After the bike was blessed the Ibu moved inside to bless the house which meant using a bunch of leaves/flowers to spray a mixture of flour and water over the walls, furniture, people. (By then my camera ran out of batteries…) Then we all feasted on fruit and sticky rice and some truly sensational chicken cooked in coconut milk (that apparently takes many hours to prepare but I think it was worth the effort). Mum, dads, kids, aunties, Ibus all crammed inside the house and found some space on the floor to enjoy the food.
And in true Aceh style, they ate, they cleaned, they dispersed. Acehnese really know how to celebrate and really know how to get it over and done with. I love this so much. Jess and I were discussing how we might carry this practice back to Australia. Arrive at someone’s house for dinner at 8pm, eat at 8.30pm, finish food, gather dishes and wash them all at 8.45pm, out the door at 9pm. Efficient no?
Unfortunately the Australians bucked the trend and sat on the couch drinking coffee for four hours. Eventually, after all that relaxing, we headed off to the next plan for our day…massages and facials at the four star hotel, Hermes Palace. We had planned to do this around 11am, but by now it was 2.30pm and unsurprisingly, the spa was fully booked for the day….So we headed upstairs to the restaurant and ate burgers and fries by the pool. Not a bad compromise (and possibly as good for the soul).
The Jess and Sarah Saturday Soiree continued for many hours to come, but I have no photo evidence. So I will wait until I can get the photos from Jess to continue the story, which contained one of the greatest moments in Sarah’s Aceh experience…