Friday, November 7, 2014

Midweek: food and more food

Thursday, November 6

Silly class selfie: "guess the fruit" game
School starts bright and early - at 8am. We usually get up at 5:30 on days the helper comes (5:45 otherwise). This morning, I'm very tired. We had a late supper with a gal who may help us with life groups, and I was writing until after midnight. W lets in the helper at 6:45am while I sleep in an extra hour. We have buy groceries and supplies so we take the car. That cuts our morning commute from 50 minutes to 20. We arrive on time.

The rain drums in through the gaps in the roof tiles in the afternoon. The back wing of the house ("dirty kitchen", laundry room / bath, and 2 back bedrooms) flood with inches of water. W grabs the huge shower-floor squeegee and pulls water toward the laundry-room drain and out the back door. The helper mops, wrings the cloths and rugs, and tries to avoid the downpour coming through the ceiling. She calls her husband, who is at the landlord's house. Dr A has not responded to any of our calls, texts, or other communications. It crosses my mind that we should just let the back flood - ignore it as he does and let it fall down if he chooses. We cannot use that wing except for laundry and storing a fridge. W tucks the landlord's new (still plastic-wrapped) mattresses out of the falling rain inside the house. 

I squish flying termites entering from the parts of the house not yet cleared. What's the use of doing part of a structure? The insects are definitely on the move toward the new fresh wood that's replaced the rotted parts. An owner's stubborn denial won't save this house. 

Without intervention, we have all 3 in the kitchen...
The leasing agents ask for the phone numbers of the termite companies who bid on a contract a month ago. They text us back: "There are no live termites, according to the company." W texts back our dismay: that means they were defrauding us on their written estimates? To remove the gobs of beasties in the walls and ceilings and maintain it, they charge $800-1000. We don't know which company they spoke with or why the change of tone. W has dropped live worms into the fish bowl (happy guppies) and I've washed my hands a few times this week after killing those "flying ants." The cutlery drawer fell off it's rails and a cup of termite pellets fell into the shelves below.

I cover the mixing bowl to stir up chocolate chip cookies. A mixer is definitely one of the things we need. By hand, the butter and sugar get stirred rather than beaten together. Our dear friend Kathleen C sent pecans and chocolate chips with Pres. Castleberry on his recent trip from Northwest University. I take them out of the freezer, beat up butter and eggs, and stir in flour and soda. We have neither brown sugar nor molasses, so white sugar makes the cookies are crisper than usual. But the flavor is amazing. A taste of home.

LR before

LR before
We enjoy our first overnight guests Thursday night: Pastors Mario and Daniela. She lived at our place in Seattle so she's knit into a special place in our hearts. How cool that they would be the first sleepover company! They love the spaces as we do - and tell us that the last time they saw a cup of termite dropping (this week's production, fallen on the plastic sheet guarding storage boxes in the garage), the house was condemned and torn down. Oh well, that's just in the garage... 

LR after - starting to shape up

LR after
Supper is at Miss Bee's around the corner. "This really feels like a holiday," M says, overlooking the landscape in the cool evening air. He also notices the change in elevation as we walk up the sloping street along the side of the hill. Jakarta is flat and nearly at sea level, while we're in hill country. 

The food is good but the service is slow tonight. The servers mix up the orders and stand chatting together. M and D explain in Bahasa what we want: usually it takes W and me a while to communicate with our limited language skills; they are direct and efficient. 

Back home, we enjoy cookies before heading back out at 9pm. Mario drives around Bandung in minimal night traffic, exclaiming at the development of business and housing. Bandung has grown from a clump of village-style neighborhoods and factory outlets to a big city: about 6-10 million people call it home. It still feels small to Jakarta natives (25-28 million).

The Hummingbird Eatery is closing as we drive up. The pictures on the walls look familiar. Didn't we come here with Daniela's mom and dad? To our surprise, the same people who own Miss Bee's run Hummingbird. We head for home and lock the gate after 11. 


The rain holds off during the night and we sleep well. W and I wake early. He turns on the oven at 5 when he wakes; I punch down the bread dough at 5:30 and it's baking by 6:30. 

We have a 7:30am breakfast at Miss Bee's with a young couple. It's our first time meeting the wife. What a sweetheart! They say they'd love to come to our place for a Christmas open house. (We don't have a date for that yet but will get back to them.) Knowing food awaits at home, I order a smoothie but no breakfast.

Back to comfort: accompanist (Korean flute)
We've planned to cook breakfast for 9 guests, but it's just the four of us. The others end up elsewhere. We eat apple pancakes and heavy artisan bread. The dampness must affect the rising - oh well, that's another lesson in the kitchen. We chat until 11 when our fine "kids" leave for a day of hanging out with their church staff.

We finish dishes and pack. Then W drives 50 minutes across Bandung for a farewell lunch with fellow language students. One of the Korean families is moving to teach in East Java. I make a beeline for the piano in the LR and run my hands over the keys. It's reasonably in tune. Our peers ask for a song so I play "Great is Thy Faithfulness" before we enjoy lunch. Argh. I forget to take pictures of the fish, chicken, and beef dishes among the rice and vegetables. 

Typical Ocarina, a traditional Korean flute
A Korean gal pulls out a case with three little musical flutes inside (traditional Ocarinas). They're keyed to F, G, and C; she conscripts me for accompaniment. Korean music is lively and quick - it takes a few times to get the hang of some of the songs. I'm out of practice. (I've dashed into the cafeteria at school a few times to pound out a chorus or two on the way to class, but otherwise haven't touched the piano in months.)

W and I get lost in the neighborhood, trying to get to the toll road to Jakarta. Good thing. I've left my cellphone at the party. We turn around and retrieve it. Traffic is not good and not bad. It's 7pm by the time we reach IKEA to return a few things that were broken or didn't fit. 

Waiting: a sweet and savory lunch
Meanwhile, the leasing agent has called the termite company, who report that there are no live termites at the house. What?! they were going to charge us $800-1000US to kill them, and they saw the bugs in person! W is so stressed by the text and the ensuring conversation that he forgets to use the return voucher at the checkout.

We're in the door at the flat by 10 and ready to sleep. We're looking forward to a second weekend of anniversary celebrations at IES Jakarta.

That's all. I have to get ready to leave in a few minutes for the weekend's appointments. Have a great time, everyone. Sending love and prayers - with a grateful heart.


  1. My brother has an ocarina. they are beautiful when played right.

    1. Most instruments are beautiful "when played right." Having grown up with violins (and duck-calls on the clarinet), I can only imagine how beginners sound on the ocarina... smiles.