Krupuk [kroo-pook]: there various ways to spell this word but essentially it is a cracker, sometimes made from vegetables, fruits, rice, corn, cassava… in this case, made from a starch with a touch of fish extract. Krupuk is eaten with nearly every meal, it adds a crunchy component, making the meal not only more complete but enjoyable. It also serves to relieve the burning sensation from makanan pedas or spicy foods and sauces.
I mentioned in my previous post that Independence Day festivities are being held a month late due to Ramadan dominating the month of August. Different villages in my regency are holding various activities however mine’s not participating, luckily students from my school have been inviting me into their villages to celebrate with them.
Again, new village, new stunned faces, and now new friends who can say proudly share their cellphone photos of me struggling to eat krupuk blowing in the wind on a thin string, and I can now add this to my bule repetoire. I haven’t laughed this hard in a while, the humiliation factor was kept to a minimum as, well I think I’ve embarrassed myself too many times to care anymore…commence: Krupuk Eating Contest
And on a completely different note–as the students were accompanying me home, by bicycle, before we came to a bridge, they told me to be careful “ada orang yang jual sex…“, warning me of prostitutes ahead. Not only was I shocked, but this led me wonder various things… what kind of people sell/buy services like this? how are these people treated in the villages? are they Muslim? do they still go to the mosque? do they use protection? if extramarital sex is illegal, then how…??? And from what I saw, it was predominantly older, larger ibu ibu or women, whom I saw powdering their faces, and waiting in a warung or a street side stall/mini-restaurant hybrid, that apparently had bedrooms in the back.
Obviously prostitution exists everywhere but I suppose I was naive to think there wasn’t a dirty-side like this to village life. The past 5 months of living in villages, I’ve only seen overly-generous, friendly, and strictly devoted community members who dedicate a bulk of their daily activities to religion activities.