YOGYAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The dreadful behavior of foreign tourists in Indonesia, particularly on the resort island of Bali, might have caught the attention of the country's netizens for years.
But one Dutch woman set out to break the unfortunate mold of misbehavior, which ranged from drug smuggling to disrespecting local customs.
Yogyakarta resident Charlotte Peeters reached out to locals by selling her take on Indonesian food, namely Mi Ayam or Indonesian chicken noodles, at her outlet Bakso Mi Ayam Telolet. "We named the place after my husband and my favorite Indonesian dishes," she said.
"He likes bakso [meatballs] while I like Mi Ayam, so we named the shop after both dishes. We first considered naming the place Mi Ayam Amsterdam, to indicate that a Dutch woman is making the noodles, but chose to go with Telolet, as the name is funny and catchy."
Located in Yogyakarta's Sleman district, the 37-year old and her husband Arya Andika Widyadana opened up the noodle shop on August 17, 2020 at the site of a former garage.
Opening her business in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, the couple drew customers with a mix of bargain prices and quirky charm.
"We started off by selling [the Mi Ayam] for Rp. 5000 [$0.36] a serving, before we raised the price to Rp. 7000 [$0.50]. The idea was to open an affordable place where everyone can eat, especially as prices keep going up because of the coronavirus," she added.
A slight twist
"Even though I love chicken noodles, I prefer them to be savory instead of sweet like those served in Yogyakarta. In fact I do not particularly like them sweet," she added. "The chicken noodles are more savory, in line with Dutch tastes, than those served in Yogyakarta.