We had drinks in Apache Bar in Legian Street, Kuta. Jason explained that it was Renee and her boyfriend's first time to Indonesia. Renee had just graduated from university and wanted to have a holiday before committed to career life. They said they really liked Bali.
This guy, Renee's boyfriend, hmmm... let's call him Matt. He was a funny guy. Young, raw, happy, so it seemed to me. He said that he learned some Indonesian words, thanks to Jason. "I know how to say 'thank you'," he said.
"How do you say?" I asked.
"Terima kasi." That was what I heard. It's ok, minus 'h' sound in the end of the word, but it's an acceptable error, as it was a verbal language and a very casual conversation (meaning: we were not in Bahasa Indonesia class).
"Nice!" I said. I was happy to know that just in a very short of time in his first time in Indonesia he had learned at least a word.
"Do you know how to write 'terima kasih'?" I asked, just curious if he really knew how to write it.
"Ummmm....maybe," he said doubtfully. And then he took a piece of order sheet and a pen on the table and wrote something with big letters, and then showed the paper to us. It said "TERRY MACASSY."
I really couldn't resist my laugh reading it and seeing a proud smile on his face. I'm sure it was funny too to Jason, but to Renee, knowing none of Indonesian language, she reacted nothing.
Anyway, then I corrected his writing, showed him the right spelling, and who knows what he felt. Maybe he laughed at his own word.
A few minutes later, Matt said he had to go to the rest room. So there he went. When he came back, he said he was confused where the rest room was. And he asked, what rest room is in Bahasa Indonesia.
"Kamar kecil," both Jason and I answered.
"Oh, ok. Ka-ma ka-ci."
"Kamar kecil," I repeated. "Do you think you can try to write it?" I asked.
Once again he grabbed a piece of order paper and the same pen he wrote Terry Macassy, and again he wrote something on that paper, and gave it to us. "Is it like this?" he asked, with a hopeful smile.
The writing said, "kamma kachi." Again, I corrected his spelling.
I really appreciated his effort, but honestly, it was so hilarious to see a word in Indonesian language spelled in English way and transformed into a name. Now my husband has been thinking of writing to Jakarta Post using a fake name, Terry MacAssy. Sounds Scottish?