Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #3

13 Tidbits on Palembang

1) I think 99% of the men in Palembang smoke. The remaining 1% probably don't have any money to buy smokes but as soon as they have some cash, they'll head straight for the cigarettes.

2) Unlike Malaysia, the fruit seasons here are more distinct. Right now, we're having rambutans. I think the sequence after this is something like dukus, durians, magosteen, mangos, salas, and finally oranges. Since we don't have the change of seasons to look forward to, these changes of fruits are at least tasty. (I'll try to get the English names to some of those fruits I mentioned and blog about it some other time.)

3) There are no public parks or playgrounds here.

4) People here are still oblivious to their unhygienic practices. For example, a lady in the market this morning cut into the flesh of a coconut (that would have been eaten raw) with a knife that was sitting in a basin of either fish or chicken guts.

5) Medicines here are dispensed from pharmacies that still pound up the various drugs with a mortar and pistle to create the mixture prescribed. These are then wrapped into tiny packets for the customer.

6) There seems to be a mosque in every square kilometer.

7) People here are still very superstitious. They also believe that there is magic out there capable of turning a man into a stingray. This story was in the news a few months ago and each person I met genuinely believed it to be true.

8) Many people still live in homes with no running water.

9) The broadband service to our house has surpassed all my expectations. It is fast, reasonably reliable and not too expensive. When it does breakdown, the technician comes to fix it within hours.

10) The Chinese community here is very close knit and converse in a unique blend of Indonesian, Mandarin and Hokkien. I have problems understanding them because their intonation is quite different. In the end, I'm more comfortable speaking Indonesian to them.

11) Good Friday and Ascension Day are both public holidays here. I found this interesting because Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority country. I think very few countries in the world have Ascension Day as a holiday.

12) The people of Palembang are incredibly proud of their Pempek. In fact, people throughout Indonesia rave about this wonderful food that Palembang is famous for. Its a type of fish cake and is cooked in a variety of ways. Anyway, its the one thing here that I really don't like eating. BUT, its what everyone will keep asking you to eat here and I have to politely find excuses each time.

13) They all love children. Young or old, man or woman they are all good with kids.


Bilbo said...

Fascinating! Thanks for this most interesting ground-level look at a part of the world I'm not likely ever to see.

elizabeth embracing life said...

Wow, that was a real glimpse into your every day life. #4 has me thing...gross. Do this again. It's quite the education for me.

Nap Warden said...

Wow, to playgrounds...What do you do with kiddos all day?

Amanda said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed it.

Nap Warden: We play at home all day long. I have started taking Aaron to the Novotel pool recently so, that helps. They have some nice grassy areas on their grounds and sometimes I let him run around there with a ball too.

egan said...

I learn such cool stuff reading your blog. The smoking thing must be hard with a young child. I rarely encounter smokers and it bugs me.

The chicken/coconut and stingray stories are really interesting tidbits for sure. Lots of homes without running water yet you're able to find a pretty reliable broadband connection? Weird. Great post.

zero_zero_one said...

Thanks for that post, that was a really interesting insight into your part of the world :)

Amanda said...

Hey! I'm pleasantly surprised that you all enjoyed the little tidbits. Palembang has so many diverse aspects to it. Its development is so rapid in some areas and so far behind in others....making it a very interesting place to observe.

Thanks for all your comments.