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Mom is Here!

7 05 2008

And we are so happy that she is! She has jumped right into backpacking with both feet–her introduction to Indonesian bathrooms included squat toilets and scoop showers which she used without batting an eye. I guess it is kind of like camping indoors, and she is certainly an experienced camper.
Mom’s first Indonesian food was a durian dough nut. Until Mom arrived, both Steve and I have been afraid to try durian or anything durian flavored because the smell is quite repulsive (literally–it pushes me away). Asians love it, and foreigners say you can acquire a taste for it, but the dough nut was enough for us all.
Unfortunately, we all became wiser backpackers in Jogjakarta. After awhile we felt that everyone was trying to scam us, and we didn’t really trust anyone. As a traveler, you would like to be able to have nice conversations with people that talk to you on the street, but each and every time the conversation ended with “a special government Batik exhibit that is only going on today and will be closing in an hour,” which is a big lie because there are no government galleries and everyone will try to sell you handmade or machine Batik at an outrageously marked up price (FYI: Batik is hand dyed fabric that originates in Java and is sold all over Jogjakarta). We were even scammed into visiting a fake Kraton (where the sultan lives)! OK, it wasn’t a fake one, but it was only part of the Kraton. There was a big wall blocking the rest of the building for renovations, so you couldn’t see the real thing, but no one, not even the carriage driver that brought you there, told you that the interesting stuff was around the corner. Instead, they happily took your money and tried to convince you that you should also pay for a guide. OK, it was only $0.30, but it is the principle!
Enough griping. We do have to give credit to the elaborate schemes we encountered and be happy that we were able to recognize them before getting sucked in and for the education that we received. Borobudur, the Buddhist temple nearby and the reason for visiting Jogjakarta was really impressive.
After that we headed to Bali where the atmosphere changed and we were much more relaxed. Even in Kuta, the tourist center, we did not feel hassled and instead could enjoy the beautiful green gardens and a short walk on the beach.
From there we headed to the Gili Islands for gorgeous beaches, crystal clear water that is every shade of blue looking at it from the beach, quiet cabins with hammocks 2 minutes from the beach, no cars (only horses and buggies), wonderful fresh BBQ fish, cute restaurants with ocean views and breezes and pillows to sleep on when your food coma kicked in, lots of naps, reading time and canasta of course! and really friendly people. We went snorkeling everyday, twice right from the beach near our place where it was like watching the discovery channel or swimming in a giant aquarium. Wonderful!
Now we are in Thailand with more adventures to come!


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4 responses to “Mom is Here!”

7 05 2008
Erin (10:11:54) :

Hey, I want in on the Canasta game :-) Sounds like you are having a blast and that the scenery is simply beautiful! My computer’s background is currently your picture of the turtle you posted a few weeks ago. Enjoy the rest of the trip!
Miss and love ya,
Erin

7 05 2008
Nicole and Dan (14:14:49) :

Sounds absolutely WONDERFUL!!! Enjoy that, because I can tell you there is no sparkly discovery channel water around here! Just the white frozen kind….well actually that is all finally gone, and spring has sprung! See you two soon!

8 05 2008
MeggiePie (04:14:13) :

Hey guys! Thanks for keeping track of us :) Wish you could be here enjoying sparkly water, turtles and Canasta with us!

8 05 2008
Naomi (09:43:46) :

I’m so jealous …..
Glad you’re having an amazing time. Love to Mrs T!!!
N.xxx.

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