Here's my second installment of my Weekly Roundup Series--short accounts of the daily adventures.
I left off last week having just arrived to meet Elana in Jakarta!
Monday, 03 Feb: We spent the evening and morning at a hotel in Jakarta and then headed back to the airport for our flight to Semarang. It was a short flight and soon we were in the humid, lush setting of Semarang. We actually ended up stopping at a (very western) mall for a few errands and for a little bit, I forgot I was in Indonesia! We had frozen yogurt and Starbucks! It was a nice transition from India though. We then rode to Salatiga and arrived at Elana's house around 8pm. I crashed soon after meeting and chatting with her super sweet roommate.
Tuesday, 04 Feb: I was able, for the first time since leaving Seattle, to sleep in! What a blessing! I woke up around 6am still (boo!), but didn't get out of bed until about 9:15, which was lovely. We lounged around a little bit and then we climbed on Elana's motorbike and were on our way to running errands. We had a great, relaxing lunch next to a rice patty and had some amazing chicken dish. We also were able to have some good conversations about various things that just don't translate well over text, email, or skype. We headed back home after a few more errands, and then I promptly took a nap! This humidity is zapping my energy! We left at 6pm for her Bible study with her local friends. It was a lovely time to get a snapshot of her life here.
Wednesday, 05 Feb: Tourist day! We left at 6am to head to Bodobudur (a Buddhist temple) and got accosted by school children asking for pictures of us. We declined and tried to enjoy the temple as much as possible. While we did have a nice time, it was also lovely to not be stared at all the time too once we got back in our car. We then headed for downtown Jogjakarta for the famous street market and a handy souvenir shop. It was getting quite humid and hot, so we headed back to the car and headed to lunch. The lunch spot was a hit! Fresh fruits and veggies and a drink from a coconut ... lovely! After that we went to the silver market and watched how silver is created and how the artists form it to make crazy intricate designs. Lots of labor went into each piece. We headed home after that and made a quinoa dish for dinner and finished the day by chatting with Maria.
Thursday, 06 Feb: Massage day! This was such a relaxing day - complete opposite of yesterday! I slept in, got some writing, communicating and reading done in the morning and then topped it off with a two hour massage. How much was this massage? Uh, 65,000 rupeas. Yeah, that's $5 USD. For a two hour massage!! And it was a good massage too! Elana actually said this was a more expensive place. There are ladies who will come to your house for 30,000 IDR. I gave my gal a generous tip of 20,000 rupeas, so total it came to $7 USD. After the massage, we headed to lunch where I had Gado Gado, a steamed cabbage wrap with tempeh and tofu with a spicy peanut sauce. Yum! I may have eaten the peanut sauce with a spoon. We relaxed on the couch for the afternoon then headed to dinner. Maria, Elana's roommate, joined us for dinner at a seafood restaurant where we had some sort of fish (I have no idea what kind), but it was quite good and a new experience for me -- I'd never eaten something with its head still attached before!
Friday, 07 Feb: We had another early start today, leaving at 6am to make our way to the Hindu temples of Gedong Songo. (Pictures at top of post.) Up in the mountains (although the mountains were fogged over) and completely secluded, the lands of these temples was so serene and peaceful, I almost didn't want to leave. We walked around, climbed stone stairs and pathways and since we had arrived so early, we virtually had the place to ourselves. We headed back to Salatiga (passing mountain villages and acre after acre of rice patties) and crashed. The exertion from the morning and the fact that I hadn't slept well the night before made for a relaxing afternoon. Elana had a meeting at her work, so I had the house to myself for a few hours. We had a relaxing evening in and then crashed much earlier than anticipated.
Saturday, 08 Feb: What a beautiful day in the countryside! We took motorbikes up to the mountains, down to the rice patties and through a rubber forest. While our butts got quite sore, and Elana had some nice sunburn lines on her arms from driving in the sun, we had a great time of fun and laughter. I also tasted ronde, which was an interesting soup that had candied jellies and peanuts in it. We finished the night with Elana teaching me a new game called Dominion... and I'm kind of addicted. It's a strategy game, but not too much of a thinking game.
Sunday, 09 Feb: I was woken up at 6:30am to an obnoxious music playing in the tennis court across the street from Elana's house. Wow. How annoying and it went on for an hour and a half! I didn't get any sleep after that and just ended up reading in bed for a while -- man, I love being able to relax in bed! It's one of my favorite things I think (minus the ridiculous soundtrack in the background). We then went to church and headed to lunch at Bu Rini, the place we went earlier in the week. I really want to get their baked chicken recipe; it's delicious. After that Maria, Elana and I played a rousing game of Dominion (see Saturday's entry). We then had a really relaxing afternoon and evening hanging around and laughing a lot.
One thing I've loved about this week is that we had super active days and super low key evenings, which is what I really enjoy... and truly makes me feel like I'm on vacation!
Until next week,