5/22/18: Finally Feeling Good In Indonesia

I woke up at an absurdly early hour for some reason, around 5:30. I couldn’t really go back to bed, so I just edited the podcast episode with Langston.

Around 8, I walked down the street to the fruit/veggie market. I got a whole papaya for 20 cents. I thought that was a good deal, until the guy at the hotel asked me how much I paid for it. I told him 3000 IDR, and he told me I should have only paid 1000. So insane.

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I packed up my stuff and called a Grab to take me to Adinda Homestay. Fandy, my Indonesian friend who I had met the night before, saw me waiting for my Grab and came up to me. He asked for my email address, and invited me to stay with him when I’m in Yogyakarta. I might take him up on his offer— how cool would it be to stay with a local and get a real tour of the city?

I had my first female Grab driver in all of SE Asia! She insisted that I was Indonesian. She just couldn’t believe I don’t speak the language. I felt bad, but what am I to do? I’m sorry I just look Indonesian but I’m not actually…

I was immediately greeted at the homestay by a lovely older couple. The wife didn’t speak much English, but she showed me to my room.

The husband, Ismono, was sitting in the courtyard, so I walked over to him.

“Do you guys do laundry here?
“Yes!”

“Ok great. And I want to climb Mt. Ijen… can you organize that for me as well?”
“Oh, Mt. Ijen. Yes of course. You will leave at midnight tonight and come back at 9 am tomorrow morning.”

“Oh wow ok. And how much is it?”
“300,000.”

The wife came over with a glass of fresh orange juice. How sweet! Ismono disappeared into the house, and came back out with a big container of cookies. He told me they are called Bagiak, and are the traditional cookie of Banyuwangi. I tried one— it was a simple, not too sweet, cookie.

He then brought over this huge, torn, totally unraveled photography book of all the beaches around Banyuwangi. It was so sweet. I really couldn’t stop smiling. He was so kind and cute, and I just couldn’t stop feeling like I’ve finally found my place in Indonesia. It only took 3 weeks, but it happened. This is what I’d been waiting for.

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My juice and photo book

He told me he could take me around the town on his scooter for 100,000 IDR. He would take me to a coffee plantation, a waterfall, and the train station to buy my ticket to Malang.

I thought why not, although I didn’t really have a choice as I had no plans for the day and it seemed like I was the only one staying at the homestay.

We left around 10 am, and drove to a town called Kalibendo.

We stopped off near the entrance to a waterfall called Air Terjun.

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Ismondo
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Entrance to waterfall
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Huge tree!

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Ismono can’t walk very well, so he stopped at the beginning of the river while I kept going towards the waterfall.

Five minutes later, I reached the waterfall. I was the only one there.

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I quickly changed into my bathing suit and waded into the water. I didn’t go all the way in because it was cold and have him wait for a long time as I dried off, so I just went up to my thighs and rinsed off.

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Waterfall selfie

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Ombre palm tree

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Once we were back on the bike, we drove to a wood carving place near the waterfall.
The homestay is full of wood-carved tables, which are actually really cool. I’m assuming they’re making a new piece for him and he wanted to check in on it.

After that, we drove to a village flower shop. I just stood around awkwardly as he talked to the shop people. He didn’t buy anything, though.

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Kalibendo
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So pretty!

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We drove off back toward Banyuwangi. I was so tired at this point— it was hard to keep my eyes open on the bike. I guess that 5:30 am wake-up was catching up to me. I was also really really hungry and losing energy fast.

Luckily, lunch was our next stop. He took me to Mie Valentine, a hole-in-the-wall noodle place that makes their own noodles.

There was no menu— the owner just started cooking for me soon after we walked in. I had a feeling he was making chicken, so I let him know that I don’t eat meat. He thankfully understood “vegetarian,” and went on cooking.

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Making my food

I got my food a few minutes later— a bowl full of handmade, fresh noodles dipped in a broth, and then topped with fried onion. It came with sambal (chili sauce) and pickles as well.

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Ismono didn’t eat anything since he was observing Ramadan. I proceeded to scarf my food down. So delicious!

I paid the 10,000 and we got going.

About an hour into blogging back at the homestay, I needed caffeine so I walked around to try to find some. Nothing was open. WTF! It was 3 pm on a Tuesday afternoon.

I went back home, hoping the hosts could fix me some coffee. And yes! Of course they were able to. Ismono told me the coffee is his own blend of arabica and robusta coffee. How cool!

I blogged and edited the podcast for the rest of the afternoon.

Around 6, I went to ask the hosts if my laundry was ready. While I was there, the husband asked me if I was ready for dinner.

I was indeed ready. I wanted to be in bed by 7 in order to wake up with at least a couple hours of sleep before my midnight wake-up to climb Mt. Ijen.

Dinner was cap cay (mixed vegetables), rice, tahu (Indonesian tofu), and tea.

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The lighting was really bad

Everything was really delicious. I love a good home-cooked meal.

Full and happy, I went to bed. I couldn’t fall asleep for a long time, however. There were a bunch of noises outside and I just couldn’t rest my mind. Ugh.

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