Sleepless in Surabaya

Surabaya is a crazy place. As mentioned in a previous post, it’s the 2nd largest city in Indonesia with a population of 2.8 million. It’s pretty easy to get lost but also find everything and anything. Here’s a post about my activities here.

So what do you do in Surabaya?

Here are some things my sitemate Kelly and I do in our spare time here when we aren’t teaching, eating rice or sitting in traffic on a Go-Jek:

  • Visit SUTOS, Royal, Tunjungan Plaza, Ciputra World and other malls or markets where I stare into Kelly’s blue eyes (the malls here are the fanciest malls I’ve ever been to. It’s literally on another level of bougie at some malls)
  • Camp out at J. Co and other Surabaya coffee shops where we drink ridiculously sugary coffee and eat doughnuts while lesson planning, checking emails, writing postcards & doing other work
  • Eat at the few vegetarian places here..over & over again…then not eat again for another week (…sorta of true)
  • Inhale Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza from time to time–because 1. CHEESE 2. It tastes like America and 3. We don’t have to worry about fish sauce or shrimp paste 4. CHEESE AGAIN because it is honestly a gift from the gods. Yeah, we’re pretty embarrassed about it because Pizza Hut is not a place we would even consider eating at in the U.S. but out here, it has been our saving grace img_9514
  • Sleepovers!
  • Attend concerts, local music shows, festivals or expos like Book Fair, Batik Festival, Art Festival and the Vegan Festivalimg_8071
  • Hang out with people in our communities students, neighbors, teachers, college students, Uber drivers, warkop owners and other strangers we’ve met randomly
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    Kelly literally hanging out with Ibu Ony

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  • Watch movies at one of the thousand movie theaters here (every mall has at least 1 theater …in some cases has 4…)
  • Go to the local market near Kelly’s house to buy fruits and vegetables and then cook things together (she’s even hosted a few cooking parties at her house!)

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    Cooking party at Kelly’s house with her English Club
  • Climb volcanoes and mountains! And run 5ks!!!!!  With other ETAs! Well, we only did that once or twice…

    Other Things I do:

  • Lesson plan
  • Activities with my school and extracurricular
  • Pop into a university here and there
  • Write reports
  • Eat fried things
  • Ride Go-Jek which is like an Uber but motorcycle form–it has an iphone app and all!
  • Try to engage with my community to create a deeper level of understand across culturals and promote critical thinking
  • Read
  • Eat bananas that I am gifted by teachers and neighbors
  • Write in my journal
  • Eat sugary things
  • Wear batik
  • Explain to people that I’m not actually from India
  • Workout
  • Sit in traffic
  • Laundry
  • Eat fried sugary things
  • Eat miscellaneous jiggly things I find on my desk

**note sleeping isn’t really on this list because I’m borderline nocturnal and I truly feel sleepless in Surabaya

School Schedule

However, when I’m teaching, my daily routine looks like this:

  • Wake up between 5am and 6am
  • Walk to school between 6:45am-7am
  • Teach classes–depending on the day, I start at 7:30am or 8:15am
  • Lunch Break from 11:45am – 12:45pm when the students and teachers pray, chill, eat, etc.
  • Teach again from 12:45pm until 2:15pm
  • Catch up on emails, lesson plan, other things from 2:15pm-3:45pm
  • Lead English club, running club, provide competition help, or other extracurriculars with students
  • Leave around 5:30-6pm and crack some jokes with my Nasi Goreng warung man or the Ibus at my local toko on my walk home
    **note, this schedule is subject to change at ANY moment…due to random holidays, elections, potential riots, floods, power outages, supernatural activity and more! 

And that’s it! I’m probably forgetting some things and this short post probably doesn’t properly illustrate my chaotic schedule here. It’s very busy and very exhausting but I’m having a lot of fun too! Regardless of the craziness, I’m loving every second of it. Thanks for reading:)

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