Sunday, March 06, 2011

Barbeques are not all the same

A week ago Saturday we had a housewarming.  "We" was a friend who lives in the same building and I.  She'd been in these apartments for over a year, but had recently changed to a different apartment (10th floor not 2nd).  I stayed in her old place for about five weeks before and after the holidays, but now have my own place there.

Based on the fact that neither of us could fit more than about four people in our respective apartments, we decided to use the pool area. It's a big beautiful pool, with a few chairs and tables scattered around and a tiny "grassy" patch.  Grass here isn't really grass, it's these funny individual green plants that are fairly resilient and you can walk on it. The invite said we'd be barbecuing but as we are just teachers, it was BYOB-Bring your own beverage.

The turn out was great, I think about twenty people turned up in all.  Some came late, others left early. The rest of us were there for the duration.  I'd been worried about the weather.  Jakarta has reminded us repeatedly lately that it's the wet season.  There was rain on Saturday, but it rained the best way possible; three five-minute intervals within an hour span.  It was like someone turning the faucet on and off.  Once we finally packed up and headed down to the pool, the rain stopped and didn't bother us again. It wasn't a sunny day, but it was bright and dry so I didn't complain.

We'd bought a little bbq.  This thing was about a eighteen inches high by maybe a foot across.  It was small to say the least.  I assembled it before going down to the pool.  We had briquettes and lighter fluid as well. I wasn't worried because I used to bbq in the States.  Yea, things are different in Indonesia as you can tell from just my blog alone.  It took three people an hour, multiple efforts and several strategies before we gave up and I cooked the sausages upstairs.  With paper, with cardboard, with more and then less lighter fluid, fanning the flames, briquettes stacked up and then less so. An Aussie friend assured us (two North American girls) that he could get it lit because he was Aussie and male.  Didn't happen.
courtesy of  My barbeque at home looked a bit like this and was waist high. 
courtesy of  Barbeques can also look big and fancy like this.
courtesy of  Or even mammoth like this. 
courtesy of  This is what ours looked like, standing about knee high and it was just as flimsy as it looks.
While I did have a great time, I was happy to see so many people come out, I was the host and therefore exhausted by the end.  When I host events it's about making sure the people I invite have a good time.  I cooked food, I mixed drinks, I handed out food, I cleaned up trash, etc, etc.  That was very much the case after this bbq.  I prepped food Friday night, got things packed and ready Saturday morning, shuttled everything down stair (four of us did), and then hosted.  By the time people were leaving at 8 or 830, I was pooped!

I won't go into the details, but the night ended really poorly.  I was convinced to go out to a dance club and the night went drastically downhill.  I'm not sure if I feel emboldened to have another pool party since this one was such a hit, or if I dread having another due to the work involved and the residual sour feelings this one left in my mouth.

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