One of the great things about living in Asia is that you can go on the same walk every day, and still see something different. Where we live, on the western edge of Surabaya, we can walk and cycle through rice paddies, cornfields and villages.
The reaction of almost every villager is friendliness, even though the gawks that we get from some of them indicates that they don’t get out much. Mornings and afternoons are good in the village immediately behind us, with everyone greeting us with the traditional “Hello Mister”.
I have a couple of rides, varying from 20 to 30km, usually north to north-west of home. This morning, however, I rode with two new colleagues. Andy and Rachel, to the south, and we made it down to the Surabaya river. Andy had yellow cycling gear on, which piqued the interest of a number of locals. When we got off to have a look at the river, one bloke looked like he wanted to swap shirts.
It is very useful speaking a bit of the language. For example, today, a bloke told me that a gang (small street) that we had passed actually led to where he guessed we wanted to go. (And, he was correct.) It’s also useful to ask directions, and also find out information about objects of interest.
Like us, Andy and Rachel seem fascinated by the different things people here do, compared to our home countries. Many of the expats rarely venture outside their comfort zones, and miss out (in my opinion) on some wonderful experiences.