Monday, October 19, 2009

All caught up and no place to go

Friday, October 16, 2009

The good news about today is that we had no plans. The bad news is that D is sick with fever, sweats, chills and explosive intestinal distress. After Carter left for school, Briton went back to bed and we played with Caiden [who doesn’t attend school on Wednesday or Friday] when he got up around 7:30. We were supposed to go to dinner with Jon and Briton but canceled early in the day, but they went out anyway since they had already arranged for Mariati to stay late. D spent most of the day in bed and skipped dinner completely. MA came to bed after Mariati got the boys settled.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Today held the promise of more activity, but D continued to ail. We were up early, again, to finish packing for our trip to Yog Yakarta or Jog Jakarta or Yogyakarta [pronounced with a long “o” so it rhymes with rogue]. Yogya, as it is abbreviated on signs, is in south-central Java. We flew on Indonesia’s pre-eminent airline, Garuda. Two years ago when we flew to Bali, Jon had to race across the tarmac to claim seats for us. This time, we had reserved seats but we had to move anyway because we had been assigned an exit row, a no-no for small children. Caiden could probably have handled to 42 lb. emergency door, but we didn’t argue. The flight was only an hour.

The Phoenix hotel sent a van for us and we moved swiftly from the airport to downtown Jogja. Interestingly, we paid a departure tax in Jakarta before boarding and will do the same when we return Monday. Call it a service fee, it’s still just a way to get more money for the government. In the States, we blame the TSA.

The hotel was well-appointed with native-inspired or perhaps even authentic art work done in the style of 13th Century Indonesia. More on that shortly. There was a large dining room, half under cover and half semi-exposed; a wonderful fish display where giant koi swam under Plexiglas panels that formed a walkway; native musicians playing the ancient gongs; and a top-notch staff. We decided to eat in the hotel, but D let the table before ordering and went to the room where MA found him asleep an hour later.

While Jon and Briton took the boys swimming after nap time, we both slept. There were plans to meet a friend of Jon’s for dinner and for her to return with us so she could babysit the boys while we experienced one of the cultural highlights of the area. Jon’s friend Karen picked an Indian restaurant which our 2 cabbies had trouble finding. We were still there ahead of her, but that started a cascade of continuing time difficulties. The food was, by all accounts, good, but D was able to eat only a little naan and a banana smoothie. MA said he vegetable korma was quite good and Jon, Briton and Karen were pleased with their selections. Naturally, we were late leaving the restaurant and did not get to the hotel until 7:20, well past our appointed pickup time; the shuttle has left without us, so we were forced to get our own taxi.

Now, a little about the Jogja area and its cultural importance: Jogja is the home to the Borodurbur Temple, apparently the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Who were we to argue? The temple dates to the Eighth or Ninth Century, making it about the same age as the temples we saw in Cambodia last year. The show we were to see was a stylized dance depicting the story of the Ramayana, central to Buddhist beliefs. Boy meets world; boy falls in love with world, defeats evil god to save world. The end. The production is staged in front of the Temple itself which is lit just enough to be impressive.

Borobudur was built in layers in concentric squares; at one point the squares become a trio of circles each of which contains 72[?] stupas and a giant stupa in the center. A stupa is a bell-shaped structure also seen in Thai and Cambodian architecture. Each of the stupas houses Buddhas.

Well, we were late for the show, of course, but only by a few minutes. D was very uncomfortable and left at one point to explore facilities; it was necessary but godawful. We left at the intermission: In addition to D’s distress, Jon was uncomfortable on the bench where we sat and it had started to rain. Back we went and to bed early.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

D spent the day in bed. There is no way to sugarcoat that, so anything said from here on is speculation. MA and the rest did indeed go to Borobudur this morning. The temple is apparently completely outdoors, meaning the path is from one level to the next until has reached the summit or turned back. Unlike Angkor Wat, with it’s libraries and swimming pools, there are no accessible interior corridors. MA spent most of the time waiting for the younger generations to see what they could. At one point, she answered a survey for some students and was given a wooden model of Borobudur as a thank you. It will look perfect on our table of boxes and wooden things.

They came home; they had lunch; they napped. D never left the bed except out of necessity. They went with Karen to a hamburger restaurant for dinner. D stayed in bed. Jon bought bananas and GatorAde to help fight dehydration, so D had 2 bananas more from fear of the family than of medical consequences. Of course with all of this time in bed, we didn’t sleep well. Every time D stirred, MA was all over him about where he was going and why. Jeez! It wasn’t that large a room; there was no place to hide. Somewhere in there, Jon and company went shopping and bought us a batik showing masks; we will have it framed and will add it to our mask wall at home. Before he gave it to us, though, he said it was a batik picturing the toilets of Indonesia.

Monday, October 19, 2009

So here we are, ready to return to Jakarta from Yogyakarta after sort of seeing the cultural dance and the Borobudur Temple. We are all exhausted but still have a full day ahead of us. MA and D were up at 5:45 [did we ever really go to sleep?] and went down to breakfast which is included in the room. D had a roll with butter, apple juice and part of an omelet before he returned to his little hideaway. MA returned later and we waited until 9:45 to meet our shuttle to the airport. Briton arranged a visit to their family doctor for D this afternoon and D gave in sort of gracefully. The journey itself was unremarkable and the flight smooth; we landed just an hour after takeoff. Once we collected the luggage, Kusnadi was there to lead the way to the car. We dropped Jon off at work and drove home.

Around 2:30 we left for the doctor’s office. Dr. Isabel works for/with Global Doctor about 10 minutes from the house. D filled in paperwork and then was whisked in to meet the doctor. Dr. Isabel is an attractive woman in her thirties who speaks impeccable English and has a sense of humor. She asked questions, she poked and prodded, she listened to body noises [110/70, no rumblings]. THEN she asked for a stool sample. He was given a little jar and a rubber glove so he asked if this came with an instructional video. He was serious but she just laughed about it. Well, D had performance anxiety and could not produce a sample. Upon hearing this, the doctor turned to her nurse and said, “I told you not to make noises in the hall. You scared him.”

The three of us – D, MA and The Jar – returned home and goofed off with the kids until supper time. They were bed just after 7 and MA made it until almost 7:30. Our only plan for tomorrow is to deliver a sample to Dr. Isabel even if we have to highjack one of Caiden’s diapers. Briton, Ati and the boys are going to the beach Wednesday and we have to decide if we will go with the, with Jon on Friday or not at all. Transportation decisions need to be made tomorrow.

And so to bed.

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