I'm now in the third week of my Indonesian learning/ Wisconsin adventure and things have been going splendidly so far.
I have made some really good friends. We are such good friends, that we have in fact formed a club, the Best Friends' Club. Current members include: Me :-) Frank Chappell, Gilles Maillet, Steve Myers, and Christina Pomianek. We do pretty much everything together, including mandi grup.
Our first official BF event was kayaking on lake Mendota. After driving around Madison for about an hour (which always happens when we try to go anywhere in this freaking city) Christina and I had a tandem kayak and Frank and Steve had singles (Gilles was passed out from the night before, so he missed out on this one). We set out on the lake around 1ish (I think) and we were in route to the "island." It was taking forever to get there and Steve and Frank (mostly Steve) were jacking around.
Frank eventually caught up to Christy and I, and the three of us were approaching the island at a reasonable pace. Christy and I moved a little ahead of Frank and the next thing we knew, his kayak was upside down and he was bobbing in the water beside it. We turned back to "help" him, but when we got near him we mysteriously flipped (it was Christy's fault). Our life jackets were extremely awkward and we were laughing so much that we "nearly" drowned. We spent the next 30 or so minutes collecting all of the paddles, shoes, hats, kayaks, and life jackets while also attempting to climb back into the boats. Meanwhile, a kind, but strange windsurfer wondered by and offered a helping hand, but we were prideful and he was a windsurfer! What was he going to do? Too, Steve was nowhere to be found. He showed up at about the 30 minute marker and took over Frank's kayak for us. After about 10 more minutes of struggling, Frank, Christy, and I managed to climb back onto the tandem kayak, but the wind was not cooperating and Steve had drifted away from us with the other kayak and the paddles. By some miracle we reunited with Steve, but Frank's kayak was full of water. However, our sharp minds told us to pull the kayak onto the other two and dump the water out. Once that crisis was dealt with, Frank managed to climb in and everyone collected their various belongings. Though we were not far from the island, we were exhausted and starving, so we decided to head back to shore. After what felt like hours, we washed up onto shore and crawled to the car.
We were soaked, smelly, and dirty, but we needed nourishment. Luckily, we (minus Frank) are also part of the water bottle club, and so dehydration was averted. It probably had something to do with the music that was playing at the rental shop, but we were all craving Mexican, so Frank hooked us up with places on his GPS. A million places showed up, but we settled on Eldorado (spell?) Grill. We drove off, after Frank "bumped" the car behind us for the second time, but we were all a little delirious. At one point we all began to laugh for no apparent reason.
Again we drove around for about an hour until we reached the restaurant, El Pastor. However, it was a little too "fancy" for us bums, so we headed for another Mexican restaurant on Park. Luckily the second place was a little more "authentic" and forgiving of our appearances, so it was a good match. With our stomachs aching we each ordered a two pound burrito. Thinking that wouldn't be sufficient (and just wanting a tamale) Steve ordered a taco and I ordered a tamale to accompany our meals.