my car is a giant purse

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hSo I’ve posted many times about not having a car in Indonesia and taking taxis instead. As an American living in suburbia in the US, being without a car would mean bumming rides, spending hours on  a bus that takes you way out of your way, and biking in the snow. None of these options are truly sustainable in middle class. However, in Indonesia taxis are an affordable option.

Yet, transportation is only one aspect of having a car. What I miss most is a car being a giant purse. When I want to combine trips and pick up a few things before visiting friends–possibly cans of black beans only reliably available at a few stores or a baby shower present carefully wrapped with a fancy bow made of shredded wrapping paper, I have to weigh the fact that I am then required to haul my packages around all evening. I don’t really have a “night life.” In fact, the reality is I’m probably dragging a couple of Earth friendly burlap bags around a mall, from the Mexican / Turkish / Indian restaurant to the theater where “The Lego Movie” is playing.

Poolside with Sam and her amazing girls

Poolside with Sam and her amazing girls

Yesterday, I hired a taxi to take me to the pool in my neighborhood. It is only about 1/3 mile up the street. The reason was that I was bringing dinner, poolside, for my friend, Sam and her kids. We had 2 pizzas, a couple of salads, some small ice cream treats and most importantly, fresh baked homemade cinnamon buns. They were in a heavy glass dish and hot from the oven.

My helper, Atik, was almost in shock. “You talk me! I bring!!”

“Atik, so hot!! I can’t let you carry a glass pan full of hot cinnamon rolls 1/3 of a mile to a swimming pool.”

“Next time. You talk me!”

We compromised. She came in the taxi with me to help carry all of the picnic supplies to the pool. She refused to take the taxi back.

P.S. I’m leaving today for Bali to meet my aunt and uncle there. We may not have wi-fi so this may be my last post in the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks for all visitors. It’s been fun.



About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in culture shock, life and culture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to my car is a giant purse

  1. Doug Bouws says:

    Say hi to your aunt and uncle for me. 😄

  2. alwriting says:

    Having traveled to Bali many times, I can assure you that wifi is readily available in hotels and restaurants. Slices from Seminyak has a nice ring to it… Much to see and stimulate the writer within. Embrace the opportunity.

    • jaclynfre says:

      Okay, so you called me out on my wifi excuse to drop out if the challenge. (; I’m attempting to update from a clunky wordpress app on my iPhone. I appreciate your encouragement. (; thanks for visiting!!

  3. Amy Rudd says:

    It’s so easy to take having a car for granted. You make that very clear…but you did well to hire the taxi and get you and your belongings to the right place to be enjoyed. I appreciate having my car so much more just now!

  4. jen b. says:

    I love the spirit of Atik, it reminded me of a few special people that cared for me during my time in the Philippines. Always willing to help me out. I also love the analogy of the car to the purse. So true. Luckily, I tend to keep my car cleaner than my purse — the day they look the same better be the day I cleaned them both out, rather than the day they were both overflowing with all things a-mess! 🙂 Enjoy your travels to Bali!

  5. Great title! Totally sucked me in to read your post. You know, I find I really enjoy everything you write. Enjoy your trip…I hope you keep writing.

  6. isbergamanda says:

    I’m lucky that my school gives us a car to use around town. It is so nice to be able to run multiple errands without carting around all your stuff by hand. While I was working in Beijing it was possible to hire an affordable black taxi to take my friends and I around for the day so we had somewhere to leave our stuff; is this possible in Indonesia?

    -Amanda at

    • jaclynfre says:

      That’s awesome! We can rent a taxi for the day But I just like to say, “tolong tunggu” (please wait), which is one I the first phrases I learned. However, I usually don’t ask them to wait trough dinner just through a grocery shop if they’ve brought me a long way and there aren’t a lot of available taxis.

  7. Karen Walker says:

    Have fun with U. John & A. Beth!!

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