Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We are, if nothing else, creatures of habit. When we are in Florida, the morning ritual includes reading the accumulated e-mail, Facebook and the morning papers on line. We do the same things in Jakarta, but have to stop to remind ourselves that our 7 a.m. is the east coast’s last night. Thus, it’s yesterday’s Sun we read, not today’s. It can be a tad disconcerting. When we are home, it is not as confusing knowing that Jakarta is ahead of us; we just have to coordinate our on-line conversations, not worry about current events. And if it’s still Monday night in the US, can they be called current events?

We were up early again. It may still be jet-lag but we are going to bed early, so the elapsed time isn’t so much different than if we were home. We joined Carter and Briton for the pre-school routines and ate breakfast with Caiden later before he, too, twaddled off to school [His school calls the diaper set “twaddlers”, perfect description]. We are going to do a little more crafting this morning before going to the National Museum and stopping at the Hard Rock for a shooter glass for Uncle Tim to add to his collection from around the world.

The craft “market’ today was actually in an artisan’s house. Items for sale included jewelry and clothing, but neither Briton nor MA found anything to buy although Briton is planning ahead for Christmas. We drove from there to the National Museum, a trip which took almost an hour. Briton paid the admission fee for the museum, a whopping 750 rupiah each; that’s 7-1/2 cents in USD.

We were offered an English language tour with a docent and decided to accept the opportunity to tour with someone knowledgeable. Although we won’t remember any of the details, it was an enjoyable hour. The downside was that there were varying degrees of air conditioning/circulation, but we managed without complaint. Our real disappointment was in the behavior of the school children who were there, too. Their teachers and chaperones made no attempt to curb their raucous behavior; they seemed unaware that their students, especially the boys, were running, sliding on the floor and yelling. We were glad for brief respites from their presence.

Pictures were not allowed in the museum and D did not want to flout the rules with the docent present, but when we were on our own, he did manage to take a few photos by “shooting from the hip,” literally.

We had arrived at 10:20 and by 12:10 were hungry, so Briton had Kusnadi drive us to a shopping center in central Jakarta. Like so many shopping meccas in SE Asia, this one was filled with high-stores from all over the world as well as Starbucks and a variety of restaurants. We wandered for a bit after Kusnadi dropped us off, looking for a dim sum restaurant which Briton remembered as being there. The staff at the information counter said it had closed, so we went looking for a Thai restaurant and walked right by the dim sum place! It was very much still in business, so busy, in fact, we had to wait 5 minutes for a table. We looked at the menu which included photographs of the food, a real plus when you don’t speak the language, but let Briton order for the table. We had a mixture of dumplings and a spring roll platter to share and couldn’t finish it all.

After lunch we found our way to the Hard Rock store for the aforementioned shooter glass. We went to Starbucks and got drinks, then Briton called Kusnadi for the trip home. Carter was home from school already and Caiden woke up soon after we arrived.

Today’s excitement was a fire in the neighboring compound. Around 4 this afternoon smoke started to billow from behind Jon & Briton’s community. All of the household help from the neighborhood stood outside and watched as did several of the adults and children who live here. Kusnadi went to the front gate to get the guards to call the fire department, which they did. We saw no flames, just smoke, before the firemen arrived and quelled whatever fire there was.

Briton had plans to have dinner with “the girls” tonight, so Ati stayed to put the boys to bed. MA and D skipped dinner because we were not hungry after a big lunch that didn’t end until almost 2 o’clock. Ati left after Caiden went to sleep and we read until bedtime which is still earlier than in Florida, but so is sunrise here, so it sort of balances out. And Jon returned from his business trip to North Carolina [and his pleasure trip to DC], tired and glad to be home.

Tomorrow Briton is going to the gym and then a meeting for work. Carter has school and we will play with or around Caiden. Luckily for us, Ati will be here to rescue us. Carter has soccer in the afternoon, so we do too.

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