Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hello Indonesia! Wednesday turns to Thursday

There's rice cooking on the stove and it's almost midnight, Jakarta time. We crashed into a dreamless 6-hour nap at 4:30pm (2:30am Seattle time). Now, I can't face food this late - feels like our bodies understand it's nighttime here, though we've just napped. Here's how the day went.
From Tokyo, Economy Comfort gives us more leg room and recline. We sleep for a few hours of the 7-hour flight before landing in Singapore. W checks that our luggage automatically goes through to Indonesia and we squish our legs in the free foot-massage chairs to decompress. By the time we're ready to sleep, the hotel is fully booked. So we look for the free sleeper lounge. It's 2am and every recliner is claimed. W bumps our carry-ons against our low chairs to make our own version of recliner. We sleep a few hours, share a small beef soup for breakfast, and check on the luggage again. The gal at Garuda Airlines gives us passes for the lounge. I'm craving savory and bland congee (rice porridge) and have a bowl.

By 7:30am (5:30pm Seattle), we're on the last leg - 2 hours - to Jakarta. "Chicken or omelet?" asks the attendant. Whaaaat? Not more food! I nibble at mine and return most of it untouched.

A strange mix to Western eyes: a street sweeper beside the highway,
 silhouetted in front of the spectacular entry to a new subdivision under construction
At the airport gate, our friends meet us and whisk us through immigration and customs. W's carry-on gets opened, as in Tokyo, because he has so much computer gear. Their driver takes our luggage and we ride in a taksi to our temporary residence in an old colonial home. A security guard opens the gates and a very strong helper hauls our 70 and 50 lb suitcases into the flat. We get a heads up on first names, exchange phone numbers, and have an hour or two to freshen up.

The flat is big. And clean. 2 bdrm, 2 bath, tiled floors, porch and a stairway to ... There's a pool in the backyard. A pool! I've loved to swim since my teens, when we discovered Cultus Lake. However, this is nothing like that cold plunge. Under the sun, the water is warm and smells chlorine-free. I pull on a swimsuit and do 20 laps before taking a shower. Teeny ants swarm my flip-flops so I drown them before slipping my feet in.

Back upstairs, I open the suitcases packed last week. Some items are a happy surprise. The Tupperware is stuffed with clothing and toiletries. My coat (in case we travel somewhere cold) looks completely useless. But here's what we need: it's a relief to pull on a fresh warm-weather top and capris.

Stefano and Livya bring Kristi (who lived with us and moves into our Seattle flat in August) and her baby Kamille with them. Ohhhh! What a beautiful little girl she is. Kamille naps off and on while we lunch at an oxtail soup restaurant in the nearby mall. Kristi has remembered that I loved oxtail soup - oh man, I haven't tasted that for years. The oxtail is delicious in peppercorn sauce (soup's on the side).

They take us shopping in a modern state-of-the-art mall. But with a full stomach, I am a bad shopper. We purchase pastries for tomorrow's breakfast, a bag of rice (recommended by Livya), a can each of beans and corn, a little package of cold cuts, teeny bottles of sweet soy (Bango) and hot sauce, and a bit of fruit. W tosses some instant coffee and treats into the buggy. We check out an electronics store for a hair dryer (check) and a phone ($8, check). I haven't found my shampoo brand yet but a little bottle of something else will tide us over for a few weeks. It takes a while to find the balance of local water and toiletries anyway.

The checkout gal wears a Transformer ad sunshade
over her very chic outfit
All of a sudden, we're drooping, exhausted. Our hosts drop us at the house, where we crash into a nap for 6 hours. At 10:30pm (8:30am), we wake. I can't face cold cuts or sweets. But rice sounds good. We turn up the air con from 18oC (64.4oF) to 24oC (75oF). Brrr. No wonder the air felt chilly. Air con removes moisture as well as heat. We'll leave one unit on in the living room when we sleep.

Livya urged me to get a rice cooker but for the few weeks here, W didn't want to lug appliances to Bandung. In a kitchen cupboard, I find a little pot with a lid and before long, the fragrance of fresh rice fills the room. I toss a cube of Maggi (broth) into a glass of hot water, pour it on the cooked rice, and supper is served sans imagination. W drips Bango over his.

Our midnight snack: rice
There are a lot of English channels on TV, but we want to learn the sound of the language, so Indonesia TV it is. The music is tuneful and easy on the ears. W sets up the phone and internet. But we'd better get to sleep - it's 2am by the time we feel sleepy again. W hands me a Swiss chocolate and "all is well."

Thanks be to God. Thanks for your prayers. Truly, all is well.

Read more:
*Great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117:2 ESV

*Just as the gospel is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. Colossians 1:6 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Lord, we wish to spread the seeds of the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control through your spirit. Be with us as we bring the gospel to all we meet this day and every day. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment