|Rice paddies upriver|
|A bridge over troubled waters|
PVC pipes are strung along the walls of neighborhoods, and I guess they bring the water directly in. Other open-ended pipes poke through retaining walls, draining water from home sinks and showers right back into the streams.
Sometimes the water smells musty; sometimes it smells of other things. A while back, a friend of ours got amoebic dysentery when he brushed his teeth in the shower. Yeah, that was a bad idea. Even locals buy drinking water.
Most weekends (Friday through Sunday, and sometimes during the week,) there's not enough water pressure to have a shower. At least five new highrises were built on the hill in the past two years, and as many new restaurants. But our infrastructure is the same.
|We often walk along the river|
Every traditional bathroom has a pail of water beside the toilet. A plastic dipper is used to scoop up water for sanitation after using the toilet. Most people don't use toilet paper. (That's also why you never use your left hand to pass things to others or bring food to your mouth.)
We have a few dippers lying around, relics from the people who used to live here. Our helper fills one to rinse the shower once a week. After a few years of rinsing, I figure the dipper is pretty clean. Today, I use it to splash water on myself in the shower. Do I feel cleaner? Maybe.
|Irrigation, drainage, you name it ...|
And then they try to shower. "There was no hot water today because the pressure was low. I feel kind of stinky without a shower," or better still, "We have no water at all." Yeah. We know.
The basics are sometimes a challenge. For example, we bought a dozen dining chairs from a local commercial shop with an excellent reputation. W and I both liked the look of them. They were narrow enough to seat 12 around our table, and that they were half price at Informa's annual clearance sale.
After a few months, the piping began peeling from the seat and the back. The manufacturer apparently used material that disintegrates in the heat and humidity. No returns permitted, of course.
"Oh well," we have to shrug. Such surprises are par for the course. I sewed slipcovers last month to prevent further damage. The canvas covers are made from a huge painter's dropcloth (bought ages ago at a USA hardware story).
Truth be told, Indonesia has been good for us. It's reminded us that life is not about appearances. It's about reality. About people, living with us side by side, life on life, day by day.
Being here is wonderful. And crazy. And interesting. If you're particular or a perfectionist, you would soon be in a madhouse. But if you don't mind an unexpected event or two every day and something new every morning (in addition to the blessings of God), this is a wonderful place to be.
|Regional delights: a wild banana tree in bloom|
yes yes yes. Our experienced expat friends warned us when we moved here: "Don't compare this to that. Just live in the day or it will kill you." Their counsel has been spot-on. Time after time.
Yet when you know you're supposed to be here, you love it. Ask anyone who's been in our shoes.
*Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits. Psalm 103:2
I will praise God’s word, I will praise the Lord’s word. Psalm 46:10 NKJV
Jesus says, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63
Moravian Prayer: Lord, you are great and you created all things. May we always remember your goodness and keep your spirit in our hearts. Amen.