Friday, June 25, 2010

Meet the kittens

We couldn't resist. It was only a matter of time. We had to do it. We got us some kittens. Ting-Ting and Tuk-Tuk, of course.

We came across a litter of kittens in our neighborhood, right behind the "grocery store" we walk to every day or two. So we had to take a couple of them. There are some warungs out back (food stalls), and one lady had been feeding them chicken bits. She saw us watching them, and told us, through arm gestures and smiles, that we should take them. That was a Wednesday so we told her we'd come back on Saturday. We wanted to find a vet first and get food, litter box, toys, etc. all ready for them.

On Saturday when we went to look for them, they weren't around. But the warung chicken lady said she'd bring them to our house. Or at least, that's what we thought we said to each other. Sure enough, she showed up a little later with a couple kittens in a box, along with a couple chicken feet for them to snack on. They looked like this:

They were terrified and they didn't like us too much. We took them in a taxi to the vet. Luckily, they slept in their box most of the way. We were a little worried the driver would kick us out if they were crying the whole way. The vets (a married couple at their house) checked them out, and they're pretty healthy - no fleas, mites, or horrible diseases.

Once we got them back to the house, they were still scared. So we left them alone for a little bit and when we came back, they had remembered that they're still kittens. They were playing with each other and chasing they're tails. We gave them some food and they immediately warmed up to us. And they pretty much just play, poop, eat, and sleep since then.

So that's been the story of our lives for the last two weeks. They are wonderful and occupy all of our free time. It must be said though, that they're not nearly as cute at 4 in the morning.

And now, for your viewing pleasure...

Plenty more will come...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Faces of Bukit Mas

Here's a shot of my school. This was a going-away party for one of the school's longest-tenured and awesomest employees, Mr. Harry. (front and center, tan shirt) I really like my school and all my coworkers. Can you find me in the picture? (Hint: I'm one of the tallest and I look like I was photoshopped in.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Living the Surabaya Life

5 weeks in and we still like it here. That's good, I guess. There's not much new to report except that we like it here. Work keeps us pretty busy. We don't work until around one in the afternoon, and we usually arrive back home around 9:30, at which time we eat dinner and fall asleep usually. By the time the weekend rolls around we could go travel somewhere. But it's a short weekend and we'd be moving non-stop if we did, and those two days of relaxing are very nice. We did make it to Yogyakarta, however.

Yogya was a fun trip. And we're mostly thankful that we got to go afterall. It was a long weekend so we made sure to book our train tickets well in advance. We didn't book our hotel, though. The week before we started calling hotel after hotel. All of them were fully booked. We called around 30-40 hotels, every number we could find. We found nothing. As a last resort, we signed up for couchsurfing and emailed a couple of people. They both responded that they couldn't host us, but one of them walked around and found us a hotel. It only took her about 15 minutes, too. Wow, we were, and still are, blown away by her kindness.

(A glimpse into rainy season, from our hotel in Yogya.)

We arrived Friday and she met us at the train station and took us to the hotel. Most of the weekend, we walked around the main street with tons of shops and stalls hawking batik. It was insane, and too much for us. Packed streets, becak drivers hassling you, and hustlers trying to rip off the bules (the Indonesian word for gringos). Apart from that street we had a good time. We ate some great food, saw some gamelan music, and went to Borobudur, the ancient (or at least very old - what qualifies as ancient, anways?) Buddhist temple. Borobudur was an experience all in its own. We got there about 5am for the "sunrise" tour to beat the crowd, only to find thousands of other tourists already there to look at one building. It was largely school field trips, which equals large groups of kids following us around and taking pictures of us, saying "Hello misterrrrrrrr, how arrrrrre you?" It was funny at first, but after being gawked at and laughed at for half an hour or so, we'd had enough. Yogya was a fun trip. Frustrating at times, but still fun, and we'll probably make it back there within the year.

One thing that has kept us busy lately is our new motorbikes! We got two dinky, fully automatic bikes, that we probably couldn't get up above 45 mph if we tried. But they sure are fun. We are taking it slowly and trying to practice a lot before we venture out into the crazy Surabayan traffic. I've started riding to work already, but I am super close and I can take back roads through the neighborhood almost the whole way. Sarah's got much farther to go to work, on main roads, too, so we'll get some more practice in before she starts riding to work.

All in all, we're having a great time here in Indonesia. There's not a day that goes by that we don't compare our experience here with that in Mexico, and think about how much better it is here. We have good friends here (and Will just got back, too!), the people are always nice and smiling, and our schools are great.