Yesterday
afternoon, we needed to buy some ice, because the expat teachers were coming to
our place for “thank you” drinks in the evening. 

The place where
we previously bought ice in the village of Lakarsantri no longer sold it., but
there was another place two hundred metres up the road. Helen had been there
before, and had bought a block of ice (~ 100cm x 20cm x 20cm) for Rp 10,000
(~AU$1.30).

Most Javanese
village houses are fairly messy, but this one was exceptional. There also
seemed to be at least four women who were pregnant or nursing babies, with
hordes of little kids around, and a few dodgy-looking blokes. They all looked
as though no-one would be really sure if someone was their father or their
brother. 

Helen, of course,
was recognised, and they sprang into action. One simpleton grabbed a length of
rubber, and his motor bike – there was obviously no ice. “Three minutes”, said
a lady, in Indonesian. 

I thought it
would save time if he took the ice straight to our place. Helen and I attempted
to explain the concept, and our address, with no success. We waved him off, and
he sped into the distance. A while later, he came speeding back through the
village, weaving in and out of the traffic.

The ice was
dumped on a dirty rice sack, and another man proceeded to dissect it. The
courier grabbed a bucket of water (of dubious origin) and took over the
chopping up. He sectioned it into sixteen roughly-equal pieces, and washed each
piece in his bucket, before putting it in the large rubbish bin we had brought.

Helen paid the Rp
10,000 and we got into the car. As we were pulling away, the courier came
running up – he had been left out of the transaction, and wanted Rp 5,000 for
his trouble. We thought that it was a very cheap price for the entertainment.

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