The Pan-Indonesia connection

25 Apr
Jogja in 2 days - thanx to friends

Jogja in 2 days - thanx to friends

I met a friend in Bali who showed us around town, took us to eat in some local places, went dancing with us in the weekend. We had a good connection. And good connections bring you very far in Indonesia, very far as I found out.

When I discovered that I had only a few days left in Indonesia (because of a ticket I had booked months before, without thinking too much) I thought I would not have the opportunity to see much of Java. But that was without counting on my Bali friend.

The Jogja study mates

The Jogja study mates

My Bali friend was originally from Java, and studied in Jogja. And even though hanging out together for a few days is not a long time, we got along really well. So when I needed to evacuate from Bali to catch my flight in Solo, he put me in contact with his study mates in Jogja (short and sweet for Jogjakarta).

The Jogja friends of my Bali friend came to pick me up at the airport, even at the ungodly hour of 6am – which meant that I was traveling already since 2 hours before (and add 1 hour time difference)! First thing they did was to bring me to a local Nasi Kuning place at the side of the street for breakfast (hm, yellow rice, beef & veg on an empty stomach… not very European, hehe).

Since I couldn’t check into my hotel yet (I didn’t have a place to stay yet anyway), we just drove to see Borobudur and Prambanan, THE century old monuments to see in the area, UNESCO world heritage and all. It was a sleepy affair (I had slept maybe 2 or 3 hours after saying goodbye to my Bali friends) and quite an expensive affair: foreigners had to fork out 125000 Rupya (12US$) to get in – locals only 15000 (1,5 US$).

Segregation: VIP entrance for foreigners

Segregation: VIP entrance for foreigners

But for this price, the ‘Bule’ (Indonesian for foreigners) got a separate inside ticket counter, with air con and complimentary coffee – whereas the locals had to stand in line in the sun outside. Probably because tourists complained about what they would get extra for all the extra money they had to fork out.

  • Borobudur – biggest and oldest Buddhist temple – on same level as Angkor Wat
  • Prambanan – biggest Hindo temple complex – shaken by the 2004 earthquake
Picture time - again and again and again

Picture time - again and again and again

There were many schoolgroups around wearing uniform (even though it was Sunday morning???) and it seemed to be the English teachers’ favourite assignment to go and interview the Bule (foreigners). This results in never ending streams of shy girls approaching us with the same set of questions they had probably learned in their first English lessons: “what is your name? Where are you from? Do you like Indonesia?”…

Or for some reason the exhilarated schoolgirls (and some guys) on their day out wanted to get their picture taken with a white skin (and with one of the gorgeous Jogja friends – more here). So maybe I should change my career to become a photomodel ;-)

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