Last night, during dinner, the topic of family planning some how crept up. We were asking Aini (the girl I mentioned earlier this week) if she was excited about getting married next year and whether she would start a family quickly, as is the case with most people here. Well, Richard asked, not me. I somehow thought that girls here are too shy to talk about anything remotely to do with how babies are made.
Surprisingly, Aini talked very openly about how the generation today is much more aware of family planning and the benefits of having smaller families. When we asked what she meant by 'family planning' she actually spelled out what she learned in her sex ed classes. It turns out that I was the one not prepared for the conversation (LOL!). Unfortunately, they were taught all the various methods of contraception except for abstinence during those few days a month where it is possible for a woman to fall pregnant. I say 'unfortunately' because its the one method that would benefit any poor people who were trying to have any sort of planning.
Following on from that topic, she told us about the high school and university students, male and female, who get into prostitution. According to her, the practice is extremely common. Initially, I thought this was to help pay their way through school, or maybe help their families out. Nope! Its supposedly to buy cell phones, clothes and other such 'necessities' a young person needs. I'll definitely be doing more research into this to find out if the young people of Palembang are really so desperate for things my old fashioned mind really can't justify as needs.
Naturally, all the info on sex led me to ask about drugs. I know from others people that it is a major problem in Palembang (as it is anywhere else). She didn't mention any narcotics but spoke of the boys in school frequently sniffing glue because its cheap. She was so matter of fact about it.
All in all, it was interesting dinner conversation. Snippets of information that has given me some leads into further understanding life here in Palembang.