Sunday, November 1, 2015

New normal: cattle fodder

Where does a farmer find food for his cows?

We'd buy feed at a farm supply store or let the cows graze in a meadow, right?

Here, men and women cut 4-5' grass stalks in the jungle clearings with machetes. The grass is loaded into a frame and hoisted onto the shoulder to be walked out to the stall. If the grass is being sold, waiting motorcyclists put the frame over their shoulders and away they go = wide transportation.

Note the 2 dark heaps of grass in the frame and the tin can tied to the wood. The can acts as a speaker for the man's portable radio.

New normal: scooting through the rain

Only in the tropics...

Need a new vehicle? This motor scooter is the equivalent of a Western sports car. A two-seater, the umbrella secured to the base replaces a windshield, and its wire basket subs for a mini-trunk.

Whee! Away we go.

New normal: iced drinks

It may be hot outside, but what's in that refreshing drink?

Why think twice before ordering iced drinks from street vendors

Here an ice vendor chips blocks of ice on the littered city sidewalk before delivering it (via motorcycle) to street vendors.

New normal: what's for lunch?

Craving a little duck, pork, chicken, or beef for lunch?

What's for lunch?

(and what's in the restaurant window?)

We stroll up to a Chinese-run restaurant and there they hang: piglets, a slab of beef, ducks, and chickens. We indicate which we'd like. Yum yum.

(Surprising how quickly you get used to seeing your food "pre-plate" ...)

New normal: DIY delivery

Drywall jockey
Getting drywall supplies home ... how?

We call white wallboard "sheetrock" in Canada. Regardless, of its name, it's heavy, stinky, and easily damaged. 

We spotted this brave soul on the back of his friend's motorcycle, getting ready for some home repairs. Our lane went marginally faster in traffic so we caught a side shot as well.

New normal: civil servants - landscapers

Driving to your city job?

Another "do-you-see-what-I-see-in-traffic?" photo:

On their way to a landscaping job, these men balance their tools and themselves on the back of a pickup. Imagine this on First Avenue in Seattle or Chicago ...

Okay, maybe not.

New normal: monkey business

What did you see at your last traffic stop?

We never know what could happen at a traffic light in Indonesia. Last week we rolled down the passenger window to snap a photo of a man and his monkey.

When the light turns red, the animal walks on tall stilts or rides a bicycle in the intersection. Then the pair solicit donations, walking between cars. The handler and monkey hop onto the curb when the light turns green.

New Normal: motorcycle commute

How coordinated are you?

No car can park on these streets! Stairs climb the hills between houses – and the vehicle that gets you home is your motorcycle.

Rethink your balance, too. Old and young navigate their motors up and down the 1'-wide path between the steps.

Did you know that motorcycles can carry 4 or more people ... or cargo ranging from hundred of eggs to gas canisters to luggage to small fridges? (You name it, they transport it!)

New Normal: watch that jet!

STAY ALERT at the Bandung airport.

Look both ways at the crosswalk (oops, runway) to climb the steps to your airplane. Yup, that's a jet cruising by outside the waiting room window. (Our plane was the red one, far left.)

Attendants on each side hold up their hands like crossing guards so passengers wait ... and don't get run over by taxiing airplanes.

Friday, July 3, 2015

New Normal: This little piggy ...

came to dinner

Two suckling pigs = the bonus meat at a graduation party. Delicious, really.

New Normal: would you climb this staircase?

Even if you trust your eyes, would you trust your balance?

We spotted a wooden staircase (no railing) leading to the roof of a 2-storey building. The kids playing below made it even scarier: can they resist?

New Normal: oh those useful phonics!

Remember the phonics your grade-school teacher drilled into you?

Sometimes we can figure out what's going on because the spelling is phonetic and/or a mish-mash of other languages. We've taken the "taksi," hung "gordyn" (Gardinen = sheer curtains: German), and dried dishes with a "lap" (Lappen = cloth: German). It's all part of the adventure.

New Normal: Rabbit Sate

Ever had a pet rabbit? Here's another viewpoint:

Sate (pronounced satay) is meat on a skewer, usually roasted over a charcoal grill. One northern village of Bandung is noted for their rabbit sales. Cages line the streets.

"Buy one for a pet or for lunch," jokes a friend.

But she means it. Cafés serving rabbit are everywhere.

New Normal: hair color variety

This ad in the local grocery flyer reminds us we've left Europe and the West. Apparently "All Variant" colorant doesn't include blond, red, or white.

Monday, May 18, 2015

New normal: Where's the TP?

Getting acquainted with a "bum gun":

Indonesian plumbing and sewers cannot bear the sewage generated in large cities, so most bathrooms do not have toilet paper. You spray (back to front) to clean up; then dry with a tissue. The bidet-style sprayer is inelegantly nicknamed a "bum gun."

In a Western-style household, the toilet may have TP - but you must toss the used tissue into the garbage, not into the toilet. Going out? Take tissues along: they may or may not be supplied.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Normal: Commercial dishwasher

Many street vendors wash cooking and client dishes in a pail, using (and reusing) ambient temperature water from a 5 gallon bottle throughout the day. Rinsing is optional; dishes are reused after air-drying.

Health tip: bring your own dishes ... or skip the food cart.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New normal: Street camo

Fitting into his surroundings

See the fellow sleeping in his trishaw? He dresses in camouflage to match his three-wheeled bike, pushing it around Bandung and catching the occasional cat-nap - or in this case, camo-nap.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

New normal: a peek into the shop window

Glamor and glitz for special occasions
Sundanese love sparkling clothing. Similar clothes are often custom-made for weddings.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A New Normal: Chicken, pre-market

Walking down a narrow street, we find out where raw chickens are chopped before being delivered to the food markets ... picking up handprints, flies, and other goodies on the way.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A New Normal Snack: dried cuttlefish

We find the oddest foods in the snack aisle. 

So far, we're not enthusiasts of every kind of dried seafood.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

New Normal: an urban fishing hole

Can you fish in your city?

Fishing at a sidewalk access hatch in the middle of Jakarta, 

at MoNas (Monument Nasional). This fellow says he catches ikan (fish) here.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Normal: the pony cart

Trotting along in Bandung

You can still catch a pony cart in many neighborhoods. It's a popular transportation option for locals as well as for Indonesian and foreign tourists, who flood the city on weekends to shop, eat, and enjoy the comfortable temperatures.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Climb like a monkey

Bamboo is lashed together and up they go

Workers scramble up bamboo scaffolding to pour concrete, build brick walls, and plaster over them. This is how they build most apartments in Bandung!

Portable pet shop

Shall we buy a fish?

Put a turtle in your tank ... or a guppy or a black molly.

Meet the guy in the corner of the market. His aquarium cart boasts baggies of fish, turtles, and snails.

Find one you like, then point and pay! The ambient temperature is perfect and no further packaging required.