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YOGYAKARTA - In fact it was two days of doing nothing. Well, doing nothing is nothing for me, so thatís not exactly what I did. I was driving around on my motorbike with Cabe, and thatís something which is a little bit more than doing nothing. Not too early in the morning we left for a drive around the city again. First we would have a look at Gunung Merapi again, since that can be viewed in the morning, because fog tends to spoil the view somewhere in the afternoon. When we arrived at around eleven oíclock, there was nothing to see anymore. The clouds had already taken over the view over Gunung Merapi. We decided not to continue the trip, and to head back for Jogja for lunch and something else, no plans made yet.

At lunch I got this great idea, that it could be a nice thing to go to Lombok for a week or something, because I have never been there, and Lombok is Cabeís home island as well. She hasnít been home for many months now, one and a half year to be precise, and I thought it would be a great gift from me to her to give her a chance to visit her family again, while taking me with her, so she can show me around the island as well. Of course that all can be done by motorbike, since the island is only about 80 by 80 kilometers. The capital of Mataram located in the west, is about one hour by plane from Yogya, I figured.
Before telling this idea to Cabe, I first went through several things to be sure that it was possible for me to pay for the two tickets. I also wanted to be sure that I had a pulang-pergi (round-trip ticket), because I need to go to Jakarta a few days later again, to visit some other friends and to reconfirm my ticket at the Lufthansa office. (Yes, I know calling is possible, but I like to visit them, like the Indonesians do too, taking your time for things like this). After lunch, I Ďproposedí to her, and she liked the plan right away. First I had to check for my checking accound, because I would pay for the two tickets right away.
After transferring money to my account, we went to the ATM to get over 2 milion from the machine. For me itís not possible to pay for the tickets without extra cost (I have to use my credit-card), so I just pay cash. Quite a bunch of money I had in my hands, so I had to be a little carefull showing it of course, people sometimes kill for much less, like Rp 32,000 a few years ago.. About 4 euroís back then.. OohÖ even robbing a bank doesnít pay more than a few milion Rupiahs.
After going to the ATM, we found out that the Garuda office in the hotel was closed, and we had to go back tomorrow. Ooh, now I had to take the money on the streets twice, it made me very happy that the people didnít know about it, accept for Cabe, but I trust her completely. Just donít ask me why I trust someone which I have met a week before, but thatís just something of a feeling I guess. And on the other hand, when you canít trust anybody, where will you be then? You will be scared from anyone approaching you, run away when someone wants to ask you something? Thatís no option of course, especially not in Indonesia, where people tend to ask you a lot, since you are a bule, and in my case a bule gila. We went back home to drop the money at my hotel room (yes, I trust those people as wellÖ but a little less to be very honest), and after that we went for a drive around the city again, like usual.

The day after we went back to the Garuda headoffice for buying the tickets. There were more people waiting, so I already expected this would be a long stay, like usual in these circumstances, so I wasnít worried about it actually. But to my amazement, things went a lot faster, even faster than booking a ticket at a travel company in the Netherlands! I handed over my pasport for my name, and Cabe gave her single name on a piece of paper, so no writing errors would be made on the ticket, which is still printed. Ordering a ticket, and paying it, doesnít take place at the same counter. Between ordering and paying is one minute, because the ticket is printed in between, behind the counter as well, and then you can pay for it. I paid Rp 1,019,600 for each ticket, a little over 100 euro for a pulang pergi (return) ticket from Jogja to Mataram. I think itís a fair deal, especially flying with Garuda Indonesia. I can add that airline to my list as well.

Later that day I was shown around more of Jogja, driving on the outer ring road, which is still a nice place to drive on, since itís really still an outer ring road, and there is not much traffic on it, most of the day. I havenít been there in rush-hour yet, so I donít know what happens then. I think it will still be okay. We went to Jalan Malioboro for some looking around for shirts and to have a McFlurry at MacD, as I like those things very much. We parked the motorbike in front of the Malioboro Mal, leaving out helmets on the motorbike, as is still safe and common almost everywhere in Indonesia. The parking attendants give you a ticket which means you have to pay Rp 500 when you are leaving again, not depending on the time you were parked there. They will also keep a look at your helmets as well, if they arenít smoking kretek, or looking at cewek passing by.
While we were walking around in the mall, Jalan Malioboro was closed for all traffic, because a parade was about to start. We didnít know about that, so the rows of waiting people, more people on the shady side of the street, than on the sunny side of the street, attented us of the upcoming parade celebrating Independence day with a carnival-like day. We found a place in the sun, no worry for me, but more to others, because Indonesians donít seem to like the sun very much, so they avoid it when possible.
The parade started with some military people marching, after that the schools in and around Yogyakarta did their fair share of marching and making music. I made lots of pictures again, but as the parade lasted, after over one hour they were far from finished, I already had the idea that it was more of the same what all schools were doing. I stopped making pictures after a while, and later on I decided I wanted to go for a drink somewhere. I took Cabe with me, and we scored a drink at Dunkin Donuts, I like the Ice Lemon Tea there. (* We both took a drink and went back to the parade again, to have another look. Some funny dancing acts passed an we crossed the street on our way to the motorbike. We wanted to refresh at the hotel, and then head for some other people around in Jogja. Since Jalan Malioboro and Jalan Ahmad Yani were closed, trafic was diverted through the entire center of Jogja, causing one big macet, and it wasnít rush-hour yet. The jam proved to be even worse a little later on, but around six, the roads around Jalan Malioboro were opened up again, and traffic started to flow like it used to do.
The evening was even more shocking to me, it was around three this early morning that I finally found my hotel room after making nightly pictures with some other people at Tugu. They also had a late dinner, but I wasnít hungry anymore since Iím still Dutch, and most Dutch people donít eat late at night, which is different to the Indonesian people, which can eat throughout the day, when they are not sleeping. I was having some 2 Fast 2 Furious on some big one way street near Tugu, since the road was almost deserted, outside some men dressed like women (known as waria, meaning wanita-pria), food stalls and people eating. My new speed record now is 92 km/h in downtown Jogja, with a motorbike that isnít used to go a lot faster than 60. I think reaching 100 km/h is possible, but only when Iím sure that no car of motorbike will show up from a street or parking space. I donít dare to try that in here. Maybe some other time, but I donít want to risk my life for a little bit of speeding (by the way, allowed speed often is 40 km/h in Jogja).

Revisions and additions

On 6 September 2003 I edited the story on certain small points to make it more understandable for the visitors. The first version was written during my holiday, in a warnet in Jogja. This version should be better though.

(* After a holiday with a lot of es teh I can tell you that the one of Dunkin Donuts is not in the list of good ones. Probably I had a bad taste that day.



Posted in Travel @ 20 August 2003 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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