Yogyakarta Travel Blog› entry 43 of 95 › view all entries
Ok, ok. So I'm about two months behind on my blog. I've been in Australia for 6 weeks now and am writing about arriving in Indonesia. For all my loyal followers who have had to wait, I apologize.
I fly to Indonesia and bask in the luxury that is airplane travel. An indoor waiting area? Free water fountains (not that I trust them anyways)? Free soft drink AND peanuts? Bathrooms available? A quiet trip? My OWN guaranteed seat? Woah, this is the life. It's amazing the things you take for granted after traveling on a budget, especially through SE Asia. Upon arrival I immediately pass the line of waiting taxi drivers eager to take a lone white girl wherever she might go, because, of course, "there is no bus" or "bus not safe.
I decided to head straight for the one road, whose name of course I forget, portioned off from the rest of the city for backpackers, and prompty proceeded to slip on the slick sidewalk and fall on my ass. As I fell I heard a motorbike driver passing by yell a quick "oh shit" equivolant in Indonesian.
That night at dinner, Vanessa (a Swedish girl I met at an internet cafe) and I were sitting at a table when who walks in but Jula, from Ko Phangan. She was with a few other travelers so the lot of us sat together and Jula and I caught up. The next day was Indonesia's Independence Day so we planned to meet in the morning to walk to the ceremony/parade. Once we got there we soon realized there was no parade, only a short ceremony with some flag raising, but there were oodles of uniformed people walking about and singing so we were at least a bit entertained. The highlight of the show, however, seemed to be us. Lots of people staring, taking "secret" pictures and a few requesting pictures taken with our cameras that we would them email to them.
That night Jula and I left for Yogyakarta, the former home of our own dear President Barack Obama, yes sir. Lots of Indonesians, after hearing I'm from America, go "Obama!" and give me a thumbs up. After being picked up an hour late by our minibus, we then proceeded to circle the city very slowly stuck in traffic for the next 4 hours, with no air conditioning and the bus breaking down not once, but twice. The 12 hour ride ended up being 16 hours.
Perhaps one of the most annoying, er, cultural, experiences in Yogya was being woken up at 4:30am every morning with the Muslim call to worship. This consisted of a loudspeaker, apparently located outside our door, blaring chants in a tone deaf manner for at least 10 hours. Ok, maybe it was more like 15-30 minutes, but it might as well have been longer. Yay Ramadan! The most exciting thing to happen, however, was the earthquake that happened while we were there. Now Jula and I didn't feel a thing, but amused ourselves in wondering why the minimart employees across the street from our restaurant came running out suddenly all worked up over something. It wasn't until we saw Hee again that she explained about the earthquake and the "dozens of Japanese tourists who started screaming and running out" of the mall she was in. My first earthquake and I missed it. Shucks.