Monday, August 4, 2014

This and that

Sunday, August 3:
The day gets a quiet start. We stayed up late last night because of eating and arriving home so late. It won't be long before Sundays are a very busy time for us (if the faith community meets then). So we're spending the time now resting up and planning ahead.
Saturday night: Tee 9 center post

W found Burgreens, a health food/ organic restaurant, about a mile away. I put on the ugly hat (broad, horrid beige, and effective) to ward off the sun and we walk uneven sidewalks or dodge traffic on the sides of the street, getting directions to the gate from a street cart vendor when we're almost there. Google says it's supposed to take 15 minutes, so I reckon on 25. Yes, it takes that much longer to go up and down curbs and watch one's feet when walking.

We arrive for breakfast at 10:30; TripIt and their menu say they open at 9:30, but Helga comes over to tell us they open at 11. Do we want to sit and wait? It's a pretty courtyard, with the default mums in vases on the wood tables. Everything's clean and well cared for.

Yes we do. We sit in the shade of a Seattle houseplant and get our smoothies and alkaline water with lime within 20 minutes. Helga is friendly. We talk about IES (church) and the faith community we want to start in Bandung. She says her sister goes to church, and that her church friends are a huge help at her restaurant during Labaren, when many servers go home. They come in and help serve. Helga says it's a hopeful and helpful place.

Helga and Max - awesome food, friendly hearts
Helga's brother Max also comes over to chat. They studied in the Netherlands and have a passion for good-tasting nutrition. They opened Burgreens 4 years ago. "It was such hard work, much harder than we imagined!" Max says.

W orders a mushroom burger while I ask for a salad and a roll, which comes smothered in coconut mayonnaise with avocado and pumpkin seeds on top. Delicious. Fresh. A real blend of flavors. I eat half and take the rest home for later.

We have a late lunch - a feast, really - with Pastor Dave and Gigi in the other side of the house. Gigi and her helper have prepared a feast for guests: noodles, dim sum dumplings, apple and potato salad, beef sate with peanut sauce, pork knuckles, and ... home-baked brownies.

Young people walk in and out because today is baptism Sunday downstairs in the pool. Water wings, toys, and water balloons liven up the water surface. I haven't been swimming since we got back from retreat: the pool pump is broken and since I swallow water when I swim, I'd rather not risk getting sick. The kids have no such hesitation.

Pastor Mike, formerly a lifeguard, jumps into the pool with the youth pastor and Tirza the intern, and they baptize ten adults and teens. Everyone claps, cheers, and prays over them after each confession of faith and baptism. And then the party begins. There's pizza in the meeting room downstairs, and kids all over the yard and pool. It's a true community celebration and we're delighted to be there.

The WPPRs do our first Hangout. Everyone's here and we have lots to talk about and consider for prayers. One child moved to Europe, others are facing challenges. And two of us moved out of town within 2 months. Oh how I miss my sisters being nearby. It's good to see their faces.

The driver is waiting downstairs by 9am. He takes the list of places W hands him and drives us all over Jakarta. We climb in and out of the car, walk the roadsides with him following, and get a feel for what we'll have to buy for our home. I sketch ideas in my dot notebook, while W takes pictures of business cards and tables and interesting furniture. The most fun is to see what designers come up with. Lunch is gnocchi for W and basil pasta for me. We eat half and take half home for supper.

Our furniture tour in the suburb of Kedaung Kemang at Picadilly ends at a showroom for a factory of high-end British-style mahogany furnishings. You'd see the tables and chairs in upper class British castles, I think. Too fussy for me. Except that they have a sleek white ultrasuede sofa, almost 9' long (286 cm). Ooooh - for my own decorating taste, I'd love it. For the guests we expect to host? It would become a cleaning nightmare. In the second suburb of Cilandak, the great tree slabs carved into tables and chairs fascinate us. We exclaim over expensive (in the $thousands) but gorgeous one-of-a-kind pieces.

Is there time to go to a porcelain factory? The driver calls ahead. Yes, they're open. We head up north on the ring road but find the factory gates closed. A security door opens one side and the driver disappears through it. In a few minutes, he waves us over; security guards seat us on the employee bench (with backpacks stashed in open-air cabinets around us) and call the office. Andi comes over to get us and introduces us to the seller in the display room. They tell us they supply airlines, Crate & Barrel, and other trendy shops in the USA. (Cool. I get to see what's in style.)

There is the white dinnerware I'd like to purchase! "No problem, call ahead so we can stamp the bottom with a logo," says the rep. "Give us about 2 weeks. Buy from the factory and it will be cheaper." No kidding: they write down a quote for the plates and mugs and teapots we'd need. Waldemar is delighted: the total comes to less than the price of dinner plates I liked at a Singapore wholesaler.
I found good hotel dishes.
We are almost home when the driver finds out his phone is still at the factory. So he turns around and an hour later has us back at the same place in our neighborhood. No worries: we weren't in a hurry today.

We eat our lunch leftovers and head back out on the street. It's dark and the motorcycles and cars whizz by. W finds ATMs that give money in $10 portions (instead of $5). We need to deposit a down payment on our rental lease tomorrow.

At 10-11:20pm, my friend and I talk about prayers and thanksgivings - between Seattle and Jakarta. God is good! And I am tired. We leave the flat at 7:30am tomorrow to catch a cab downtown and sign our 7-month Kitas (visas).

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