Yogyakarta / Jogjakarta.
Tomato, ‘tometo’ – banana, ‘benana’ – Yogyakarta, Jogjakarta.
Mike bought me a trip to Jogjakarta for my birthday this year along with many gifts such as striking pink La Senza tiny thongs and a pair of Timberland boots. I should be happy with the gifts but I was insanely sick due to the bad flu during my birthday week so it made me pissed off with everything.
I was so sick, I spent 16 hours sleeping, everyday, with tonnes of pills on my first two days in Jogjakarta.
For the first time in my life, I feel my holiday destination/ choice is the worst one. If it’s not because of Borobudur Temple, I won’t be going to Jogjakarta at all.
Besides the core center for fine art and culture of classical Javanese, Jogjakarta has one busy street called Malioboro street. It is like Jalan Bukit Bintang to Kuala Lumpur or Orchard Road to Singapore or Oxford street to London. Yea, it’s like that.
Where you can find a horse and carriage ride, although it is not as romantic as the one in Central Park New York, but this street offers the same trade mark like other busy shopping street in every city.
The work of new artistic generation to balance with the existing fine arts such as batik paintings also on display along the streets.
Anyways, being a tourist, plus been seeing strolling with a white guy made me as an easy target to those wicked sellers. I was forced to buy a piece of artwork from so called “official art painting shop endorsed by the Jogjakarta government”. So, for those who planning to go to Jogjakarta, please beware of this trick. They made it like so friendly, welcoming and chat with you like they are happy to see you willing to choose Jogjakarta as your holiday destination. Then they asked where are you from then they started to relate the story of their siblings and relative working at your home country. Like my case, he said his brother working in Petronas Tower. Pffttt.
Then they invited you to see the paintings at their shop. “JUST LOOK, NO NEED TO PAY” and once you stepped into the shop, you have to be very very strong not to buy any of the paintings. Unless, you wanted to, then you need to slash the price more than 50% even after they already gave you 20% discount. They don’t give you a chance to think first, or walk around first. They said it’s the last day, shop going to close at 5pm and they even willing to go to your hotel with the painting if you mentioned that you didn’t bring any money with you!
It was so frustrating to encounter this kind of tramp on your first day of arrival. It kills every cell in my body to try get away from this kind of situation since I am a gullible type! This happened in China too. You can’t enjoy the sightseeing without experiencing everyone around you try to ROB you nowadays. Why oh why world becoming so difficult now.
At Malioboro street, you can find endless of batik product. If you are a batik lovers, this might be the place for you. Me? I got headache to see nothing but batik printings and it drove me crazy just to find souvenir for my mom & sister. It drove me crazy until I choose to go to the shop with fixed price tag/ shopping mall because I was too tired of people trying to rob me for as long as my foot on the street. Those people on Malioboro street really drained me until my head is jammed and refused to do the haggle. That’s how crazy it was or maybe I was sick.
Keyboard flip flop for the dork. Apparently Mike isn’t that dork to get that flip flop. But he willing to pose with it for my camera.
When you visit to any part of Indonesia, you should drink the avocado juice instead of water. Ha! Well, avocado is so expensive in Kuala Lumpur and I am crazy about avocado.
Was it me or Jogjakarta really do not have a decent bistro for relaxing fancy dinner (for the tourists). Although I’m Malay, and Jogjakarta has no issues with Halal food, but still, I am gastronomic adventure averse. It is not easy just to gobble down local food and assume everything might be delicious and hygiene. Or maybe I was just sick and no appetite to try something local.
So Mike and I choose to eat at Yogyakarta Pizza Hut! I know. Fast food!
But, I still consider this as ‘local’ because some of franchise/ chain restaurant like Pizza Hut or Mc Donalds has its menu according to ‘region’. We don’t have the Mozzarella stick in Pizza Hut Kuala Lumpur. Trust me, that thing is freaking awesome. Filled with hot mozzarella cheese and the bread smell delicious!
They have mix for fun bar besides salad bar too. You can have all the M&Ms, chocolate chip and more sugar toppings on your ice cream.
And we don’t have Cheesy Ria in Kuala Lumpur. So, yeah. we’ve had something local in Yogyakarta.
One thing I noticed in here, the staff truly honored the job they have. I felt like I was in Four Seasons Resort or Sheraton, where the staff always have this sweet smile and soft voice while greeting and taking your order. And they never missed to say thank you with their palm on the chest and bow a bit. They do it every time they finished talking to you. That’s a FIVE STAR customer service in fast food restaurant!
Next day, we had McDonalds. LOL. But the chicken nuggets tasted like, um, last week chicken nuggets!
The next day we had our city tours. For your info, most of the taxi driver in Jogjakarta sell tours. Once you hopped into the taxi, they started to ask you whether you had your tour arrange already or not. Or else, you can hire him as your private driver for RP600,000/ RM 165/ USD52 for 10 hours. They can drive you anywhere you want within 10 hours but do not expect them to act as tour guide like giving you the facts about the places you visit. They just drop and pick you up and show you where to eat.
So, besides the temples, we choose to visit Kraton Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta Palace) This place serve as a museum to the King remnants and history. I wasn’t really impressed with the building structures and the stuffs left behind by the Royals. Some I’ve seen it before when I was a child at my great grandfather’s house in Kelantan. A lot of things are very similar to the Thai’s and Kelantanese too.
For instance, this puppet show (Wayang Kulit). But we sat around for a while to watch the show. Apparently it took forever to start and we were too tired to wait until it started!
Batik printing plays a significant role for the Javanese. The Royals had special batik design for every occasion and event. No wonder they are selling batik like there is no tomorrow!
As I said, nothing much interests me here in Kraton. But Mike’s blue eyes and his white pale but almost glowing skin interests the school kids in Yogyakarta! He was like Tom Ford or Jay-Z for a while at the palace. I bet he got the most requests to photograph with that day at the Kraton Yogyakarta. So, I was having this moment of “this is how it feels like to have a celebrity boyfriend” for a second. LMAO.
I was telling Mike that if he teaches English in Indonesia, he prolly will get the most presents from the students on teacher’s day!
I will continue with awesome pictures taken in Borobudur and Prambanan Temple on my next post.