Saturday, January 31, 2009

Breakfast is Served

In the three nights that Glen and I have stayed at hotels outside our home base in Banda Aceh we have been served breakfast in our rooms. A knock on the door or a phone call initiates the meal. It is a brand new experience for me.
The typical breakfast comes as a neatly packaged brown-paper parcel on a plate, or bowl, along with either Aceh coffee or a sweet green tea. 

When you open the brown paper parcel it contains a banana leaf on which a serving of rice was placed or noodles, then that was topped with a hard-boiled egg, various vegetables, rice crackers, hot sauce, etc. One meal also arrived with a plastic bag containing a delicious broth that I poured over the accompanying noodles.

One has to forget the concept of a typical western-style breakfast and get used to eating food for breakfast that we would eat at other meals. It’s lucky that both Glen and I enjoy the food very much.

Thursday was a very successful day at the Aceh Timur branch where we started by reinstalling the HF antenna. 
Various other jobs were taken care of and at the end of a long, hot day we had both the HF and
the VHF radios working.

Friday was a long eight hour ride back to Banda Aceh in a Land Cruiser ill-designed for comfortable long haul travel. All along the road we saw cattle on the loose, grazing away, and taking their own sweet time to cross the road. The drivers are used to it and simply treat the cattle as a temporary obstacles that they drive around. When we finally got back to our hotel we both had a bad case of Toyota-butt.

Last night we went out with some of the AmCross staff to a BBQ restaurant down along the river. As we were shown to our table one of the guys ordered five “special Cokes”. Glen and I gave each other strange looks wondering what was being ordered. The cans of “special Cokes” were delivered and we got a big laugh when we realized that a can of another far more refreshing liquid was cunningly hiding inside a Coca-Cola sleeve. What a hoot!

Today we spent in an assortment of shops in Banda Aceh buying various supplies for a trip we are making next week up into the mountains of central Aceh: grounding stakes, clamps, pulleys, wire, connectors, etc. We also had five antenna mounting brackets cut and drilled at a local metal working shop for US$12.50. My highlight purchase of the morning was a Skype headset and microphone for $3.50. I'll test that tonight (morning in N. America) with Ann.

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