We took some fun pictures of animals at the zoo last weekend, they are now posted so check them out below on the right.
We decided to go out for dinner last night, because we were both craving Masakan Padang and there’s a good place near the institute. We haven’t been eating out much during Ramadhan, at least not at this time of night. It turned out that we showed up about 10 minutes before the end of the fast for the day. This type of food is just brought to the table, and you choose what you want to eat. So there were tons of people there sitting at tables covered with food and drinks just waiting. The instant the prayer was heard signalling the end of fasting, everyone took a few sips of their drink and lit a cigarette. There is no smoking during the day either for those who are observing, which for some is probably harder than fasting. Probably half of the people smoked one or two cigarettes and then dove into the food. (As an aside, people here smoke so much that they smoke while eating often, and don’t bother waiting til they’re finished with their meal like in the states). It was kind of a funny experience, and we, of course, waited to eat until everyone else started to try and be polite.
We also got to see some great gridlock action after we left. I’ve seen gridlock in NYC, and this is a much bigger mess. There are cars and motorcycles just pointing every which way and it’s quite amazing to watch. The cops have to direct traffic at this particular intersection because people just ignore the traffic lights anyway. We walked over past the big department store on the corner which had endless lines of food stalls packed with people on the narrow sidewalk. The day before, there was one lonely food cart in the afternoon when we were there, so it was quite a contrast. Oh, and to get out of the gridlock, several motorcyclists came up on the sidewalk, which is pretty impossible to walk on even in daylight without cats and people eating everywhere, and downright dangerous when vehicles try to come and share the limited space. We’re not going to know what to do back in the States where people actually drive in the road and there are no places where 7 1/2 lanes of traffic dead end into two all of a sudden like in our morning commute here (the half part is because people don’t follow the lane lines, even when they actually are painted, and try to squeeze extra lanes in for cars and motorcycles).
There’s a strange and annoying practice here by the cabbies. Sometimes they’ll ask you where you’re going when you get in and then say they don’t want to take you. I guess they’re waiting and hoping for a longer fare. But it doesn’t seem to make sense to us. We’ve even gotten into cabs before, only to have them drive a few feet, stop, stick their hand out the window, and flag down another cab for us to get into. Last night some guy wouldn’t take us, but we got our revenge because by walking we were moving about 5 times faster than he was in his car anyway.