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March 8, 2009 Jepara, Java

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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Today is a Sunday and pretty much everything shuts down. I'd planned on going on a walk out to the beach, but the thunder is rumbling and the clouds are getting really black. Since tomorrow is a Muslim holiday, hence no work, I've decided to head back to Jakarta a day early. It's OK, I've decided that I'm going to be working with Derrick and Anna. The vivacious and charming Anna is Indonesian, and Derrick is an ex-pat Welshman with over 20 years under his belt as a furniture man.

I am simply blown away by the quality of their wares. Every step is painstakingly done, from kiln drying the wood, re-seasoning the pieces after being made, hand stained, hand rubbed, etc. He showed me unstained pieces that I thought were flawless, but they had little chaulk Xs all over them, where they had to be re-sanded to his specs. Their line is extensive, and I can order just one piece of a style if I like, not a minimum of 5 pieces, like some of the other suppliers.

This is a pretty laid back town. Anna and Derrick took me out to eat last night, and the restaurant, which was full earlier, was ready to shut down by 9 p.m., and that was Saturday night, mind you.

The restaurant staff at my hotel indulges the Mini Manx Rat Chaser that I'd seen before. Mini Manx sat at my table this morning on one of the chairs, politely waiting for a hand out. I didn't know what proper protocal was, so I did slip her some food, but on the floor. Later I saw her up on the buffet table, with the blessings of the wait staff, and then she was snoozing on the sofa in the lobby.