Nov 21:  Yogyakarta to Ngadas

Up 5am.  Slept well.  Al my joints are mostly back to normal.  Limp pretty much gone.  All this again points to lack of a sleep as a trigger for arthritis flares.

At 5:53am I had my first breakfast of the tour.  Had to bring our bags down to reception at 5:30, and I had no dinner yesterday, and there would be no lunch today on account of the train ride, so this was a key meal.  At breakfast I had "bacon" (squares that tasted like pepperoni), potato wedges with roasted garlic, fried fish, fried rice, sambal (waterier, soy & chili, nice and hot) and apple juice.

No table salt on this trip.  Salt is yummy and we all crave it and it sucks water into your intestines.  I could use that right now.

Left on the bus 6:28am.  Clare is back!

Passed a restaurant called Olive Fried Chicken.  It had Olive Oyl on the sign.  So pretty much a legitimate Popeyes.  There was no line for the chicken-ass sandwich.

Arrived at the train station 6:55am.

Yogyakarta Station.  I assume this empty area is designated for future tracks.

Yogyakarta Station.

Yogyakarta Station.  Train departed 7:45am.

There wasn't enough hanging-out time on this trip.  I knew that going in.  The reviews on the G site said there was much more travel between cities than usual.  That meant I wasn't getting to know people, and even worse, they weren't getting to know me.  That's been the biggest waste of my life--people not wanting to get to know me for whatever reason--too old, too short, too smart.  They'd like me a LOT if they talked to me.  I'm amazing.

Ryan was next to me on the train again (to Yogya he had the window, from Yogya I had the window, and I think originally he was supposed to be my roommate but a change was made, and I'm curious as to the reason, but I think I might know).  Finally he asked me about my Wiffleball shirts, which someone always asks me about.  Also he asked about the divisional and playoff structure of MLB, which I enjoyed explaining.]

No aircon on this train.  It's a bit stuffy.  I mostly rested my head for 8 hours.  Maybe slept briefly.

At 3:35pm, near Malang, rain started!  No lightning, though.  Rain without lightning is like a puppy without a home.

On the way into Malang we crossed a bridge with a view of stunningly-colored houses in a river valley.  I couldn't get a pic, but see below.

Train arrived 3:45pm in Malang.  Pouring.  Street out front of the station was flooded.  Had to find the path of least flooding so as not to ruin my Nikes.  Left in taxis 4:05pm.

Colorful houses from the taxi.  We're going to the right here.  The train went in the opposite direction on that second bridge.

Malang has the worst traffic in history.  Cars, motorcycles, people, no lanes.  Took a very long time to get from the train station to a road on which cars could move freely.

Stopped for snacks 5:15-5:25pm.  I bought a small orange Nickycat I mean Fanta, and Toasted Corn Doritos ("No. 1 Tortilla Chip Brand in USA").

The Malang outskirts smell like burning.

We got taxis because the ride to Ngadas (our homestay up in the mountains) used a winding mountain road too narrow for buses.  Chilly ride (50s Fahrenheit).

Arrived at the homestay 6:10pm.  It wasn't just one house that hosted all of us like in Turkey; rather, a few houses in the neighborhood contracted with G to give us accommodation and food for the night.  The house you stayed at was based on what taxi you arrived in.  I was with Toomas and Ryan so we got one house.  And, bonus, just the order in which we entered the house, I got the single room.  Nice.

I finally figured this out.  Lindsay looks like Kara Harris.  Kara was a singer who did the Pig 'n Whistle open mike regularly when I was doing comedy there.

At 6:53pm we all went to the main house for dinner.  Steamed rice, yummy noodles, corn fritters, fried chicken, veggies in garlic.  After eating, we got an overview the area and the stuff we'd be doing in the am.  Girls from the local houses (one from ours) and another local guy demonstrated the use of sarongs.  They asked for volunteers and we think Rose and Cam were legally married during this demonstration.  Also I realized here that Cam is actually Daniel Radcliffe, but this didn't come up in discussion until later.  And then it was an open floor and one person asked way too many extremely specific questions about local healthcare, like whether they have midwives.  Stop being a weirdo.

Back to our individual house 8:20pm.  Prepped for the morning, which was about to start in like 2 hours.  Chilled in my room.  Farted a LOT.  It's coming, but there's only a squat toilet here, so not tonight.  Did phone stuff and transcribed.  Bed 9:45pm.  Loud locals outside, but they didn't keep me up.

Low 51F/11C.  Only night it was below 68F/20C.  Still warmer than LA.

Another reason we're not connecting on this tour, in addition to the lack of drinking nights--we're all on different tours.  Some people had already been travelling with Barry when I arrived in Jakarta, and 3 of the 13 will be continuing with him on Bali.  It's a much different experience when all 15 people are together for 2 weeks and we get to know each other.  Ah well.