The mountain of fire, Merapi, erupts. Again. And again. And again! Yesterday, it erupted 7-9 times during the afternoon. It was mostly cloudy, and so I didn’t notice anything; just heard the reports from the news.
This morning, however, the sky was clear enough to see Merapi from the window of my apartment, peeking over this one building. Nicole and I quickly decided to throw on some clothes and take in the view for real, since it’s been overcast for the past few days.
We caught the innocent giant in a state of serenity with a few clouds sweeping his base. The houses and buildings bowed in grey modesty, already admonished by hujan abu ‘raining ash’ a few days ago. Some other giants in the distance also were peacefully smoking away the day….
Nicole and I returned to our apartment, had breakfast, discussed how the silica-based ash sticks to the inside of your lungs and impairs the elasticity of your lungs, and then creates a greater chance for respiratory infections, if inhaled in great quantities. Harus pakai masker! Tapi, to much of my surprise, banyak orang orang indonesia tidak pakai masker. I asked one of the tutors, and she said that most likely mereka tidak sadar, they don’t realize that abu sanget berbahaya. At least I saw most of the becak drivers wearing one. And there are random acts of kindness going on, people giving out masks for free.
Then, I got ready to go to class; already late…cycling out the door, turn from my driveway, look up. And Merapi is no longer the sleeping giant. He’s ANGRY!!! Ash and awam panas (hot cloud) are billowing out. People stop in the street to take pictures. The ladies next door hastily take in their laundry. Other motorcycles quickly move on.
And eventually I, too, move on. Aku ke kuliah. I head to class; I want to talk with the tutors and other students to see what they are doing. They don’t know. I don’t know. We watch more 600-800 celcius clouds pour out into the sky. And then we go have lunch.