Friday: August 1:
One of the things I love most about moving to Indonesia is the eternal summer. The thought of 3 months of summer, squeezed between rain or cool days, has always made me feel desperate as the calendar flips from month to month. No longer. In spite of it being dry season, we hear rain on the roof almost every night. Sometimes a nice ocean breeze sweeps through Jakarta and cools the moisture from our skin. Other times it’s just plain hot. Lovely.
In the morning, we catch a ride to IES (church) to watch a recording session and catch up with the staff. Pastor Dave’s recording all day, but we break for lunch after 2. Mario and Daniela are amazing at finding food. (We haven’t yet figured out the protocol for bringing something for the staff shared meals.)
We’re on our way out of the foyer when Gigi calls us back for apple crisp and ice cream. I am so not hungry (didn’t we just eat?) but W loves fruit pastry. Totally worth the 40 steps up to the offices again! along with the million-layer traditional cake we’re still munching on since VBS two weeks ago. Here everyone walks the stairs, ignoring the elevator. No wonder they’re trimmer than back home.
At 4, we hop Bus Blok M for a jaunt to see what’s what at Glodok. W finds a tech mall that’s mostly closed, so we walk by and he’ll return. By 6:30pm, we’re ready for supper at Sun City, where we had dim sum another day. It’s not far from the bus stop, but we can’t find the entry. We end up being waved to a service elevator and coming out beside a garbage truck on Floor 5. It’s a quick walk through the parking lot to Sun City, a whole different world = Chinese elegance. Above us, three 8’ wide crystal chandeliers hang in gilded ceiling nooks. Over the balconies, 2-3’ crystal lamps droop from rounded gold domes.
We are the second table seated in a restaurant with 70+ tables. Gradually Our server puts the napkins on our laps and hovers at table’s edge. He refills our jasmine tea the moment we’re down ½ inch. He adjusts the table # sign (62). And the minute food is ready, he takes it from the person who brought it from the kitchen. We decide on steamed rice and 2 dishes: first, crisp Szechwan chicken (teeny skewers = toothpicks). Hot hot, deliciousness. And second, a mushroom/port noodle combo. Oh yum to both. We have leftovers for another day.
When I put rice in my plate, the waiter rushes over with a separate rice bowl. Oops. He brings a fresh plate once our plates are near empty. It’s slightly strange to have someone watch us eat. Good thing we’re not self-conscious.
We walk out and around the block since we come down another elevator and don’t know where we landed. A gal on the street points us to the next bus station. W’s happy: he walked through a new neighborhood (dark put populated) and gets to see what’s around a new stop. He notes how safe things feel and how friendly people are. The occasional person glowers at us, but they might do so to their neighbors as well.) A man shakes his finger and acts embarrassed when his little daughter looks up in surprise and exclaims, “Bule!” (foreigner). We smile and say, Yia (yes).
We hop the bus for one more stop: Senaya malls. We’re not in the mood for much, though W finds the tea shop he spotted the first days here. He buys a teapot (IngenuiTea type, that drips tea out the bottom when placed on a cup.)
We’re happy to catch a taxi. The driver has no clue where he’s taking us and makes a U-turn which makes it obvious. He stops so W can hop in the front seat with GoogleMaps to steer us home before 10pm. In the night, I get enews from Seattle when I wake to turn on the Bible reader. As usual, we have things to pray for and things to thank God for.
Our daughter emails and calls with a practical question. She has decisions regarding flat rental. She’s not accustomed to being yelled at or having her stuck wrecked by roomies, so it's time for a change. We pray God’s protection and provision with her. All is well that is under God’s control.
Today’s typically the day we go to service at IES Central. We leave the flat by 11:30 and are working online by 1. W catches a nap in the office while I write. It feels like another day in paradise - except that there's work to do and prayers to pray and books to read and . . .