Daily life in Cilacap

Playing around at the hotel

I wake up. Usually too early because Landon has been awakened by the loud street noise just outside our window. He crawls into bed with us around 5:30 and hopefully sleeps a little longer. Time for breakfast! Much like the rest of Asia, people eat the same things for all three meals here. There is a big buffet at our hotel that includes steamed rice, cooked vegetables, meat, and usually some sort of cooked soy product as well. There is chicken porridge, which is actually rice porridge with chicken in it, as well as fried veggies and meat that has been battered. That’s the Indonesian section. There is always toast and various pastries and breads, which I find to be dry. I always opt for the bread pudding where all the dry bread is cooked with eggs, milk and vanilla into a delicious little custard. then there is the small “western” breakfast area with pancakes or french toast (always cold), sausage, veggies au gratin, potatoes, and omelets. Typically we order some scrambled eggs for Landon and I to share. There is a fruit and salad bar, but we steer clear of the fresh veggies that could make us sick in favor of watermelon and honeydew. There is also papaya, but both Landon and I are not fans.

After breakfast, Austin goes to work. Landon and I hang out and figure out what we want to do that day. I usually do some exercises in my room, then we venture out for a morning adventure. I wish that the hottest part of the day and the part of the day when I have the most energy and motivation to explore did not overlap. In the morning, we do errands- taking laundry to the Lolly laundry down the street, picking up laundry and any needed grocery items, and this week making preparations for Austin’s birthday!

Morning adventure “river” location

After errands, my goal centers around getting some exercise in and finding somewhere for Landon to play. There are soccer fields scattered throughout Cilacap (usually close to schools) so we head there with walking/running and the stroller. We also have a rotation of going to the Teluk Penyu beach area- as far west as we can (less trash), the harbor to watch boats, the river to throw rocks and watch boats, or staying in closer to town. Depends on what I want to do really, and I usually give Landon a choice of two places so he’s happy with it too. If we find a soccer field on the way, Landon kicks a ball around and generally charms the school kids, which I hope the PE teachers are OK with. It is hard to tell, because before we approach, generally all of the girls are picking daisies or walking around the outside of the field talking while the boys half-heartedly play some sort of game. When Landon comes, they are all running around, chasing after him, running to get the ball, etc. So I think it’s a good thing.

School kids… my favorite part
of adventure time

If we get back to the hotel a little earlier, we make sure to go swimming at the hotel. The pool is passably clean and I try to only go every other day to decrease the chances of Landon getting sick. Today Landon learned the game “retrieve things from the bottom of the pool.” Swimming is great because it tires little Landon out and gets him ready for naptime. We eat lunch, which consists of either peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, oatmeal, or cup of noodles along with fruit and peeled cucumber. Sometimes we have yogurt, yogurt drinks, or fruit juice. I bought hot dogs but Landon took one look at the pale meat in the package (they are chicken) and said, “No! Want RED hotdogs!”

Landon takes his nap. Sometimes in the heat of the morning, he passes out in the stroller, so on those days he doesn’t take an afternoon nap. I blog or read or make things on shutterfly or do family history. It’s great. After nap, we hang out in the hotel playing with toys, and sometimes go for a walk where Landon walks too on the sidewalks around the hotel. We also try to incorporate some sort of learning activity every day, whether it be numbers or letters or colors or shapes. It gives me something to look forward to.

Yesterday, we tried making cloud dough. Without anything to measure with and a limited amount of corn starch and baby oil, I just let Landon dump the stuff in and we mixed it up together in the shower to create less of a mess. Then Landon wanted to figure out what happened to the mixture when it was mixed with shower water. We played with the stuff for about an hour before I showered Landon off and cleaned up. I think we might do more things like that in the future.

Sometime after five, Austin gets home. Yay! Usually we decide where to eat and head there as quickly as possible. Landon gets less and less agreeable as time goes on, so it is best for everyone to just go to dinner while he is still a happy boy. There are a few restaurants close to the hotel that we walk to, including “d Best” which is traditional Indonesian food and is really cheap and low-key restaurant (Landon plays basketball with the owner’s son while our food cooks). There are also three fried chicken joints including KFC, which is actually better here than in the US although there are not biscuits here, which is a shame. There is a small mall down the street with a food court upstairs. The food is good, but usually very small portions from what we have seen, and it is a little further away than the other options. Also in the mall area is “Papa Ron’s” pizza. The pizza is pretty good for not being an American brand, and so we go there on Friday nights for pizza night. Thursdays, the hotel hosts an outdoor BBQ with all-you-can-eat meats and fruits and veggie skewers. The quality has varied from “YAY! lots of yummy food!” to “I don’t think I’m going to get full eating this.” Last week was bad, but that was also because there was a big catered event going on in a ballroom, and then two big groups coming in for dinner- not the buffet- in the dining room. So the buffet was like third in importance and the food was not ready on time and Landon was not behaving and it was basically a disaster. We’ll try again tomorrow though.

Java resto with my yummy lemony coconut

The past week or so we have tried two new places that were both amazing. There are a ton of seafood restaurants down right on Teluk Penyu beach, which is dirty looking during the day, but at night, you can’t see the trash so it is quite the scenic spot. The restaurants are open air so you can see and hear the waves right from your table as they serve the most delicious grilled fish, lobster cooked in a ridiculously good sauce, and other things. The lady at the restaurant even had the cooks cook Landon a plate of carrots even though it was not on the menu. It is a little too far to walk at night with an expiring-for-the-day toddler, but it was a nice place to go with Austin’s co-workers that came to visit. The other place is called Java Resto. It is down a fairly dark street and off the main part of town, so it interesting that it was so nice inside. It is a mostly glass building with wooden support beams, floors, and furniture. One of the ladies spoke English and was able to help us order. I got sauteed broccoli and chicken, Landon ordered fried rice for himself, and Austin got sweet and sour cuttlefish, which is squid, which he did not know was squid. I got coconut water with lemon, and it came in the coconut with the fresh coconut flesh. It was actually really yummy and refreshing, and I don’t enjoy the packaged coconut water very much. The food was good, cartoons were on so Landon was entertained, and it was just a nicer restaurant than we were used to here in Cilacap.

Story time!

After dinner, Austin reads Landon stories while I clean up the room so we don’t step on his toys in the dark. That’s all. Just another day in Cilacap. I’m grateful for the warm weather here. It is weird that we have been in a summery climate since March with only a little glimpse of Chicago fall before we left. It does not feel like it is the middle of November going into Thanksgiving time. We are sad that we are missing out on all the Thanksgiving festivities in the US this year, but I’m thinking I might just make some sort of Thanksgiving feast next time we are back with our parents just because I love Thanksgiving food so much! We are crossing our fingers hoping that we can be in Bali for Thanksgiving, which might mean we could find some Thanksgiving type food, or even something American would do for the day. Austin is hoping that this project will temporarily release him for awhile so we can go on a little vacation. All is up in the air as always. Yay for the wandering Browns!


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