Saved: September 7th 2012March 6th 2012
Met up with Nick Turner at the KFC here in Kupang which is the only American fast food restaurant for hundreds of miles and the only one on the island of Timor. Since we were there decided to grab something to eat which was not very satisfying compared to all the delicious Indonesian you food you can get for a third of the price. We headed out on Nick's bike to find the museum of East Nusa Tengarra using some great open street maps Nick had downloaded to his Garmin GPS.
We arrived at the museum and asked some of the guards if it was open and were led to another building by one of the security staff. The museum was not in the best of care with damage to the roof and rusted metal on the exterior. The exhibits were poorly lit and quite hot inside but never the less interesting. We were first led into a room to view various palm weavings including hats, bowls, and containers of various shapes and sizes. East region of Nusa Tengarra and each island has its own unique handicrafts. After the weaving we entered another room showing some examples of the very exquisite traditional cloth call Ikat. Every village and area has its own unique design which is made from all natural hand spun thread make with natural dies. The technique is very intricate and time consuming, which is why people from all over the world highly seek out the different weavings to collect some online having prices I have seen for over $1000US. The weaving from the village of Boti where I plan to go was expecially nice.
After the Ikat exhibit we entered another room with sculptures from various islands in Nusa Tengarra. Since the Muslim influence never spread to this part of Indonesia many villages still hold traditional animist beliefs and have carving representing such as well as as statues of people which is forbidden in Islam. Islam does not allow the depiction of people in 2 or 3 dimensional representation. There was one photo of a massive stone megalith on Sumba Island that was particularly impressive.
We departed the museum giving the guard 5000 rupiah each for admission which most likely he kept for himself.
We headed out form the museum over to the couchsurfing host Nick was staying with Kimika. They are renting a really nice bright yellow and blue painted house in a small family oriented neighborhood by the sea just outside central Kupang for what I was told $500 for 6 months. Sitting on the portch out from the neighborhood kids came to check out what we were doing. I had bought a shirt here at the mall which depicted how to shoot a rubber bank from your finger and they attempted to duplicate it. We found a rubber bank and after Nick showed them they had a great time playing and shooting each other with it. Nick also showed them some dance moves and card trick to their delight especially the Michael Jackson moonwalk and other moves.
We then headed over to the Panti Lout bar which means "ocean beach" in Indoneisan and had a couple cold Bintang beers. I began playing pool with a local guy named Charles for 5000 rupiah a match. We went back and forth alternating wins and gradually raising the amount of the stakes. In the end Charles won and was pretty happy with himself which was probably a good score he could brag about to his friends.
Hungry we headed over to the night market to buy some fresh fish to have grilled, griled tempe, eggplant and some vegetable to bring back to share amoungst 4 people which was 65,000 rupiah or about $1.63 each. We also stopped for some fresh soursop juice for 15,000 rupiah for 2. Nick also picked up some Makaba (sp?) a folded pancake like thing filled with chocolate sauce.
At the house we sat out front and enjoyed the food and converstaion. A neighbor brough over some fresh caught and cooked fish as well. I was stuffed but tried a small piece and it was delicious. At about midnight i got a ride back to my place and crashed out and attempted to go on the incredibly slow internet.