Well, I’ve just done my first week of language training and it’s been a good week. Think I’m adjusting to the tropical climes finally, which is nice. Been getting out and doing a few things, the next of which will be climbing Mount Merapi, a volcano, tonight/tomorrow. Should be good fun. We get picked up at 10pm, start hiking around midnight and should be at the summit for sunrise, around 4am. I love ridiculous adventures.
Earlier in the week, we headed into the bird market, near the center of town. It was interesting, but a little disturbing. It wasn’t just birds, but all kinds of animals in small cages, probably not being fed or hydrated enough. Off the top of my head, there were mongeese, turtles, bats, monkeys a woodpecker and many more.
Another day, I went for a rather expensive swim at a fancy hotel, which was very much worth it, especially considering the real, hot shower and the free juice from the bar included in the price.
What else? We checked out the Kraton, the sultan’s palace, which was pretty interesting. We then went to a batik material making co-op and shop, where we got to see them making batik. A long and complicated process, which makes you appreciate the effort that goes into good batik.
Last night, we headed into town to get a feed, then watched a shadow puppet/gamelan performance. While eating dinner at a street restaurant, we were serenaded by a 5-piece band (including banjo). By serenaded, I mean, they played us a couple of popular songs. Funny stuff though and they weren’t bad. The performance was pretty interesting too, but we came in late and couldn’t follow the plot.
Also, for some reason, I keep seeing the same crazy transvestite around town. It’s weird.
By “we”, I mean myself, Nina, Ollie and Yvette, my fellow AVIs here doing language training.
I also got out and took some photos of the murals around the place, which I’ll post more of later. I’ve had time for sketching too, but no scanner.
OK, I’m racing the battery here and have been the internet way too long today (dealing with fraudulent purchases on my paypal, which seem to be all sorted now). More soon, hopefully with pictures from the volcano!