09 July 2007 – Senin
I was up soon after 5 and tried to read a talk by elder Packard – it was rather frustrating because there were words I should know but just could not understand. But I keep plugging along hoping that the gift of tongues will someday kick in.
We had a nice – if often interrupted – Skype call from Cindy. It is always great to hear from the children. Cindy pointed out that we talk or hear from her much more than when we were living at home. She is of course correct. Later we read from the Kitab Mormon – it went much better than my earlier studying. After that I wrote our report to the president. Now it almost time for me to leave with Sam to go to visit the T2 elderÃ¢Â€Â™s apartment. We were going to T1 but they are heading to the mission office so we will get them next week.
Since we have plans for the evening, we decided I would do the apartment inspection and Mary would stay home so the cleaning lady could come. It takes about an hour to get to the T2 apartment and almost all the way is driving through one kampung – a group of houses that is kind of like a small town – after another. Each seems to have itÃ¢Â€Â™s own market which slows everything down. In the US driving the same distance would probably take 20 minutes or less.
There are only two elders in the house and it was new just a couple of years ago. Now it is OK but there are mold spots on the ceiling, the yard is terrible – there is supposed to be someone who comes around and takes care of it but whoever it is does not do a very good job – and of course the paint is like chalk so it can not be cleaned. The elders seem do a good job keeping it as clean as they can. Their desks are not very neat but I am not the one to complain about that.
After our hour drive back, Sam dropped me off and I had some lunch and then tried to take a nap before we left to pick up the Petersons and go to the Jakarta fair. I did not have any luck at this.
The fair was OK but mainly it was like any fair with lots of people trying to sell things. If there was a horticulture area or an animal area we did not get there. The biggest spaces were taken up by the large motorcycle companies. Sam was very excited about seeing the new Yamaha cycles. The one he wants costs $3000 – about what he makes in 18 months.
So we walked around looking mainly at crafts. There were some really nice things and a lot of junk. They have lots of gadgets, health products, and of course food for sale. We ended up buying a wooden duck, a nice piece of petrified wood, a dress and a couple of necklaces for Mary and a Nativity set. After about 2 Â½ hours we were all walked and talked out. So we headed home. We stopped at the Mall and ate at the only BurgerKing in Indonesia. It was the best burger I have had since we got here. A Whopper como sells for $3.90 US – about what an Indonesian worker will make in a day – and the place was busy. Just across the courtyard was an Indonesian copy of without any business. This is true of many businesses where there is a US based company and a native business.
However when it comes to Krispy Kreme and JoCo it is exactly the opposite. JoCo is always busy with lots of people sitting around drinking coffee or other drinks and eating donuts while Krispy Kreme has to offer buy one get two free to get any business. The difference is JoCo makes donuts with toppings that are tailored to the Indonesian taste while KK tries to sell the same ones that work in the US. Also JoCo has lots of nice booths or tables where friends can sit around and eat and eat in a quirt softer lighted area. KK has their standard booths with bright lights. JoCo lays their donuts out in a 30 foot long glass counter with great lighting so people can walk along and choose what they want. It is hard to pass up any of them. KK has all theirs in case that does not make any of them look interesting – mainly because they are not. It is a classic case of selling what the people want in the most appealing way and therefore becoming a success.
By the time we got home we were beat and so any thought of packing for our two day trip to Bogor was long gone from our minds. We did read from the Kitab Mormon but not for the full hour. While we were out I got a call from Hong Kong about PEF. I need to put together some figures and send them in and hopefully something will get done. Perhaps the fact there is a new mission president will help. I will not be able to do this until we get home on Thursday.