Just a quick list of 10 things I’ve bought for about 10,000 Rupiah to give you an idea of general prices. One dollar is about 14,000 Rupiah, so 10,000 is roughly $0.71. So imagine buying all of this for three quarters. All of this is the same price as that too-tiny pack of chocolate-covered pretzels in your high school vending machine.
- Two packs of Good Time cookies. These cookies are about half the size of normal cookies and twice as good. Which makes eating all 12 in one sitting way too easy. Pro-tip: the best flavor is Rainbow Chocochips, though Double Choc Chocochips comes in a close second.
- A large liquid hand soap refill. Stick with the Camomile Extracts scent because the strawberry one is overwhelming.
- An iced coffee and 3 hours of WiFi. Shout-out to Kedai Nara, my go-to internet spot after school hours because I don’t have WiFi at home.
- A haircut, a shave, and a wash. My barber is the best and after my electric trimmer died he saved me from looking like a disgruntled caveman.
- Lunch. My favorite lunch options are lotek (like salad but with a peanut sauce) [pictured with a traditional Javanese drink, dawet] and mie ayam (noodles and chicken) with es jeruk (like lemonade but from fresh oranges).
- Dinner. Go-to favorites are sate ayam (chicken satay) and nasi goreng (fried rice).
- Bus fare to the big city. The trip from Wonosari to Jogja takes anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on how often the driver stops, for how long, and whether he prefers to smoke while driving or stopped. Sometimes it’s boiling and packed with people. But 3 quarters to go 38 kilometers (23.6 miles) ain’t so bad.
- Ojek fare from the bus stop to home. The bus back from Jogja drops me off about 3 kilometers from my house at a bit of a transportation hub (I use that phrase lightly). The only way to get back is to take a motorcycle taxi, and I typically pay 10,000. It should be actually cheaper because it’s not far, but they’re charging me the bule price.
- This large bag of chips.
- About 3kg of laundry. This is a pretty standard sized load to bring to one of the laundry places near me. I only bring shirts and pants because Bu Mul told me when I first got here not to drop off my underwear and socks. They’re really not that scandalous, but I handwash them anyway. Packets of liquid Rinso detergent are Rupiah 1,000 each, so 10k gets me 10 loads of clean undergarments!
Until next time,