Friday, October 23, 2009

A letter from Alison

As an international organization, we have many international staffs working in our project. They come and go. Honestly, the foreigners who work with us (us refers to "Indonesian staffs") now are not really close with us, compare to those who were here two years ago. One staff that I will never forget is Alison. She is now pursuing her Ph.D in Johns Hopkins University, USA.
Alison and Jen

Since she left, we did not have an intense communication, we just send email when we think we have something important to share. Just like when the earthquake happened in Padang, Alison sent us an email asking how we were doing in Indonesia.

Then, I got an email from her when I was in Kuala Lumpur. Just read it carefully:

Subject: Guess What Happened at Lunch

Slamat pagi samua,

I'm sorry I haven't replied to all of your e-mails. I keep meaning to sit down and write personal replies but, as usual, aku sibuk sekali.

Something happened this afternoon I thought you would all appreciate. I didn't have much time to eat lunch and it was raining hard so I went to a little sushi restaurant across the street from my school. I had never eaten there before because I'd heard it was more expensive than the Chinese restaurant only two blocks away, but it was so cold and rainy that I decided to try it. It was small and not fancy but very clean and pleasant and about the same price as most sushi in the US, so I placed an order for take-away and then sat down to wait. The waitress wrote down my order and then answered the phone. When she picked up the phone she starting speaking Bahasa Indonesia! I couldn't believe it so I listened for awhile to make sure she wasn't speaking Malaysian until I was confident that she must be Indonesian.

When she put the phone down I asked: "Dari mana bu?" She was so surprised she looked like she'd just seen a ghost. She called the cook to come meet me. The waitress is from Jakarta and the cook is from Surabaya. They are both young and married. If I understood correctly the waitress and her husband intend to return to Jakarta but I think the cook's family is hoping to stay in the US. I asked them: "Kalau saya kembali nanti bisa memakan gado gado atau rendang dan teh botel?" They laughed and said they don't have the ingredients but they have spicy chilis at home they can put in my food!

It was the first time I've met Indonesians in America and the first time since coming home that I've tried to speak bahasa Indonsia. It was really fun. I will definitely eat there again. Now, if only they served rendang or es buah I'd become their #1 customer.


I was so happy when I finished reading this email. Alison misses Indonesian food, and she felt so happy finding someone speaking Indonesian in US. Ahhh Ali, If you were here, I will treat you rendang, es buah and teh botol. Definitely.

Miss you, Alison

PS: Alison, I still have your heritage : a tennis racket, digital clock and lamp. Thanks :)


Anonymous said...

alison is one of the bule i like most.. miss you alison! :)


Anonymous said...

Never met Alison. But from the stories I heard, I think she's nice person compare to other "bule" here.


nonet said...

Hehehe wah nice person ya beib...gak nyangka dia bisa kangen makanan indo dan jg bahasanya :)

yasyirli said...

i bet, she's cool...^_^.

alkausar said...

Hey, Pak Cipu.. Alison ngasi tau tentang blog ini pas chatting.. Good one.. hehehe.. Al