Published: March 6th 2012February 29th 2012 Mel
And newborn babies
I forgot to mention, the name of the place we are in, so you can see photos of it on TravelBlog or someplace.It is Danau Maninjau. I will email again tomorrow or the day after. :) I had an amazing curry, at our livingroom this morning. The guesthouse guys mama really is a good cook. So, what are we doing with ourselves? : There really is not much to do here except drink hot sweet ginger coffee by the lake, and yawn and stretch with the cafe and guesthouse cats. When we first arrived, I liked the relaxing layed back feel of the place, but wondered what I would do to keep Lydia amused. Efforts to keep her amused generally negate anything that is relaxing about a place for me. But, there wasn't a need to worry, because this so far is the place she is having the most fun so far. She invents endless activities for herself from morning to night, and then stays up late, because she doesn't want to stop. That gives me a peaceful morning coffee, as Lydia makes up for her late night.
Lydia collects fish that died in the little fish farms
around, with a net, and feeds them to the delighted cats who hover on the lake shore hoping for tid bits from the fishermen. When the guesthouse guy goes out on his wooden homemade canoe, she goes with him, and has become pretty good at canoeing. She watches the dinner being caught in the lake by the guesthouse mamas other son, and puts it in the trough beside the toilet.
The real purpose of the trough is to flush the toilet. You scoop water from it, and pour into the toilet after used. The cafe trough generally has a number of fish, and sometimes a turtle in it. The fish are for the curries and BBQs of the cafe. Turtle isn't on the menu, but you could probably order it especially, if you see one in the toilet trough.
Lydia also stays up late running around the guesthouse with the guesthouse family kids, and watching movies with the guesthouse grown ups.
The guesthouse guy wanted to take us off on a tour today, but I refused to budge from my collection of favourite lakeside sitting spots. It is very
Page of the Lonely Planet book
nice to relax for several days, after rushing down here from Bangkok.
There is a pregnant cat at the guesthouse, whose big tummy moves with the activities of the kittens that will hopefully be born before we leave. Lydia waits eagerly everyday, to wish them a happy birthday. A stunned and exhaused French guy arrived yesterday from the bus and boat journey, from Malaysia. He was shocked by just how uncomfortable and scary that bus journey is. I told him, at least his bus journey was 12 hours. When the busses break down, which they do, that journey can take up to 40 hours, with most of it spent sitting by the roadside being terrorised by jungle critters and bitten alive by mosquitoes and ants. I had better leave a couple of days margin of error for our journey back to Malaysia, just in case.
One thing that really irritates me here, is that petrol costs not much less than it does in Europe. I know the oil companies bought up an unreasonable and unfair amount of rights to places that have oil, but does this mean they can't offer any concessions at
Cats in the cafe
all to people here, in return for trashing large explanses of jungle and putting that ugly paraphenalia of theirs here for so long. Surely, an oil producing country should provide oil at bargain price for its citizens??
Despite being surrounded by jungle vegetation and close to the equator, the temperatures here are 20 to 30 degrees C. The bonus is it reduces the number of scary creatures one typically encounters in jungle areas. A red and black stipey spider has however move into the toilet of our favourite cafe, making us walk the 200 Meters to the guesthouse whenever we need to use the toilet. The spider is not big by SE Asian standards, but the colour makes it look less than innocent.
I gave up on unsweatened coffee with a little milk. Needing a splash of fresh milk in ones coffee, is a bit like needing to use toilet paper here. Both are inconvenient and overpriced, when you can get them at all. Hot sweet ginger coffee is what I drink here, but will not make it at home, because all that sugar has to make a difference to how many visits one needs to pay to the dentist, and I don't want to go more often than the on average once every 10 years that I need to visit one. Fresh slivers of ginger, coffee and sugar taste surprisingly good together. Drinking it in Sumatra likely adds to its exotic deliciousness. Like some other such simple things, they just do not taste the same when reproduced in Germany. I tried a number of times to make my tea taste like the tea in Iran did, but gave up and decided that it is Iran that flavours the tea rather than any brewing method or tea brand.