A Bigger Tummy

Season 3 Episode A4

Level of Indonesian and English fluency: Beginner to Intermediate

Indonesian Version

Tahun pertama kuliah di Amerika, gua tinggal di asrama. Pertama kali makan di asrama, kaget sekali karena selain jumlahnya banyak, juga ukurannya besar-besar.  Format nya adalah makan sepuasnya, dari makanan pembuka, makanan utama dan penutup. Bahkan ada ice cream tiap hari tersedia. Jenis roti juga bermacam-macam. Ada donat dengan rasa keju, maple syrup, coklat dan gula halus. Semuanya gua suka. Tiap hari, gua makan tiga kali sehari dan selalu makan donat. Di tahun 90an, belum terlalu banyak pilihan untuk beli donat di Indonesia. 

Setahun di Amerika, berat gua naik 10 kilo, ukuran baju pun bertambah. Saat pulang ke Indonesia, banyak yang kaget melihat gua. Dan gua pun kaget melihat satu porsi bakmi ayam yang dulu rasanya cukup banyak, sekarang seperti ukuran anak-anak. Akhirnya porsi satupun tidak cukup. Minimum dua dengan tambahan pangsit goreng. Abang bakmi langganan gua pun senang. 

English Version (2:07)

I lived in the dormitory during my first year in college in America.The first time I ate in the dormitory, I was very surprised as there was a lot of food in huge portions. The format was all-you-can-eat, from appetizers, main course and dessert. Even ice cream was available every day. There were many different types of bread. There were doughnuts with different toppings: cheese, maple syrup, chocolate and icing sugar. I liked all of them. Every day, I ate three times a day and always had doughnuts. In the 90s era, there were not many options to buy doughnuts in Indonesia.

One year living in America, I gained 10 kilos, and my dress size also went up. When I went back to Indonesia, many were shocked to see me. I was surprised when the usual portion of chicken noodles that I used to feel was quite a lot, now feels like a kid’s portion. At the end, one portion was not enough. I had to have at least two with fried wontons on the side. This made the noodle-seller quite happy. 


Gua : I, me

Kuliah : college / university / lecture 

Asrama:  dormitory

Kaget : surprise / shock 

Porsi : portion

Ukuran : size 

Bakmi : noodle

Akhirnya : at the end, finally, in the end, eventually, as a result, sooner or later

Abang : older brother

The word ‘gua’ originally was brought by the people who migrated to Indonesia a long time ago from Fujian area in China and it has been used in a few areas in Indonesia, especially by local people in Jakarta and became an informal daily-used word. 

In Indonesia, sometimes we call the street food vendor ‘Abang’ and what he sells. For example, if he sells noodles and meatballs, the word will be Abang bakso.

or satay, then we call Abang sate. 

If we communicate to them directly, we address them with Abang or Pak (for older)

(Ba)Pak = mister or father. 

For instance:

“Abang / Pak, saya mau 1 porsi sate ayam” 

“Abang / Pak, saya pesan 1 porsi sate ayam” (pesan = order/message)

It means “Big brother/ mister, I’d like to have 1 order of chicken satay”

When we mention them as a third person, in addition to abang, we also call them as tukang.

For example,  tukang bakso (noodle meatballs seller)  or tukang sate (satay seller)  or tukang sayur (veggies seller). 

Never call them directly using the word tukang. Just use Abang or Pak. 

Or for female: Mbak or Ibu  (big sister / madam (mother)

Tukang = handyman, master, expert 

Indonesian language used here is in the daily-conversation format, that has influences from the local culture and custom. Should you have questions on the more formal version, please consult with your guru Bahasa Indonesia.

Level of Indonesian and English fluency: Beginner to Intermediate