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I consider myself a person who can handle A LOT of spice. However, I’m usually expecting it.

The other day I accidentally put a whole chile in my mouth (I was eating a noodle + veg dish called kwetiau so it hid wrapped in a thick vermicelli noodle) and I can still feel the spot in my mouth right where I bit down.

Ouch!

The red squiggle is a bit of sambal, a chile sauce eaten with everything on Java. It varies from a very smooth red paste all the way to a green with big chunks of chile pepper in it. Think of it as a home style Sriracha (you may call it rooster sauce) but with more pronounced sweet and sour components.

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We woke up on Sunday morning to 14 cows living in those quickly erected next door pavilions. There is a second empty pavilion that seems to promise some more “new neighbors.” There is also a third hit with an elevated platform that 2-6 men watch cows from while chatting/drinking coffee/eating 24 hours a day.

To be clear, we live in a city of about 1 million close to Jakarta and yes, it definitely smells!

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Yesterday it stormed for about 7-8 hours. Torrential rain, wind, thunder, lightning….. Yet somehow all of this progress has been made from yesterday’s photo.

To add to it, assuming the builders are Muslim (which is highly likely), they started work late. Fridays are a prayer day and many people don’t work until after the midday prayers. I took this photo around 1:30 pm.

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We have a star fruit tree outside my school and there’s always lots of teeny fruits on the ground and porch attached to the teachers’ offices. I love it because as a little kid (and as an adult!) I thought star fruits were SO COOL looking.

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This is a photo of the empty lot next to to our apartment. It looks like a semipermanent structure is going up. They’re usually made of 100% bamboo, even down to the nails and thin strips to tie together poles. It’s really amazing to watch one of these being built and to see how solid they are once finished. Tomorrow morning I’ll try to get a closer shot of their progress.