Indonesia - Jakarta
Time for a change in country, yet again. I was flying to Jakarta but had been unable to find any accomodation as it was the local holidays! Last minute change of plan, whilst sat in KL airport, I read about a homestay programme where you live with locals and they show you how they live etc. So having arranged it all with the guy I was met in a place called Bogor by one of his students. He has young lads who work for and with him who are English teachers, but they show people like me around in order to practice their English, in return I get to meet and live like a local person would!
This has got to be one of the best things I did, I lived with a family who fed and gave me a bed. During the day one of the English teachers would take me to various places of interest, botanic gardens, waterfalls etc. On one trip to the waterfall I managed to fulfill another of my many famous Abi-isms, and fell over some rocks near the waterfall….my little finger was on one side of a rock, away from the others, so when I landed with my whole weight (full of lamb curry and muffin chocolate breakfasts) I managed to do some serious damage and it soon turned a lovely shade of purple/black and was the size of a golf ball, I couldn’t move it, so my new little Indonesian friend, who was most worried about it, took me to a family he knew. They couldn’t speak a word of English, so he was our interpreteur the whole time. The lady of the house was massaging it and almost bringing me to tears with the pain of it, at the same time telling me how beautiful my white skin is and I should stop trying to tan it! SE.Asian people love white skin, it’s a sign of wealth and they will do anything to cover up, wearing jackets,gloves, hats etc on the hottest day in history!
Another day we were taken to a school and spent the afternoon with all the pupils teaching them English. They had to ask us questions and vice versa, then we got them singing head, shoulders, knees and toes!haha they loved it -‘bless em’
One day it was arranged for me to meet some more English teachers, I had been told another ‘Westerner’ was coming to join us, and ‘lo and behold’who should come strolling in, only Joia - the Doctor from KK, Mabul etc - she had also been witness to my ‘toe’ incident, and now here she was again perfect timing! We had no idea the other was doing this either it was so coincidential! That night played football with one of our English guide teacher people and his two teams, was a laugh but think ‘chickens’ and ‘headless’ and you’re kinda getting the gist!
Next day, we had been invited to a party, the invitee’s son’s ‘circumsicion’ party?! Yea, I know! We got there and were introduced to the whole family, and the neighbours and their kids and the goat…only kidding, but everyone basically, who not one could speak English so was quite interesting trying to hand signal a conversation for 2 hours! We had to have our picture taken on the special chair with the family and the boy in question, the ‘circumsicionee’ ate lots of lovely food, then it was time to go!
That afternoon Joia and my good self decided to treat ourselves to a massage. The lady turned up and I guessed she was maybe 190, not a day younger! She walked into my room and greeted me with a loud ‘belch’ (nice), then gave me the most painful massage I have ever been put through, using a stone and her rough skinned hands, which throughout the whole 1 hour continued to burp, this was as far as the conversation went as she also couldn’t speak English and I as of yet can’t speak Javanese so was an interesting hour I tell ya. Then, as it must have been nearing 6pm -and there is a call to prayer around this time, plus the other 5 times throughout the day, starting at 5am up until 10pm (no, this is not an exaggeration), she proceeded to stand in the front room of said family’s home, with her prayer matt, and was there maybe half an hour practicing her many prayer positions whilst we all made ourselves scarce in the really awkward way you do when you don’t know what to do or where to look! Haha
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