Out On The Patio We Sit

“Out on the patio we sit,

And the humidity we breathe,

We watch the lightning crack over canefields,

Laugh and think, this is Australia”

This old song by Gangajang came to mind yesterday as we sat out on Barnadi and Adam’s new deck in a suburban backyard in Melbourne. The weather was hot and humid, but sadly there was no lightning. This was Barnadi’s combined Birthday/Christmas celebration, an annual event that he has held since arriving from Jakarta, Indonesia 30 years ago. I have been to 24 of these festive Indonesian banquets.

Above. Udang Tepung and Pekedil Jagung – Fried Prawns in Batter and Fried Potato and Corn Cake. Krupuk in the background as well as the ear of Googoo, the dog.

The 12 guests, all good friends of Barnadi, ranged in age, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Three straight couples, two gay couples, two singles: one Indonesian, one Chinese, one Thai, one Israeli, two Dutch, one British and the rest Australian, simply meaning that they appeared to have been born here, with Anglo-Celtic background. And having said this, I realise that these labels and descriptions are limiting and misleading. We were all Australian, enjoying a Pimms or a white wine on a sunny day in the backyard. We all came from diverse backgrounds but had a lot in common- a love of food, travel, and good conversation.

This is Australia. We celebrate diversity here. This is what we do.

Above. An Indonesian Banquet. Sapi Rendang, Ayam Kari, Ayam Goreng, Ayam Bakar, Sayur Lodeh, Tempeh kentang Tahu, Pepes Ikan, Ikan Bakar.

Above. Basok Ayam- Fried Chicken meatballs

Thanks B and A  for another lovely day.