Bed bugs, belly aches, batik & Borabudur!
Trip Start Jul 21, 2010
8Trip End Aug 26, 2010
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we've spent the last 6 days or so in Yogyakarta, a lovely city & the culture capital of Java (if you've been to Chiang Mai in Thailand, this is a good comparison). it's a very tourist friendly town, as the main sites, shopping, hotels & restaurants are all within walking distance, or a short becak (tuk-tuk) ride away. the city is full of great little markets selling handmade jewelry, batik clothing, shoes, slippers, fruits, food, bags, etc. in the area we're staying (Sosrowijayan) the stone streets are small with tiny alleys leading every which way, and the neighborhood is full of murals and beautiful graffiti on the walls, food vendors, becak drivers, friendly locals and wandering travelers.
on our first day we visited the Kraton (sultan's palace - yes there is still a sultan here!) and walked around the water castle & surrounding batik galleries & shops
the jewelry class was awesome! we cut strips of silver to our ring size, and each of us (4 total in the class) hammered and crafted various styles of rings with the help of our teacher. he showed us how to cut, shape, heat, set, polish & buff the silver. the power went out within the 1st half hour too, so we crafted our rings by the light of a kerosene lamp
the next day we took a batik painting class! i now have such a greater appreciation for this form of art, as it took 7 hours to make a square of batik about 3' x 3'. we started out by drawing our designs with pencil onto paper, then onto our blank batik material. nips drew a couple of lotus flowers & leaves, and i made a hummingbird and flower. the next step was to dip a small tool into hot beeswax, then gently trace the pencil lines with the tip of the tool. this was pretty time-consuming, and i accidently spilt the hot wax on my fingers in the process :( no worries tho, since our teacher broke a piece of aloe vera off the plant and covered the burn with it. after dying our batik, covering the design with more wax, and then dying the background of the material, our cloth was then boiled to remove the wax and set out to dry. and that was it! our very own hand made batik. i'm so proud :)
the next few days all kinda blurred together. we both got pretty sick (we believe the culprit to be the cream sauce in our pasta dinner that night) and the 1st day of our sickness we literally spent 24 hours in bed, only getting up to use the bathroom. to make matters worse, the bed bugs just LOVE us here
today we are feeling much better and are taking a trip to Borabudur, a large Buddhist temple about an hour from here. catcha later dudes!