Oh-bah-ma! New York, New York!

When I tell local Indonesians I meet that I’m from NY, I get an immediate response of word association of everything that comes to mind for them at a rapid pace. Typically it starts with them excitedly  blurting out
Oh-bah-ma!!”
Immediately followed by “New York, New York – Sinatra!”
Or singing Alicia Keys’  chorus line from “Empire State of Mind,” which is funny because they both have a strong accent and are typically way off key. The combo is quite entertaining and didn’t get old even after having this happen nearly two dozen times in just a week.
Sometimes this is followed by “US and A!” cheer, and then random facts that they know about the US.  “50 States!”   One guy started naming random US state capitals. One guy started rattling off random cities he had heard of, that we have 100 senators, and the NY Yankees.
Interestingly enough I found I got a warmer initial response when I said I was from New York rather than from America or the US.
Has anyone else had an experience like this?  Is this typical for countries in SE Asia?  Let me know if this has happened to you.
Like my experience in HK, I met such wonderful people here (both travelers and Indonesians).  Some of them I’ve been staying in touch with (and some will be perhaps by reading this blog).

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