This just needs to be posted. I guess the rainy season isn’t over yet! This is from the newspaper.
Monthly Archives: February 2010
Rice is huge in Asia. Its a staple of the diet, and they treat it a lot like we treat bread in America: the meal just doesn’t seem complete without it! No matter what else they may eat, its hard for Indonesians to feel full without having some rice.
In English, we have one word: rice. I think some measure of the importance of rice in Indonesia is the number of words used to describe it in its various stages.
sawah – wet rice field
bibit – this is the seedling that is planted in the sawah to start the new crop
padi – this is the rice plant as it is growing in the field
gabah – this is the rice after it is harvested and separated from the plant, but still has the hull on it
beras – dry, ready-to-cook rice grains, the stuff you buy in the US
nasi – cooked rice, the stuff we eat in the US
bubur – rice porridge, made by overcooking rice with extra water added
Hopefully all these different terms in Indonesian give you an idea of just how important rice is here!
Yesterday we were on our way back home in the rain when we had an “interesting” experience. The city of Bandung is at the foot of some mountains, and we live in the north of the city up in the foothills. When it rains up where we live, all the water has to travel downhill somewhere so there is occasional flooding in the southern areas of town. Because the drainage isn’t very good, the streets generally become the best way for the water to travel when the sewers are full. Because of some heavy rains north of us, we were returning home, travelling uphill, straight though a river! The video below was shot with a point-and-shoot camera, so the quality isn’t great but hopefully it gives you an idea of what things were like. We’re glad to be renting an SUV!
Kara’s mom, dad, sister, and brother-in-law arrived today! We are so excited to have visitors for a few weeks! If you can’t tell from all the exclamation points yet, this makes us very happy!
That also means the blog may get neglected a bit over the next few weeks (and you may have noticed that it has been neglected too – we’ve been busy getting things ready and organized!). I (Matt) will really try to keep up and as we do things with Kara’s folks, I’ll try to get some pictures and video posted when possible.
It is such an odd experience to have people from “another life” so to speak, as in our previous one back in the US, come and enter into this new world of ours that we’ve finally settled in to.
It’s also neat for me to see other people’s reactions to things. What do they think of our street? How clean/dirty do things look to them? Do they think it is noisy, or quiet? How bad is the traffic, really? I am realizing that we’ve lived here long enough that many of the very different qualities about life here have already become biasa (usual/ordinary) for us. It can be hard to think back to the first time we saw all of these very different things, and how we felt about it then.
We’ve go no big plans for the time they’re here – just relax, enjoy time together, and see a few sights.