An Indonesian-style party


Last night, I finished up with my work for Mc Len Equipment, serving as the official photographer for the company’s 5th anniversary dinner party at De Patros seafood restaurant on the water at Harbour Bay, Batam. About 250-300 people attended, mostly the Indonesian staff of Mc Len and their families. There were maybe 12 Western expats.


Ken’s selfie with his models. Oh, the agony!


My responsibility was to photograph everyone when they arrived, take some casual shots during the evening, and finish off with photos of the prize drawing. And what a prize drawing” the grand prize was a Yamaha motorcycle, with big-screen TVs, a refrigerator, laptops, rice cookers, suitcases, blenders and other gifts given away. Even the children lined up during the evening to receive gifts of money, looked like about $10 each.

From the start, this event was a bit different for me than others I’ve attended here. For beginners, almost all the speeches and presentations, including by the master of ceremonies they hired, was done in Bahasa Indonesia, so I understood pretty much zero – except what I could figure out from what was going on.

The event started at 6 pm but most of the crowd didn’t arrive until after 7. Typically Indonesian. There were a lot of children, parents and relatives of employees, all very pleasant, humble and excited. Judging by this event, Mc Len must be a good place to work.


A buffet dinner was ready for them when they arrived but no one would eat. I figured there must be something that would occur that would send them to the food – two shrimp dishes, a beef dish, something I couldn’t identify, probably fish, rice, vegetables and dessert. The food was different, but good, by the time I grabbed a plate when most everyone else was done going through the lines. (I’m having a toth problem, so food is not as much fun for me as usual.) And did I mention all the drinks – beer, spirits, juices, etc. – were part of the deal? (I pestered the wait staff so much for individual drinks they finally brought me a double Jim Beam and a FULL can of Diet Coke.)


There was an official opening act for the food. The Mc Len general manager, who is the one who hired me for the job, was presented a serving dish with Tumpeng, yellow rice in cone shape surrounded by assorted Indonesian dishes. The GM proceeded to scoop up some rice, added something else from the dish and ate the sample. Then he loaded up his spoon again and brought the morsel to his mother, and another to his brother. Probably something to do with good luck.

Then the crowd headed to the buffet lines.

The paper bag hats are for donations

The paper bag hats are for donations

During the evening there were two troups of Indonesian dancers, dressed in colorful, traditional costumes. There was also a good Indonesian band playing pop songs in English and some Indonesian music. The first group of dancers were dress in orange and wore fancy paper bags on their heads. These would be used later for tips.

And in the photos below and above, you will see two beautiful women, long legs and 5-inch heels. These were the two models who worked with me taking photos of people as they arrived. I never learned their names.


Oh, there even were fireworks. And the kids were great, some in amazing outfits.

All in all, it was a good night and an excellent day, as I secured my first paid advertiser for my new Web venture – It’s really fulfilling to have others think enough of what you have created to invest in it.

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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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