I used to write for a style and arts blog in Philadelphia and so I got into the habit of creating stories that fell under different “column-like” headings. With this in mind, I started the “Sidenotes” headings to depict the short little random thoughts that I sometimes post here. And now, since food is an important form of exploring and immersing myself in a new culture, I’m going to add “Side Dish,” to write short notes about my food experiences here.
Each day at school I am treated to a little game I like to call “Guess What’s in the Lunchbox.” You see, I pay to have my lunch catered at school. Much like having a housekeeper, it’s insanely cheap. It costs me approximately R.140,000 (about $16 USD) a month for the luxury of not having to make a lunch and to enjoy some hot-delivered-to-the-school traditional Indonesian fare Monday-Friday. It’s always an adventure, and while I have gotten quite used to my food looking at me, I must admit that today I was a bit freaked out when I opened the lid and found this devilsh eel staring back at me! If there’s one thing the Indonesians have taught me, it’s that just about anything that lives in the ocean can be battered and fried and paired with rice and chili sauce.