Another standard morning: woke up to the song of the neighborhood wonderbread seller peddling his wonderbread cart down the street (sari roti, roti sari rotiiiiiii), made some coffee, read the Times online. Didn't teach today so spent the morning doing a little grading and unnecessarily straightening up my already straightened up room. Met Luna for lunch at the lunch buffet around the corner, where I got rice, three different kinds of veggies, a piece of fried tempe, a hardboiled egg, and a banana juice, all for under a dollar. Love Asia.
Something a little out of the ordinary actually did happen after lunch, as it turned out. I had agreed to chat with this girl who lives in the kost (boardinghouse) across the street from me, for some project she had for her English class -- I figured we would just sit on my porch for ten minutes, she would ask me some questions, maybe I'd have to sign something for her, and we'd be on our separate ways. It never ceases to amaze me how, after over nine months in Indonesia, I still entertain the fantasy that things happen the way my brain assumes they would logically happen in my normal world, since obviously I am not living in my normal world. At least I no longer feel surprised when events rapidly diverge from the track of my expectations -- just as I did not feel surprised when this girl, we'll call her Matilda, showed up at my gate, not alone, nor even with 1 or 2 of her classmates, but with 5. They all crowded on to my porch and explained that they represented three separate groups of 2, and would I mind doing an interview with each group? No, of course I would not mind doing three interviews. Would I mind if they videotaped the interviews on a cell phone? It would be my pleasure. Lights, camera, action?
The three interviews were all pretty much the same, but only lasted about 6 or 7 minutes each. In each interview, I was asked where I am from, and when I said the United States of America, I was asked, each time, which country specifically in the United States of America. (Well, the great country of Arizona, if you're keeping track.) I was also asked twice what kind of food I like to hunt for in Yogya -- they must have heard about my escapades at Cowmad last night. Overall, it was quite a pleasant half hour; the girls were very sweet, and now 30 minutes of video featuring me sitting on my porch and smiling like a lunatic are stored on some Indonesian college student's cell phone. If I'd known the thing would be videotaped, I might have washed my hair this morning and/or put on real clothes, as opposed to the Bali pants and cutoff t-shirt I was planning on wearing to the gym afterwards. No matter -- they told me I looked beautiful. Ha.
Next stop gym, then my twice-a-week traditional Indonesian dance class. We've been learning dances from Sunda, which mostly involve sticking out one's butt a lot, and splaying one's fingers in what are, to me, totally unnatural positions. I usually go home feeling pleased, but also with my shower from the gym totally negated, and with sore fingers. Tonight was no exception, but when I got home my housemate Mabel's friend Antonio was over making paella, so I got to jump on the dinner train and hang out with a bunch of his Indonesian friends and eat delicious homemade Spanish food. I didn't even like paella that much in Spain, but this was bomb. Plus, one of his friends brought mini Dunkin Donuts for dessert! And you guys know how I feel about doughnuts.
So, Tuesday's a wrap. Actually, I'd say it was pretty excellent -- given that I had absolutely no plans when I woke up this morning, except for dance class. Rash is fading from my torso, but is still showing up mildly on my face and seems to have spread to my hands, arms, and legs. Just popped two Benadryl so I figure I'll be crashing momentarily. No Jared Diamond tonight. And whoops, there goes the Benadryl -- off I go to dream sweet sweet dreams. Preferably about doughnuts.