Sunday, July 27, 2014

The gitty nitty

Thursday (July 11, not posted earlier)
We walk back to the places we shopped yesterday, hoping they've found my wallet. No luck. I probably left it in the cab and we didn't snap a photo-receipt since we were on our own. So, unless the cabbie wants to return it, he got an IPhone, a wallet with a bit of cash and two cancelled credit cards ... and a handwritten address where he can give it back. W says he'll pick up a cheap camera-phone for now.

Heated by our walk, I hop into the pool for a half-swim (20 laps), before making supper from scratch: Beef rendang and noodles.

Beef rendang

M drops by for a short visit and takes Waldemar across the street where the taxi dropped us, to ask the market owner if he has - by any chance -  the wallet. It's unlikely, we're told. Ramadan ends in a feast where gifts are exchanged. So the month is an opportunity for gathering things, by whatever means, for generosity to family and friends at Eid. The taxi driver would feel a lucky man, scoring from a bule's (foreigner's) carelessness.

It's a choppy night's rest. W's tired early; I fall asleep about 7:30. At 10pm, nap time's over! I'm wide awake until 2:30am. At 6:30, my body says, "Enough lying around. Get up," and up I go.

It's been easier to acclimate to a new time zone when we've had strict teaching schedules. If we have to be in the classroom early in the morning, we're tired by evening and sleep well. This time we've had a looser schedule which hasn't helped us flip our days and nights as quickly.

We're at the church at 9am to help with VBA (VBS). The theme is the Israelite exodus. I'm assigned with 3 other helpers to a small group of kids, "the tribe of Reuben." (There are 12 groups.) We start by singing with everyone, then retire to our tent to learn a scripture verse. The morning is filled with games, snacks, and crafts. W takes pictures of the activities.

Partway through the morning, Livia hands me our Indonesian grandbaby, sweet Kamille. The baby is a hit with the kids, who joke that we "found a baby in the desert." Kamille chews a piece of flatbread in the "Tent of Moses" while we listen to the Bible story, smiles at the kids, and delights us all. The kids measure her toes ("the length of my thumbnail!") and exclaim over her round eyes and hair barrette.

Sweet Kamille
Lunch at church is nasi goreng, Indonesian fried rice. Very tasty. B's driver drops their family off for their meeting in the mall on our way back home. We'd planned to go to Chinatown, but W's got the tummy blues today. Maybe tomorrow.

So let's talk about toilets, another cultural curiosity wherever we go. We've encountered some squatting toilets here, but used few of them. Sewers are overloaded with such a massive population so you can't flush tissue.

Instead, beside the Western-style "thrones" at church, malls, and our flat is a hose inside (bidet) or a hose beside the toilet. It's for washing - from the back forwards. If there is no hose, there will be a water bucket and scoop. Drying tissue (toilet paper or kleenex) is tossed into the garbage beside the toilet, damp not stinky (maybe more than you want to know.)
Squat toilet: feet to the side please
[Note: July 27. In the house we're looking at, there are 2 Western and 1 squat toilets. So when you visit, you can try either.]

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