Although it’s just a year ago that I was in Java, I had forgotten:
- how fresh peanuts taste,
- that they tend to put sugar in everything (including some meat dishes),
- how lovely Javanese coffee is,
- the refreshing taste of lemongrass juice.
Now I can add tamarind juice with spices to my list of favourite beverages. The stirring utensil was of course a cinnamon stick, what else?
Some more impressions from a full day in Jakarta:
In an alley behind the antiques market I found a man who wasn’t painting but working on a frame, making it a point to look very much like an artist.
The Chinese temple in the old Chinatown was very well frequented, and the smoke lay thick from candles and incense. Four incense stick sorters were in action, this was the one who was least eager to be photographed.
I learned that the old port is used for ships transporting goods between the thousands of islands that make up Indonesia. The ships are supposed to meet safety requirements. I hope that they do.
A normal Javanese puppet show lasts 9 hours, with intrigues that are usually well-known to the audience. The private shadow puppet performance that the puppet master Aldy gave us was adapted to western impatience and drastically shortened to 10 minutes! The puppets can be made either of leather or, like here below, of wood.
And the finale of the day was in the hotel lobby, where Niken and Bowie (yes, that is his name) performed as they told me they do a couple of nights per week. They were great!
And I must show you Wheny’s smile! She was our guide during this intense day.