A few days ago, I got back from my trip to Indonesia!
David and I, along with my MIL, step-MIL, and BIL went to visit David's sister, her husband, and my nephew. They're currently living in Jakarta. Pretty good excuse for a trip, right?
We arrived in Jakarta after a 25 hour flight through Frankfurt and Singapore. Once we arrived, we went to a huge, shiny, overwhelming mall (keyword for this trip: overwhelming), and I forgot to take pictures. Except for this line of ATMs, which kind of gives the vibe for the entire place.
The next day, my SIL took me fabric shopping, and for that I will be forever grateful. I was too overwhelmed by it all to remember my camera, but I did remember after we finished the fabric stores and went to a crazy notions store. Here's a glimpse at some of the buttons.
There will be a whole post about my fabric, but here's a quick view of it. I spent less than $200 on this, and 4 of those fabrics are silks. I bought a LOT.
That evening we went for drinks at Cafe Batavia, which is an old Dutch place. It was mostly empty, and has this faded elegance to it.
The walls were covered with old photgraphs, even in the bathroom.
The next day we flew to Bali. We were a little worried about this, as we found out that the second day we would be there was nyepi. It's a religious holiday that requires all the guests to stay in their hotels for an entire day. We actually tried to change our plans so that we wouldn't waste a day of our trip, but it turns out that we couldn't. In the end, it was just fine because our hotel grounds were huge (we took a 2 hour walk and still stayed on the grounds), and the place was beautiful.
We also got to witness the Ngrupuk parade, which they have the night before nyepi. The people make Ogoh-ogoh statues to represent evil spirits, and they are burned at the end of the parade. On our taxi ride to Ubud we saw them being set up and constructed.
And we took a walk down to the closest village to see the start of the festivities.
And waited around (for quite a while) at our hotel for them to come by. The statues were carried by groups of boys; the bigger the statues, the older the boys. I was particularly taken with the smallest statue, because the boys who carried it were about the same age as my children at school.
And the big ones were impressive.
The day after nyepi, my step-MIL and I took a class on how to make batik fabric. (That's a whole other post, too.)
We went to the Ubud market, where I learned how to bargain, and then caught a traditional Legong dance at the Ubud palace that night.
The next day we did more sightseeing and shopping, and visited the Monkey Forest Sanctuary. We came back to Jakarta the day after that.
We visited Barack Obama's childhood school and finally got a group picture.
And then went shopping along a street of "antique" stalls, where we got even better at bargaining :)
Later, we went to Indonesia's International Museum.
And in the evening we took a very long flight home. What a great trip!
I'm still recovering from jet lag. Uploading and processing pictures is a good low-energy activity to do while recoving! Here is my Flickr set, if you would like to see more pictures!