It's tougher to get out of town now that Chad and I both have full-time jobs, especially since we work a lot of Friday nights and Sundays. But we're starting to get the hang of dashing out of town whenever we have 2 or 3 days off in a row.
Last time this happened we hadn't really planned ahead. So we just stuffed some clothes in our backpacks, went to the airport, and bought tickets. We ended up going to Maninjau, a crater lake in the hills of West Sumatra.
We got there in the evening after a long drive with an annoying driver who kept saying, "If you need a ride to the airport, just call me! We have an office in Padang! Just call the office! If you need a ride to the airport! So, when are you going to the airport?" (We pretended we weren't sure.)
The next morning we woke up to this view, which made it all worthwhile:
Rice paddies are like health food for the eyes. They're so intensely green. I couldn't get enough.
Just around the corner from our little cottage was the lake, which wasn't exactly an eyesore either:
There were little wooden canoes all over the lake, but no-one was sitting in them. Instead, the boaters were in the water, standing about waist-deep and jiggling sticks that pointed straight down at the bottom of the lake. As it turned out, they were collecting tiny clams.
I went to get my camera, and when I came back, the clammers were taking a break. I waved at them and started snapping pictures.
The clammers took out some containers of rice and began making eating gestures at me. At first I was taken aback, because this is sometimes how beggars ask for money in Jakarta. A moment later I blushed to the roots of my hair, because I realized THEY were offering ME food. I said no thanks, although I was a little curious to see what they were eating.
After taking some pictures of little flowers, I wandered back to our cabin for a mid-morning nap, wondering what other vestiges of the Big City I was carrying with me.