There’s no place like home…
The wet bathroom
It can be tricky trying to find that one square foot spot that will stay dry in the room to put your clothes (hint: definitely not on top of the toilet). The trick is hold the shower head (instead of leaving it attached to the wall), and point it strategically. In the end though, you just have to accept the fact that your clothes might get a little damp. And that’s okay.
Let me tell you one embarrassing thing: the first time I used a western bathroom, I didn’t close the shower curtain. As you can guess. Water got everywhere! The worst part? Having so used to wet bathrooms, I didn’t even know that I did anything wrong and I left without cleaning up, soggy bath mat and all.
The little bowl of liquid with a slice of lime they put before your meal? Not soup. Nor water to drink. In restaurants where eating with your hand is the norm, they provide you with this to cleanse your fingers. The lime is supposed to help cut through the grease but it’s also fun to try squeeze all the seeds out of it underwater.
Toilet paper as napkins
And the many varieties of toilet paper dispensers they have that make this possible. At first, it was a little weird. Then I thought, ‘why not?’ Toilet paper is cheaper than paper towels, it’s made of the same material, it’s easier to get the exact amount that you need.
Everything comes in travel size
From shampoo, soap, and cough medicine they come in single-use wrapped sachets. They can be very polluting. Lots of trash on the ground is made up of these wrappers.
The 1001 different ways to call rice
We, Indonesians, love our rice (nasi). As to prove the point, there are so many rice dishes and each has its own name depending on how it’s prepared, what it’s prepared with, and how it’s supposed to be consumed. Some examples include: nasi gudeg (simply rice eaten with ‘gudeg’), nasi tumpeng (yellow rice shaped into a cone — eaten during events such birthdays and weddings), nasi jamblang (bite size rice wrapped in teak leaf), nasi lengko, nasi campur, nasi liwet, the list goes on.
The indoor ‘wildlife’
I love our resident geckos. Since they eat mosquitoes and I have a mild allergy to mosquito bites I see them as my little, beady-eyed, guardian angels. I’m not so sure about its much bigger cousin, the Tokek Gecko, though. One time in a restaurant in Bali, I saw a Tokek gecko on the wall and I almost fell out of my chair. That thing is about a foot long! It was very pretty… and creepy all at the same time.
They make people wear ‘no tipping’ shirts
We found it hilarious (and sad too) that they made people wear shirts with ‘no tipping’ written on the back of it. This poor guy has a pretty nasty job of managing parked cars in an extremely crowded parking lot. The funny part was it actually made us want to tip him even more.