JMP has been working pretty hard over the past week and a half, and her music school had a day off yesterday. They arranged for this day off a trip to the hills of West Java, to a place called Cipanas which serves as a sort of vacation station for many Jakartans.
JMP can better recount her trip than me, but from her description it sounded like a blast. Up in the hills it is much much cooler than it is at sea level. The highest pass that they drove over was about 4500 feet up, but she reports that the temperature there in the middle of the day was a pleasant 21 degrees C (compared to about 30 C when she returned to Tangerang in the evening). With weather like that, it’s no wonder that the Dutch used that area as one of their hill stations for colonial weekend retreats. I am still confused as to how it can be consistently so cool at that relatively low altitude when we are so close to the equator, but I won’t complain.
At any rate, JMP got to eat banana-cheese fritters while sipping tea at an tea plantation that was an old Dutch settlement and to poke around the nice houses up there. She reports having a very nice time. She also learned that the prefix ci- is an old way of saying "water," probably borrowed from the local language Sundanese. That would explain why so many places around Jakarta have names that begin with Ci. Like Cipanas, Cirebon, Cililitan, Cijangur, Cianjur, Cilandak, Cipete, Cikodok, Cikidang, Cimanggis, Ciledug, Ciputat, etc.