Glenn Madden


  Personal Stuff



Christmas Time Indonesia For A Southerner USA

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. I always like to tell my sad little story this time of the year. The once a year time I do not completely feel like I am in paradise for a week. If only I could leave for that one week of Christmas a year and maybe a few days for Thanksgiving.

Indonesia does not have much of Christmas. The most I have seen this year is the staff at our local supermarket were wearing red Christmas clothing like Santa’s elves. The store was selling a few small plastic trees.

But there is not any Christmas lights to be seen around town of Jepara. No white Christmas unless a volcano spits out some white ash. Temperature runs about average year round 90 degrees Fahrenheit and very humid. Does not exactly feel like Southern Christmas time.

Santa Clause does not make it here. I think it is too hot for him.

Indonesia in general does not celebrate any of the US holidays. Being mostly Islam they have their own which is not the same. They/Islam also do not believe in drinking alcohol so it is kept very low key, they still drink it.

I wanted to start my own little celebrations, but I just never have gotten around to it. The spirit is not there when you have to do it all alone.

Occasionally the expat community here will get together for something or other. We had an American ex-marine working as security at the power plant for the last couple of years. He made a big thing out of 4th of July. But I think he is out of the country now. Last I heard he was shooting at some girl, missed her but having guns in Indonesia does not go over very well.

I did see some frozen turkeys at a super market in Semarang a few months back. I was planning to get one for Thanksgiving but never made it back to the store yet.

I can find or make almost all the foods I love/remember for the holidays except three.
Yellow Squash – never liked it that much but when you do not have it at all you miss it.
Cranberry Sauce – Hated it but I always had just a little around my Turkey and dressing at Thanksgiving time.
Turnip Greens – hated them too but my dad ate them almost every day when I was growing up. My mom said we had to eat greens and black eye peas on New Year’s day because it had something to with money.

I can make apple pies but not like mom could. I never got the trick of making a good flaky crust down, no patience I guess. I miss the apple pies most. I especially like the Mrs. Smith brand you can buy in the frozen food section.

BUT MY FAVORITE food of all is Macaroni and cheese and I can always find cheddar even here in Indonesia. I am a pretty good cook and ever so often I cook up one very tasty mac and cheese pie – with lots of cheese.

We have a few America Restaurants nearby, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Pappa Rons Pizza.

Well that is enough about my "How The Grinch Stole Christmas". Have a Merry, Merry Christmas and some extra New Year cheer for me living in Indonesia now for ten years.

Glenn Madden
TradUR Company
Wishing All The Best For This Holiday Season


teti Tiara Sunrise Family Big Trees