18 September 2012

Naths musings

Hi to whoever is reading this. Nomes has been asking me to write something for a while now so here it is. It's only been a couple of months but due to the volume of  change we have experienced, it feels like we've been here for longer.

So there's a lot to like about this city and a lot to dislike, which sounds awfully like the place I was born and bred in. But I've enjoyed the challenge of getting my head around the idea of a new normal. Part of our new normal is that we take it in turns walking Missy at 5am each morning. The mornings here are beautiful as they're balmy and fresh. It's surprisingly easy to get out of bed that early when the temperature is 22 degrees when we wake. The world wakes up early here due to heavy traffic. Many of our students will be in a car at 6-6:15 to arrive by 7 o'clock when we start.

The lack of bread is another new norm. You can access bread but it's sweet bread & not worth the kilojoules. This has been good for the waistline. The food is generally tasty, spicy and good. The 'exit door' has taken a battering since arriving thanks to the copious volume of sambal (chilli sauce) consumed during day to day eating. 

The wildlife consists of three groups of animals - cats, rats and bats (plus frogs and lizards but they don't rhyme). People are generally indifferent to animals over here. Their religious beliefs place no value on animals which generally results in a lack of care and neglect.

Here's Jakarta rats and sweet bread in one!

Another new norm is inefficiency. It's worth noting that this inefficiency isn't from a lack of "know-how"; instead inefficiency equals more work, and more work, equals more jobs. And when you've got a quarter of a billion people needing work, that results with the need to create employment where ever possible. This inefficiency results in things taking extra time. But the silver lining inside this dark cloud is that people are patient; people are long-suffering; and people are incredibly polite and kind. This is a welcome change from our western mindset.

The new careers are going well. School has been incredibly busy but equally rewarding. I've been lucky enough to go on a few feild trips. We visited some rural villages that had some amazing ancient temples mostly hidden under banana trees, in rice fields. These temples are dated to between 200 and 300AD, and because of there remote location, there's not a tourist to be seen. These sorts of experiences add such a richness to our new career change.

They have dug up only 4 of the 40 odd temples
hiding under these banana outcrops.
Government won't spend the money!

So far the things I'm missing are: bacon, a morning coffee & talk back radio. Alternatively, things that I'm not missing are: cold windy weather, Julia Gillard & Collingwood supporters..... but we'll take their old coach! hehe

That's enough of my musings .... enjoy some random photos from my phone!

 An Indonesian lunch can include eels, intestines and
any other part of the animal that we tend to turn into fritz!

Batavia - Dutch part of the city.
The 'Mad-Mouse' has nothing on this

Bike ride anyone?!

We have Humphry, they have this bloke

Cheers, Nath

1 comment:

  1. Hey nath, thanks for update. No mention of papa Combes or Robble?!? Surely a feature! Sounds like fairly reasonable culture shock. How's faith going over there? Zoe and Hannah pray for you every night. Speak soon, hammer