Thursday, August 25, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Thursday July 8th

Today's awakening was much gentler. There was a little music playing in the distance, but I lay there enjoying it until my alarm reminded me it was 6am!

I hopped out of bed, still fatigued, but looking forward to the day. we are going to Malang to one of the universities for a seminar. It will be about the environment (I'm guessing it is connected with the conference that the CEI group are attending). Asti informs me we are going by scooter! This should be fun!

So, we headed off a little later than planned. The road was bumpy until the first village and I think both Asti and I were equally as afraid, she, because she had a passenger to worry about and me, well, because I was that passenger!

Actually, once we hit the first village, we were all good. I could barely stop smiling  and staring, taking in all the sights around me. The villages had some pretty houses and some pretty basic houses too. Just like the local village near P wec, there were some houses with corn outside and chickens eating them. In fact, there were chickens everywhere, most of them just loitering and pecking, with some running for their lives right in front of the scooter!

Once in Malang, the roads got busier. we got to the university campus eventually. It was a huge campus surrounded by many big trees rising up above white buildings still under construction.

We were a little late, but we hadn't missed much.

The first two speakers were representatives of the CEI (the group staying at P wec). Then we were given a treat. There was a traditional Javanese dance group. The girls looked great in their orange and gold outfits.

The next two speakers were interesting, but for very different reasons. The first was a professor from the same university, basically advocating smoking (smoking is huge in Indonesia, and so much money is spent on advertising). He had researched tobacco and how it is effectively a useful tool in medical research and cure. He claimed it was the free radicals that made it unhealthy when we smoked, so if we could just eliminate the free radicals, we would have a healthy cigarette! Excellent. No need to stop smoking then! 

Ridiculous theory if you ask me and most of the audience. But, he has designed a filter that breaks down these free radicals and also creates an odourless smoke. Maybe he understands his target audience, but it was still hard to understand him.

Then, the next speaker told us about eco-tourism and developing an eco-tourism/training centre. This was inspiration and something I am going to look into more. I thoroughly enjoyed this part.

We skipped off after lunch, bored of people talking and wanting to discover Malang. It's Asti's home town and Uni town, so she was the perfect guide.

We stopped off at the park that centres Malang. There were, surprisingly 3 (!) MacDonald's on the corners. Thankfully, the park was big enough to walk around and not see them.

We tried some traditional coconut ice cream (es puter kelapa). A-mazing! It is made with coconut water and put into a container of ice until it freezes. The result is a sorbet-like texture with a delectable coconut taste.

We passed by a few batik shops and I, of course, squeezed in a small bit of souvenir shopping!

Then we headed off to the Pro Fauna office. We bought some Rujak to take with us. It was yummy, although appearances may say otherwise. The fruits are dipped in the sticky sauce, made from coconut sugar and peanut - a nice mix of sweet and savoury.

I also tried Es Degan coconut water with ice and big strips of coconut - soon to become my number one drink!

It was great to meet the staff there and do a quick photo shoot!

Asti's family
Pisang Goreng ...withh cheese!
We decided to see the paddy fields near Asti's house, so we went to see her mum and dad. it was such a lovely experience. Her mum also spoke English and chatted away about many things! She fed us fried banana (pisang goreng) and even topped it with grated cheese! Yes, it really was delicious!

The ride home wasn't so scary, so I grabbed he camera and snapped away.

The road
The rice fields
The sign to P wec
The passer by

By the time we got back, ate dinner and caught up on the diary, I was snap happy and exhausted!

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