Je bekijkt de reis...
18 februari 2014
I've been in sukabumi now for almost 4 weeks, and I'm looking forward to my departure. Sukabumi is located between mountains, and is itself pretty hilly which gives beautiful views of the old houses, separated by streams, greenery and rice fields. There not much to do in this town, and consequently doesn't have many, if any, tourists. Walking through the streets I feel like a TV-star - Big Brother or something, famous for nothing. People be shouting "bule" (white tourists are called bule (pronounce boelee)) when they see me, which notifies everybody up ahead the street and so acts like a chain reaction along my path: "hello sir" "my name is?". People want to talk, but naturally the conversations are about nothing, which for me is very tiring. I don't care for small talk, yet that's all the talk there has been for almost 2 months and it's been getting to me. I understand that it's partly a language problem and so not their fault. But when their friendly culture makes them say "yes, yes, hmmm" to whatever I say even if they don't understand what I mean, conversations seem to me completely useless. I guess they just want to talk to bule, no-matter how tiny the talk.
In Indonesia, (almost) everybody gets up at 4am (!!) to pray, since most people are muslim. And so too the students here at school. Then there is breakfast at 5.30 till 6.30, and the first 1.5 hours lesson at 7.00, and then more throughout the day till 22.00. CrazY! Some of the students I've talked to feel it's like a prison and can't wait to go to college, but perhaps this is the case with all boarding schools.
I'm helping out with the english lessons, being advertised as 'a native'. The first grade is taught by Ricky, a nice young guy with good english. Grades 2 and 3 are taught by Asep, who's english I think is very bad for an english teacher. Pronouncing 'thought' as 'taut', I guess he learned english in indonesia and never left the country. He teaches through the analysis of texts, some of which have lots of mistakes in them as well, but he doesn't know this and the students don't realize it either. I wonder whether I'm even helping them if I correct these mistakes, or whether the exams are of the same quality that I would fail them but Asep would pass. It's a bit tricky to teach students english only through english, being unable to speak their language. Grade 3 is therefore easiest, but in grade one half are sometimes asleep because they can't follow what I'm saying. Although it's been a good experience to teach here, and I hope they've learned a little (especially how to pronounce thought, through, though, dough, ..), I wouldn't be able to do this much longer. The students are too bored with just reading texts, and in their position I would probably have been one of the sleepers and so can't honestly be upset.
I'm doing daily coffee at Sarirasa, a simple small shop that sells breakfast (bubur ayam (rice porridge with chicken) and bubur kacang (something something)), noodles, fried stuff and coffee. Partly because I'm bored, partly, because the shop owners are nice and it's a good place to read my book. Just finished reading "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" for the second time, as there are no english books for sale here. Not too bad though; it's a great book with lots of interesting ideas (recommended).
I'd love to tell you all about more interesting things, but those are absent. Some Indonesian things maybe. For public transport people use angkot, which here are suzuki carry'ers (http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/910/2926/1600/mikrolet2.jpg) driven by private owners. There are certain official routes through the city and every route has it's own color angkot. Whereas the western bus drivers don't care much how many they pick up as long as it's on time, these private owners don't have a schedule but want to pick up as many people as possible. In the big cities the angkots are bigger, and there, there is one driver and one guy that jumps in and out the bus trying to lure people in. The other option is traveling by ojek, a motorbike taxi. 70% of the traffic consists of motorbikes, and noisy little fuckers they can be that conversation has to stop every few minutes as one of them passes.
Ow, and my camera is breaking down. The lens gets stuck whenever I turn it on, so these might be some of the last pictures I'll be posting..
I'll be leaving sukabumi tomorrow morning, and go to Bogor where I'll follow a vipassana course. It's a meditation course that last for 10 days, consisting mainly of meditating all day, without any communication with other participants. Very exciting but also scary.
I'm really missing home, family and friends (you!), and I'm looking forward to see all of you again. But I also realize that I miss home when I'm bored here, and less so when I'm having fun. We'll see what happens!
Foto's bij verslag (6)
22 februari 2014 13:22 | Door: Robert
Hey dude boulie R. so this week it will be quiet in Indonesia as you are in meditation. (Shit, my pad keeps corrcting my poor English into poor dutch; enniewee). This means as well that there will no singing the 26th. You might as an alernative, consider hanging some toiletpaper celebrating yr birthday: paper does not talk or sing. I wish some 'warm' company to sing some nice warm happy song the moment you are allowed to make some and any noise again. I wish you spiritual inspiring and rich insights to be unwrapped the coming days and weeks, as a life's gift. Enjoy, both of the above! Love, R