500 Days of Kelly

This post is a fode (fake ode) to the fabulous and honorable Miss Kelly.

I tried to save her…

Kelly is my sitemate this year in Surabaya. She lives and teaches in the town over from me in Sidoarjo. This is her second year living in Indonesia as a Fulbright ETA. Her first year was spent in Pangkal Pinang on Bangka island which is off of Sumatra island.

Kelly has one huge character flaw that made me reconsider our friendship. She doesn’t like chocolate. It broke my heart. HEATHEN. Despite her distaste for chocolate, we’ve still found a way to make this friendship work–it’s all about compromise or something right?

I’m being a bit dramatic about the chocolate because hey, more chocolate for me! I love having Kelly around because she is truly amazing. Most of my post are about about the great things happening in Indonesia which don’t show the negative aspects of living here. Kelly’s there to help me get through those difficult times. I’m eternally grateful because she’s always there with open ears and an open heart. She also has amazing teaching skills/ideas for lessons. I seriously lucked out with a sitemate like her! Honestly, this girl deserves the sitemate of the year award and a Bintang beer.

Without farther adieu…..

Kelly Fun Facts:

  • She speaks Thai because she did an exchange year in Thailand when she was in high school
  • She is a lifelong vegetarian who decided to become a vegetarian when she was 5 years old
  • She grew up in a Chicago suburb and went to college in Tampa where she majored in International Relations
  • She studied abroad at Oxford in the U.K. where she spent a month walking around in elephant pants from Thailand
  • She loves writing postcards to friends and family
  • She’s single…here’s her phone number! +1 588-2300-EMPIRE-TODAY
  • She writes her G’s and Y’s with a felons claw–apparently 80% of convicted felons write with a felons claw. AWAS! If I end up dead, you know who did it.
  • Her Bahasa Indonesia skills are amazing and she always rescues me when I’m lost in translation (I am dead serious, many people think she’s actually Indonesian when they hear her speak but get really thrown off when they see she’s a blonde white girl)
  • She loves the color red just like me and owns a lot of red things like red wallet(s), red lipstick and various red outfits
  • She went to Myanmar solo in December–her new year’s resolution is that she will not see anymore pagodas because she is all pagoda-ed out
  • She’s the editor of Indonesiaful (which is a Fulbright Indonesia blog that you should check out) and has her own blog, Where in the World is Kelly
  • She is on top of her game all the time
  • She is a tablet wizard and uses it with a keyboard instead of a computer
  • She is a Indonesian karaoke champ with more than 40 Indonesian songs memorized
  • She has a motorcycle license and a bearded dragon stuffed animal

Question & Answer

  • Favorite Food? Pretty much anything without meat in it
  • Favorite Drink? Mojito
  • Favorite Place? My bed
  • Favorite Activity? 😉
  • Favorite Emoji? Eggplant and dancing girl with red dress
  • Favorite Mode of Transportation? Dolphin
  • Bali or Chiang Mai? Depends on the mood!
  • Coffee or Tea? Coffee
  • Tofu or Tempe? Tofu!
  • Pizza or Burritos? Don’t do this to me!
  • Provolone or Gouda? Provolone
  • Los Angeles or New York? Los Angeles
  • Ryan Reynolds or Channing Tatum? Ryan Reynolds (note, Kelly and I went to watch Lala Land and she asked me if Ryan Reynold’s character was Channing Tatum and when Emma Stone’s character popped up on stage, she said, “Look it’s Lindsey Lohan!” LOLOL)
  • What inspires you? Ted Talks
  • What do you hate about the world? Stupid boys
  • What do you want to do when you are 70 years old? Drink champagne in a hot air balloon
  • What kind of animal would you be? Butterfly because it’s a 3-in-1 deal!
  • What was the last gift you gave someone? I gave you a fruit basket last week for Valentine’s Day

A word of advice from the queen herself:

“It ain’t easy being fabulous”


Also, throughout this grant, Kelly and I have done some pretty ridiculous things. Here’s a list minus the self-incriminating things:

  1. Convinced people we were Javanese and Madurese
  2. Crashed a party for a gun competition at the mayor of Surabaya’s office complex
  3. Wandered through construction zones and side streets of Jakarta with skyscrapers in the background searching for nasi goreng….never thought it would be this difficult to find fried rice in Indonesia
  4. Accidentally got a massage at a brothel
  5. Looked fly as hell in matching batik dressesimg_8004
  6. Hunted for vegan bebek–which is vegan duck
  7. Cooked Mexican food for a bunch of Indonesian university students
  8. Visited a chalk mine on a different island with a Japanese teacher from Japan and some Ibus
  9. Left each other a series of What’s App audio messages that just consist of laughter
  10. Ransacked almost every vegetarian restaurant we could find in Surabaya & went to a vegetarian festival (which is insane considering Indonesian is not vegetarian friendly)
  11. Spent a day with lettuce farmers & the Malang ladies
  12. Cooked miscellaneous “American” foods together
  13. Visited Pizza Hut over 2 dozen times (even though we would never dare touch the stuff at home) plus, our hearts were broken after the election and we NEEDED pizza14. Met new/old friends from around the world

I got 99 problems but Kelly ain’t 1

Kelly’s my partner in crime, Bahasa Indonesia translator, Javanese culture consultant, sous chef, fellow cheese enthusiast, vegetarian mbak from another pak and most importantly, my closest friend in Indonesia. We hope we the win cutest sitemate couple award in our cohort! She’s a model citizen who continues to inspire me everyday with her kindness, work ethic and just overall bad ass-ness. If you ever cross paths with her, buy her a pitcher of beer and ask her about the chronicles of Kelly.

I hope you readers enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Next post about my adventures around Indonesia during my December break is coming soon!


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