Monday, September 2, 2013

It's been a long time but I have not forgotten

So much has happened the past year.... plus. I finished a Masters degree, switch jobs and moved to Jakarta to teach at Jakarta International School and most importantly met someone, fell in love, proposed, got engaged and now planning to get married this summer to my fiance', Trisha.  Seen below glowing as always with her handsome male suitor...ME!

Anyway, enough excuses for not writing. I am sorry and I promise to write more.  And I will start now!!!  This is a post from OUR new blog together.

Add this to your list of blogs to follow. But keep in mind I'll still be wayfaring and writing.  So don't give up on me yet.  I have many more stories to tell and memories to pick out of this aging brain.

So enjoy a clip from Textbook Landing.  Peace Love and Chicken Grease.


Now that we are on our way into the third full week of school if feels much easier to sit down and write.

Here's a little ditty about Murf and Trisha. Two American kids growin' up in the heartland.

Enough of that. I won't continue to try and fit our life into that great John Cougar Mellencamp classic. However, I will try and let you know what has been going on for the past few days and weeks since our last update and it will be easy because there has been a lot of fun things. Have we mentioned how well JIS has taken care of us since we arrived? Well, just in case we have not proven that to you, our faithful readers, we will give another example.
Two Fridays ago there was a big street party over at "Admin Row" where all the top administrators open up their giant homes for a school party and invite all the teachers and families.  The block party starts at 3:30 and rolls smoothly into the night with excellent food, wine, flowing margarita machines and ice cold Heineken on tap. As the twilight moved into evening the party's momentum continued with the electronic sounds of DJ Jroo. (That's what I'm calling him.) Andrew is the son of the Head of School and mixed up some Mad Smooth Beats from the 70's, 80's and 90's with modern vibrations for today's top artists.  (Don't you think I sound like a writer for DJmag?)

This brought everyone out to the street to dance and start  "Gettin' Jiggy With It". (You have to watch this.)  Think back to the last time you were at a block party....... Got it???  Were you in High School?...Junior High?...Elementary?...or was it last year?  Whichever you are pondering all of the above were on the bricks gettin' jiggy with it that night.  One of the highlights of the night was seeing a dance-off between several teachers and students.
These kids were children of teachers who had moves.  They kept calling out the teachers to the middle of the street. Some in groups of three to four and even one-on-one.  It was amazing to see them match move for move. It was one of the most memorable beginning of the year parties we've been to.

This next part is all about me. Sorry honey!!  Sunday night was a hard rockin night.  Along with 18 other guys and girls we rocked it out with James, Kirk, Robert and Lars and the rest of Jakarta's heavy metal rockers that could not wait another minute to see METALLICA take the stage. With head banging and non-stop singing from the juiced Jakarta crowd the boys of Metallica put on a loud energetic show that finished off the Asian tour.  I won't go too in depth with the setlist and happenings of the concert. I will let you know it was one of the best concerts in the recent years that I've been able to see. Here is a link to some videos for you to choose from if you need to get a little Metallica fix. (For sure you have to watch one of these.)

We have been extremely lucky to be around so many great new people.  Everyone has been too hospitable and welcoming to us.  Last week we had 3 birthday parties. The first was with our friend Kim, who I worked with in Tokyo and is in Trisha's department this year. We celebrated her 50th at a Japanese restaurant located in a swanky hotel.  We toasted the night with shochu and fine Japanese sushi, unagi and great new friends.  It was nice to get out in the middle of the week but we paid for it in the morning at 5:30 am when the alarm sounded.  It makes for a long day at work when you start before the crack of dawn. However, finishing at 2:00 in the afternoon for me and 2:40 for Trisha is pretty nice as long as we don't have a meeting. We can't always be that lucky. As the case in many big schools, we have lot's of meetings.  It is just the life we have to get accustomed to here at Jakarta International School. We have Staff, School, PLC, DRE's, BS, BS, BS. Did I mention BS meetings?

When they were all finished and the weekend had started it was off to another MS Math party where the math jokes were kept to a minimum and the food served by Ally and Shawn was at a maximum overload.  Stocked with wine, drinks and beer they put on a spread that included, fresh grilled shrimp,
baked salmon, numerous salads and Ally's "secret recipe" scalloped potatoes that added a little extra love to my handles. Yet, the night was not over there.  Next stop was our beloved Eduardo's Birthday party (pictured here in the middle), who came in new with us this year. We continued the partying theme with mugs of beer from the local dive bar DeHooi.  This place has it all. Beer, food, live music, pool tables, darts, fun people and lot's of smoke.  Everything a bar needs.

Saturday provided us with a much deserved sleep-in. I can't think of the last time we slept in til...9:00. We had some much needed time to catch up on emails and especially time together.  We find that with the move to a new school there are many occasions to get out to mix and mingle with our new colleagues and develop new friendships that will last for the next several years and a lifetime. At some point we will have to actually turn down some of these invites... but not yet. There is just too much fun to be had right now and we sure showed that this weekend with one more bday party.
We made our way out to a nice Indian restaurant to celebrate the birthday of Kate, the first person we met here in Jakarta.  The spicy food just kept coming and the V&T's were hardly empty and always topped with ice and lime.  The night included traditional dancing and even a special showing of two cobras charmed by the magical sounds of the silent flute.  Hard to beat that on a Saturday night out on the town.

Unless its teaching Ani how to make pizza.
I guess next week we will head out to the JIS cabin. Yeah, they have their own cabin that sleeps about 15. Now you know what will be next on the blog.

One last thing and it is super important.  Happy Birthday Mom!!  We are sending you miles and miles of love. I hope you received the gift from Trisha and I. Love you lots!

Take care all and we will see you on the next landing.

Neal and Trisha

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