Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Right Outside Your Door

As today is a national holiday in Indonesia, I plan on spending my day doing absolutely nothing. This desire was reinforced by enjoying myself a little too much last night and waking up in a somewhat rough condition. This state had me longing for some Panadol Merah (a cheap local aspirin that costs 80 cents for a pack of 10). Luckily, there is a warung (general store?) less than 50 meters from my door that sells pretty much everything imaginable. I peeled myself off the couch, grabbed my keys & wallet, put on my sandals and set off on my short journey.

When I arrived, there was a young boy (maybe 8 years old) buying cigarettes. In Indonesia, you can buy packs or single cigarettes. This young boy was buying 3 cigarettes while his 2 friends waited outside. I smiled and wondered if they had sent him in because he looked the oldest. The store owner was even gracious enough to throw in a pack of matches for free. The boy tucked the cigarettes away in his pocket, joined his friends and left. I purchased my panadol and also left.

I set out for the journey back home and had to deal with a truck parked on the side of the road. I had to carefully walk around it and watch for oncoming motorbikes and cars. As I was walking beside the truck, a horrendous aroma entered my nostrils. I looked inside the back of the truck and realized that it was FILLED with cow guts and skins. A couple of oncoming motorbikes forced me to pause at the side of the truck. The bikes passed by and I walked away briskly, narrowly avoiding vomiting on the side of the road.

By now you are probably wondering why there was a truck full of cow guts parked outside. Simple explanation: today is Idul Adha (read more here: ) which is the day where people kill goats and cows. Hence the day off work.

I got back inside my house, took a couple of panadol aspirins and resumed doing nothing. I reflected for a moment about all of the oddness I had just experienced right outside my own door. This is why it is impossible to get used to this place.

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