I’ve written before that, in my humble opinion, people who don’t get out and walk a bit miss so much. Growing up in the bush (sort of) meant that we were always walking somewhere. My brothers and I would set out for the day with some sausages, bread and water and trek a few miles up the road and light a campfire (can’t do that in too many places now). The real bonus was that we could stop and look at plants and animals at our leisure.
Helen and I get to see so many interesting things by simply walking around. In every country we have visited we have got up early and walked and looked. It will be a while before we exhaust the possibilities of Kemang. Recently, on a Saturday morning I watched a couple of blokes pouring 20 litres of cooking oil into an enormous wok, ready to fry up pisang goreng (fried bananas) for passers by. Maybe many people would not find that interesting, but I marvel at the millions of stall holders around Asia who get up in the dark and prepare food for people on their way to work, whatever that work may be – an office worker, some sort of artisan or trade person, or maybe a street sweeper. High School students seem to be very heavily represented amongst the patrons of street-side food stalls.
The traffic in Jalan Raya Kemang (Kemang High St.) is often pretty bad, mainly because of a couple of uncontrolled streets (by traffic lights) from which vehicles attempt to turn right and left with no apparent thought as to how everyone else is going to get through. We got caught in a gridlock on our way to the gym last week, and a couple of us tried to sort out the mess. Every time we cleared a space to move a car through a couple of “considerate” motorcycle riders would fill it, making it impossible, again, to get the traffic to move. The motorcyclists even came up the wrong side of the road, and blocked the traffic going the other way as well! Luckily, one can predict the times when this is most likely to happen.
A way for us to minimise the traffic delays is to patronise the bajaj’s that ply the street. They are very environmentally unfriendly, but most of the drivers can zip through spaces that cars cannot.
We still haven’t scratched the surface with restaurants and bars. Because it is Ramadhan, most of the “dodgy” clubs are closed. Many are not – I was watching the first half of Essendon’s pathetic effort against the ‘Pies the other night, and beer was being served in coffee mugs.
The other week I went for a long walk, and found myself in Jalan Kemang Timur ( Kemang St. East). It is a long strip of furniture shops. I had a moral dilemma as to whether Helen should know about it, but I told her in the end. It hasn’t cost us anything, yet.