Homestay Buddha Street food
- We are now in Yogyakarta because AVI have sent mum to language school for one month. Because dad and I are approved partners we get to go as well. Mum has her own tutor but dad and I share one. The population of Yogya is around 400,000 people and it is the cultural and university centre of Indonesia. There are so many university’s here it’s quite amazing. We are staying in a big mansion close to the Wisma Bahasa language school. It’s a home stay with an extended Indonesian family and they have about 10 rooms for guests. Some of the other AVI volunteers are staying here too & there have been other interesting guests such as a man from the UK who is doing his PhD on orang-utans. He lives in an observation hut in the Sumatran jungle so he can study them. I’m hoping we can go to Borneo to see the orang-utans while we are in Bali. I really love our home stay. The house is very big and has a lot of space. There’s no garden, which is common here, but the 5 year old grandson of the owners is able to ride his scooter through the house. Dinner is amazing, it is the best food I have ever eaten in my life. It is cooked by the old cook who is a servant in the house. Every night we have soup, a meat dish, 3 vegetable dishes, rice and fresh fruit. I don’t know how the cook creates such great flavours but mum said she is sending me to cooking classes in Bali so I can learn. That’s great with me because I love cooking. I thought the bathrooms were fine but mum who loves her hot showers only gets cold ones. Well they are sometimes hot but usually cold. And you can’t use toilet paper in the toilet. So this has been a very challenging experience for us learning how to use the bathroom hose. And there have been many disasters. Mum came out dripping wet once, it was pretty funny for dad and I. Language school has been a bit hard for all of us. We only go for 4 hours a day but you are learning the whole time and because we have our own teacher you can’t daydream like I often do in school. But still, I am learning very quickly. After just two weeks I can understand a simple story. Yogyakarta is really really cheap to live in. A 30 minute taxi fare is less than $3. All the beauty treatments that I love, manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, are also around $3. And the street food is so cheap. Less than $1 for a heaped plate of amazing tasting food. I never thought I would be brave enough to try street food but all the students at the language school know the great places to eat, so every day for lunch, that is what I have. Clothes are under $10 and I had some pants tailor made and it only cost $7. They are such a great fit.There have been 2 really bad things that have happened since we have been here. There aren’t many dogs in Indonesia (Bali is different) because to Muslims they are dirty. So if a family does have a pet dog it is probably kept in a cage like Buddha, the St Bernard in the photo. He lives in a cage on the hot street with no shade and his water bowl is empty every time we walk past. I would really like to do something to help Buddha but it is hard when you are guest in a country and these things are accepted. So as an Aussie teen living in Indonesia this is my first big challenge. The other thing is my grand dad. Mum was worried about only 1 thing when we left Australia and that was if anything happened to her parents we were so far away. Now we have found out my grand dad has cancer and we are not there. Mum said grand dad has to make some decisions about having treatment so we are all really worried about him. He is the only grand dad I have because mum and dad are older parents and daddy’s parents died before I was born.Next week I will write about other things I love in Yogya, places to see and if there is anything I can do to help Buddha.