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The easy life in the kampung KAWUNGANTEN - The long trip by bus lay behind us when we arrived at what we called home at half past three in the night. Most of the family stayed awake to greet us, so not to be rude I sat down on the wooden bench to eat something. After that it was soon time to excuse me to catch some sleep. I just wanted to go along with the rest here, so getting up early is something obligatory. Of course there is the understanding that I didn't have much sleep, so I could get some sleep without any problems.

Around nine in the morning it was time to get up again. People here normally wake up around the time I got to bed last night, so I choose to get up after a few hours sleep not to lag behind half a day here. At the warmest time of day people take a nap of a few hours here as well, so I could pick up some extra sleep later today. First came a shower. Since it is fairly cold here in the early hours of the day, the water is even colder. I don't like cold water at all, but people here were informed pretty well as a kettle of hot water was already on the fire.

After a breakfast of nasi and sayur buntil (singkong leafs) it was time to make a short trip around the kampung. My girlfriend was able to greet the people she hadn't seen for months now, while at the same time introducing me. How easy. Things are different than in 'the olden days'. Most households here already have motorbikes as well. Often only one per family, but two is nothing new as well. Cars however are very rare. Most vehicles on the road with more than two wheels are used to transport freight, and every once in a while also a bunch of people.

The small road through the kampung, no luxury asphalted road, but there is no need for as well.  indahnesia.com
The small road through the kampung, no luxury asphalted road, but there is no need for as well. indahnesia.com

Even in the afternoon hours it is not terribly hot here, with a fresh breeze and some small clouds it is ideal weather to do as less as possible however. The kelapa muda (young coconut) that I wanted to have was already picked from a nearby tree as well and a few handful of coffee beans and clove from the garden were drying in the sun. Still that quiet life here, with every once in a while a schoolchild in uniform passing by on a pushbike or that little girl with the stick hunting for dragonfly to play with.

That is how many people here spend the day. For those that think this is just an illusion, that is not true. Work has to be done as well of course, evidence are the eight bags of padi, freshly harvested rice, in the kitchen. A kilogram of normal rice can be sold for some 6.000 Rupiah, so there is a small fortune in the kitchen here. It is not to be sold however, since they have to eat themselves as well. Selling it first only to buy new rice from it would be a waste of money and time.

Dad is sitting on a low bench on the veranda with a Djarum clove-cigarette in a corner of his mouth. A nephew joins him and also lights up a Djarum cigarette, because they were in easy reach on the table. Across the street - a mere path paved with river stones - a young man is training his pigeons. He owns several dozens of them. A well-trained one, a seemingly simple brown bird, received an offer of 200.000 Rupiah, but he refused. Trade, and that while you are just filling your time with your hobby.

Doves are trained here and possibly eventually sold, but it's also a nice hobby to have.  indahnesia.com
Doves are trained here and possibly eventually sold, but it's also a nice hobby to have. indahnesia.com

I added myself to the two for a short talk about nothing special really before I decide to find my bed to get some more hours of sleep, which should not be a problem in this quiet environment. The friendly temperature and slight breeze make it almost perfect. I opened the wooden pane which functions as a window and shook up my pillow before the nap. With ease you can sleep for two hours here before you are interrupted with the question if you like to eat something.

A nice meal of white rice with salted fish inside a bunch of singkong leafs. That is quite edible if I may say so, especially when you are really hungry. A glass of water makes the meal complete. How simple life can be at some points. The last bits of my meal I had just put in my mouth when I see some strangely colored chicks. Bright yellow, purple, green and orange are their colors. They are sold for 2.500 Rupiah each. Their color will disappear when they change feathers though, because the coloring is put into the egg.

This is how another day ends here. It starts to cool down again and the slight breeze picks up as well, which caused fresher air to flow through the house. The TV is put on and changed to one of the many channels that feature sinetron, soap like it exists all over the world only it seems to be worse here. At some times you can choose between a dozen of those programs with a same kind of story line.

While I head to bed at a reasonable time, around ten in the evening, the men in the family, and some neighbors, are still watching TV. Later on there will be soccer, so they will wait for that at home. It is only half past three when the game is finished. The new day is being readied already at that time of day. Half an hour later the first mosques hold their first call for prayer while drops of dew find their way down via leafs of the trees around the house.


Tags: travel, kampung, jalan, merpati, burung, kandang, small


Posted in Travel @ 17 June 2009 12:30 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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