After a few weeks of trouble with technology, I'm back online and have lots to catch up on!!
We started our trip with a bang. Jakarta. Unreal traffic, being a pedestrian took some getting used to who knew crossing the street would be such an adventure! Wow.
The smells of fried food, the funk of a humid place with a lacking wastewater infrastructure mixed with the smells of air fresheners that seem to be everywhere. Jakarta is not to be understood by the passing traveller..that much is clear.
We met my sister's friend at the mega-glam malls that serve as the main public spaces in town--you coudn't find anything so glamorous in the states, and so many Starbucks! A local perspective on Jakarta and Indonesia was amazing--and led us to seek out Yogyacarta and Gili as our next stops. He also helped us figure out how to cross the street, how to spot a brief pause in traffic enough to hold out your hand and pray that people would slow down enough!
We sampled amazing cheap nasi goreng, fried rice, from the street food stop across from our hostel. We took ojeks, small three wheeled scooters with a rikety back seat (videos from Ben's phone to come) in the face of oncoming traffic. Yes, I'm learning how to let go of western ideas of traffic rules, lanes, and to assuage the fear that comes from flooring it into oncoming traffic..
I was inspired by a random museum we tucked into that featured the Warung, or puppets. We were in the old dutch center of town, being bombarded by wanna-be guides, and young muslim women eager to talk to me/convert me. We sought refuge in a building only to find a beautiful buffalo skin and wooden puppetry history museum. Stories are told through puppets here...hard and sacred histories, and challenging presents. We met a puppet maker who travelled to Africa to teach family planning and to the Middle East to tell the stories of Islam.