I was reading my buddy, Richie’s blog the other day, http://the-rogue.org/ and he was talking about his partaking in the Ramadan fast as a way to better assimilate into Indonesian culture. That got me thinking about how well I’ve assimilated since my arrival. I’m not fasting (I’m too much of a chow hound for that business), but I’ve done other things. Here is a short list of some of that ‘cultural crap’ (that’s for you, CammO!) I’ve done thus far.
1) Danced on stage with a surprisingly seductive, female stranger at the wedding of yet another person I did not know, while my host father crooned along side us.
2) Along with my classmates, took on the ‘spirit’ of a fake horse and made an absolute spectacle of ourselves at a local cultural event.
3) Had the pleasure/misfortune of being doused and rubbed down with hot massage oil by two (MALE) co-workers *if this isn’t cultural integration, than I don’t know what is!?
4) Adopted the bizarre sleeping schedule that seems to be en vogue these days (up by 3am, down by 8pm) and have come to enjoy it.
5) When I’m working outside with my host father, I go barefoot, rocks be damned, and am finally starting to develop those infamous, cracked soles. I’ll be walking on fire before you know it.
6) Lastly, no cultural experience would be complete without mention of the food. As it were, I’ve taken to the local diet quite nicely. Here is something the locals call “Cookie Crisp.” I still use a spoon with this one, but the mere fact that I’m eating it without any fuss says a lot about how flexible I am, don’t you think?