Friday, March 6, 2009

Climate, Clothing and Cuisine

The Climate:
Indonesia’s equatorial tropical climate has only two seasons, the dry season between March and October, and the rainy season from November to January. Heavy rain and thunder storm mostly happened from December - January, sometimes part of North Jakarta area are flooded during those months.

The average daily temperature in the lowlands is about 30-32 degrees Celsius,
the lowest temperature 24 degrees Celsius

Aromatic spices and a variety of hot chili peppers are the essence of most Indonesian dishes. Rice is an important part of the national diet for most of the archipelago, but in the eastern islands corn, sago, cassava and sweet potatoes are more common. The enormous wealth of the surrounding seas and oceans, as well as fresh water fisheries, provides an abundance of sea food which can be traditionally served in a number of exciting ways, including baked in banana leaves.

As the population of Indonesia is predominantly Moslem, pork is usually not served except in Chinese suburbs area (North Jakarta, some in West Jakarta and Kota area). An extensive assortment of tropical and sub-tropical fruit and vegetables can also be found year-round to tantalize your taste buds.

If you are a Muslim, please ask the restaurant whether they serve Pork. Many restaurants tend to be quite liberal with the word “halal”. During our visit to Indonesia, Jakarta, many restaurants say that they are halal even though they serve pork. However you have to be cautious of the word Halal and No Pork, there's a quite difference between those two claims, Halal means no Pork at all, No Pork sometimes most restaurant do not serve pork, but still using cooking oil or ingredients that contains pork.

Dress is normally casual and light clothing is advisable due to the hot, humid climate. Trousers or slacks and shirts are generally considered appropriate but a jacket and tie are required formal occasions or when making official calls. For some formal occasions, long-sleeved batik shirts are acceptable.

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