To get the most out of any local culture you have to do what the locals do.
There is a long time ago I got the tips for finding good eating places in foreign countries.
1) Do locals eat there? If they do, you know you get decent priced food
2) Are the police eating there? Then you know there are little trouble, and is relatively safe. (This is a good tip for western countries, not necessarily for the corrupt nations)
3) Are there bus drivers or truckers there? Then you will know it’s probably the best place around
By following these tips we set out to find this evenings dinner place. Eating out every meal can be heavy on the budget, so picking up cheaper places can be a bit if a bit of necessity. Today we followed rule number 1. We just headed down the street and and stopped by a place where the locals were lined up for buying food.
As the pictures show it’s quite a basic place where take out is more common than dining there. We (that means Katja) recognized the security guard from the hotel up the street in the line. We asked if the food was good, and after some Indonesian chit chat we were no wiser. Still we took our chances and ordered “everything”. It didn’t seem to be much choice, really. He took rice and added whatever was in the bowls in front of him, wrapped it it paper and handed them out. When he understood we wanted to actually eat, and not just window shop, he got all friendly. We were served “everything” and it was just great! I have earlier written nice thing about the warung we like so much, but this was even better. The rice was mixed with fried vegetables, there were fried pork, some unknown meat and deep fried pork skin. A real treat! Katja
also found a cookie, which turned out to be deep fried peanuts.
To top of the whole meal I was served a shot of Arakh Bali. A coconut spiritus. Wikipedia states the following:
Arrack, also spelled arak, is a distilled alcoholic drink typically produced in South Asia and Southeast Asia, made from either the fermented sap of coconut flowers, sugarcane, grain (e.g. red rice) or fruit, depending upon the country of origin. The clear distillate may be blended, aged in wooden barrels, or repeatedly distilled and filtered depending upon the taste and color objectives of the manufacturer. Arrack is not to be confused with arak, an anise-flavored alcoholic beverage traditionally consumed in Eastern Mediterranean and North African countries.
I don’t recommend drinking it in volumes, but as a drink aside a spicy chili dish is quite ok. I was asked to mix it with Sprite for flavor. Whether or not this will make the food easier to digest, or just kill any germs we were served remains to be seen. To en it all we paid 5$ for two full meals, 1 water, 1 sprite, the peanut Cookie, an extra bag of fried pork skin and the Arak shot. Beat that!
On the way to the pool yesterday did we get a fruit from the hotel staff. They picked it from a tree in the garden here as we watched. It is a
Carambole, or “Star fruit”. It is sweet and you can eat the whole fruit, skin and all. This was one of my dreams before going on this trip. Being able to eat ripe fruit from trees or markets. Not like in Norway where the fruit is ripened on the boat from wherever it was harvested. I know, I know! Norwegian apples are great, but do not match up to this.
For training we did a session with Pilates today. For core strength training it was quite good. Many exercises for stabilizing pelvis and opening hips. Just what I need the most, but the training was quite slow and we could have trained more and listened less. So I think we’ll stick with yoga. (So we did an afternoon session with that.)
And regarding yoga… One of the big international gurus is here now: Les Leventhal. We did a session with him yesterday, and it was the best so far. Tomorrow is another possibility, so we will be there early to get a spot. What better way to celebrate ones birthday than to sweat it out in training?