Monday, October 19, 2009

Yogya Weekend!

I spent this last weekend in Yogyakarta (Joke-jakarta) with a bunch of other Fulbrighters. The weekend was a whirlwind story telling/ compare-contrast session complete with never have I ever in a treehouse/bungalow thing 20 feet from the ocean at krakow beach. We ate a ton of amazing food including Lotek from Lollie's school's canteen, Chicken tikka at an Indian place, a tempe burger (with real cheese!) at a baller veggie spot called Milas, and fresh fresh fresh fish at a warang at Krakow beach.

Here are rad some pictures followed by a funny (at least I think it's funny) anecdote. Enjoy.

(Funny Story)

On my way home, a roughly three and half or four hour bus ride, I had to pee badly with an hour or so to go. I wait and I wait and I wait and I squirm and I squirm. I luckily manage to make it to my destination without peeing myself. Unfortunately my home is another 20 minutes by taxi, and i'm definitely not capable of holding it that long. Because its Sunday night, pretty much everything is closed sans a hair salon. I run inside praying to Allah that they have a bathroom and that I'm not going to pee myself. Once inside i'm greeted by two rather boyish indonesian guys one with a bleached blond feux-hawk and another with a gelled ducktail sorta deal. Thankfully they take pitty on the dirty dirty bule that stood before them and showed me the bathroom. After peeing for a solid couple minutes, I washed up walked back into the salon.
As I head back into the room of styling chairs and mirrors Im greeted with a solitary English word.
Asked the feux-hawked boy-man.
His word cut through the self-neglect I had compiled over the week.
I looked at myself in the mirror. My salt watered hair was matted and piled on the side of my head like a mound of unwanted mash potatoes.
I breathe deep."Berapa Hargana?"(How much) I ask. "35,000 ($3.50). I get stuck in economic indecision momentarily. In Indo this expensive, I should pay no more than a 15,000, In the states super-cuts would laugh at you for this price. I look around. This place would be expensive in the states.I'm talking $30 or $40. I reach into my pocket and blindly count my rupiah with the tip of my thumb. Do I need it? No. Should I get it? Probably.
I eventually give-in.
The duck billed boy takes me to a sink where my head is massaged with shampoo for an extraneous amount of time, my thoughts kneeded into wonderment. An abrupt phone call from my counterpart ruins my calm. I lift my head from the sink and hold the phone away from my soapy head.
"Thoms. Where are you!?"
"I'm getting my hair cut"
"I'm getting my hair cut"
"I'm worried about you because of your position"
"I'm fine Pak."
"Call me when you are at your home"
"okay, no problem"
"Yes, its okay, there is no problem.
"Bye, pak".

The boy-man takes me into another room to cut my hair. I try to explain to him that I want
"this much off the sides, and a little bit off the top".
"Yes, yes, ok".
The boy man, unsheaths his scissors and comb, and chops at my unwieldy mop at a speed unknown to man. A blizzard of curly jewish hair is unleashed upon the floor below me, a sight i'm certain its never seen. 15 minutes roll by, and the boy-man keeps cutting and cutting. My desired proportions have long been forgotten, there is perhaps a quarter inch of hair on the side and less than an inch on top except in the front. While cutting my hair I notice that the boy-man is looking up every once and a while to check himself out in the mirror. What I thought was perhaps a dose of vanity on the hairdressers part was actually an architect checking his blueprints. He was giving me his own haircut.

After a moment of sheer terror partnered with low level lamaze breathing. I realized that having a little ducktail in the front was actually not that bad. I had dreaded my whole life looking like a preppy who-haw, and now i realize that its sort of becoming.

Today at school, lots of teachers told me that I was handsome, A far cry from last week's, "Are you sick?" and "You must iron your clothes".
I was all smiles.


  1. Thom!
    I just read your blog out loud to Lizzy! It's so nice! You're so nice!

  2. We can't wait to see the results...the writing was great! Post a photo. LOL