Thursday, February 5, 2009

Minyak Gosok--my saviour

Morning rituals include cold showers, sludgey coffee, and a full application of minyak gosok. Minyak gosok means 'rubbing oil' in Indonesian. After seeing my initial addition to the toxic DEET, Ambra was horrified and steered me towards the local treatment--specifically the one with the black fly on the label. It smells of camphor and citronella, and seems to keep most of the mosquitos away without outright causing cancer. Those of you who know me well know that mosquitos love me over anyone else. I still get a few bites everyday, but I did with the DEET, too.  There are local remedies everywhere in Ubud (called jamu, I think), and I'm sure there is a minyak gosok to keep away biting ants, but I haven't found that one yet.  Of the multitude of ants, the tiny red ants seem to be the worst, and I get ten bites or so daily. Fortunately, the hydrocortisone I packed helps with these minor annoyances. I also have some sort of itchy rash all over the back of my hands that Andy seems to think will be with me until I return to Seattle. Alas, this is the tropics, and such is life.

Today we procured the tickets to Ambon. Lest you think this is an easy task... it took four trips to the travel agent: first to make the reservation and pay a deposit, second to pick up the tickets that hadn't arrived yet, third to pay the full amount and get confirmation from the airline, and fourth, finally to obtain the tickets.  In between visits, we drank mango/banana lassi (Andy's new concoction), and took a long stroll through the rice paddies.  Off to Ambon tomorrow at 6am, and on to the next adventure.  

I love you Clara, Yari and Eric.  I'll bring home lots of stories.  --XOXO Mommy


  1. LOVE these epistles. (and, of course, the pictures... those colored chicklets... hmmmm.)
    dropped off dinner at the newt yesterday. not a soul in sight. i have NEVER seen it so tidy!!! (not to dis your housekeeping skills, mind you. :- ) there must be some kind of cleaning fairy who dropped in. (not the greatest dinner I've ever made. well except for the peppermint bark ice cream. if the dinner sucks, there's always ice cream...:- )

    what else? here's a link to the national pie day extravaganza we missed. next year... i don't know if you have the bandwidth to open it though--especially now that you'll be in Ambon.

    the incumbent won the elections supervisor election, so we don't have to worry about the gun-toting candidate or the one who tried to run down the police officer... :- ) reason has won the day.

    do you hear the national news? although maybe once you get to ambon and then banda, no?

    bugs or no, it's WARM there. and chilly here. :- )

  2. Hi Carol,
    The internet is invariably slow here, but I sometimes pickup a newspaper and get a few headlines. Mostly dreaded news about the economy. People love Obama here, and often comment on their hopes that he will change the world for the better. Sounds like fairy princess Nana has been in a cleaning frenzy. I can't believe I'm missing peppermint bark ice cream! Mostly we eat a lot of rice. Last night with Dr. Daud (Indonesian archaeologist) we had a delicious fish (bubura) smothered in sambal (hot sauce), which I'm extremely addicted to if it is homemade. We're off to go shopping for rain ponchos before we get on the ferry. Thanks for keeping the family healthy and well-fed. love, laura

  3. Dear Laura:
    I wanted to send you an I love you for Valentines day, even though I'm not sure if I'm getting through. Check the date though, to see how organized I am! Yari says he wants to go to Florida for some reason, and his only other message, when pressed, was "You should see that funny guy..." I don't know if you can get chocolate there, but I hope someone can get some to you...or I can save some of the half ton we have here; thanks Nana. Got to go, Zoomasium calls... Love, xx's 'n oo's Eric