Questions... Questions... Questions...

You've got have some.... And I might have answers.

What do you want to know about traveling the world?

Want to know What I really think of Chris after being alone with him for 2 months? How often I actually shower? Have I met any stinky hippies? Am I a stinking hippie? Is hippie\hippy spelled with an ie or a y? What do my parents think of us leaving?

Ask away! Just right 'ere in the comments!

Balinese Dance

Makes for gorgeous photos.... but is actually very boring.  Just trust me.

Indonesian Transportation-- move it move it

Ground transportation in Indonesia can be really inexpensive.  Large charter buses can take you for a 24 hour ride across the country for less than $15.  However, while large buses are great for long distance trips, the cheap in-town options are much sweeter...

The Bemo

A Bemo is a small public bus that runs between cities.  Usually a little bit bigger than a 15-seat van but smaller than a "short bus" a bemo is designed to seat 16 or so.  However, it usually seats 24 or more.  We once took a 2 hour bemo that sqeezed in almost 30 people and I had a 6 year old boy with his head in my arm pit for about 90 percent of the time.  It was a very rewarding experience for both of us.
(The bemo also evidently makes Indonesians very sleepy)

The Dokar

Want to go old school? Hang like the Amish?  Then the dokar is for you! Just an old fashioned wagon pulled by a horse.  That's pretty much it, you can only say so much.

The Becak

Hate horses? Like to make actual people work so that you can get from point A to B? Hire a becak (pronounciation: Bay-Chak) to pedal you from place to place.  Ah, human labor, making transportation so much sweeter for so many centuries.

The Oplet

Do you ever feel like you're too fancy for the city bus? Is there too much room between you and the sweaty man carrying a bag full of raw fish? Move to Indonesia and jump right into an oplet! These privately run buses can take you, and 10 of your closest friends and 4 strangers, anywhere you need to go in the city for only 50 cents! However, be aware, in Padang, Sumatra, the oplets have somehow agreed to pimp their rides into techno oplets complete with blaring techno music, LED lights, and sweet exterior body work bringing them only inches from the ground.

Take a ride, it's as easy as riding a bike.  Because it is a bike. Just be careful, because sometimes the road turns into, well, no road. Oh, and a lot of times the "12 gear" bike is really a 1 gear, and that gear is slow y'all.

Sepeda Motor
Allllllll right. Scoot scoot scoot.  What makes you look tougher than riding a scooter? NOTHING! Motorcyles are for wusses... wusses with leather jackets.  Scooters are for the truly bad ass.

Jalan Kaki
Indonesian for going by foot. That's right. The cheapest transport in town. Legs. In fact, I have two.  Holla. They might be slow and don't look as good as I want in a swimsuit.  But they are always there. Gotta love those guys!

Turtle and the hare

You all know the story.... A turtle and a hare race... the hare is fast but cocky... the turtle is slow and steady and wins the race.

I don't think the same can be said for slow but steady internet.  No matter what it's still slow.  I'm trying to upload posts and pictures for you all but it's taking forever!  They'll get there eventually!

Sorry it's been so long!

Just a picture

Prambanan Temple
Outside of Jogyakarta 
Island of Bali

Backpacking during Ramadan

Chris and I are on the Indonesian island of Sumatra where almost 90 percent of people are Muslim.   The Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan, began on August 1st. While Chris and I are not Muslim, our backpacking lives have been changed by Ramadan.

During Ramadan Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown refraining from all food, beverages, and smoking.  Muslims consider the fasting period to be a time for self reflection, centering oneself on faith, and a time to purify your body and thoughts.

Many parts of Sumatra are under sharia law which governs based on Muslim principles.  This means that if a restaurant is open during daylight during Ramadan the police have the right to come into the restaurant, confiscate the food, and shut down the restaurant.  The exception to this rule is "Tourist Only" restaurants that serve only to forgeiners.  Finding these "Toursist Only" restaurants can be a pain, but I would much rather eat lunch than fast all day.  At times Chris and I have resorted to buying food a the grocery store and eating in our room. 

While in no way is it illegal for us to eat during the day it is considered disrepectful to publicly eat or drink during fasting times.

 Even though no one is eating during the day during Ramadan there is definitely thoughts of food.  In the afternoons amazing markets filled with prepared foods open for Muslims who take food to go and wait until the sun is down.

These markets are packed with local people buying food of every kind. (Please excuse the picture quality, something happened during the very long uploading)

Notice that almost all of the women are in head scarves, long pants or skirts, and  heavy shirts despite the 80 degree weather.

These containers hold all different, and usually unidentifably (at least to us), foods.  The woman is scooping an egg filled sausage into the bag to which she added spicy vegetables and sauce. 

This fried food stand had delicious freshly fried corn fritters.  They were like hush puppies on crack.

 Let's be honest, none of this would ever hold up to American food safety standards, but I think that's probably a longer discussion for another time.

 Chips! Chips! Chips!  These chips are made from tapioka roots, not potatoes. However, they taste almost exactly like potato chips.

I do have to confess that our eyes were a little bit bigger than our stomachs and we took home a feast of delicious food.

These corn fritters where by far our favorite and I will definitely try to make them on my own.  Now that I know these exist I don't want to ever live without them again.

 And of course we had dessert! There are coconut rice cakes with banana, chocolate, and banana and chocolate.  Hey, I told you we over bought!