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March 5, 2009 Jepara, Java

Written by GingerBlossom Published in

It's only 6:30 p.m., and I am completely beat, it's going to be an early night. I don't have a clue about anything yet.. I thought I'd go to the bus station, there IS no bus station, you just find the right road and wait till the right bus comes along. What was supposed to be a 11/2 hour trip was closer to 3 hours, and my alarm clock, which also has a thermometer and flashlight in it, said that the bus was 98 degrees. Easily.

What really took me by surprise is how spread out everything is. Jepara just goes on and on, it's not high density building, but rather, interspersed throughout the town are rice paddies and fields. It's really lush, green, hot hot hot and steamy. The rice paddy opposite my hotel is bordered with elephant ear plants, they seem to grow wild. Today they've started harvesting the rice. First it's cut by hand, bundled, then hand-threshed in the field. The stalk is taken off for cattle food, and the rice will be put to dry on the sidewalk, and then winnowed.

I sprang for the deluxe room to get air con, and it's still only $16 a night. Included in the $16 is a breakfast buffet. I don't know what half the things are, but they're good. I thought I'd chosen olives on a skewer, they were pickled quail eggs. The coffee is good, too - this is Java, after all.

There are kitties on this block, I think that they are all related, as they're calicos with short semi-Manx tails. Anyway, there was a half grown cat out in front of the hotel, and he was sort of following a very large rat, but neither one moved quickly at all. It was strange. I don't know if the kitten thought that the rat was too big to take on, or if the rat knew he was safe because of his size.