Hungry Hungry Hippo…Let The Eating Begin
As Pandemic The Magic Bicycle pedals out of the mountainous indigenous region of Tana Toronja I am reminded of the elevation and begin to descend 200km back into the Muslim villages of Sulawesi, Indonesia. A remarkably curvey 2 day downhill will certainly keep a woman on a bicycle with a windswept smile.
In these final days of Ramadan everyone is out on the road travelling to be with family. The traffic as I approach Parepare, the ocean side community, is gaining in madness, at last count an average of 47 VPH’s, or vehicles per hour. However, I am not alone in the slow lane, men on rickshaws and cow drawn carts join the highway of travelers. The motorists, motorcycles, trucks and buses are speeding along and swerve around the slower traffic with the professionalism of Mario Andretti. The noise is horrendous, the honking bellows in my ears as my stomach sings for the end of Ramadam.
Tomorrow marks the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, the new moon and the end of the fasting period of Ramadan. Eid ul-Fitr literally means the Festival of Breaking the Fast. Food is donated to the poor, everyone puts on their best or new clothes and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends. Praying is expected only twice on this day instead of the obligatory five daily prayers.
More info about Eid ul Fitr and Ramadam click here
Traditional foods prepared for the feast include sweet bright green gelatin “tortillas” warped around brown bananas served with sweetened condensed milk, ice cubes and pink gelatin floaties, a treat sweet enough to upset a dentist. Other yummy treats include sweat pink or yellow gelatin chunks floating in water, pineapple juice and pink sweat cream and cocunut rice serves in palm leaves bundles. Although the food in Indonesia is simple, farm fresh and natural they are not without their fair share of brightly colored food additives. And, although I am not Muslim, I am definitely hungry and the opening of restaurants, street food stalls and food shops will certainly be a welcome addition to my waistline after cycling for over 1000km on a near empty stomach.
Posted by Loretta Henderson