Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Becak day

We were all a bit jilted this morning. Aisha had woken up at 2 again for 3 hours, and after that had only slept from 5 to 7 so Esther was knackered and Aisha soon ran out of puff. Lucas had bellyache and actually vomited (only water) a few times. And I wasn't feeling too hot, with a bit of tummy upset as well but mostly feeling really knackered. So on-and-off we were all in bed until lunchtime.

Went for a western-friendly luxury lunch and Lucas seemed OK. Yesterday we had promised a ride in a becak (two-person cycle rickshaw) which we keep on calling tuk-tuk as we never remember the proper name. They are more ubiquitous than taxis, the view is better, don't pollute, and are definitely more fun. However they are also more expensive, slower, uncomfortable, you take in all the exhaust fumes and feel a bit of a colonial bastard lording it over a poor old guy who generally has a hacking cough from all the pollution.

We asked to go to the bird market next to the palace. We knew they would just be closing but we got there in time to see, not only birds, but also fish, reptiles, rabbits, cats, dogs, rodents and even a monkey (not too sure about the legality of that one). We also popped in next door to see the plant and flower market (not as interesting).

Either the guide map was wrong or, more probably, there is more than one bird market and the becak drivers took us to the closest one. The hustlers (who can be a bit of a pain) were right when they said it was 2km away as we resolutely marched on round the corner. They jeered us good-naturedly as we passed by them again on another becak, having realised our mistake. Lucas and Aisha waved back.

As we were 4 in a becak and the driver was about 80 I gave him a decent tip. You'd think that just having got off a becak would give you a respite from the hustlers but no way. We fought through them as we headed to the two sacred trees next to the palace. They are in the middle of a pretty uninspiring field. We walked through them with our eyes closed, which is supposed to give you good luck. Not much else to do, we already knew the palace would be closed in the afternoon so I took the kids back while Esther sorted out tomorrow's bus tickets (in the end she got lost ans we'll have to do it tomorrow).

The Indonesian restaurant we had earmarked for dinner was closed on Tuesdays (wtf!?) so we went to the pizzeria next door. Funnily enough it was probably fuller of locals than the Indonesian restaurant would have been, out for a luxury night out as a couple or celebrating a birthday. It has a lovely garden, with a huge cinema screen showing Captain America (or something involving him and a whole bunch of explosions).

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