice day!” (we’d begin to walk away…) “Ok! Ok!  50,000!”  However, sometimes you are just looking and they will come up to you and begin pressing you to buy something.  The funny thing is, they don’t seem to understand the concept “Maybe.  I’m just looking first.”  They seem to think that if you walk into their store, or if you ask the price of something, you are going to buy it, which is actually quite ridiculous because how do you decide of you want to buy something if you don’t know what they have or what the price is?!

I liked Indonesia over all.  The shopping was good and it was a nice sort of “shock” to see how cheap things were to us!  Instead of spending $30-60 per meal (with splitting dishes), we were each able to get entire meals and drinks (a never!) for about $15 total!  The weather was warm and we were close to a beach in Bali.  The other thing that made our trip to Indonesia nice was our time spent in Jakarta with Becca.  She used to go to the same church we did back home in Chicago until she moved here to teach.  It was so nice getting to meet up with someone familiar and spend time with her in an un-familiar city.  It was great getting to see how she now lives…with a new job and a new church.  I enjoyed Indonesia over all; it was especially a great place to shop!

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