The Final Countdown

Yep. My two months in SE Asia is coming to an end. Part of me is looking forward to my next adventure (thee months of work on the ships in Costa Rica/Panama and Baja, Mexico with two one weeks breaks in between contracts to recuperate) and part of me wants to continue to explore. I have a feeling I’ll be back, though, especially to the yoga retreat on Koh Samui.

As usual, I have a little catching up to do. After Yogyakarta we were supposed to head up Mount Bromo for a night so we could do a sunrise hike to the top of the crater on Christmas morning. But, alas, the gods must not have been in a good mood because Mount Bromo started erupting and we had to change our plans. Not for the better either, unfortunately. On Christmas eve we had an 11 hour bus ride to Malang, a city in east Java. We really didn’t have much time to explore the city because the next morning (Christmas morning) we got back on the bus for an 8 hour journey into coffee land. We were to spend Christmas night at a resort in Kaliburu, a tiny town in the mountains and jungles of East Java. The hotel was nice and after we dropped our bags we went on a tour through the coffee plantations and surrounding villages. Java is famous for its coffee and there are two main coffee plants that grow here – the robusta and the arabica. There’s another type of coffee that I haven’t tried yet, but I did buy enough to make two cups of brew. It’s the most expensive coffee in the world, one cup at a coffee shops will cost you $10+ and a kilogram is over $50. It’s called Luwak coffee and it’s only found in this part of the world. The Luwak, also know as the civet cat, eats the ripe, red coffee berries, but since it cannot digest the coffee bean, the bean passes through its digestive system whole. But as it passes, it is processed and fermented by special enzymes in the Luwak’s stomach. Once the beans are graciously deposited onto the jungle floor, they are eagerly collected by the local villagers and sold for much more than undigested coffee beans. I can’t wait to try mine!

Along the walk, our guide pointed out several spices growing in the area, such as the white pepper plant, vanilla tree, nutmeg and clove trees, and lemongrass. We also saw how they make palm sugar by boiling the sap of palm trees. It smelled very similar to maple syrup!

Christmas dinner that night was a mellow affair. I had the Indonesian special, called Gado-Gado, which is a pile of mixed steamed vegetables and tofu and tempeh with peanut sauce over the top. Yum!

The next morning we boarded the bus (again) and drive two hours to the ferry that would take us across to Bali. After the short ferry ride, we boarded the bus (again) and drove 4 hours to Sanur where we would be spending the night and meeting five more travelers who would be joining us for the Bali tour. They’re all really nice and we chatted over dinner at a nearby restaurant.

The next day we took a two hour bus ride north to Ubud, a town made famous by Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-seller Eat, Pray, Love. We stopped on the way to visit a seaside temple, which was pretty, but crowded.

Bali is amazing (despite its jacked up tourist prices). The landscape is mostly terraced rice paddies, which are beautiful, but what I like most are all the temples and Bali architecture and stone statues covered in green moss that sit interspersed amid modern day developments. Elaborately carved doorways open into courtyards with statues of Ganesh, Hanuman (the monkey God), and other Hindu figures. Walking down the street there is store after store selling replicas of Buddha, batiks, hippie-Indonesian clothing, handmade soaps, and other interesting items. Karen, if you’re reading this and you ever come to Bali, leave your credit card at home or bring extra duffle bags to carry everything back. There’s so much cool stuff. I don’t shop much, but I did buy some shoes and another (bigger!) bottle of coconut oil that I’ll remember to pack in my checked bag. For lunch the next day, Dara, our guide took us to an amazing organic restaurant in the middle of a rice field. It was an adventure in itself to get there, but once we were seated, I was in vegetarian heaven. They even had kombucha! I ordered a sampler plate that had a tempeh and tofu curry, sauteed green beans and carrots, a mixed salad with pickled vegetables and seaweed, tofu pate wrapped in a grape leaf, sweet crispy tempeh, a fried potato pakora, and red and brown rice. It was so good!

That night Sarah, my roommate, and I had an interesting experience. Let me first say that our hotel in Ubud isn’t the most luxurious and it could use a through cleaning. Anyway, at 2 am Sarah jumps out of bed screaming and me, being fast asleep and having no idea what’s going on, start screaming as well. Then I ask her what the f*** happened (exact words I used, I think) and she replied that a mouse just ran over her head. We both started laughing hysterically and half-heartily looked for the culprit before going back to sleep. Two hours later, at 4 am, Sarah jumps out of bed again and announces that “the mouse came back.” She couldn’t go back to sleep in the same bed, so I offered to switch and lay down with my head at the foot of the bed. No mice bothered me for the rest of the night.

Today, after yoga practice overlooking the rice fields, Sarah, Cordelie (from Seattle and a third year med student at Michigan), and I visited the Monkey Forest. It was aptly named because even before we entered the park, we were surrounded by macaque monkeys eating bananas, swinging from tree limbs and watching us with curious expressions. Inside the park was quite an experience as well. Monkeys were everywhere and they let you get pretty close to take pictures. Not too close though, because then they either bared their teeth in a menacing way or tried to steal your camera out of your hands. Those who bought bananas at the entrance or had other treats had monkeys climbing up their legs or jumping onto their backs. I preferred to keep my distance. There were several temples in the forest as well, all seemingly dedicated to Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god. The stone figures were covered in green moss and the vines of the banyan trees hung down in sheaths with roots sprawling across the ground in every direction. It was beautiful. After watching and photographing the monkeys for a good hour and a half, we ventured down Monkey Forest road to do some shopping. I bought two pairs of shoes, which I desperately needed and a bus ticket to the airport tomorrow. My flight to Singapore doesn’t leave until 9:30 pm, so I have most of the day here in Ubud. I’m already planning in having lunch at the organic restaurant. Then, once in Singapore, I spend the night at the airport (good times to be had…) and my 48 hour travel marathon to Panama City, Panama begins!

Tempeh? In Indonesia?

Before I arrived in Jakarta, I thought tempeh was only
found in health food stores and select markets, but apparently it
originated in Indonesia! Thankfully, because there’s a serious lack
of Indian restaurants and “vegetarian” isn’t a common word around
here. We’re on yet another train this morning. We had an early
start from our hotel in Bangdung where we spent the night and now
we’re headed to Yogyakarta, famous for its temples (the largest
Buddhist temple in the world!) and local arts. The landscape in
Indonesia is incredible. Terraced rice patties, waterfalls, jagged
mountains and every shade of green imaginable. I love traveling by
train because it’s a great way to see the scenery and it’s more
comfortable than a bus. We arrived in Yogyakarta in the afternoon
and had a late lunch/early dinner at a great little cafe called
ViaVia. It was started by a group of young Belgian travelers who
were concerned about the rapid growth of tourism and its affect on
the environment and traditional cultures. They created ViaVia,
which now has 12 locations across four continents and each
establishment works to protect the environment and promote
sustainability. The cafe we visited in Yogyakarta uses mostly
organic products, no straws (unless requested), and lots of
vegetarian options. They also offer tours and classes that are
environmentally friendly and help out the local communities. The
adjoining shop sells locally made crafts like soaps, shampoos,
bags, tea, and coffee. I bought a pack of 11 pure essential oils
that will be great for massage! The next day we arranged to visit
two of the local temples, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The
first was Prambanan, an ancient Hindu temple built in the ninth
century and dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the
Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu), and the Destroyer
(Shiva). It reminded me of Ayutthaya, the temples I visited outside
of Bangkok. Very impressive and slightly eerie, especially the dark
cavernous rooms within the massive temples that housed altars and
stone statues. The second site we visited was equally as beautiful.
It was Borobodur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world! Also
built in the ninth century, it is comprised of six square platforms
topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672
relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. At the top there is a main
dome surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa
(thanks wikipedia). You need to see it to understand how impressive
it is. We spent about two hours there (being photographed by the
local tourists as much as we were taking pictures ourselves),
hoping to see the sunset, but the guards made us leave before the
sun sank went below the hills. On the way back to Yogyakarta we saw
Merapi in the distance, the volcano that erupted about a month ago
and covered the surrounding landscape in ash. We saw the remnants
of the destruction along the roadside – piles of grey ash, rivers
that looked black, and trucks hauling tons of the stuff out of the
villages and back to the slopes of the mountain. Hopefully it will
remain quiet for the next few weeks… Today is our last day in
Yogyakarta and tomorrow we have a long bus ride (12 hours) into the
mountains where we’ll spent Christmas. Our guide, Dara, said it
will be cold, but I’m still not expecting snow.

Indonesia at last

Far from the Starbucks and Christmas music where I wrote my last blog, I’m now sitting on a concrete step in the Jakarta train station, listening to a man babble in yet another language I don’t understand, and trying to ignore the people staring at us from all directions. Welcome to Indonesia.

But first, let me backtrack (I’m way behind again!). We left Kuala Lumpur via public bus and headed 2 hours south to the ancient seaport of Melaka (or Malacca). We only had the afternoon to explore, so once we dropped our bags at the hotel, Kris took us out to explore town. Like I said before, Melaka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its history. The town was populated by the Dutch, Portuguese, and the British, which explains the European architecture and cobblestone streets. After a few hours of walking around, several of us took a boat tour up the narrow river that divided the town in two to see more of the Dutch influence and traditional architecture that has been preserved. Later that night, after an amazing Indian dinner, we took a walk down Jonkers Street, which is an open market that only happens on the weekend and has anything and everything you ever wanted. Apparently there’s a guy who breaks through coconuts with only two fingers, but I only heard his bravado – I didn’t actually see him do anything.

The next day we boarded another public bus and headed south again to the city state of Singapore. I was looking forward to some cleanliness and order after several weeks of chaotic Asian cities. At the border we had to get off the bus and take our bags through security. A sign greeted us saying, “All drug traffickers are sentenced to death.” I knew Singapore was strict, but geez.

Through customs (uneventfully except for a closer look at my bottle of coconut oil), and back on the bus we had another half hour to the hotel. As we got closer to the city center, the streets got cleaner and the buildings nicer. No wonder, because littering is a $1000 dollar fine (about US $750).

We checked into our hotel and then headed out with Kris to see the highlights if the city. Like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore has some amazing architecture. One building was designed to look like a durian, a SE Asian fruit with a spiny peel (the locals say “it smells like hell and tastes like heaven”). We eventually wound our way to the city center where three tall skyscrapers form the pedestals for a massive “ship” that holds a swimming pool, restaurant, the Sky Bar, and hotel. The spectacle overlooks a small lake and on the other side of the lake is the iconic Singapore lion spouting water from his mouth. We also saw the beautiful colonial Raffles Hotel, decked out in Christmas decorations and only costing $500 a night. I really liked Singapore, despite it’s ridiculous fines and outrageous prices. I wouldn’t want to live there, but it was nice to visit.

Singapore was also where Sarah and I said goodbye to Kris and the rest of the group. We were to continue on to Indonesia while everyone else went their separate ways. I can’t say it was terribly sad to say goodbye – I didn’t really connect with anyone since their priorities and interests were quite different from mine.

Kris accompanied us to the airport and after checking in, we had a coffee before boarding the plane. I was a little shocked not to have to go though security after getting our tickets, but when we went to our gate, we had to scan our bags (they took my saline solution and coconut oil 😦 I’m not sure why I thought I could fly with liquids here…)

So now I’m in Indonesia with a new group (who all seem really nice and not partiers!) and a new tour guide, who also seems very cool. We spent one night in Jakarta, which is on the island of Java (famous for it’s coffee!) and even crazier than Bangkok. Sarah and I went out to walk around and were bombarded by Indonesian students who’s holiday homework was to flock around white people and practice their English. Seriously. We did find a nice, old colonial bar and restaurant where we found reprieve in a cup of overly priced tea. Now we’re headed east to Bandung. I know very little about this country, so it should be interesting!

Kuala Lumpur

I’m sitting in a Starbucks in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, listening to Christmas music and drinking coffee, which I’m trying I give up. In about an hour, we move on again, south to Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient sea port on the west coast of Malaysia.

The first evening we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia Kris, our guide took us to the Petronas Twin Towers, which were the tallest skyscrapers in the world from 1998 to 2004. Then we walked a sweaty half an hour to the Menara Tower and took the lift to the top for a panoramic view of the city. The sun was just setting, so the light was glinting off the buildings and the horizon was hazy. It was beautiful.

Yesterday we had a full day to explore Kuala Lumpur and we managed to pack in a lot. Sarah, a girl from Germany, and I set out early to first find a post office so she could send a few things home and then to get lost in the maze of busy streets and tall skyscrapers. The majority of the group wanted to spend the day at a water/theme park, but I had no interest whatsoever in doing that. We found the post office and since it was starting to rain, we ducked into Central Market, a shopping complex filled with East Asian souvenirs and crafts. I’m not a big shopper, but there were some beautiful handmade crafts from around Malaysia, like clothes, jewelry, pewter mugs, carvings, and my favorite – a pottery shop that had beautiful tea sets, vases, cups, and jewelry. All too expensive, though, unfortunately. Sarah and I had a delicious Thai lunch in the food court, followed by my favorite dessert – mango sticky rice. I also bought a large bottle of coconut oil, which is good for pretty much everything – lotion, hair conditioner, massage, or taking a tablespoon a day for health, which is what I got it for.

The rain outside had turned to a sprinkle, so we set out again, this time towards Lake Gardens, a park on the outskirts of the city. I’m actually quite amazed at how good my sense of direction is. I’ve never been to this city, but I seemed to know exactly where to go with only a glimpse at a map. I guess once you figure out your way around one city, you can figure out them all. At the entrance to Lake Garden was the National Mosque (Malaysia is a Muslim country) and we were just in time for non-muslim (aka tourists) visiting hours. The catch was that we had to wear long purple robes with hoods over our (too revealing) clothes and no shoes. Inside was interesting. It actually didn’t feel “inside” because everything was open – no walls except in the huge prayer room where we weren’t allowed to go. On the way out I glanced at the visitors book and I was the only American listed that I could see.

Lake Gardens was a nice respite from the traffic and pollution of the city center, and Sarah and I spent a few hours wandering around the orchid and hibiscus gardens. It was still raining slightly, but I didn’t mind because the place was deserted. There was also a bird park nearby, but it was expensive, so instead we were entertained by a troop of monkeys playing and monkeying around on the roof of a snack shop. After lounging for a bit on benches beneath a hibiscus-covered trellis, we headed back down towards town. Once on the streets, it started raining again, so we ducked into the nearest building, which happened to be a textile museum. It was a beautiful old colonial building and the museum had some interesting old clothes and jewelry.

It was around six, but neither of us were hungry, so we decided to head to Little India to look around. We stopped to ask for directions and the man said he was headed that way, so we followed him. He even stopped and waited while we took pictures. Little India wasn’t very India-like – just a lot of crowded tents selling everything imaginable – so we retraced our steps and went to Chinatown, which wasn’t much better. Now hungry, we headed back towards our hotel and the Indian restaurant across the street where I’ve eaten at for almost every meal. You’d think I would be getting sick of Indian food… But I’m not.

In The Mountains of Malaysia

Wow, I have some catching up to do. It’s only been a few days since I was “island hopping”, but it feels like ages ago and I’ve done and seen so much. After we left Krabi, we took a full day bus ride (private mini-van) to the Thai/Malaysia border and crossed into new territory. I’d never been to Malaysia before, so it was exciting. The landscape is similar to Thailand (at least in the north), but Malaysia is a wealthier country, so the roads were better and everything felt and looked more modern. We arrived in Georgetown, Penang, where we would be spending the next two nights and after getting settled into our rooms (at the Minimal Good Hotel – which was actually quite nice) we headed out for some street food. Penang is an island off the west coast of northern Malaysia and it’s well-known for its delicious street food. I had a vegetable soup and it was quite good.

The next day we had free to explore, so Jo (a girl from England) and I hopped on a bus and headed out of town to see the Kek Lok Si Temple. It was enormous and rather touristy, but still impressive. We didn’t have too much time to walk around because we were supposed to meet the rest of the group at noon for a walking tour of the city, led by our tour guide Kris. Asia isn’t known for it’s timely public transpiration and we got back just in time to meet the group heading down the street. Kris took us around the Colonial part of Georgetown and told us some of it’s history, but after about an hour the rest of the group was getting hot and tired and bored. So they took a bus back and Kris, Jo, Sarah, and I continued on to Little India and Chinatown.

We all met again at 7 for dinner and headed to an Indian restaurant that I saw in my guidebook. When we got there though, it was all vegetarian! Good for me, but most everyone else picked up and went down the street to another Indian place where they could order meat. I was disappointed to see that they couldn’t eat vegetarian for just one night. Sarah, Jo, and Kris stayed with me, though.

The next day we had another long bus ride into the mountains of Malaysia – the Cameron Highland, known for it’s tea plantations and strawberry farms. As we made our way up several thousand feet (4800 I think) on a winding road, the air got cooler and cooler. It’s actually cold enough to wear jackets, scarves, hats, and Uggs (yes, one girl brought her Uggs to southeast Asia) at night. We arrived late again, so we only had a little time to look around town before dinner. We ate at another Indian restaurant (I have a new obsession with Indian food) and my meal was served on a banana leaf!

Finally (I’m almost caught up), today we went on a full day tour of trekking, tea plantations, a butterfly garden, and strawberry eating. We first stopped at a roadside village where the locals showed us how to use a blow dart gun that their ancestors used to use to hunt. We got to try and I hit the bulls eye dead-on 🙂 After, two local boys who spoke no English led us into the jungle in search of the Raffelsia – the largest flower in the world and it only grown in southeast Asia. We hiked a very sweaty and muddy 45 minutes into the lush rainforest before coming across it. The Raffelsia is a parasitic plant that has no roots, stems, or leaves. Some species can grow over 39 inches and weigh up to 22 pounds! The one we saw was about 2 feet across with red flesh and a lot flies buzzing around (apparently they smell like rotting meat, but I didn’t stick my nose in it). It was pretty cool and looked very out of place in the surrounding greenery.

After hiking back out, we stopped for lunch at a roadside Indian restaurant 🙂 Then we visited a 600 acre tea plantation. It was massive. Everywhere I looked there were tea plants. The plantation (called Boh) was started in the 1920’s by a Scottish family and it’s still run by the same family. They now live in Kuala Lumpur and visit the plantation via helicopter. It was beautiful, though – the steep hills and mountains were all planted with tea plants and the sun was glinting off the leaves. There are only five types of tea – black, green, white, oolong, and flavored – and they’re all made from the same leaf. It just depends on how the leaves are dried, fermented, and processed.

We had a tour around the factory and a cup of tea in the “tea-ria” before moving on to the butterfly gardens. It was actually really cool. Butterflies were everywhere and we could hold them in our hands. They had other critters as well, like snakes (one of which I had draped around my neck), giant beetles, leaf insects, stick insects, chameleons, leaf frogs (they actually look like leaves!), scorpions, etc… All from around Malaysia. On our way back to the hotel we stopped at an open market and bought some strawberries from the surrounding farms. I actually didn’t try any because they were expensive and I’m a little skeptical about the pesticide use…

Tomorrow we move on again. We leave early and head south to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Looking forward to more adventures!

Island Hopping

It has been a couple of days since I left the craziness of Bangkok and entered the craziness of Krabi, a province down south on the Andaman Sea. I’m staying in a town called Ao Nang, aka Tourist Central, with the rest of the Gap Adventures group (more on that later). At first I was horrified and couldn’t wait until we move on, but after I got settled in a bit I realized it wasn’t that awful. Part if traveling is taking the good with the bad and so far I’ve had a whole lot of good.

I met the rest of the group (10 of them) in Bangkok on the 6th of December and had a few days to explore the city some more. The group is really nice, but they like to drink and party, so I don’t hang out with them much at night. I did a yoga class with several friends from Yoga Thailand who were still in the city and after, we randomly met up with some more classmates in a sky-train station. Small world. Aoy, who lives in Bangkok treated us all to an amazing lunch at a vegetarian Japanese restaurant.

On Tuesday we traveled down south by overnight train, but I didn’t get much sleep because the lights stayed on the whole night (we had curtains, though) and I was either too hot or too cold. Like I said before, Ao Nang is very touristy and the beaches are packed, so on the first day I set out by myself to explore and hopefully find some solace. At the end of the beach I came to a trailhead and followed the rickety stairs up a steep hill and down the other side. I found myself at a private resort with an empty beach. Mission accomplished.

The second day in Ao Nang (yesterday) two friends (Jo and Dan) and I took a fishing boat over to Railey Beach, a 15 minute ride from Ao Nang. Again, I was disappointed with the masses of white bikini and speedo clad tourists, but we found a spot on the beach and spent a few hours swimming and soaking up the sun. We were about to leave when Dan offered to show us where a troop of monkeys liked to hang out (he’s been to Krabi before). We set off down a worn dirt path and soon came across the monkeys (I have no idea what kind they were). We decided to keep walking down the path and head over to the other side of the island. Unlike the beaches we just came from this side had no white sandy shore, only mangroves and dirt. I liked it better, though, because it was less crowded, more laid back, and had a backpacker/traveler feel. Krabi is world famous for its rock climbing because of its tall limestone bluffs and as we made our way down the shoreline, we saw why the area draws so many climbers. At the end of the beach we came to some limestone caves, which were really cool with the stalagmite and stalactite formations. We also came across a “trailhead” that supposedly led up to a viewpoint and secret lagoon. When I say “trailhead” I mean a slippery red clay path the leads almost straight up with jagged rocks as foot holds and a knotted rope to hang on to. I had to try it. Dan and Jo weren’t so keen (although Dan did end up going after me – I met him as I was going back down), so I set off on my own. It really wasn’t that bad, just muddy (or clayey) and quite steep. I asked a few others I met on the way up about the lagoon and they said it was too difficult to reach. So I settled for the look out, which I reached about 20 minutes later. It was so beautiful and definitely worth the orange hands and feet (I went barefoot). The view was out over the two sides of the island, so I could see both beaches with the limestone cliffs in the background. The drop down was probably about 500 feet. It was incredible. Dan said looking over the edge was the scariest thing here’s ever done, but he also thought the climb up was particularly difficult.

Today was another adventure. Nine of us hired a speed boat to take us around to some of the islands. At the first stop we snorkeled with the fish and around the reefs. Then we headed to Maya Bay which is where The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed. It was more than a disappointment. The beach was absolutely packed and there were some many speed boats that the air was polluted. Maybe it would have been beautiful if there weren’t so many people and boats. The next stop was better, though. We had lunch on Phi Phi Don island (yes it’s pronounced pee pee) and after eating I headed out to explore. The beaches were still crowded, but it had a more laid back, island feel, so it was nice. Then the last stop of the day was my favorite. We went to Bamboo Island and after wading to shore, I once again took off by myself (I’m starting to realize that I’m quite different from the average traveler who doesn’t explore farther than what they can see). I wasn’t complaining though because as soon as I walked around the bend an climbed over some rocks, there was absolutely nobody. White beaches and turquoise waters all to myself. The only problem was that I didn’t know how big the island was and we only had an hour and a half there, so I couldn’t stop and relax. I found some really cool stones, though, and eventually, after climbing over sharp rocks, tip-toeing over scorching sand, and wading through waist deep water, I made it all the way around the island with lots of time to spare (unfortunately! I would have like to have spent more time on my own private beach).

Tonight is our last night in Ao Nang, then tomorrow we take mini-vans down to Malaysia and the island of Penang. I can’t wait to do some more exploring!

Third and final blog of the day

If everybody had a birthday party like the King of Thailand, every day would be a full out bash. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, having already seen what Bangkok is capable of, but this was slightly insane. I stepped out of the restaurant I had dinner at (amazing falafel and hummus) to a busy, but not-unusual Khao San road (where all the tourists congregate). A little farther down, though, I came to a stage where young Thai girls dressed up in fancy, glittering, traditional Thai costumes with perfect faces painted on, performed for a throng of foreigners and Thais alike. I was handed a yellow candle and soon everyone as far as I could see had a lit candle in their hand. After the performance was over I thread my way through the crowd thinking that I’d make my way back to the hotel. As soon as I turned the corner, though, I was met with thousands of bodies swarming the sidewalks and streets, white Christmas lights adorning everything, and fireworks going off above my head. It was crazy. I stayed for a little while to watch the fireworks, snapped a few photos, then squirmed my way between food vendors selling everything imaginable, men in pink shirts, and piles of trash waiting to be picked up in the morning.