Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Jogja Day 3 - Prambanan, Wayang Kulit

I wanted to collapse Day 3 and Day 4 of Jogja together until I figured wow, I really shouldn't because Prambanan has a lot of information too. Borobudur and Prambanan are the two most famous landmarks of Yogjakarta. Tourists, travelers and other visitors in general come to Jogja and prioritize these two at their top of the list. So I too did exactly just that. 

I visited Prambanan the day after Borobudur. This time, I didn't go through any tour packages because I was told that accessing Prambanan via public buses is feasible. Thank heavens that Sosrowijayan Street (where I was staying) is less than 5 minutes walk from the bus station (also known as Trans Jogja), so I hopped on to it and told the excellent guest relations officers about my intentions to head to Prambanan and they were so great at guiding on which buses to get into.

Trans Jogja Bus Station
Waited for the right bus in less than 15 minutes (excellent frequency of Trans Jogja buses too) and I was well on my way! The journey to Prambanan was fascinating, but isn't really the nearest, it's fine for me because I like to look at the different people and different antiques surrounding me. Reached Prambanan Bus Station about an hour or so. Once you reached Prambanan's stop, there were tons of becak drivers, carriages and motorbike riders trying to bring you to the actual main entrance of the Prambanan Temple which is about 10 minutes walk (at best) if not more.

I declined their offers and decided to walk slowly to the entrance despite it being at 12noon, means scorching hot. Walking to Prambanan was a breeze for me, but if you're not too confident with big roads (actually I'm not too but I like to toughen up sometimes), then you can well consider the bikers, they would probably just cost about a few Ringgit. I enjoyed looking at things so it was no issue for me.

Upon reaching there, I was quite unlucky that they recognised I wasn't Indonesian :( So I paid significantly a lot more. The entrance fee cost me about MYR 45.00 which was only MYR 15.00 for locals. Since I was alone too, and the tour guide was mighty expensive I decided to not hire a guide by myself. I glorified Borobudur a lot without knowing much about Prambanan, until I saw Prambanan with my own eyes. Oh my God. It's amazing. LOOK.
Prambannan Temples
Thank goodness, they have informative sessions on the Prambanan Temples so I took it and I loved it. They even discussed about some of the carvings that can be seen as well, but essentially Prambanan Temples' idea is that humans and nature need to be in balance and when it is in equilibrium, both worlds enjoy the beautiful balance of what one has to offer.

WHICH I COMPLETELY AGREE. Since I've been in the tourism industry, probably one of the biggest industry here in Sabah, I know exactly what International visitors came to Sabah for. Its nature, views, food and people. In simple English it means, our economy strive on the resources and the beauty that holds the state, so you're basically making money from the nature, from the views. The idea of vandalizing the source of your income, and also in turn ruining where you live in this world doesn't seem to compute to me.

When you understand what a relationship can give to you (much like any business), instinctively you would want to protect it, make sure it is well taken care of,  but not us humans apparently. And I think it's because we take the nature (them not being able to give their voice of reason since they're well nature) for GRANTED. It's illogical. Everything will deplete yes I know, but at the rate of us bullying our fellow nature, it will deplete a million times faster than we can imagine.

Okay, before I get into deep, let's get to Prambanan.

According to Yogyes, Prambanan Temple is the biggest Hindu temple in Java. Intricately beautiful, it has 3 main temples in the primary yard namely Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva which symbolizes Trimurti (the trinity) of Gods where the temples are also dedicated to the animals that have helped serve them and the carvings tell the legendary of Ramayana.

The collaboration of nature and humans 
Since I was alone this time and wasn't attached with any tour packages, I decided to take my own sweet time. Found some hidden spots and hung around the hidden spots all by myself, until I recognized a seemingly strange pattern of.... boys.... asking.... to take photos.... of me.... or with me......

The first batch who asked to take photos with me (I felt like an exhibition) was a bunch of high school boys. The first shoot was fine, I guess. Then another group came, maybe because they saw the first group took a photo with me. They asked me where I came from, and the moment I muttered Mmmmaaa... they had all their digital cameras out. Their fascination of taking photos of / with foreigners is a bit odd to me really.

When the second group came...... well you guessed it, the session continues. And another set of 5 people came up to me after that. Even asked for my BlackBerry Pins, emails etc - told them I didn't want to giveaway my details. Mind you, I was just in plain black shirt and plain black leggings, so I was really no exhibition I was as plain as you could imagine. I was really kind enough to agree to all of it, eventhough I had the notion they would probably be having strange stories of me to their friends, but nah judge all you want I didn't really care what they'd do with it really even if you come up with the worst cases of scenarios.

But I did became quite estranged by the whole affair, that at one time probably after the 5th group that came up to me, I did get quite tired of it all. Eventually, I chose to hide in Shiva's temple, away from a lot of people, because all I wanted was to just sit and... chill, by myself.

I was so at peace, making motions and impressions out of the beautiful moving clouds and having stories in my head about what was of Prambanan for about half an hour when a bunch of boys walked into the cosy area I was sitting, took photos of the area and ......... walked up to me and said, "Nona, boleh bergambar bersama?"

 -______________- (but of course).

After about an hour plus at Prambanan I decided to leave for lunch, unfortunately, partly because I didn't want to be smiling for another set of camera.

Found a quaint little place for lunch in Prambanan itself, which was rather empty (I assumed maybe people thought it was expensive).

They were feeding the deers!
The waiter was really nice and friendly, telling me where are the places to go and what are the things to do. After I was done with lunch, asked for the bill, the dude came and asked for my phone number................ So that was a really tricky half of the day I'd say. It was flattering the first two times, it wasn't after the 7th.

Craftsman at work 
Kind dude gave me a song, and I gave him some bucks 
Right after Prambanan, I actually went back to the hostel because I was super drenched walking under the hot sun. Advice: bring a cap! In fact, I got a little burned, my face, neck and even my feet. You can clearly see the difference in my skin colour on my feet, haha hilarious but oh well :)

Upon reaching my hostel, that was probably around 4pm or so, I stretched myself good and hung around the same balcony I would always to every other day when the same friend, asked me on what I'd be up to, told me to visit the "silver city" which was Kota Gede. Quite frankly, I wasn't really interested because I'm not really into silvers, but the guy kept insisting so I figured jyeah, why not. I had sometime in my hands before my next activity at night.

What really triggered me was probably the story behind Kota Gede, the silver city. It was told that back in the original times where Islam just came into Jogja, the Muslims believed that during the 5 holy times of prayers, one is not allowed to "wear any riches" meaning all the worldly, and materialistic items when praying, and back then the only materialistic items or materialistic riches that they knew or recognised were Gold. So traders started making silver for sales, because silvers were fine to be worn. So Kota Gede eventually became the hub of all things silver, from bodily wearings to house decorations, you can find any type of silvers in Kota Gede, and it doesn't just stretch within an area (although the famous ones are in one area) it stretches right up to some of the alleys and some of the old houses in Kota Gede.

Seriously talented craftsman at work
Very fascinating, to think everyone was outdoing each other in silver's artform back in the days. 

I was done with Kota Gede (thanks to my trustee friend whom I paid for about MYR 20 to ride me around) after 30 minutes tops. He must have felt guilty upon seeing me not buying anything, he actually took me further to some of the batik areas. It's like he must see me buy something to mean that I was satisfied....

I let him took me wherever he deemed best. And I eventually figured, wow throughout this trip I've been getting so many stuff for so many people, except for myself. So I thanked him for forcing me to buy something (I told him that), and was determined to look for a proper batik infused blouse for myself, and I did, I was so happy :)

Once Kota Gede and some personal shopping were done, that was around 5pm, I went home to get ready for WAYANG KULIT! 

Fighting Scene
Gah, if there's any country best to check out Wayang Kulit it is INDONESIA. Wayang Kulit IS from Indonesia, recognised all over the world as one of the most intricate, most beautiful story telling method, complete with a whole set of musical class behind one story, wayang kulit is poetic, and extremely beautiful.

I was there at Museum Sonobudoyo (a cultural hall that plays Wayang Kulit) the earliest, so I had a chat with the uncle who was one of the musical instrument player. Not many knew about the wayang kulit in Sonobudoyo which was strange considering it's also in the city just about 10 minutes walk from where I stayed, so please ask around, it's at Jalan Alun Alun.

NOT a love scene, they're still fighting -_-

The story was about Rama, and his love Shinta, probably has the exact same storyline as the Prambanan Ballet that I visited the day after this. I loved the wayang kulit but I can understand why people lose interest in it after maybe 10 minutes, because it was extremely difficult to understand staunch Indonesian slang............. The crowd went from five to ten to thirty to ten to five to three. I was one of them three.

Halfway through I had completely forgotten which character was who, I had to check on the brochures every 5 seconds. For someone who understood a little bit of the language and not being able to grasp the story..... I could understand the predicament the Westerners and other Asians were facing for not being able to understood a word they said.

After it ended, I slowly walked home. It was a really cool night, so I took my time to walk slowly back and looked at all the things that filled up my senses, haha even the polluted air smoke, just cause.

When I reached hostel, I cleaned myself a little, remembered of all the good people and good things I came across with.... and fell asleep with probably a huge smile on my face.


Jogja Day 2
Jogja Day 3
Jogja Day 1
Parangritis Beach

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good days

I've only begun reading the overrated, incredibly famous, best-seller Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. Before reading it, I've had all sorts of testimonials from people regarding the book / movie. Good, bad and mixed. I watched the movie before the book, and quite frankly even so, it really did made an impact on me. Most of the time I'm satisfied with my own judgement so I must say, no biased opinions have made its way to mine about this piece. Some say it's shallow, some say it's necessary, I can only say that.... it's what I could use. 

After the movie, I made some very distinctive choices that I will not disclose here. For one, I've decided that it's high time that I make decisions that would be good for my soul. And that I needed to know who I am and who I want to be, rather than keeping afloat with what life has somehow predetermine for me. 

Some changes in life are necessary, some are compulsory. Often not, we do not see the light at the end of the tunnel when all things are beginning to confuse us, but I've discovered the wonders of calming myself down and making decisions based on a sound and a more wholesome perspective.

In a somewhat domesticated journey to recognize the things that make me happy, I realised I am so very traditional in more ways than one, and I am truly happy being so. It wasn't the environment, and even if it was, I quite liked the domesticated environment I am surrounded with. 

I hope everyone will find their way, sooner or later. I hope everyone will be contented with who they are, sooner or later :)  

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Jogja - Day 2 (Borobudur Temple)

There was one fine afternoon, as I was sitting alone enjoying the ample of time in my hands by the hostel’s balcony looking over different tourists with different accents and different features passing by, now a good friend who’s working in that hotel sat next to me and started chatting up with me about Sabah. As I was telling him all the ground info and rules he should know before coming over, I cut it short by asking him to pay us Sabahans a visit and he shyly nodded.

The main reason why I cut him short on Sabah was because I wanted to continue our conversation on his beautiful home Jogja instead. I was ready with all my question, a little too inquisitive that way. The information from this paragraph is derived purely from our conversation so please forgive any misinterpretations. He told me that Buddhism and Hinduism were the oldest “religions” in Indonesia, mainly populating in Central Java of Indonesia. As the years passed by, where Arabic traders wheezed through all sorts of openings from Malaya even, most of the natives in Central Java have converted to Muslims, by marriage, by culture, for work and the list goes on. Slowly but surely, Islam became the main religion.  Having been the secondary religions in Central Java after the migration of the Muslims, the Buddhists and the Hindus finally migrated to… Bali. Being one of the oldest Buddhism-Hinduism dynasty in Central Java, they have built numerous temples around and Borobudur is just one out of many.

The Buddhist migration from Jogja to Bali 
Picture source:

This might sound super shallow, but I discovered the wonders that is Borobudur from my favourite reality TV show, The Amazing Race Asia. I was having dinner with mum while watching it last year and their next destination was "Borobudur". Watched the whole show in curiosity,  waiting to discover what this foreign place called "Borobudur" is - only to have my heart stolen away by the enchanting temple by the end of the show. It was so... mesmerizing, like magical! I was completely bought over, then and there I decided that I must visit this mystical temple next year (2013). And guess what folks, I did! :)  

Borobudur Temple
According to Borobudur Park (2012), Borobudur Temple was built by the Sailendra dynasty an influential Indonesian dynasty that emerged between 750 and 842 AD and a strong promoter of Buddhism in the 9th Century in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. They were apprehended to be the influential race at the moment. That basically means in terms of world wide religious structures, Borobudur was probably one of the oldest temple or religious temple in the world, built some 300 years before Cambodia’s Angkor Wat was even constructed, and even 400 years before papers were even working on the great European cathedral during the reign of one of the Salendra's kings. 

Actually, Fatah told us a rather a sad story about his family on Borobudur as he was growing up. Decades back before a whole lot of restructuring, all arounds Borobudur were actually houses, villages to be specific. His family's house was one of them. Government decided to compensate the locals with lands and job opportunities in exchange of their lands to build a massive park around Borobudur eventually coining it as a tourist landmark.

The villagers fought hard for their lands. They refused to budge for years and years, until I was told that the government took the matters a little more sternly by cutting off some of the basic necessities of the village.

Upon this on them, the villagers felt defenseless and eventually give in.

It was told that there were also carvings on the base of this temple but it was covered probably due to to its erotic messages
Borobudur Temple is about 40 - 45 minutes away from the city (from Sosrowijayan Wetan; where I stayed) which is why everyone would recommend you to take a tour package (like Mt. Kinabalu, or Perhentian for example). Most tour packages for Borobudur start from 5AM so I was awake and ready by about 4.30AM already (thank heavens for the early night before), and I went through my own hostel for the tour package.

It is situated at Magelang, northeast most of Yogyakarta after passing by numerous paddy fields along the way. The journey to Magelang / Borobudur itself is simply breathtaking let alone heading to Borobudur. Some people like to take their own sweet time at Borobudur, if you like, just let the tour guide know of your intentions and expect to look for your own transportation going back to the city (or wherever you're staying).

Like others, I got my Borobudur package inclusive of transportation (70, 000RP), entrance fee (170, 000) and tour guide (100, 000 shared by 6) all arranged the day before and on that day itself. which in total cost me about MYR 79.00. I figured it was still really cheap, so I had no issues paying most of it.

Before entering Borobudur they would usually ask you whether you'd like to have a tour guide. I was quite hesitant at first but after knowing that I could share it with 5 other people for just 100, 000 (MYR 31.00)  I immediately jumped in to it. Slowly, the rest agreed to. And he was right, without the guide, the temple would probably just look like any other stones. I was really glad we asked ours (Fatah), because he has to be the most educated, most humble guide I've ever met and his description of some of the carvings were amazing. I was beyond humbled.

I remembered tweeting about the stupas (a sanskrit word), and these are basically what stupas are in case you're wondering what holes I was talking about. Their bell-like resemblance is a representation of a spiritual tradition, from balance to action and right up to nirvana; a state in your life that you are content with life that you no longer long for any worldly desires as I have learned from Fatah.

"We are like stupas. The holes are like our desires. We think life is complete when we finally have all our desires. But we will always have desires, and that means we will always have these voids to fill in us. Try and eliminate our worldly desires, expectations." - Fatah, Jogja. 
The legendary Borobudur icon
Just recently too, Borobudur imposed a rule that all visitors must wear this Sarong. Initially to cover up those who wear anything above knee length out of respect and humility, now began a tradition which I think is excellent, sometimes I figured the modern society is lack of tradition which I don't blame anyone really, some just like to stay afloat with modernism.

Fatah told us about some of the prominent stories on Borobudur so calmly and humbly. He was never rushing, neither was he ever uncertain, he seemed to know the beautiful temple like the back of his hand. How can he not, he used to stay just right behind the temple, having to play it as a hide and seek maze when he was a kid and even to have hid somewhere in it from his parents when he had done something wrong, Borobudur was literally his playground and was a place he hold so close to heart.

The glorious Borobudur Temple 

The reason why I was so humbled by the visit to Borobudur was because of the immaculate carvings. Not the regal temple as it is, probably could be seen from miles away, but because of the carvings, that were individually crafted into so many life lessons as humans that I believe I could spend the entire day or even more just paying Fatah to tell me exactly what each and every drawing meant. But I couldn't afford the time, so I did what a normal tourist would do. Followed him, expecting him to pick the best lessons of all and share it with us. But there were no best lessons of all, as they all build Borobodur as it is today, and how can I choose they were all so beautiful each and everytime Fatah told us of one, I am enlightened.

Carving 1 - 

I posted this on my timeline, but just in case you missed this out I'm posting it here again. This particular carving tells us the story of a beautiful tree. No one knew exactly what the tree was, not the humans not even the animals. But the fruits harvested from the tree were so tasty that all the monkeys and other animals and even all the humans loved it so much. In fact maybe a little too much. Decided to have the tree and its fruits all to themselves, the humans decided to attack and kill the monkeys and other animals to repel them away. 

As so it is when it comes to greedy humans. We ignore cosmic harmony, we assault on other vulnerable people or other creatures to have it all even if it’s not ours in the first place.

One by one the monkeys were attacked. The monkey leader was blessed with a gift. He was born with a really long tail. Rightfully, he used his tail to save his friends by bridging them with one tree to another to escape. He became very weary from saving each and everyone of his friends that by the end of it all, this sacrificial act has caused him to fall and die in the hands of the greedy humans while his friends flee and survived.

Like you and I, we are all gifted with a talent or even talents given by god, may it be in problem solving, helping people, articulating, drawing, calculating anything even when we don’t know it yet but we are gifted with something, a reason in this world; it is what differentiates between you and me – and these talents when rightfully used, will help a lot of people.

Sometimes the most inspiring friends are natural born leaders. They have best use so much of their talents in order to help others with or without realizing it, and it may be you.

Carving 2 - 

The second carving tells us of the traditional matrimonial custom, for Prince Sidharta. There were so many ladies who wanted to be Prince Sidharta's wife (hence the queue), upon the announcement that Sidharta was ready for marriage. I (Fatah) was told of two stories, of which I'd like to believe on the latter. The first story tells us that the last lady that came forth to Sidharta chosen to be his wife because every single lady that came forth was given a gift from Sidharta, and by the end of it all, Sidharta had nothing else but a family ring which was his mother's. Even the oldest custom tells us that once a young man gives a family ring to a lady, it means that he is ready for a marriage or that the lady is a very special person to him. 

The second story tells us that of all the ladies that came forth to Sidharta, all did not looked at Sidharta in the eyes, except for one. It was believed that all the other ladies had too many dark secrets and were not willing to come clean with them to Sidharta except for one who were the purest and because she was the most honest. She was perfect for Sidharta for marriage. 

Firstly, we all know that the eyes are the windows to our soul. This shows that if have always been genuine and kind in life, we will always be at peace and it will show in our day to day life even in our expression, in our eyes and in our body language. And if we haven't, we will always be inferior of (to) ourselves. Especially to the people that we are going to commit to, as we need to tell them who we really are, or who we were. - Fatah. 

After Borobudur, we had a stopover at Mendut Village also called the bamboo forest most usually packaged together with Borobudur, a village with beautiful temples also erected during the Sailendra's dynasty a kingdom by now you should know renown for their preach in Mahayana Buddhism, like churches or mosques for healing and prayers.

As you can see from the picture below, there were still some houses nearby so Mendut Villagers still enjoy a vast amount of beautiful lands and space.

Right next to Mendut Village was a beautiful garden; had a short visit around it looking at all these landscapes and architectures that I was sure I could not get to see back home again.

After Borobudur I decided to catch some sleep. After all, I could afford to (and holidays are amazing when you could afford some free time). Reached my hostel at about 10am and I crashed till just in time for lunch. This was Bistik Daging, I wasn't quite sure what it was but it came looking like this and I enjoyed it, and I think it might be as similar as mixed veggies with beef.

[Quite frankly, I'm really bad at taking photos of my food, not quite sure how I'd take and describe them and I don't usually do it but when I'm travelling, I make it a point to show at least some of the food that I had :)]

And right after, I decided to get some MASSAGE. Seems like almost wherever I go (especially countries with exotic massage offerings), I would spend some time on rest and relax and that includes some loosening up my muscles. Even though it was just my second day, I didn't want to lose out on massages should my other days get occupied much faster.

Right at the end of the Sosrowijayan Wetan street was this quaint little massage parlour that I sneaked in and ordered for a Jasmine Oil massage (I LOVE JASMINE OMG) for 2 hours, for MYR 52.00. It was really cheap so I was more than wiling to pay for it.

Whatever that drink was next to my bad it was the shiznit - tasted a bit like ginger
It was almost evening when I finished my leisure massage, so I decided to check on some local night market that was ongoing for a couple of days now just around the corner of Kraton. Hop myself on some local bike, paid the rider over and I scotch around the market looking at all the interesting things that were on sale. 

Ample of clothes
Indonesians are huge in Taufus

This is a strange companion / toy
It seemed like a typical night market, with its loosely chained ferris wheels, carnivale food, screaming kids and unique items on sale. Was there for about an hour or so and rode "becak" back and it took the guy less than 10 minutes to reach my destination. 

If you haven't known, becak is like a trishaw. It is not illegal in Indonesia (evidently) while they are in some parts of Malaysia. Very convenient in short distance journey and especially during the rain. 

After the night market I went to Malioboro Shopping Mall and twirl around the area to check out what their malls are like. Clean, decent and pretty much just like any other malls - I'll show you more later in my posts :) 

So that's all folks, talk to you soon on Day 3.


Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Jogjakarta - Day 1

After getting into the new job, my limbs were stretched to all kinds of far. I have been busy with a lot of things, projects, catching up with family, friends and just life in general. A lot of personal vacations and sightseeing were put on hold too except… I told myself that by hook, by crook or by any kinds of nooks I'd have to maneuver – YOGYAKARTA must happen!

I bought the tickets in September, and just like most of us, AirAsia’s flight prices were real steal. Since I’d have to fly to Kuala Lumpur first, I had to get four flights in total, which totaled up to RM 339 inclusive of taxes.

I usually travel light so it was no issue for me not to get any check ins, in fact, I would usually just fill my bagpack just half of its size so that I can have more rooms for personal shopping and some little souvenirs. I'm gifted for being able to pack up quite light when it comes to travelling. I usually decide to wear whatever I've just bought over my travels too. Singlets, tshirts.

By history, Yogyakarta was known as Ngadjogjokarto Hadiningrat. But as time passed by Ngadjogjokarto Hadiningrat,  evolved into something simpler and eventually toned down to something even shorter, which most locals and tourists alike have affectionately called it – Jogja.

My first day was all about getting acquainted. I reached the hostel that was perfectly situated right behind Malioboro Street called Sosrowijayan Wetan the most renown street in Jogja - for food, shopping, hang outs, meetups you name it, Sosrowijayan is where you'd want to be. Malioboro and Wetan are like two perfect souls for the thrill seekers. Like any other convenient places, they're filled with Europeans, Asians, bars, food, tour guides, "becak", girls, street food, it means you are literally at the centre of the action. Sosrowijayan is probably the liveliest street of all Jogja and where one young should be. I've included a map of where  Jalan Sosrowijayan is, and as you can see, they're a couple of hotels spotted from Google Map but in reality they're A LOT MORE. Every corner, every side, every alleys have accommodation, so everyone's there, as you should too. Including me! :D

And yet, what really humbled me even more was the fact within Sosrowijayan Wetan Street lies one small perfectly at peace mosque. Which I have observably noticed them calling this holy place as Musholla. Tourists and locals would passed by the mosque with respect, no loud noises and no intrusion. I loved the beautiful harmony.

This was next to some local bars and hostels
Before I forget, I think I need to let out my opinion on why travelers can simply be attracted to travelers, both on their backs travelers or luxury. You see, when you're traveling, you're put in most situations that are beyond your comfort zone. You'd have to ask, you'd have to listen, you'd have to speak. And because you are not at your turf (different countries, different districts) you would usually humble yourself down, and not splash the town with YOUR way of life, YOUR culture. When you choose to go somewhere, it's because you want to see what the place is like, not impose what you have or what you know, to a certain extend maybe (like share your language a little), but you don't wash out the beauty of the place, most of the time you embrace it and you accept it.

So when a particular traveler sees these humility, acceptance of different cultures and beliefs one has on others - they familiarise this, and they can simply put, relate to them. They would feel good knowing that these people are humble and very accepting of other people. And what's not to love people who are not conflicted, not complicated and always look for the best in people?

I guess this is no genius, but I guess what I'm trying to say is the kindest most giving most helpful people in the world are probably the ones who have seen different lives and received different loves from their journeys and adventures. Some call them, well traveled, well informed, the street way.

Let's get back to Jogja. You will see from this post, how rare, no wait, how none of my face appears on these photos. I am really bad at taking photos of myself not quite sure why -_________-" If you're lucky, I'll probably post one or at best, two photos with my face in it. Pft. I have low confidence posting self portrait pictures up >.<

I reached Andrea Hotel (lovely place, will Tripadvisor it) at about 2.30pm so I had all the luxury to settle down before sundown, get acquainted and start familiarizing with the place I’m staying at.  I asked a lot of basic questions about moving around and language and even getting to know the locals. They were really friendly, I loved every kind soul I've met and made friends with. Knowing I was travelling alone, some tried their luck, but most of them I'd say about 9/10 of them would help me out :)  They shared me stories, gave me insights and even sat me down for some drinks.

Like uncle Jo, who offered me rides.

I started my Jogja adventure immediately after, with a trip down to the local batik and painting shop at Prawirotaman Street by riding on his bike. Which was a bad idea because I could easily spent most of my money on those two; batik clothes and batik paintings. I loved batik and paintings so much, it's no joke to put me in those streets, let alone on the first day.

Behind the scenes of batik painting 

That was the first time that I noticed Jogja-ians loved their birds. And they're all housed in these beautifully crafted cages, most in hand-made wooden crafts. Asked them why birds, they told me it's because they bring peace and the chirpings are suppose to calm you down.

Uncle Jo that accompanied me must have regretted offering me a ride because I spent nearly two hours just browsing, neat-picking the details of the fabrics, asking them what the designs meant, feasting my eyes with those ah beautiful artworks - basically taking my own sweet time. 

The owner of the shop telling me how paintings are crafted 
The colour paletes
While I have my reasons why I wouldn't personally like housing birds, this is where I learn that the world is made of billions of different us and that this is their place and they have their reasons. So I smiled and I listen to their stories intently :) I hold these stories and lessons close to heart because they remind me of things that I love the most, learning.

Beautiful batik handicrafts. These in particular are headscarfs for Indonesian men, falls under the same family as the Songkok. I think batiks are perfect for formal occasions, especially when you twist it with a modern look. You'd look divine.

After spending hours and hours at Prawirotaman Street, I hopped on uncle Jo's back again and rode back home. The jam in Jogja is terrible, I'm guessing every part of Indonesia is. But thankfully, it wasn't as frightening as it was in Jakarta. Jakarta's jam -- was insane. That's like a whole new topic itself. But I decided to bike on people most of the time, so these bikers were basically swerving in all the corners and alleys like a boss, I had so much fun. Plus, it's like watching everything in action with no windows covering you. Like in 5D or something heh.

I didn't really feel quite encouraged to take a ride on one of these carriages as well, felt bad for the horses :( but I should have an open mind learning the different things different cities have to offer and Jogja (along with Manila really) have carriages as transportation. It's as cheap as RM 0.30 for a about 1 - 5km rides.

After spending hours and hours at Prawirotaman Street, I dropped by the infamous Malioboro Street, walked around, spoilt my eyes and started deciding on what to buy for my friends and loved ones back home eventhough it was only my first night there. AH DANGEROUS. Shopping in Jogja is crazy.

I really took my time deciding what to eat because I know Indonesians have excellent foods. I was weighing the options of what to eat for lunch, dinner and breakfast - because they're all good. And the first that caught my eye for my first meal was Soda Gembira (Happy Soda). It's basically sweetened milk, and syrup in a glass and to top it all off, you'd have to mix it with soda water.

It probably had like a billion calories, but it's so good after a long hot day and it's an Indon's special so everything is compensated! Plus, dude, when you're travelling, you should be trying new things :)

Sosrowijayan Street 
Called the first night in as early as 9pm because I had to wake up at 5am the next day for BOROBUDUR! The main reason why I chose Jogja over any other destination  :) Till then folks.


Jogja Day 2
Jogja Day 3
Jogja Day 1
Parangritis Beach

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.