3 weeks

I’ve spent three weeks in Paciran already; time has really flown by.  I am currently in Yogyakarta again, getting stuff done and seeing my friends here. I wish that Yogya was closer — this time I took the bus from Tuban to Semarang to Yogya, and it was around 9 hours. There are other routes, but it involves taking more buses, and it’s just easier for me to deal with 2 buses instead of 4 at this point. Also, I never got car sick in Canada, but here I feel gross, probably because the bus driver really drives fast and slow, fast and slow, trying to pass the other traffic on the road. On the way here, we drove by an accident on the road that involved about 2 trucks, 4 cars and 3 motorcycles. That was a scary sight. I was praying that no other car crashes would be happening again…

Paciran is so small town. One’s private business is everyone else’s business. That one time I went running on a remote road by the white brick mine on a Friday (which is the day off, so no one was working), I passed 1 family, and a group of girls. Then about 5 days later, some random person came up to me and said, oh, you were running on the road by the white brick mine on Friday! Why were you alone? So berani!  The concept of being ALONE is not good… it’s much better to sleep in a room on the same floor where other people are sleeping, better still if you sleep in the same room with them, and even better if you are sleeping in the same bed (provided that it is a person of the same sex, of course!). hahaha… It’s so small town.

There are 2 corner stores. An Alfa Maret and an Indo Maret. I can buy yoghurt at the Indo Maret. That’s cool. The market is much more interesting. One lady took me and bought me a treat. I chose shredded coconut with javanese sugar wrapped in a banana leaf. There is a lot of traditional cooking here. I am learning how to make a lot of things from scratch, starting from the fresh, raw materials. One morning I roasted several batches of coffee beans for 1.5 hours, and then the next day, ground the beans, and then had a cup of coffee the next morning. So. so. so. good. mmm.

There is so much to do in Paciran for me. I’m so busy visiting everyone, preparing for teaching on Saturday afternoons, preparing for elicitations, trying to understand people, mixing up my bahasa indonesian and bahasa javanese, trying to understand what I need to focus on in getting data, recording people, cooking food, saying hi to the kids in front of the house, trying to understand what the kids are saying to me, smiling and nodding, going back to my room to do a few sit-ups and push-ups, then taking a mandi for the 3rd time in the day because it’s so freaking hot there, and then trying to understand what these 5 evidential/epistemic modals behave like.

There is also nothing to do in Paciran, except maybe visit people and rehash what Jozina said yesterday that was so hilarious (e.g. that time I mixed up meteng vs. mateng — meteng means “pregnant”, while mateng means “ready to eat — like when the water has boiled for tea, or when bananas are ripe”). As I said, there are 2 corner stores. And 2 markets, at differing times of the day. And many, many, many mosques. And pesantren (Islamic boarding schools). Then, you can go down the street to WBL, this tourist destination, which I don’t really want to go to because it seems like it’s for little kids, but apparently it’s amazing. There is also a zoo (!), which I’m really hesitant about going to, because I’m not sure I want to see animals locked up in tiny cages. But these two things are expensive for the Paciran folks, so it’s not a regular destination for them.

But things are going well. I just can’t believe I was so worried and anxious that I wouldn’t get enough data. Now the question is how to tone down the data…..  Well, I have an abstract due on March 1st. So that should be incentive to tone down the data, or at least prune it for now.


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