Holiday Roundup

Dear Newsbreakers,


Happy Happy New Year to you all! I hope your holidays were fun-filled and meaningful.

Though we missed spending time with friends and family this Christmas and New Year, Purple and I still had a blast in Jakarta. We were given a welcome break from work several days before Christmas and New Year’s Day, a rare occurrence! Naturally, we spent it binge-drinking and partying it up with our friends here.


I distinctly remember starting my alcohol run on my birthday last Dec. 23, and then not stopping until midnight of the 25th. After that, I got sick with bad colds and intestinal flu, which probably saved me from more liver-busting activities. Our coworker C and her boyfriend C hosted a costume party on Christmas Eve, and we all had to don our best space suits and watch sci-fi thrillers in the rented house’s cool rooms or just hang around the popcorn machines, trampoline and pool table. Purple went as a rather fetching alien, while I went as a sexy aluminum can (with shiny go-go boots!), but most everyone thought I was channeling Barbarella. I heard “platinum prostitute” said a couple of times during the evening.


Later in the evening, Purple literally made a splash by getting dragged and thrown into the pool in the spacious backyard by some drunken guys from our office. She took it well, though I thought it was quite rude of them to do that. N, our intern, fell into the pool with her as a karmic comeuppance, and soiled his iPhone in the water.


The next day, we were invited to have turkey dinner at our boss BN’s house, but Purple couldn’t come because she was in pain. I hung around with my boss JP and his brother at their apartment and helped them cook some mashed potatoes and mashed rutabaga (a root vegetable that is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip). Then we headed over to B’s place, which smelled like newborn baby, and had a lovely dinner, six bottles of wine, some port, espresso and played board games like Risk and Scrabble all night. Spelling words is surprisingly entertaining when you’re drunk.


After a brief work break (as in, we take a break from vacation and work), I spent New Year’s Eve with D and AM, our coworker who will be going back to the States soon, in Chinatown buying fireworks for the evening. Then we headed over to JJ, the backpacker’s district and favorite haunt of Nigerian drug dealers, for some more booze and reggae/punk music at a bar called Equal Park (which is next to Absolute Park. I find this dichotomy funny.)


I had to leave early because I was to take a three-day trip to Yogyakarta on New Year’s morning, but stayed for a few fireworks. I heard it got crazy that night, but I’ll leave Purple to tell you about the wild sequel I missed. Hint: it involved some skinny dipping in a pool, and some singed armpits.


I ushered in the New Year traveling to Indonesia’s “heart and soul,” a town that reminded me so much of Baguio. I had fun looking at the temples with an American travel buddy, and exploring the city mostly on my own. I also enjoyed eating curry sparrow and black pepper squirrel, along with some pungent durian desserts. It was a lovely way to start the New Year– sober and exhilarated. It was certainly a great learning experience to travel solo. I’ll definitely try this again.


Let me know how all your holidays went! And congratulations on the great reviews on the Robin Padilla issue. Thea has promised to send me a copy and I’m raring to read it.


Miss you all, especially over the holidays!


Yours,
Kristine

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