I never use to be a morning person. Gone are the days when I would stay out all night with friends and race home to try and beat the Muslim morning call to prayer or sleeping past lunchtime during my college days. Many, many times I tried, but I could never commit to a morning routine. Until recently when Isan and I welcomed a beautiful puppy into our family. Every morning she wakes up to the sound of the neighborhood roosters crowing and makes her way to our door to do the same to us.
Most mornings I will wake up around 6.30, but Indonesians are busy folk and will start their day earlier, around 5 am. Muslim Indonesians have already awoke to start their day with prayer and my Balinese neighbour’s have made their offerings to the gods. Isan and are non practicing Christians and our morning prayers start with coffee and contemplation. We are both big coffee drinkers and love nothing more than enjoying our morning ngopi (coffee time) whilst sitting in our backyard.
Indonesian coffee is known for its thick consistency and strong flavor. I enjoy the strong flavour but prefer not to filter it between my teeth. Last Christmas whilst at home I was lucky enough to stumble upon a $2 coffee percolator whilst op – shopping. I knew I would use it every morning here, so I packed it in my suitcase and now it sits proudly on my kitchen counter right next to the rice cooker.
My breakfast choices couldnt be any more different to the choices of the majority of Indonesians here. Fruit is abundant and cheap here, so most mornings I devour a bowl of it or mix it up in a green smoothie. Indonesians on the other hand will not eat fruit for breakfast as it will give them an upset stomach, they wont even drink juice. They prefer to eat eggs, vegetables and you guessed it rice. Sometimes if we go to the market, I will eat rice for breakfast too. It always tastes better when someone else cooks it.
After I have come to, I will tidy the house and prepare for the day ahead. This includes things like, sweeping and mopping of the floors, doing the dishes, tidying up any mess Kawan has made, making the bed, hand washing my clothes and sweeping the backyard. I’d like to say I do these things every morning as most Indonesians do but I am not as diligent as them, nor do I have as much stamina.
My life here is less of a holiday than one would expect. I chose to live a life that is more in tune with the lives of everyday Indonesians. I am grateful to my Indonesian friends, Isans family but most of importantly Isan who has taught me to appreciate the simple things and be grateful for what you have. Early mornings, when the air is still and the sun is making its way above my frangipani tree is when I think about this most and it is when I can say it’s alright.
What are your mornings like in your part of the world? Do you appreciate the mornings or are you a night owl? What is your favourite Beatles song?
I am looking forward to hearing your replies.