Dinner on the hotel room floor

With the holidays out of the way, I thought the family gathering thing would stop for awhile. Nope! Yesterday, Putrie’s sister Chiarani and her American husband Theo arrived in Batam for a visit. They live in Houston.

Putrie's sister Chiarani and her husband Theo

Putrie’s sister Chiarani and her husband Theo

They had already spent a few days in Thailand and the day before in Singapore. They travel to Medan next to visit the mother. They were staying at a the Panorama Regency Hotel so we drove down to visit with them in their hotel room. Also arriving at the hotel at the same time was Ferri, the girls’ brother, who lives in Batam, as well as his wife and three boys. Ferri and his family joined us at my apartment on Christmas. Later, a female friend of the sisters arrived.


Theo and Chiarani had stopped at the duty-free shop to pick up alcohol, and I brought along a bottle of Jack, so we sat around and talked while Chiarani and Ferri took off to a food court to hustle up some dinner for everyone. They returned in about 45 minutes with loads of food, which was promptly taken from the bags and distributed on the floor where everyone but the Americans was sitting.

Food court (pujasera) meal of rice, fish, chicken, vegetables

Food court (pujasera) meal of rice, fish, chicken, vegetables

There were two steamed fish, a couple types of chicken, calamari, a vegetable medley, baby kaylan and plenty of rice. As usual from the food courts, everything was delicious. With nine people eating, I guess the meal probably cost around $50-60.

The floor is as good a dinner table as anything here.

The floor is as good a dinner table as anything here.

The women did an amazing job of cleaning up. Shortly, Ferri left with his family, way past the boys’ bedtime. Putrie, Chiarani and their friend then wanted to go out to the bars, and given how Putrie was dressed I figured I’d better tag along. Theo was tired from the trip so stayed behind. We ended up at Fat Willys, my usual hangout, where I played some pool and the girls partied.

They eat with their hands here, even rice

They eat with their hands here, even rice

Putrie kept trying to get me to go back to my apartment as the girls were planning to stay out late (turned out to be about 4 a.m. when she returned to my place). I finally said OK and caught a taxi back. With all the bules in the bars, who knows what happened after I left. I’m sure the sisters had a great time getting together again and seeing old friends.


Tonight, Chiarani and Theo are coming to Goodies for our Friday free beer happy hour. There’s talk of going out again tonight.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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