100 Days of Happiness – Day 83

As soon as I woke this morning I decided it would be fun to take Samudra to visit the baby elephants at Ragunan Zoo to start our day. I googled opening times and it said 7.00am-5.00pm so I played with Samudra first and went to leave the house at 6.30am, planning to catch a taxi from Jl Ampera Raya.  Kakek and nenek were up as we went to leave so kakek offered to drop us off at the zoo as he was going to practise golf nearby.

The roads were empty as we made the short distance to the zoo, so I can only assume that people are taking an extended Easter holiday here as it is usually packed with morning traffic. Samudra was giggling on the way and I was so excited to be taking him to see the animals, although I don’t agree at all with the awful conditions most of them are subjected to at Ragunan.  We arrived to find that they have put a new regulation in place and the zoo will be opening from 9.00am daily!  Oh no! So no animals for us on this beautiful morning and instead we joined with kakek as he practised golf at a range nearby.  Luckily we didn’t make it to the zoo as I soon realised that I had forgotten the memory card for the camera yet again! Samudra and I wandered around the course and looked at the lake, played on the still damp grass, watched the roosters scratching around in their tiny pens, and ate some delicious tahu telor (tofu cooked in eggs).  I realised that my eyesight must be getting worse as every time we watched kakek hit the ball off the tee, I never saw where it landed, except for once!

In the late afternoon I put Samudra back on the sling on my hip and we went for a big walk around the complex again.  We met so many kids along the way, who all decided to follow us on our walk and ask us millions of questions along the way, like what is our religion, what colour fence does our house have, do we like nasi goreng and can they all come to our house to play? I felt like the pied piper as we wound our way through the streets with a trail of kids behind us! I guess it’s true what they say about Indonesia (http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2012/02/and-the-worlds-unhappiest-country-is-officially.html), Indonesia is the happiest country in the world!  We also watched as two old ladies chased baby chickens down the road and swooped them up in their straw like brooms.  One of the old ladies invited us into her house to play, but when I looked up and saw just how many chooks and roosters she actually had wandering around in her house I had to politely refuse while hiding the shock on my face at the same time!

It was a fun afternoon walk and a chance for me to spend more time alone with Samudra without arms stretching out to grab him from me as had been the case all day long. I love spending time with him more than anything else these days as it’s so entertaining and he is just so sweet!

I hope you all had a beautiful day too wherever in the world you are.

Day 83: Some of the kids we met that followed us on our walk today. Happiness.

Day 83: Watch me jump! Happiness.

Day 83: Now everyone wants to jump! Happiness.

Day 83: Playing with their home-made kite. Happiness.

100 Days of Happiness – Day 82

I had been planning to get up early today to visit Taman Suropati as it has been on my ‘to do’ list since having Samudra, and it’s been way too long since we were last there to watch Ages Biola and his students practising violin in the park.

Remembering today was Easter Sunday I had a wave of guilt wash over me that I had no Easter eggs at all to celebrate with my little family, not that Samudra knew any differently and Putra didn’t care about that part of the day at all.  I remember being so excited as a kid that I would wake up before the sun had risen to check what the Easter Bunny had left in my basket (& Treen’s) at the heads of our beds, and would spend the early hours devouring ridiculous amounts of chocolate and feeling sick before it was time to get out of bed. It seemed like such a special time of year back then, but being in Indonesia I don’t seem to have any big celebrations to get excited about as no-one I know really celebrates Easter or Christmas, not in the crazy way we do back home.

So my alarm had no chance of going off  at 7.00am before Samudra awoke at 5.30am yet again and was ready to play.. So we woke Putra from his deep sleep (bless!) and made an early drive out to Menteng.  It didn’t take us long as there were barely any cars on the road at all which is such a luxury in Jakarta.

There was an Easter mass in progress across the road as we arrived at the park and what a perfect morning it was! I automatically felt so happy to be outdoors in the sunshine and be surrounded by tall trees and green grass and some seemingly fresh air.  I had forgotten just how lovely this park is and it was heaving with activity even so early in the morning.  There were street vendors lining the park so Putra devoured some tofu, rice and other food within a minute of arriving there and was then ready to head home! No chance!  There were people jogging, riding bikes, making bubbles, laughing, sitting by the fountains and enjoying the musicians and singers having a big jam session.  We sat by the fountain to watch one young girl singing and what a huge and powerful voice she had singing Tracey Chapman songs.  She was absolutely amazing and of course singled me out being the only foreigner in the park to ask for a song request and my mind went blank. Then she invited me to sing with her which I politely refused as I wouldn’t want to scare everyone from the park as I cannot sing in tune at all..

The one time we finally make it back to Taman Suropati and there was no Ages Biola and Taman Suropati Chamber to be found.  It was a shame as I really wanted to see them, but at least I now have an excuse to go back there again.  The park is beautifully maintained and rubbish free as it is situated between the big Government and Embassy mansions in the surrounding leafy streets.  There are guards patrolling the grounds and making sure that no-one sits on the grass and destroys its beauty.  It’s a shame not to be able to sit on it, but if you could it would be trashed and filled with rubbish like the rest of Jakarta, and besides, I did manage to sneak onto a patch of grass under a big tree to let Samudra play in the grass for the first time in his life.  The gardener just looked at me and smiled, and Samudra was a little unsure about it, so we didn’t sit for too long anyway.

We also walked down the road to another park I had never been to before, Taman Situlembang.  What a gorgeous space.. there is a big lake with water lilies and it is lined with green grass and a pathway for people to walk around or ride their bikes, and is surrounded by more huge houses.  To see such beauty in Jakarta is a rarity so it was such a treat for us although by the time we walked around the lake the sun was getting unbearable and Samudra fell asleep as we reached Taman Suropati again.  I took this opportunity to sit on the outskirts of the park and eat some freshly cooked bite sized cakes, sprinkled with chocolate.  Of course I ate the whole packet in one sitting as they were so warm and delicious.  I highly recommend visiting this park on a Sunday morning as it really is a lovely atmosphere.

Hours seemed to drift away as we watched the birds, people, and activities going on all around us, and we met two guys who had taken their pristine looking cats to the park on leashes! Oh I do love the randomness of this country..

The late afternoon was spent at home with Putra snoring his head off, Samudra passed out, and me being addicted to watching episode after episode of ‘House of Cards’ on Netflix thanks to Treen’s recommendation.

I hope you had a Happy Easter and a beautiful day wherever you are in the world.

Day 82: Bubbles catching the morning sunshine. Happiness.

Day 82: This girl had the most incredible voice!! Happiness.

Day 82: Fun by the fountain. Happiness.

Day 82: Discovering a new destination down the road in Menteng. Happiness.

Day 82: Beautiful atmosphere in the park so early in the morning. Happiness.

Day 82: Samudra getting up close with a cat. Happiness.

Day 82: Too cute as he pats it for the first time. Happiness.

Day 82: First time for Samudra to sit on grass as it’s so rare in Jakarta! Happiness.

100 Days of Happiness – Day 81

Happy Easter Weekend to everyone! Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and still I haven’t seen a single chocolate egg for sale in Jakarta.. looks like the Easter Bunny will be missing our house, not that it matters as I have a chocolate fix everyday anyway.

Today started with a lazy morning playing at home with Samudra, before we headed over to pick up Treen to go to Plaza Senayan for lunch and to go to the cinema.  Putra left us to go for a meeting so we met up with Talisa and Claire at Marche for some delicious food.  I don’t know if it’s just the lighting in these stores, but everything looks so fresh and bright and inviting that it makes me want to eat everything! There is so much choice, from meats, baked potatoes, soups, pasta, pizza, cakes, bread, salads, fresh juice so it’s always confusing what to order as it all looks so good.  I love the interior of these restaurants, like a wooden cabin out in the Swiss alps, complete with enclosed glass ski lift cabins to eat in, a HUGE screen showing footage of the snowy slopes, and woven baskets hanging from the ceiling.  I settled for a mushroom and vegetable crepe which was mouth watering and shared a plate of watermelon with Samudra… I didn’t dare venture to the cake section as I wouldn’t have been able to resist its sweetness.

With full bellies, we headed across the hallway to the cinema to watch Jalanan again! I was so excited to be seeing it again although I had only watched it a short while ago and this time Samudra would be joining us and I wasn’t sure he would make it through a whole movie without crying or being noisey.  He actually slept through most of it, only waking to laugh and jump up and down in excitement on my lap as I think he loved the music in this documentary. I ended up in tears again as the film finished, and so did Treen.  Super emotional sisters! but it’s a great movie and yet again I recommend going to see it.

We had a quick stop outside in the enclosed cafe strip for some drinks and met up with Putra again before he drove us over to Joglo Beer in Kemang where he was meeting some friends.  Treen stopped in for a quick drink and I left not long after her after walking through the second hand market that was in a building next to Joglo Beer, and walking around to show Samudra the fish before he was ready to go home to bed. A delicious and happy day overall.

I hope you had a beautiful day wherever in the world you are too.

Day 81: Mad Hatters Tea Party at Plaza Senayan. Happiness.

Day 81: With Talisa and Claire in the garden. Happiness.

Day 81: Love you bubba! Happiness.



100 Days of Happiness – Day 80

I planned to have a quick walk up the street this morning to go in search of bread as I woke up absolutely famished! As usual I left the house with Samudra on my hip and the camera slung over my shoulder, and we headed straight for the main road as I had no idea where to get bread at crazy-early-o’clock in the morning. We had made it no further than 5 minutes away from the house, up near the park, when I heard a ladies voice calling out ‘Samudra! Shasha! sini!!’ and I turned to find a lady that lives near by, jogging, with her friend and family riding their bikes behind her, all waving us over. I cannot for the life of me remember this ladies name, but she is so loud and always so happy to see Samudra that she starts singing loudly and makes him laugh hysterically at her enthusiasm.

We ended up standing around basa basi (chit chatting) for ages and then at her insistence had to follow the same lady to the other side of the park so her son’s could say hello to Samudra.  It was actually really lovely as the boys played peek-a-boo from behind a tall tree and we watched her son try riding a bike for the first time. He was so cute but quickly decided to cry and say he had ants crawling all up his legs so he didn’t want to ride anymore.. there was no ants on further inspection but I think his nerves got the better of him.  By now my stomach was grumbling so I made our exit and decided to head through some back streets to Circle K and just buy anything to eat as I was so hungry. Along the way we stopped to say hello as a grandma proudly showed off her 3 day old grandson Ryan to us.  He was absolutely adorable kicking his legs around in his pram out the front of their modest little home, but I wondered if he was too hot as I was dripping in sweat in the heat (as usual!) and he was in the direct sunshine.  I guess he was absolutely fine and I was just being a ridiculous bule, used to sitting inside air conditioned rooms all day to cope with the heat, while many around us don’t have such a luxury. I must remember to print out a photo for his proud grandma.

Today was also a super special day as it was Aunty Putri’s birthday! So after a quick rest after Samudra and I finally returned from our entertaining walk, we headed into Citos to Imperial Kitchen to have a celebratory lunch for Putri.  The vegetarian egg noodles were delicious but Putra almost had a heart attack to find that the listed vegetarian vegetable and chive dumplings were also filled with chicken! Indonesia has a weird idea of what it means to be vegetarian and what is considered to be meat and what is not. It does make me laugh as you never quite know what you will end up with.  Asking for no meat in your fried rice means that you may still end up with slices of sausage or chicken or bits of fish in your dishes, or loads of oyster sauce, no matter how many times you request there be no meat, chicken or fish.. that’s why I stick to tofu and tempe for almost every meal!

So Happiest Birthday wishes to beautiful Putri and we are so proud of her as she will soon be heading to walk the Camino trail alone from France to Spain. It is very rare from my experience to meet an Indonesian female that would either want to walk alone, or whose family would allow their daughter to take a trip alone, so I am blessed to know such a strong female and be part of such an open minded Indonesian family.

I hope you had a beautiful day too wherever in the world you are.

Day 80: Making new friends at the park. Happiness.

Day 80: Playing peek-a-boo. Happiness.

Day 80: Ready to surprise Samudra. Happiness.

Day 80: Morning love from some ‘big brothers’ in the complex. Happiness.

Day 80: Abdul’s first attempt ever at riding a bike. Happiness.

Day 80: Meeting three day old Ryan. Happiness.

Day 80: Happy Birthday Beautiful Putri! Happiness.

100 Days of Happiness – Day 79

As much as I tried, I couldn’t get Samudra back to sleep once he had woken super early this morning, so we played until 6.00am when it was at least a reasonable hour for me to get out of bed and go for a walk. I must say I scared myself to look down as we left the house and the outfit I had worn to bed of crazy patterned leggings and unmatching singlet and top was still adorning my body and I looked like a complete freak.  I figured it didn’t really matter as I am invisible when I am holding Samudra so no-one was going to notice.

It was such a beautiful sunny morning even so early, as we made our way up the back of the house and through a narrow road, lined with little warungs, kids getting ready for school and women laughing hysterically, so much so that I couldn’t help but laugh along with them.  The fruit and vegetable seller wanted me to take his photo and all the people standing around were making fun of him as he posed and then got into serious mode for the camera.  It was definately a morning for sunshine and giggles! I ended up walking for much longer than expected once again as we made our way through the backstreets, and stopped so many times along the way to chat to people, and then for Samudra to watch the school kids in the park playing catch, while another group of young men played cricket beside them.  With the mosque in the background and the big leaves on the trees glowing green with the sunlight, it looked like a magical morning to be outdoors.

There was time for a quick bath, some delicious tofu in bread for breakfast, and then we headed to Chipmunks in Kemang for a play date with some lovely mums and kids again.  All of the kids were running around, keeping their mums busy, while I just wandered around with Samudra, watching him bite and slobber over the foam balls and anything else he could get his hands on.  This made it a little difficult to take photos there today, but there is always next time.  It was nice to be out and about with other mums and I know Samudra likes lots of noise and being around people too.  Today was a bonus too as we didn’t have to pay to go inside as they said that Samudra was so young that it was free, although last time we had to pay RP. 75,000 for being under 2 years old. Putra happily lazed on the couch at the foyer watching documentaries on his iPad until we had finished, and we made a quick pit stop across the road from the Colony Building at the ice-cream shop which I think is called Lin Ice-cream. I have been wanting to go in there for so long and was so happy to see that they had Baileys ice-cream on the menu! Unfortunately it was too early for alcoholic ice-cream so I settled for vanilla with chocolate rice (chocolate sprinkles) and enjoyed the peaceful ambience of the little shop. It’s really sweet in the shop, with an outdoor area and pond and inside they also sell little bottles of boiled lollies as well as a few other tasty items on the menu which are not ice-cream.  This place seems to be very popular on the weekends as it has always been full when we have driven past, although it is tucked away and easy to miss if you are not looking out for it.

Samudra fell asleep in the car on the way home and didn’t wake when we arrived and I put him down on the bed so I guess all his playing this morning had left him exhausted!

Putra and I went on some adventures on the vespa in the afternoon  and I realised that it’s Good Friday tomorrow and I have not seen a single Easter Egg for sale anywhere here in Jakarta!

I hope you all had a beautiful day wherever in the world you are, and are happy that it’s now time for another long weekend!

Day 79: The neighbours doing some early morning vegetable shopping right at their front gate. Happiness.

Day 79: Giggling ladies in the street. Happiness.

Day 79: Early morning down a side street. Happiness.

Day 79: Ready for school. Happiness.

Day 79: Playing (eating!) in the ball pit at Chipmunks. Happiness.

Day 79: Playing with blocks on the floor. Happiness.

Day 79: Boiled lollies and toys at Lins Ice-Cream Shop. Happiness.

Day 79: Ready for ice-cream. Happiness.

Day 79: Vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sprinkles. Happiness.

Day 79: Love this sign. Happiness.

100 Days of Happiness – Day 78

This morning started what only continued to be a bit of a strange day for me emotionally, so I felt like a crazy bule in Jakarta today, not really getting in sync with the day!  I had planned to take Samudra for a morning walk but kakek was up and about when we got up, so Samudra was whisked away for an enthusiastic morning walk and play with him, so I ate some breakfast and showered as I wasn’t able to get back to sleep. By the time Samudra returned and had a quick bath, his nanny had arrived and so she took him off me and basically spent the day avoiding me or running away when she saw me so that Samudra wouldn’t cry if he saw my face.  I spent the whole day sitting on my computer in the bedroom feeling awkward as every time I went outside Samudra was taken out of my sight or I was subjected to some weird competition as to who Samudra wanted to spend time with as lots of arms reached out for him, leaving the poor thing confused and in tears.  My only time to spend time with him was to feed him before he was taken away from me again and I only got a chance to be alone with him just before it was time for him to go to sleep for the night.

I am eternally grateful that he is so loved, that so many people want to spend time with him, that we are so lovingly looked after, but with my lack of ability to communicate in Indonesian, I felt like today I was totally out sync with the world (is it a full moon?).  I have spent so much time with him until the past two weeks, and now I feel that everyone is looking after him but me and I am not ready to let go so easily.  In Indonesia, you will find many nanny’s that could easily be mistaken as the child’s parents as they are with them all day long, feed them, play with them and many are live in nanny’s so they are basically the child’s primary carer.  I want to be there to witness the magic of him changing every day but have some help so that I can also be productive. I just need to find a balance.

The cutest thing did happen this afternoon though as Putra and I noticed that Samudra has a new trick, making a funny clicking sound with his mouth while raising his arm and trying to click his fingers.  It seems he has been around the birds  in the cages outside so much and this is the trick he has learnt to try and get their attention. Bless.

I hope you had a beautiful day wherever in the world you are.

Day 78: A trip to the apartment to see the new shelving being made. Happiness.

Day 78: Samudra clicking his fingers for his bird call. Happiness.

100 Days of Happiness – Day 77

I was so happy to wake up and know that we would be heading out to see Deasy and Amaru again today, I really miss chats with Deasy and it’s been a long time between visits. I smiled as we travelled back through the streets of Pamulang as there was so much going on and people going about their daily business and Samudra was busy trying to pull on the taxi door handle laughing hysterically.

We passed an airport and I noticed there were loads of men in parachutes landing on the grass and as I turned back around I noticed 3 were hovering outside the fence, one just above a shop rooftop, one a little higher, and then the third managed to land just outside the fence on the side of the road! Luckily there was not much traffic around but he had a big audience watching from the sides of the road, not that anyone went to check if he was ok. A little morning excitement on our way.

Arriving at Deasy’s, it was great to see her beaming and seeing how much Amaru has changed since our last visit.. he is already 62cm at 2 months old, that’s only 2cm shorter than Samudra at 8 months! So they are around the same height but Amaru still looks so fragile while Samudra seemed such a rough playing little boy already, banging on everything and trying to grab at anything he could get his hands on. I love it! He seems to have discovered his hands this week and keeps holding them up to check out his fingers moving around. Time really does go too fast.

We had a lovely visit with Deasy, Tommy, Amaru and Deasy’s nieces, who were so quiet and beautiful just watching the boys. It’s never enough time for a visit but we had to head home so I could be productive and so Samudra’s nanny wouldn’t be going crazy just sitting around waiting for us.

In the late afternoon Putra, Samudra and I jumped on the vespa and headed up to Jason’s Supermarket, with Putra’s hair blowing all over us and it was nice to feel the breeze on our faces and all be together as we don’t get to spend much time all together during the week these days, so I treasure any moments we can have alone.

I hope you had a beautiful day too wherever in the world you are.

Day 77: Deasy’s niece… SO cute! Happiness.

Day 77: Prada Bintang Amaru at 2 months. Happiness.

Day 77: Aunty Deasy and Samudra. Happiness.

Day 77: Beautiful mumma Deasy with Amaru. Happiness.

Day 77: Amaru is so loved. Happiness.

100 Days of Happiness – Day 76

As today was spent infront of my computer all day or otherwise holding Samudra to try and calm him down from crying, I didn’t have any chance for mini adventures or photo taking outside of the house.  Being inside all day makes me realise how much I LOVE being out on the streets, how I could never work full time in an office again, and how much I take my ‘freedom’ for granted.  Being able to work from home is the best feeling in the world, although it can be lonely at times, I prefer to be without office gossip, and if I need to be around people, I can take my laptop to a cafe while I work if I feel I need people around me.  Writing this blog has also kept me amused for years and kept my enthusiasm for Jakarta up as I walk around with a camera chatting to people and it has given me the opportunity to attend so many events that I would otherwise not have known about, and for that I am eternally grateful..

Also working with Putra on documentaries for our company, Anatman Pictures (www.anatmanpictures.com) keeps life interesting, meeting lots of people with amazing stories to share, travelling to new and exciting places in Indonesia, and I realise I am blessed.  Although being freelancers there is always down time when you don’t know when or where your next pay cheque will come from,  I much prefer the work/life balance that it allows for and it means I am not hanging for a Friday night drink, or waiting desperately for the weekend to come so I can have time to myself, and it also means that I can be super productive when I need to be as I know the job will come to an end and I will have my time back to spend with Samudra or doing whatever needs to be done.  Most of my work comes through word of mouth also which is great, but it also means that at present I am a little out of the loop as I have been looking after Samudra full time for the past 8 months, so time to get back in contact with the outside world to create some new designs (www.tashamay.net) and to find some more people with interesting stories to share that we can film. Life is beautiful.

As I don’t have any of my own photos to share from today, I am going to post a picture from my dear friend Joe’s event coming up in June, for Indonesia Creative Week 2014.  Joe has been organising these events for a few years now and I have unfortunately missed both.. firstly as I was too ill when I was pregnant and last year I was in Australia at the time.. so this year.. fingers crossed all goes to plan and I WILL BE THERE! yah! I can’t wait for this and look forward to taking some photos there and sharing them with you all. It will be held at Skeeno Hall in Gandaria City from 5-8 June, 2014 so I hope to see some of your familiar faces there.

I hope you had a beautiful day wherever in the world you are too.

Day 76: Indonesia Creative Week 2014. Happiness.

Day 76: A throwback photo from 2010 of Wishing Lanterns at Ancol. Sending you all love. Happiness.


100 Days of Happiness – Day 75

I had arranged with Treen to go to Car Free Day this morning, and for once Samudra decided not to wake up early, so by the time Treen arrived in the taxi with Claire, I had to wake Samudra and take him with us in his pajamas.  The street was heaving with people jogging, walking, riding, and skating this morning and our pace was much faster than when Putra and I walk, so we reached Bundaran HI fairly quickly today.  Taking the pram ended up being a waste of time as Samudra started crying 5 minutes into the walk and I ended up carrying him in the baby sling the whole walk and was soaking by the time we reached the fountain in the sunshine, but I guess it’s good exercise to be walking and carrying a heavy weight at the same time!

The fountain was turned on low this morning, but there were still hundreds of people standing around it, taking photos, making huge bubbles and hanging out in the morning sun so we battled our way through the street food vendors and market down the road to the entrance of Grand Indonesia.  The mall is still closed at 8.00am but we entered through the Shinta Lobby and headed upstairs to Level 1 for a delicious breakfast at Social House that cancelled out all the good work that the morning walk had done.. but it was worth it!  Treen and I used to eat here often in the past, but I hadn’t been in awhile for breakfast so it was good to be back and the scrambled eggs, mushroom, tomato and bread were divine after the walk.  The portions here are so huge and although it’s a pricey venue, it’s good to go to treat yourself.  There is a great view out to Jl. Jendral Sudirman in the casual dining section, with couches and benches around the windows, and plenty of seating in the main area and a small play area for children in the middle.  The entrance also leads into a bottle shop selling wine, but the prices are ridiculous if you compare them to those back in Australia, so I could never buy from them, no matter how much I love a glass of vino!

I spent the afternoon relaxing at home while Samudra and Putra slept and then we headed across to Pondok Indah Mall for a late lunch/early dinner at our favourite Thai restaurant.  I am happy to say that as much as I have enjoyed their food, I am ready to find my new addiction, any suggestions for vegetarian food restaurants are welcome!

So I hope you all had a beautiful day too and fun weekend wherever in the world you are.

Day 75: Claire and Treen looking buff! Happiness.

Bundaran HI on a Sunday morning. Happiness.

Day 75: My breakfast at Social House. Happiness.

Day 75: Treen’s breakie. Happiness.

Day 75: Bundaran HI Fountain from Social House. Happiness.

Day 75: Samudra in a cart with teddy’s. Happiness.

100 Days of Happiness – Day 74

I had been dreaming of having a Saturday morning sleep in but didn’t make it past 6.30am this morning (which I guess IS considered a sleep-in these days!), so out came the baby sling, camera and Samudra and I headed off on another morning adventure. I decided to take a completely different route in the opposite direction to usual in the complex today and ended up finding another lively kampung close by.  This area is amazing. Between all the main narrow winding roads, there are complex mazes of cramped housing filling in every inch of spare land.  Today we came across a fun kampung with the usual amounts of kids running around laughing and playing in the dirt, and women standing around feeding babies in slings while having a morning gossip.

Everyone was in shock and started giggling to see this bule and her baby enter their area and we ended up stopping and chatting for a long time as they asked the usual questions and the excitement on the women’s faces to know Samudra was half Australian and half orang Java was priceless! It seems most of the ladies this morning are originally from Jogja so they were ecstatic to meet Samudra and kept laughing asking why I have an Indonesian husband instead of an Australian man.  As we went to leave, one incredibly friendly and funny old lady with a limp decided she would walk around with us, announcing in a very loud voice about the ‘bayi Australia, Java‘ to everyone she saw, and knocking on doors as we made our way through the alleyways, dodging chickens, kids on bikes, overhead washing on string and other people going about their morning business.  Some of the walkways were so narrow that I had to pull Samudra around to my front and squeeze my shoulders in to make it through. I got to wondering how on earth these houses ever got built in such close proximity and you certainly couldn’t be too large in size unless you wanted to become trapped between two houses!  You cannot see a horizon from inside these kampungs, and you could not have any privacy at all as every house is joined together to make long and confusing mazes, but everyone looks happy and that’s all that matters really.  It is a completely different way of living to what I am used to, with everyone living independently and with so much space it can make it difficult to meet new people, even your next door neighbour.  I guess with a population of over 200 million in this country, having personal space really isn’t an option, and sometimes I honestly struggle with this concept here.

We finally made it out onto a main road and the old lady was afraid that I was now lost and wanted to help me find my way home again, and insisted on following us, but I tried to explain in my terrible Indonesian that we wanted to be lost and wanted to continue exploring. By the time we had wound our way through another kampung, stopping to talk to more people, and finally making it back home again, it was already just before 9.00am! eeeeek we had been walking around for hours without realising it and no wonder I was soaked from sweat, but it had been a fun morning and now I was exhausted but Samudra still wanted to play and Putra was still fast asleep in bed!

I finally had some rest and the sun disappeared in the early morning and it started to rain which was a refreshing break from the heat, and we decided to head over to Poins Square to see if I had any hope of repairing my smashed up iPhone.  I am lost without a phone and have been feeling completely disconnected from the world since it broke in Jogja.  So I am keeping my fingers crossed that they may be able to repair it, and in the meantime I have my old broken phone which is pretty much only good for letting me know the time, but it’s better than nothing.

I hope you had a fun day wherever in the world you are too.

Day 74: This little boy was sooo sweet. Happiness.

Day 74: This little girl loved Samudra, but was afraid of me! Happiness.

Day 74: Boys in the kampung. Happiness.

Day 74: A common sight.. hanging your laundry in the alleyway in the kampung. Happiness.

Day 74: A shoe repair man doing home visits. Happiness.


Day 74: This elderly couple in their shop were so lovely! Happiness.

Day 74: Putra getting his cholesterol, blood suger levels, etc checked at Poins Square. Happiness.

Day 74: High cholesterol but otherwise healthy. Happiness.