Saturday, January 25, 2014

Don't be mean.. go GREEN!

The trip back to Jakarta was a pretty easy-going one. We were exhausted from Mt Merapi and ready for some serious catching up on sleep. We had our things packed and ready to go prior to leaving so catching a cab to the airport was virtually painless. We were checked in and snoozing at the gate. The airport at Yogja is TINY! All the gates are in one central area so you don't really have to walk anywhere. It's also very crowded. I took advantage of an extra seat to stretch out and sleep on Ryan's lap til it was time to board. So many flights were delayed as usual.

I don't know why Air Asia always fails to leave on time - regardless of destination or sunny weather - but it does and quite frankly, it's super annoying. I end up taking their flights because of the price though. And they NEVER seem to apologize for the delay. I think customer service is virtually non-existent. Ryan and I actually got into a conversation about this. He noticed right away that "the jobs that don't really matter" (i.e someone to hold open a door at the mall, wash your hair who isn't the stylist, etc) are in excess but the stuff that one would normally deem important such as customer service or rapid check-out lanes at the grocery store should matter. But they don't. It's definitely a cultural adjustment.. one that I have kind of become accustomed to but will be grateful that doesn't exist when I go back home. There just never seems to be any efficiency here. I know that they don't install traffic lights in busy intersections, mainly because nobody will really follow all the "rules" anyway. But don't you think it would help? Shouldn't they consider having pedestrian walkways or at the very least, sidewalks? There are no animal shelters for the strays so you constantly see dogs digging in garbage or cats roaming the school canteen. The amount of trash that fills the local rivers is absurd.

whistle while you work..
I don't have a picture but this picture from Google images to the right of this passage basically sums it all up. And when it is rainy season, it's even worse!

The theories I've heard behind all the trash in the rivers and side of the roads is that before modern-day plastic, people ate from banana leaves. Sometimes food is actually still served this way at local restaurants. Thinking that because banana leaves are natural and perhaps biodegradable, they found and thought it perfectly acceptable to just throw it back on to the ground because it would eventually decompose. Eventually, restaurants or warungs (small roadside diners) moved to plastic or paper plates but unfortunately, people still continue the same habit. Thus, trash-filled rivers.

Ryan was actually appalled during our trip to Bandung (a later post) when one man who was also traveling in the same vehicle as us opened the van door while we were parked and threw his plastic bag out filled with trash from his snacking. He then closed the door and went back to sleep!

I know here in Jakarta the push for Save the Earth or Go Green campaigns are not so common and perhaps that's due to lack of education or no effort put forth by the government to encourage these types of organizations but Jakarta could really benefit. Even when you go through the tollway, they give you a receipt showing that you essentially paid 85 cents. RIDICULOUS. I went to the school bookstore earlier this week in the Secondary (middle/high school) building and the guy told me to wait so he could print a receipt for my white-out ("correction tape")! Whenever I buy a Roti Boy (see earlier post The Bule Arrives #4), they never fail to place this hand-held deliciousness into a paper bag and then a plastic bag and seal it with a staple but "Sebentar Ibu (Wait a moment, Miss). Receipt!" Indonesia has some really beautiful scenery around it and I wish the locals had a little more heart for their home. And don't get me started about its impact upon the environment.. last year in P5 Science, we had a unit on the water pollution and the kids got to really investigate the city around them. I love educating the young about such vital topics!!

Anyway, I try to save as much plastic as I can and use these green cloth bags for my grocery shopping. Sometimes, however, I purposely leave those cloth bags at home so that I can get my items bagged in plastic to use as trash bags. I didn't mean to get all environmental on you guys so now I will get off my soap box. If BBS had placed me in Science again this year AS REQUESTED this probably wouldn't have been an issue.. jusssst saying..

We returned to Jakarta and took it easy for several days before going to Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. We spent Christmas Eve and Day at home and really got to relax. I loved every moment of it! We also exchanged Christmas gifts. Below are some pictures from that week.

after a deep-hair conditioning treatment and head massage for $10

my little bookworm reading his new WW2 book in his new winter set

New Yogya shirt

friendship bracelets.. sooo cheesy, I know

blurry picture.. blurry night

Mexican and margaritas!

Update about 5-day, 4-night Malaysia trip for the New Year coming soon!

xoxo amber

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