Thursday, March 23, 2006
We're staying at a hotel on Jalan Jaksa, the stereotypical backpacker street. Jaksa has a good cheap Indian restaurant called Pappa's. They play the same dippy pop song over and over ("and I say lalalalalala in the mooorning, lalalalalala in the moooorning ....), so you have to have a certain mental resilience to eat there. There's also a somewhat upscale place called Ya-Udah that serves burgers, ham-and-egg sandwiches, and other treats for homesick expats.
And everywhere there is Bintang, the national beer, modeled on Dutch beer and very pleasant on a hot day (they are all hot days, of course).
You can get a bed in a dorm room around here for probably $5, but we're paying a little more for a private room with our own bathroom and hot water.
Today I was sitting in Ya-Udah eating fried noodles when they started playing a Johnny Cash tune over the sound system. (One of his later, stripped-down, gospel-y songs.) Then the afternoon call to prayer started wailing from the speakers of the nearby mosque. It was a strange duet for a minute until one of the waitresses cut off the music.
Here's Chad at the bottom of Jaksa in one of those rare quiet moments - no people, cars or motorbikes hurtling at him.