Wednesday 16 May 2012: Red beetle
You really like the butterflies, the orange tip made spotlight this morning. Really happy that you liked it, as it felt like an achievement getting the shot. Butterflies are not exactly abundant yet, maybe in a month or so things will improve as the weather picks up.
A patchy blue sky today, so I decided to do the woods and hunt for the female orange tip, to complete the set. Not a butterfly in sight, so I went for a walk around the woods. I came across another sunlit glade of nettles and soon spotted this creature.
Pyrochroa serraticornis is very similar to the cardinal beetle, except the cardinal has a black head. The beetle was easily spotted, but is the first that I have seen so far. The only other shots that I had were various flies, so this was an easy choice for blip.
Today's difference discussion is bacon. One of the tastiest foods in the world and it is not allowed to be consumed by followers of the Islamic faith. It is considered haraam or forbidden, the opposite is halal which means permissible.
The other major haraam is of course alcohol. Still plenty of bars though. Not everyone is Moslem and there are plenty of ex-patriots, visitors and fallen Moslems, enough to keep the bars afloat.
Pork products are still available for purchase at international supermarkets, pricey and lower quality than I'm used to but still droolworthy. When I first arrived in Indonesia, the supermarket employed someone to handle the bacon packets, as the checkout girls refused to even touch them, but more recently I have not witnessed this practice.
Some hotels try to appease the western customers by serving beef bacon and chicken sausages, both appalling substitutes and should be avoided as a waste of dietary space. Basically, if you are a bacon addict, Indonesia is not for you.
I suggest that rather than head for the western looking food or the nearest McD's, that you explore the local cuisine and make the most of your holiday experience. What is the point of travelling half way around the world and then finding an English pub and eating fish and chips, you might as well have gone to Blackpool!