Saturday, May 23, 2015

A headachy ramble

My grandmas - opening Christmas gifts together (70s?)
Housebound, I enjoy slides Dad's transferring to digital. 
W, the Bundas, and our friend Josie start for the volcano hike in the morning. They eat good Indonesian food for lunch and enjoy Chinese food for supper after time at the hot springs. Do they also visit the floating market in the lake above Bandung? I don't know. I'm sick in bed. I barely hear the start of their popcorn and movie night in the living room before crashing into sleep.

What a pleasure to see the face of a friend in the morning! Josie's mom drops by to pick up Josie. She's prepared a pot of bee hoon (thin noodle) for breakfast. Everyone heads upstairs to eat, where Laura has cooked breakfast. I'm not hungry, my stomach can't bear a complicated meal, and my head isn't up to multiple conversations. Josie's mom skips as well. She roams the yard and picks young leaves and fruit from the clove tree in the backyard. She takes them home to cook, along with a loaf of bread fresh from the oven.

I love sitting on the porch
We've invited DrW over for a visit mid-morning. It's our only chance to catch up in the next few weeks - between her travels and ours, we are seldom home at the same time. How I miss this most gracious of neighbors. I'll miss the arisan meeting this week, too. I ask her to excuse me to the women; if I were in town, I'd be there!

We sit on the deck overlooking the garden, eating freshly-baked bread (the one thing I got done yesterday) and cheese. DrW's brought yummy sweet-bean pastries, too.

We talk about our latest adventures. She is building a recycling / composting station next door, a tribute to her late husband who was a chemist and a gardener. What a joy to see her honor him: it will be an excellent contribution to the neighborhood and ongoing reminder of their marriage. Beside it, just outside our gate, the committee has approved a parking lot to allow for more visitors to neighboring houses. The community continues to transform and grow.

Did that person just stroll across traffic in front of us?
By noon, W and I have said goodbye to the Bunda family and are driving to Jakarta. Yes, I'm sticking to my agreement and my side of the car: I drive while we're in Seattle - he drives here. (W's nervous when I drive, which is very distracting.) The wheel is on opposite sides in Canada and Indonesia; we stay in the same seat.

It's a difficult task being a passenger in Indonesia:
 = not gasping as the driver stomps on the brakes, squeezes by a cart, barely misses a motorcyclist criss-crossing between cars, or spurts into the next lane like toothpaste squeezed from a tube. The driver may feel in control; the passenger doesn't always sense that the same way.
 = trapped in limbo. My sole task is to say, "Too close" if W drives too near something on my side. Sometimes my brain turns to mush by the time we've gone 3 blocks.
 = not pointing out things along the way.  Hundreds of cultural observations, artistic moments that capture the eye, and potential service opportunities go unsaid, dropped by the wayside. (I could take notes, but I'm supposed to be watching that we don't hit anything on my side.)
= not processing things we've just experienced together. People we've met or places we've been? By the time we get to the destination or home, we're exhausted from the drive, task-driven to the next thing, and the experience is in the past. If W gets around to mentioning something later, my memory has often already let it go.
= not learning language or reinforcing information. I can't explore the meanings of words or try them on my tongue. We don't compare what we know to what we pass along the way. There's no, "How or where else is this word or this idea used?" Zipping by this interesting ...?  hhusssssh - did you say that aloud? ... don't distract him from the road ... oops, it's gone gon go g

Red light = pause, stop, coast ... whatever seems best.
Don't you love the gal's office suit and heels?
So, moment of ugly truth (yes, these occasionally pop up in the blog, let's be real): my biggest shock and adjustment to date is not the bugs. Not the weather. Not meeting lovely people with customs unlike ours. Not being the only blond for miles. 

It's actually wasting so many adrenaline-filled hours in the car during which we can't process information or observations. W can't drive, focus, and talk at the same time. He's had 4 varied traffic "encounters" already. Luckily, they've been minor.

Any time we're underway, my mind becomes a whirling blank. The colors, movements, and new triggers feel overwhelming without my ability to talk about them. When we ride the angkots, it would be rude to speak lots of English so we listen to unintelligible conversations around us. When we walk, it's single file along the road; the person following can't hear a reply from the front. By the time we get home, we have chores, writing, or other work.

You can imagine why hiring a part-time driver tops my to-do list! Please pray that we find the right person.

En route to Jakarta, I fall asleep immediately - it feels like strapping into the airplane seat before takeoff. The first time I wake, we're still in Bandung. The next time, an hour later, we're on the highway. As much as my eyes allow, I read while W weaves crazily through traffic. If I'd done half that when driving in Seattle, we may have had to institutionalize him. haha All power to the driver. All gratitude to God, who in mercy gets us there safely.

Dave and Paula have graciously let us use the guest room at the apartment. We catch up a bit but my head's pounding, my brain is in a complete fog, and the rattle in my chest doesn't clear with coughing. I'm off to bed as soon as they head to Sebastian's Coffee across the street. I fall asleep until morning, assisted by Alka Selzer nighttime meds.

Argh. Feels like I've missed a million moments this week. But I don't care much. zzzzzzz.

Read more:
*I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

*You shall rejoice in the Lord; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory. Isaiah 41:16 ESV

*Mary sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. Luke 10:39 ESV

*Paul wrote: Rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me, and for you it is a safeguard. Philippians 3:1 ESV

*You greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8–9 NASB

Moravian Prayer: Loving Creator, we give thanks for your unconditional love and salvation. Though we may continually fail, you are our Guide and Rescue. Forgive us and transform us, that we may recognize you every day of our lives in this world.
O God, let your children in your church rejoice in you always. Let us be grateful for the many provisions you give us, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. Make us a strong community, supporting one another in love. May we proclaim your good news around the world: news of freedom, righteousness, mercy, and love for all. Let our joyful shouts be heard throughout the earth. In the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.