Down and Out in Central Java

Trip Start Nov 17, 2009
Trip End Sep 05, 2010

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Where I stayed
Jogla's Homestay

Flag of Indonesia  , ID.07,
Saturday, January 2, 2010

Today Indonesia took its toll on Wandering_man.

WM and Wandering woman checked out of Metro Guest House in Yogyakarta and got a taxi to the bus station. Driver had to pay 2000 rupiah to enter bus station, and they generally hang around waiting for a return fare since they already paid to get in.  WW noticed that our taxi drove away in a hurry without a return fare.

WM checked for his camera (Nikon Coolpix)— gone.  Left on the back seat between WM and WW.  The driver saw it and hoped WW or WM would not notice.  He beat feet back to Yogya with his purloined- and WM's venerated- camera.

WM is feeling very sad-the camera was like an old traveling companion.  WW is comforting, talking about karma- both WM’s and the taxi driver’s- and that WM must rise above these bad feelings.  She says we can use her I-Phone to take pics. (WM has been on the B List, borrowed a C note, watched F Troop, hit the G spot, and voted to tax E-commerce, but has never used an I-Phone.  So from now until we can scrape up the $$$ to buy another camera –which are slightly more expensive in Asia than at Best Buy in Carbondale—the photo credits go to WW.)

We get on the bus to Borobudur.  Fares are collected (10,000 rupiah) from Indonesians.  Man demands 15,000 rupiah from us, says it’s because we have backpack, which we have on the floor under our feet. Fat Indonesian woman (there ain’t many) who takes up two seats and hauled two 50 kilogram bags of garlic bulbs piled in the middle of the aisle must have been in on the " two seat riding Javan heifer with 220 pounds of garlic travels free, while bule bags cost 50% more" special.

This weekend is a national school holiday and the town of Borobudur is jammed with Indonesians.  Hotels and guesthouses are full.  We stop for bakso, which is ALWAYS 5000 rupiah.   We get charged 7500.  As we are eating our bakso an old Indonesian woman who is not begging from anyone comes up to us and outstretches palm begging for money.

Becak driver tells us that the hotel we are walking towards (Lotus 1) is full and offer to take us to the hotel that has many vacant rooms (Lotus 2) across town. WM asks becak driver if he is certain Lotus 2 has rooms. “Yes, many, get in I give you ride.”  WM then tells becak driver he and WW have walked back from Lotus 2 because it is full and they suggested we go to Lotus 1.  Busted.

Outside the Borobudur temple a bunch of students ask to pose with us in a photo, we being about the only bule in town.  WM takes off his sunglasses for the photo.  A mom walks by holding the hand of her young son, who reaches up in plain view of mom and tries to yank WM’s sunglasses out of his hand (unsuccessfully.)

WM has ingrown toenail on right big toe.  WW said the room at our homestay smelled bad.  WM-not geographically disposed towards elocution- pointed out guy with Palestinian flag on his shirt.  WW asked "What's a palace Indian?"

So, Indonesia, you kicked our keisters today.  Hoping for better karma tomorrow.
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