Fresh is best…

Peanut butter jar[Blog entry by Mike Foley: Originally published June 2, 2009]

You know that saying, when it comes to food, that fresh is best? It’s really true…or at least it certainly was in the case of several fresh-food stories I’d like to share — one about peanut butter, of all things, and the others about fish. Pay particular attention to the last one: [Read more…]

Indonesia days: bargaining for rice

When I lived in Bandung, Indonesia, in the mid-1970s, it was the custom to bargain over the price of practically everything in the pasar [bazaar] and many other shops. This was something that most Europeans (which generically included all Americans; indeed, some Indonesians labeled all Europeans as orang Belanda — Dutchmen, based on 300-plus years of colonial rule in the Dutch East Indies) weren’t generally very good at.

Speaking more than enough Bahasa Indonesia to get by in the markets, I eventually did relatively well, at least to the the extent that Indonesian and the occasional East-Indian shop keepers would allow any European to drive a hard bargain. I’ll use bargaining for rice as an example: [Read more…]

Indonesia days: Bapak, our go-to guy

bapak_bandung75Bapak (sometimes also spelled bapa’ in those days, and sometimes shortened to Pak; the final consonant sound is “unreleased” or cut in half) is an Indonesian term of respect usually applied to all older men, or to show courtesy to any man, similar to using “sir” in English or “uncle” in Hawaiian English.

Soon after my wife, Sally Ann, our baby twin girls and I moved into our rented home on Jalan Karang Layung (yang lalu) near the gigantic Ikan Mas swimming pool in Bandung, West Java, in 1975, we met an old man who proved very helpful in many ways. If I ever knew his given name, I’ve forgotten it; but in any case, we always called him Bapak. [Read more…]