What a difference between cultures and countries. In Australia, the only toots I heard were from the occasional well wisher, and the boys with big motors and little socks, with their aggressive "get off the road" threats. In Indonesia the tooting is continuous, but it is soft, and has aaaahs meaning. Goes something like this:
Peep: Hi there, just wanted you to know that I'm behind you, or Hi there, I'm coming towards you, I know you can see me, and I can see you, but just wanted to say hi, and let you see my family, my child on my knee, my wife and baby behind me. Isn't it great how we can all fit on a Suzuki 90, and I can smoke while I'm riding through all this traffic, and still have a finger to press my horn, which has a squeaky noise. Can you see me? I'm the one with the BIG smile.
Peep, peep: Just to let you know that I'm behind you and may pass you very soon, but I'll probably wait until the road ahead is a little more conjested just to add challenge.
Peep, peep, peeeep: I'm important. I'm in a hurry. I'm going to pass you. I'm going much too fast for the traffic, but I'm important. So watch out, because I'm coming through, even if you don't shift.
And the truck that has been creaping up behind you, grinding gears, and bellowing fumes...PARRRP: I'm a big truck, and I need some room, and I know you know I'm here cause I've seen you looking over your shoulder, but now I'm finally right next to your ear, I thought I'd see how high I could make you jump...
Had a bit of an idea where I might end up today, Kalibaru so headed out after breakfast, a very hot Nasi Goreng ( I'm sure I ordered eggs last night). The call to prayer started at 3.30am and it's loud. Then being on Jakarta time, and over 1000km east of there, it gets light early, and dark early. The locals seem to start work early. Rush Hour is between 5.30 and 7am. Luckily breakfast wasn't until 8am, so I wasn't tempted to mix it with the 7000 scooters.
Anyway, my brief look at maps was taking me to Kalibaru.....which turned out to be only 20km......hmmmm. Maybe I need to go further.... Ended up in Jember, 70km, and over a reasonably big hill, gentle up hill, and gentle 25km downhill, averaging over 30kph, having to slow down through towns. That's another difference from Aussie. There I rode for 100km between towns (read lonely roadhouses). Here I can't go 100m with our being called out to, or without seeing another stall selling Nasi and Coke. Here I'm uncertain when I'm entering or leaving a village, they seem to merge. Am I in the Centre yet? Have I passed all the hotels?
Passed lots of drying coffee beans today. They lay them on big plastic sheets right beside the road, and occasionally rake them so they dry on both side. Then a three wheeled mobile coffee grinder comes along, grinds the beans and puts them into bags, where I suppose they are shipped off to Starbucks all over the world.
Also lots of big leaves drying on the roadside. I'm pretty sure it's tobacco. All the men chain smoke here. Smokes are $1.50 for a packet of ten. Haven't seen women smoking. Just proves women are brighter......
One village had lots of Tin Smiths. They make amazing pots, of all sizes and shapes, with such basic equipment, a hammer and soldering iron.
Roadside food today. Mei Goreng(noodles) with a heap or Nasi (rice) to damping the spice. Then this evening, Chicken Sate, with Nasi.....of course, and I'm still well....... Every day an adventure. What's your day like?