So yesterday, Dec 27 (today in Canada), we had a 3 hour drive to Semarang. Along the way the driver asked if he could stop to say Hi to his friend who was getting married. We of course agreed. The driver insisted we come into the reception. So here we are in this beautiful, formal Muslim wedding where everyone is dressed in their finest, with all the women in gorgeous Hijabs, while Jason and I are in beach ware. Everyone is smiling and so friendly but I wonder if they are thinking "who are these slobby wedding crashers?" And of course the reception was being filmed so we will live on in memory and digitally! We proceeded through the entire reception line with me extending my one hand for shaking to which each person grasped it in both hands. Only after did I clue in that I was supposed to extend both hands in a closed prayer like stance and then they would grasp them both. Then many people wanted us to stay and eat! Not only did we just finish a huge breakfast we did not want to insult anyone with our need for vegetarian food, so we declined, which was also probably insulting, but I hope not too much!
So we made it to Semarang and were put up in the Hotel Grasia by the airline who had to change our flight until today. The hotel is decent. clean, free wifi, free breakfast, tv, AC, and all for about 35 CDN a night (free for us). Last night we found a veg place in china town called, HA HA Vegetarian, and had a great meal with the nicest owners, who refused to take our tip. Afterwards we asked the owners where the Buddhist Tak Kay Sie Temple was and they insisted on driving us! We decided they seemed fine and we hitched the 10 min drive with the family to the temple. Once at the temple and older lady insisted on taking us around so that we placed the incense in the correct order at the different altars. After a friendly man chatted us up about the area. We did get into and odd conversation about washrooms in which the man commented that it was a pity that I, as a woman, could not just pee into the river easily. I must say it was the dirtiest river I have ever seen!
In all my travels this has been the most friendly place!