…cockroaches can climb. They can also fly of a sort apparently. I am having much more cockroach contact than is desirable, but as I have been told, I am now in the Southern Hemisphere. An interesting blog I’ve encountered while trying to ascertain whether or not they can climb is www.edibug.wordpress.com and it proves an interesting read, the nutritional values certainly cannot be argued with. However, as it turns out I learned through experience rather than google that they can in fact climb. Underneath the wardrobe is one thing but in the bed is quite another (I have my standards).
New Year’s Day and my last morning in Java was spent drinking coffee and eating fried bananas. Visiting the Glenmore plantations; coffee, rubber and cocoa are the predominant crops. A tour of the plantation and factories give an insight into the processes of these rudimentary staples of society, all of which are harvested and processed by hand with basic machinery. Fifteen hundred hectares are managed and worked by 300 people.
Drinking coffee with Sophina a few days ago, the local ‘Starbucks’ to Semilion, Glenmore offered some contrast. Sophina has been making coffee for the last 78 years. Now 92, this is her only means of supporting herself. Her character glows as she poses for her photo to be taken before she returns to grinding up the coffee beans with a large pestle and mortar, crouching on the floor with more agility than a 40 year old.
The Glenmore plantation, a much larger establishment, has 400 hectares just of coffee and many more of cocoa, vanilla, rubber and fruit. Unlike the hill tribe in Northern Thailand, staff work here making very proiftable exports, although the plantation is under a shared ownership between the Government and Chinese (60:40). Top quality rubber makes $5 per kilogram and cocoa $4 (US).
Other things I’ve learned that I didn’t know I didn’t know are that pineapples grow on the ground and pumpkins grow on trees (yes, they do).