I have to write something that's not rowing because this is not a rowing blog.
A while back, I went to Indonesia for work stuff. Both the temperatures and the food were hot. I love the interesting combinations of flavors and scents in Indonesian food. Lots of stir-fried vegetables (love!) and fried meat and fish (love!) with interesting sauces (love!). One of the more interesting (but less delicious) things I tried was this:
(TMI alert) It's beef lung. The lung didn't taste like much of anything, but I could taste the cooked blood that was in the lung. I dipped it in one of the sauces and it didn't bother me as much, but once was enough.
Indonesia is predominantly Sunni Muslim, so we encountered very little alcohol while we were there, which was just fine with me. Flavored shaved ices with fruit seemed to be a big thing, and I ate a lot of those. They were great.
Girls doing the peacock dance. They were so beautiful!
I was gifted with a batik tunic, and when I wore it…hotel staff spoke to me in English. I wore my Uniqlo ankle-length (it's probably mid-calf length on most people) dress, and hotel staff spoke to me in Indonesian, so I got the chance to say "Saya tiduk bisa bicara Bahasa Indonesia!" (I can't speak Indonesian!) This is different from when I was in Vietnam and I wore an ao dai.
The Indonesian language seems to use a pitch accent, and the vowels and consonants aren't very difficult. It's probably a lot easier to learn than Mandarin Chinese or Vietnamese.
Jakarta doesn't look very different from Tokyo, especially at night…they could probably use a good subway system, though.
And when I got back, the book I'd ordered from Amazon had arrived, and I read it, and I started thinking about that time when rowing was important to me.