Ciater Hot Springs + quadraplegic

Trip Start Jan 27, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ciater Hot Springs are nice.  They are hot--about 108 F, not at all sulfur smelling.  They are in, as Uncle Jed would observe, a cement pond.  There is a cold shower to jump start your heart--this is in the mountains and the mountain water is cold and the air temp is nice and comfortable--mid 70's.

As I was walking back to the hotel a massive downpour with thunder and lightning blew in.  I felt the temperature drop quickly as I was still in the park.  I started walking faster, hoping to beat the storm back to the hotel.  No such luck-- I got soaked as I sprinted for shelter.

When I got in the shelter there was a young Indo couple.  As we looked out we saw a quadrplegic man plunked on the side of the road earlier that day to beg.  The photo is one of the most troubling I have ever taken.

The guy had been left there and it must have been too early for his caretaker to pick him up. So there he sat (stood?) like a statue in the rain--and I mean monsoon- as the cars drove by, splashing him liberally with the  1 foot deep water running down the street.

I thought about losing all my limbs.  Then I thought about losing them in the developing world.  How else --realistically-- could this guy make a living other than begging?

The Indo girl whispered something to her boyfriend (husband?), who made eye contact with me.  I titled my head towards the guy on the side of the road, and he nodded.  Thunder and rain were loud--so loud we could not speak audibly to the quadrplegic guy.

We ran out into the rain and boyfriend offered, in Sundanese, for us to carry him up under the shelter.  We stood there in the rain for about thirty seconds as the two of them conversed.  Then boyfriend looked at me, shook his head no, and we sprinted back to the shelter sans quadraplegic.  I was stunned.

Boyfriend spoke passable English, and told me the guy said he was already wet, and that he would get more $$$ by staying out there in the rain.  So we waited until the rain let up and each gave him 5000 rupiah.
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