Everything went about as smoothly as you would want traveling to Yogyakarta. Eddie
picked Via and me up at 8 am for a 9:40 Lion Air flight. We did get in the wrong line to check in but a guy asked us where we were going and sent us to another, shorter line. Even though we were early, our timing was pretty good as we had little waiting time before boarding.
I asked Via to request the exit row but she forgot, so i was a bit concerned we would get a plane with no leg room like I had coming back from Bali last year. But this flight was using a 737-800, which is configured for about 180 passengers. The airline has another 737 that seats about 215, The legroom was fine, the plane was new, and even though I had a middle seat (Via wanted the aisle) the flight was fine. We bought some snacks and a tea for breakfast. The flight took 1 hour and 50 minutes, non-stop. The fare was at least twice normal because of the holiday.
Jogja has a small airport and minimal security check. We breezed through and found my one suitcase. Outside, the taxi guys were waiting but we found some bluish cabs outside and they told us to buy a ticket inside and the fare would be Rp 60,000 (about $5). No telling what the independent cabbies would have charged.
The ride to our hotel, the Adhy Nalendra Boutique, took about 20 minutes. The streets of
Jogja are well maintained, at least the main ones, and traffic was not a problem. It would be later.
The hotel is nestled into a quiet residential area. While it does have a quaint, Javanese style, I am not impressed. The room is small and not what pictures on TripAdvisor would suggest. They say they have a restaurant but they don’t. Breakfast is included but apparently they hire out for it. We ordered a box breakfast for the morning since our tour is picking us up at 6:30 am.
Via was very excited to be here, as was I, so we immediately unpacked everything, changed clothes, grabbed our cameras and headed out. first order of business was food. It was 1 pm and we hadn’t eaten anything. She gets as low blood sugar as me.
After some directions from the front desk, we walked about two blocks to where we found
a small warung. Turns out it was the wrong place but we didn’t care. Two ayam gorengs and iced tea later (Rp 24000 or $2 US), we were satisfied. It was one piece of fried chicken, white ric, sliced cukes, and two fried breadie things – I have no idea what they were. I ate it all.
Then we started walking, insearch of Malioboro Street, where all the action is supposed to be and where Via has been dying to go since this trip was created. It was a pretty good walk, me in my flip-flops and Via in her new pick tennies. Those new shoes were going to be her downfall eventually.
After asking directions several times (and learning we were headed in the right direction), we finally stumbled on Malioboro. We wallked the right side of the street, which was shaded in the afternoon sun. It was warm. this side of the street was an unending string of open air shops, all selling the same things. Lots of cheap crafts, t-shirts, batik, hats, souvenirs. The t-shirts sell for $1.20 each and look good. I will be getting shirts for all the staff and some for myself. I figure 20 shirts will cost about $30. We did not buy anything yet as we will see endless shops during our tours and the prices may actually be better.
One thing Malioboro did not have were any restaurants to sit down, have a beer and maybe something to eat. It was nothing but shops. Via kept asking if I was tired, and while my bad leg did ache I told her that walking was what I do. turns out, she was the one who was tired, and her feet hurt with the new shoes. So we decided to find a restaurant so I could have a beer and she could rest her doggies. Nothing anywhere.
This is when it gets interesting. We decided to ask a becek driver. Becek are three-wheeled
bikes with a small carriage on front. In Batam, we have ojeks, motorcycle ikers who transport you on the back for a small fee. Here, they use beceks.
One of the drivers said he knew of a place not far away, so we got in and joined the growing traffic jam. It was Friday afternoon, so a traffic jam in a big Indonesian city like Jogja was inevitable. We thought we were in for a short ride but it went on for block after block. I was becoming more than irritated. “They got to have restaurants closer to Malioboro than this,” I ranted. “He’s either ripping us off or he doesn’t know where he’s going.” sometimes, my patience is not good.
Finally, finally, we cam to the Easygoin restaurant and bar. This is on the list of recommended places I had. A beer at least. Turns out, I’ve been pampered in Batam with most of the restaurants serving not only beer but alcohol. That’s not how it is in Jogja, where the Muslim influence is very much stronger. Finding a restaurant that serves beer is a challenge. Not sure which ones might serve JD or even if i can buy it in the store.
Now, we needed to try to hook up with Via’s sister. after waiting a while as I sipped my
beer, an Anker, we decided to try to meet up on Sunday instead. Out becek driver was still waiting on us and we negotiated a price (Rp 50,000) to go back to the hotel, which was now a long way away. That poor guy worked his tail off peddling us back but we made it. The two fares from us, however, were probably a very good day for him.
Back at the hotel, we’re doing what i’m doing, and soon i will be walking out to the nearest restaurnat to order takeout for dinner. It’s been a long, and interesting day.