Thursday, March 13, 2008

A few good stories from Indo!

A few weeks ago I took my first trip by myself across the island of Java to meet up with my good friend Caleb, who currently lives in Bandung. I thought hopping a few taxis and an 8 hour train ride wouldn't be to difficult, but I was proved wrong. Everything went well until I arrived at the train station in Bandung to catch my train home. I arrived with 10 minutes to spare which according to my calculations left me with plenty of time. As I approached close to the tracks I realized there was only train and it was moving at a pretty descent speed. After clarifying with a man that worked at the station that the train was mine I panicked for a moment, then began to run. When I got close enough to the train I heaved my bags in, grabbed a hold of a rail and hurled myself in. I was pretty releaved, but then realized my cart was at the very back and I had jumped in the first cart... so I began to make the trip to the back to find my seat. After waking up a few passengers from wrestling my way through several carts with my bags I realized that the train was slowing and coming to a stop. That's right, I ran to catch a train that was stopping, not leaving. Needless to say I felt pretty stupid. I then hopped out and walked to the back of the train, found my seat and waited for the rest of the passengers to board (the ones that watched me run and jump in the train that was stopping). 20 minutes later my train left for home. Here in Indonesia I often try to blend in and try to make people think I know what is going on... but it is moments like this that do just the opposite!

A shot from our local train station.

"Mau membuat tenda?"
"Do you want to make a tent?" These are the words from this little dude peaking out under the sheet that have become a bit too familiar for me. This little guy's mom is our house helper. She does most of our cooking and cleaning of our clothes as well. She comes six days a week and each day she leaves to pick up her son from school. So, every day for several hours Jordan and I hang out with Andre. A few weeks back I asked him if he wanted to make a tent in my room. I learned pretty quick that if you ask a kid to do something like this, you need to be ready to be asked just about every day to do the same thing. Sometimes we will hang out inside the tent, I will read or work on language while Andre plays on my laptop. After getting tired of making tents with Andre and telling him, "Ah... maybe tomorrow," I decided to give him five free tent making "no excuse" passes for his birthday last week! A gift I thought he would like, but he actually cried and we haven't made a tent since. I've got a lot to learn I guess.