Thanksgiving for us this year was surely almost an exact replica of the very first one. First, just like our ancestors before us, Matt and I trudged through the dirty and treacherous terrain to meet the natives on common ground: KFC. We brought our knowledge of crispy fried chicken, and they supplied us with a new twist on potatoes: mashed and fried cakes. We then road back to our homestead at lightning speed in a mini-van taxi, the sticky night air rushing in through the broken door and cooling us on the way. We set up our feast outside where we could bond with the environment of our native friends. Declining our offers to share the Heineken, fried chicken, and peanut butter M&M's, the natives merely stared at us in disbelief as we broke bread with each other, toasting our good health and our good marriage. Then, our bellies full of greasy meat and cold beer, we retired to our simple room and treated our monstrous mosquito bites, then fell into a deep sleep, dreaming of the day we could return home. Just like the pilgrims.
Islam stole my Thanksgiving thunder today. Today is the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, or "Festival of Sacrifice". Apparently here t
hey sacrifice cows and then give the meat away to their families and friends. Also, apparently they pray all day. Prayers started at literally the crack of dawn, and have only stopped for short periods throughout the day. No one is praying right now, I guess, which is why I'm taking this opportunity to update my blog. Normally, I wouldn't mind because it doesn't concern me, but the speaker on o
ne of the mosques is pointed directly at my window, so it's unbelievably loud. You've gotta hand it to them, they've got good sound systems. It really sounds like the call to prayer guy is right here in my room with me, screaming into my ear. I've been doing my best to ignore him.
This speaker is pointing straight at my window. It doesn't look like much, but it's incredibly loud.
Matt and I went to "teach" at the Grand English Course a couple days ago, and it was less than stellar. There were only four students there that day, and they were really nervous and shy, and didn't want to talk. Mr. Muchsin tried to get them to ask us questions, but he ended up talking to us more than the students. Now he has taken to stalking me, finding me out on the street or coming to the hotel and calling my room to get me to come teach again. I understand that this is just a cultural difference, but it's an incredibly annoying one. People here (and in China, and probably many other cultures around the world) don't have a sense of pushing too hard for something. They'll ask the same question a hundred different ways to get the answer they're looking for. I hardly ever give it to them. You'd think I wouldn't be popular here, but I am. It's probably my charming personality. Or my light skin/hair combo.
Matt's job has been going fine, but today they're falling behind because of the holiday. Apparently everyone takes frequent breaks to go pray. Their religion is really screwing up my time table. Hopefully we'll be out of here in two weeks, and we could feasibly get a break between the reload and restart (don't worry, I don't know what these terms mean either) so we might have time to go to Jakarta and get more passport pages. Only if we're lucky... and we never are. And now I'll leave you with a picture of Matt's unit that we took from our hotel room. Impressive, isn't it? He's very proud. I would explain it, but I lack the technical terms... and the knowledge.