Travel Highlights

by Tabitha Kidwell

Dedicated blog readers will notice that it’s been a long time since my last post, and it is with good reason: I’ve been out of town the last two weeks, first to Yogya (a town just south of me) then to Semarang (a town just north of me), and then to Ubud (in Bali!). This was my first trip longer than a weekend, and it was really exciting to get out of town and see some other parts of Indonesia! Here are some of the highlights:

Visiting the Yogya bird market – always an interesting time. They also sell pets, and this time I came across a bucket full of squirming, clawing hamsters. It was an awful way to store them, just piled on top of each other. I learned it was because their cage was being cleaned, but nevertheless, poor little things! They reminded me of my hamster Shithead (I didn’t name him) that I had in my college dorm. He used to do the monkey bars and run around in a yellow plastic ball. I never cleaned his cage, but then I never put him in a bucket with 20 buddies, either.

I also spotted this guy up past his bedtime.

From Yogya, we went down to the South Sea, where you could buy your freshly-caught fish at the market, then take it to the restaurant and have them cook it for you! Can’t get much fresher than that!

I also saw the beach for the first time since coming to Indonesia. For a country that consists of 13,000 islands, it’s pretty absurd that it took me 3 months to see the ocean!

I celebrated Halloween in Yogya, and mustered enough Ohioans to do a full OH-IO! The second O only qualified by going to Oberlin, but she was there the last 4 years. I think it counts.

I dressed up as a ‘bungkus,’ a take-out bag.

My friend Megan and I did a presentation on Plagiarism at the American Corner in Semarang. Even for this driest of topic, almost 200 students showed up!

During the cultural dinner at the TEFLIN conference, we got to see some incredible Javanese dances.

And got to ask other people to be in our photos for once.

The next day, we got to try out some traditional Javanese costumes ourselves (for more on this see my previous post!)

In Bali, my friend Meghan and I took an incredible bike tour through the countryside. It included breakfast overlooking a mountain lake, visiting a coffee plantation and trying coffee luwak (that’s the stuff the rodent eats and then… well… google it), seeing a traditional temple ceremony, visiting a Balinese family compound, and taking a walk through a rice field.

The next day, Meghan and I took a Balinese cooking class. She really liked it because she likes to cook, and I really liked it because I like to eat.

Meghan and I also woke up at 2 AM to climb Mt. Batur in time for the sunrise. Look how beautiful our sunrise was… not! It was still fun, though.

We did get to see some crazy cool monkeys close up on the way down, though – this photo didn’t even use zoom!

And lastly, Meghan and I took a batik class. I actually took one the week before in Yogya, too. I am no artist, but I think my batiks turned out okay. They look like something a child might make, but I’m okay with that.

And the best highlight of all: I was happy to come home to Salatiga! I guess that means I am really settled here and content with my life. It was a treat to get back to my students and to reading my kindle on the couch!

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One Comment to “Travel Highlights”

  1. I can’t believe you weren’t Smurfette!

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