I’ve been to Celebrity gym this week, at the Mall. Last
week, Helen got me to use a three-month free membership that I’d won. The first
RPM class I went to, I thought I’d die, only half-way through, but for the
second and third time I could keep up with little problem, except that I’d
prefer the A/C set a bit cooler.

The three times that I’ve been, the clientele has been very
Chinese-Indonesian. There are some very solid, fit Indonesian blokes – at the
moment I can’t even move some of the machines some of them do. The women are
classic. Many of them dress in outfits that would have the Young Islamic
Defenders Front crashing through the doors if they knew about them. However,
it’s terrific to see a culture of physical fitness permeating steadily through
society in Surabaya. A couple of colleagues and other expats come as well, and
some of them have personal trainers.

I went for my usual walk through the village of Lakarsantri
this morning. It’s a fairly typical, dirty Javanese village. The really
disappointing thing is the air pollution, simply because there is no education
or enforcement about vehicle emissions. A single motor bike here can pollute as
much as a whole suburb in Australia, and some of the trucks and buses defy

There are quite a few locals as well as other exercisers who
I regularly encounter on the 2.5km circuit, so “Selamat pagi” (good morning)
gets used a lot. This week has been Indonesian school holidays, so there have
been quite a few kids out and about early. Lots of village boys, and some
girls, now have bicycles, and packs of them venture out into the land of the
rich in the early morning. In the late afternoons it is usually the older
idiots who drag race on their motor cycles, although the City Guard (as their
trucks say) have done a fair job of keeping an eye on them. Weekends are
usually when young men and women get together for village courting rituals. I’m
not sure that a motor scooter is quite the same as the back of a panel van.


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