Today was a day with a lot of walking. Down to the corner to look at the expanded store there, a few streets away to look in a toy store, down a couple of other streets to a bus stop, around the kraton, then around the mall. There was a lot of interesting things to see, but not necessarily much to write about.
We had to buy toilet paper at the corner store. No one uses toilet paper here. Most toilets have a little hand held hose at the side and after you’re done you’re meant to wash yourself off with that. Which, okay, I can understand that as a concept, but not drying yourself off? Who wants to walk around with wet undies for the rest of the day? I think this is one area in which I will never be an Indonesian.
The kids here are adorable. They are also kind of spoiled in some ways! Alyssa says she has really never heard an Indonesian mum say no and seriously deny their child something. They also don’t feed themselves until they are quite old – in this house Dega is two and the nanny followed him around the living area with his dinner and a spoon, shoving in mouthfuls whenever he stood still long enough. Two is still pretty little, but I have also seen older kids of six or seven being spoon fed in Maccas and out on the street.
Today while we were at the mall I was approached by two separate groups of high school students who had to do an assignment for English class that included finding a foreigner and asking them questions. The same kind of thing happened at Tanah Lot. Apparently it’s a common assignment here, as I suppose the white tourists are pretty easy to spot.
The bus ride we went on today cost the equivalent of 35 cents, and this was on the fancy trans-Yogya bus, not the regular old city bus. Getting around here is really pretty cheap.
This house has five hundred bathrooms or something (seriously, I can’t remember, they are everywhere) but none of them have any sinks. They’re all a fully tiled wet room, so you just spit in the direction of the drain and then throw some water down to wash it away. I like the idea of a fully tiled bathroom where it doesn’t matter what gets wet, but I miss having a sink to just wash my hands in or clean my teeth without my feet getting wet.
There is always food on the kitchen table here. This morning when we went down to breakfast there was tempe and this thing that I ate that was kind of like a vegetable frittata/pancake, some fried chicken, some soup, and a rice cooker full of rice. There were also lots of little Tupperware containers with seasoning stuff. I tried ‘beef floss’, which I guess is kind of like a super shredded jerky, and I didn’t like that, but there was also roasted coconut and that was pretty good. They had bread and Nutella too, so Emma was happy.
Today when we were walking to the toy shop we passed over a river bridge, and when we looked down there was a naked man taking a shower in the drain water pouring down into the river.
The ladies here dress very stylishly. Hijabs are apparently a real fashion statement- there are countless colours and fabrics available, and books and websites on how to style them.
Actually, there is a lot of choice about everything when you’re shopping. The store shelves are always completely packed, and there are always multiple brands and colours available for everything.
We saw more kittens today, playing underneath tables and racks full of magazines and books. I don’t think people really desex their animals very much here, because with most of the animals you see it is pretty obvious that they are still intact if they are a male, or have been a mother if they are a female. The cats are bigger here in Java than they are in Bali, but they’re still pretty thin.
There are so many shop assistants here! The toyshop we went to had four women in there working and we were the only customers. Pretty much every shop has excess staff tidying up, or just standing by the door and saying hi when you walk in.
The streets are really dirty here, but on the inside the buildings are usually really clean. Most of the floors are tiled, and people are sweeping and mopping them constantly. At the mall there was even a man squeegeeing the sides of the escalator to clean them.
The bananas are really small here, but really good.