A girl's day out

So the one of us who didn’t post that scathing review of our government earlier would like to make a few observations. (We don’t like to use “I” but I think I’ll make a brief exception here)
Today I had my first extensive solo venture in Jakarta and it was interesting. It’s really amazing how much you get heckled and stared at. I certainly don’t feel unsafe, but boy it’s a little disconcerting! For all you females out there, imagine walking by a construction site in a big city when the guys are all sitting on a wall eating their lunches. Then multiply by 10. It will take some getting used to for sure- I’m taking the advice of an experienced friend who is on her third trip here. Look mad and walk fast. It seems to work ok so far!
I also had an interesting time helping two Indonesian students edit their Fulbright applications today. Fulbright does not make it easy at all to apply and receive money to study in the US. They have been accepted for a grant, however they must get into a college through the regular admissions processes there or else they lose the grant. Pretty high stakes.
It’s hard enough for American students to figure out how to write good essays and personal statements (without the help of professional career counselors), imagine doing it in a foreign language. The people were so nice, it was kind of my first interaction with Indonesians our age. It boggles my mind thinking about the difficulties they will face even if admitted to schools in the US though. Coming from a country with such a weak currency it must be next to impossible to get by in an American University community. Makes me even more thankful for my situation……

Comments 2

  1. Sandy September 29, 2004

    Hey, I’m glad to hear from Julie. Sounds like as in all big cities, women in Jakarta need attitude to forestall creepo men.
    Counseling students who want to come to the US sounds great. I’m sure you will be very helpful in their efforts.
    I enjoy entries that are written in first person, whether singular or plural – they are a bit less self conscious. Just put your initials on so we know who the author is.

  2. Julie September 30, 2004

    Thanks for the comment! I am working on my mean “don’t mess with me” face, and I’m sure I’ll perfect it soon.
    We are going to try using more first person from now on due to the favorable response!

Comments are closed.