Monday, July 27, 2015

Tasting the city

The courtyard at Ethnic Resto: reflecting pool and all
The weekend's come and gone.

Saturday, July 25, 2015
We need a good internet connection to download information before we teach in the Philippines. So we order $3 breakfasts at Ethnic, a nearby restaurant with a quicker network than we have at home.

It's not a high-end place though it has a typical tropical setting. I bought big-leaf plants when we lived in Seattle to mimic tropical style. Here the plants, the dark wood trim, and the open rooms are the real deal.

Our order of Chinese soup - and
noodles ordered half sweet, half salty
We get news that a little boy baby has arrived. Mama and baby are doing well. Our Indonesian friends asked us to pray that God would give them a child after years of waiting. Within weeks, IbuY found out she was expecting. God answered prayers! We'll visit them early next week. So exciting!

W wrenches his knee on the hike. He's still favoring it in the morning but it heals up within a day.

Dr Hanna comes for tea before church and picks up the IKEA picture rails we brought her from Jakarta. By 9:15, we're sitting in the service. Several hashers (walk/run group) show up, too. We chat with many people when the meeting is dismissed.

Afterwards, Dr. H and her trainee introduce us to an old favorite: Rumah Makan Ahon, a Chinese-Indo cafĂ©. The place has been handed down from father to son but still serves great meals. The son ladles the soup into our bowls.

Friends and good food!
"You want it without intestines, right?" Dr H asks us. Yes, please. We get beef ribs. "Not too fatty," our friend notes approvingly.

The next treat lies across the street: Dr H takes us to a famous shop that makes smoked beef. We choose two rind pieces for soup broth and the clerk cuts another section into thin slices. (We don't bring pork into the house because our helper is strictly Muslim: this will have to sub for bacon flavor.)

Waldemar stays in town to find electronic cables, catching the angkot bus back. Dr. H shows me her art wall (where W hung paintings last week) and then she takes me back to our place.

Original artwork
We have to pick up plumbing supplies in the SE side of Bandung so we leave the house at 8am. While we're in the car, Matt calls us from our house and we direct him to the Bamboo Shack. Six of us discuss Mark 4 -- Jesus calming the storm with a simple, "Hush!"

Then we drop Sumathi and Amanda, a college freshman, at the seminary before driving up on of Bandung's many steep hills. We're hungry so before we run out errand, it's time for lunch.

We walk into Homestay and Makanan Bunda (Mother's Homestay and Food), in honor of the Bunda family who stayed with us last month. Our driver warns that the food will be full of chilies. That's fine with us: we like the heat. He has eaten while we were studying; he locks up the car and sits on the shaded side of the street to wait for us.

The food server places a handful of dishes onto the table, along with a lunch plate holding a scoop of white rice for each person. Fish. Chicken. Beef. Green beans with chili seeds. And more, all fried.

We'll pay for whatever we eat: the rest goes back into common serving bowls. Those shared dishes felt iffy when we first arrived in Indonesia. (Who has had those plates on the table or put their fork into the dish before we did?) Now we don't care. Just feed us. Thank you. Tastes good.

My phone is dead so I can't take pictures. The dishes start out hot from cooking. But by the time customers eat, the food is at room temperature. The bowls are stored unheated and unrefrigerated in the window; passersby can see what the cook has prepared. Flies buzz around and we shoo them away.

I choose 2 spicy chewy slices of Rendang (spicy-hot coconut beef). I also taste a meat-like something, soft and white in a yellow curry. Ummm, the curry tastes okay but I don't know what is in it. I pass it to W who finishes the curry-ish meat and a piece of tiny chicken. Turns out the mystery meat is not tofu but beef brain.

"Now you've added what the cow learned to everything else you know!" I exclaim, laughing. He winces and groans.

The style of dishes: an assortment from which to choose
This is our third attempt to find a resource center - and our first success. The small room is tucked off a narrow dead-end lane, up an uneven flight of tiled stairs, and down a hallway. We find a few paperbacks, including two on understanding and serving local women. Sold.

A few streets away, we stop to haggle over two single beds for the empty guest room. (A couple of guests can share the room or a husband and wife can push them together for a king-sized sleep.) The delivery guys arrive within minutes of our homecoming. They jump out to set up the beds.

"No thank you, I'll put them together," W says, handing the two young men a few dollars to buy coffee. He has been storing his tools on the guest room floor. He'll put those away before setting up the beds.

As soon as the gate shuts behind the delivery van, W rushes away to participate in the Monday hash. I'd planned to go but am exhausted from running around the city. I choose to stay home to study.

I also watch Indonesian TV. It's weird to attempt to follow a storyline when I understand one word out of 50 (or 100). I keep looking up words on Google Translate but I don't really know what's going on. The words are becoming more familiar though.

Read more:
*Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge. Psalm 17:7 ESV

*Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8 ESV

*The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds. Psalm 145:13 ESV

*This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. 1 John 3:16 NIV

*This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Dearest Lord, we seek your answers to our prayers always. We know that you answer us, sometimes in ways we do not expect. Lord, help us to be patient, to listen, and to understand that your will is above ours.

God, you gave your son for us so that our sins might be forgiven! May we honor you and work daily to increase your kingdom so others may experience your love and grace! Amen.

C.S. Lewis, on Forgiveness, in The Weight of Glory:
When it comes to a question of our forgiving other people, it is partly the same and partly different. It is the same because, here also, forgiving does not mean excusing. Many people seem to think it does. They think that if you ask them to forgive someone who has cheated or bullied them you are trying to make out that there was really no cheating or no bullying. But if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive.

They keep on replying, “But I tell you the man broke a most solemn promise.” Exactly: that is precisely what you have to forgive. (This doesn’t mean that you must necessarily believe his next promise. It does mean that you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart—every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out.) The difference between this situation and the one in which you are asking God’s forgiveness is this. In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment