Sunday was an off day from touring, but that didn’t mean we had nothing to do. Via’s sister, Ahde Sri, lives in Yogyakarta and they wanted to get together after not seeing each other for two years. So after some difficulty with Ahde’s taxi driver not knowing how to get to our hotel, she finally arrived and we walked a block to the R&B Restaurant.
I had spotted R&B’s during a brief walkaround. It is a steak house but it’s really a delicatessan – what a great selection of specialty Western foods. Lots of items you can’t find in Batam, such as canned olives and cheeses. And they specialize in Kobe beef.
The girls chatted as we waited for our order and I shopped a little for snacks for the room – Belgian chocolates, chocolate chip cookies, olives, breadsticks and garlic cheese spread. The girls ordered grilled chicken and I had a seared tuna salad. not exactly Indonesian fare but excellent nonetheless.
I reserved us a table for dinner on New Year’s Eve and we will definitely order Kobe steaks.
Next, it was on to Malioboro Street for some shopping. Lots of shopping – cheap t-shirts for gifts, a small suitcase for Via, some other clothes and souvenirs. And then it was time for Adhe to go home and for me to look for bourbon. You can’t believe how hard that is in Jogja, a very Muslim city.
We asked our cabbie to take us somewhere we could buy some whiskey but he didn’t know and turned out to be one surly dude. He took us to EasyGoin, where Via and I had been earlier, and told us to ask in the Janur bar next door for a bottle. We decided at this point to send him on his way. There was a woman and an expat, playing pool, in the bar, obviously partners. The Dutchman’s name was Vrim, and after being told by the woman that they had only beer, I asked Vrim and he suggested “ordering” a bottle of Jim Beam from a hotel.
Not only is any kind of alcohol hard to find here, it is also expensive (RP 400,000 for a fifth). But when it’s scarce, you pay. Vrim made a call, found out the price, and it was delivered in 10 minutes. I paid Vrim and after we finished a game of pool they called a taxi for Via and I (Adhe had already gone home in another taxi), The ride back across town was, of course, a traffic nightmare but we made it.
Next task was dinner. In my previous walkaround I had also discovered a Japanese restaurant close by the hotel and so we walked there for dinner.
The Takigawa was large and beautiful, with a real dead tree and its many bare branches the focal point in the main dining room. The menu was extensive and we chose California rolls, mushroom soup (yummy) and a crab dish called, I think, kanu katsu (very tasty). I also wanted some pasta as a side dish and it was almost comical ordering pasta and butter. They just did not understand, even when we used Indonesian to explain. But they finally brought me a plate of thin spaghetti and a bowl of melted butter. I didn’t think that asking for garlic would do well. Our dinners came to about $5 each, plus beer and juice.
Tomorrow, Tour Day 2 to the Sultan’s Palace and the Prembanan temple. but first we contacted Irksan, our tour guide, to change the day’s schedule. We were supposed to get up at 6:30 and drive 3 hours to Mt. Merapi, but we just didn’t want to do that awful ride on those awful roads once again. So we asked him to cancel that portion of the trip, which turned out to be a good idea. Irksan was only too happy to make the change, and it also allowed him to sleep in a little longer.