Sunday, June 28, 2009

I always wonder how suggestive my mind is. Upon arriving in Indonesia, I was told by Ricka that many travelers suffer from diarrhea. I never thought about this before, until I ended up in the restroom the past day. The angst I felt was minor, but I was already thinking of the implications:

Could this be the symptom of a greater problem?

What did I eat?

Will I end up at the doctors office again?

Indeed the implications are much scarier than the moment by moment reality. My vacation is not ruined. I even went on a city wide tour of Jogjakarta with a paid driver that loaded and unloaded my wheelchair everywhere I went. His name is Marmin. He does not speak any Engliush, but traveling with him he found many folk that were able to show me the sites, and explain to me Javanese culture, historical and religious significance of each place we traveled.

The first plaec we stopped I saw myself enveloped in trees, as we had climbed to great heights to find the viewing point of Mt. Merapi. Mt. Merapi is an active volcano, and draws many visitors. I bought one Tshirt, and one dvd. I enjoyed the view. Still, I watched several people climbing to a better viewing place while I saw enormous cloud cover, and no mountain.

The whole day I was focused on relaxing, seeing the sites, and waving off aggressive vendors. Upon purchasing a hat (USD 5) the lady looked into my money pouch as I opened it, and very confidently pointed to a set of bills, and said “It's the blue one!” I really appreciate her helpfulness in getting my money.

This was all done while my girlfriend stranded me to be in a remote village, and attend to family things. She then told me how concerned she was I was here in Jogja where there are so few English speakers. My experience having no problems getting what I need has done nothing to stop her worrying. Also, Jogjakarta is a small college town, and has a greater number of English speakers. This place is wonderful, and I also am pleased at its cooler weather, and the ready accessibility of malls, cafes , and restaurants.

In my trip today I saw batik fabric factory, Indonesian silver workers, the palace of an Indonesian sultan, and a building from 1758 where another sultzn had built with a huge pool to where he could watch, bathe, and house his many wives and concubines. Dining was delightful. I ate in one rumah makan (restaurant) where all my food was arranged on small plates at my table, and I selected and ate what I wanted.

In my time here, I still refuse to eat fish eyeballs and brains. I ate a chicken's brain, and thought it seemed gross. Chicken's hearts feel icky when I chew them, and I do not always enjoy my food as much when someone explains its origin. This is my report for now.

Thank you for reading.

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