Rush hour

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Traffic is in your face -- everywhere. It's fast, dangerous and noisy. And it throws up so much gunk in the air you start choking on the grit (you can feel it scratching your throat after awhile).

Rush hour

From my field notebook

Wednesday, March 13, 1996:

Indonesia: Java: Jakarta: Last night we ate at a West Sumatran restaurant. Two of the dishes were brain and lung. Paul and Rachel wouldn't try them, but I did. The lung, which was hard and crispy, tasted similar to bacon, just not as strong. The brain was similar in texture and as tasteless and soybean curd. I mostly tasted the spices. While I chewed, though, I had so suppress a revolt by my stomach, which found the idea of eating brain revolting. So did I, but I kept on chewing. Now I can say "Been there, done that," and never touch it again.

I was enjoying the food and had started a soup when I began feeling a tingly, burning, scratchy feeling at the base of my tounge [sic] and top of my throat. I quit eating, fearing an allergic reaction, but Paul and Rachel said it was probably due to the particulate pollution in the atmosphere. I now am inclined to agree with them.

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