We arrived in Jogja around 2pm and top of the list, hubby was mistaken for an Indonesian actor, by the immigration officer! I went into the checking post before hubby (seriously, they still sitting in a 1950’s-box-shape-counter and your granddad might thought of them selling stamps in there instead of checking your travel documents…). And I was waiting for him to pass thru the counter without any issue. (Oh by the way, I cut my hair before I did my travel document. Guess what? I presented myself at the immigration office with my new-bob-haircut, whereas I submitted my old-long-cleopatra-hairdo to the officer! Hell yeah, I didn’t bother to take new picture, dude! With plain and non-guilty face, I submitted my cleopatra-hairdo-picture and pretended not listening to any comment from the immigrant officer. And THAT WAS WHY all immigration officers in Indonesia looked at me twice! Hahaha! Kecut gak tau!) Oh yea, go back to hubby’s story, he took ages to clear the checking process, and I thought that he might be caught into trouble due to his passport or whatsoever. Then later we heard,
“Sahrul? Yah, kayak aktor Indonesia gituk”.
We were stunned and looked at each other…and I said,
“We gotta find who he is, ayang…kahkahkah!”
And the officer replied,
“Yang Sahruulll itu, Sahrul Gunawan tu”. (We came across this one poster at DVD shop on the way to Bedugul, and the actor’s name is actually Shahrul, same like hubby’s name, but still, they pronounced it as SAHRUL. And sorry to disappoint you, readers, muka tak sama langsung! Kihkih!).
Off we went…approaching the international exit. (I told you guys how vintage the checking post is, so you can visualize how small Adisucipto Airport is lah. Besides, it’s in the middle of outsized acres of paddy fields.) There were lots of people welcoming us! We were thinking, how kind those people were and they kept on asking us where we were leading to………with,
“Taksi mas! Taksi mbak! Ke mana? Ke mana?”
And 5 seconds later, more and more people were asking and encircling us,
“Taksi mas! Taksi mbak! Ke mana? Ke mana? “Taksi mas! Taksi mbak! Ke mana? Ke mana? Murah-murah ajja. Ya boleh mas? Ya boleh mbak? Sini! Sini! Yang ini ajja deh! Yang ini!” (We were laughing and looking at each other and feel like superstars who were surrounded by a bunch of fanatic fans! These people rupanya ‘ulat’. Illegal cabbies. They will try to negotiate with you the charges, but luckily, we have some guide on the price of airport shuttle earlier. So instead of Rp50,000, we got it for Rp45,000. Boleh la. First time.)
So we hopped into a black Suzuki APV (nice MPV d’oh) and we drove over zig-zag-crossed-railroads that had no traffic lights at all! (I couldn’t imagine how it tells when the train is coming (biting nails!). We started to take pictures on the way to hotel (masuk celah kampung ni) and we noticed that so many houses/shops/buildings were under construction. (I can tell that it was not further than unpainted cement). We got some explanation from the APV’s driver and he said that the destructions were caused by an earthquake few years back (hubby remembered so well on the disaster…me? Err…I know la got earthquake before but can’t remember which year was that). And they got poorer and poorer after that. They were homeless and jobless. Government just subsidized each victim with Rp15mil (which was around RM5000) to rebuild their houses. That’s not even enough to spare a kitchen, man! Pity them! But you know how many of them, right? So they have to take their own initiative to work, day and night, regardless any kind of jobs (believe me…they were like ‘kais pagi makan pagi, kasi petang tiada gunanya’…really poor. Even a ‘becak’ (trishaw) willing to accept for just only Rp20,000 (which was around RM7) to cycle you to wherever you want in TOWN for a WHOLE DAY! Can u imagine that? Itu baru bawak Malaysian. If bawak big-sized mat saleh camne?)
We arrived at Duta Garden Hotel, Jalan Prawirotaman around 5pm. Checked in and jumped onto an antique-shaped wooden bed (Jogja is 1 hour behind Malaysia…so it was still early to sleep at that moment). So, as a standard travel routine, I CSI-ed the room. With air-condition, internal sink, dresser, wardrobe, bath tub, hot water, I think that was far enough for travelers like us. A bit of facts about this hotel, it was built by one rich lady (typical haunted-face in traditional Javanese-wedding-attire who later went to Mecca and wore head-scarf but still kept idols (batu berhala) in her house…hahaha! And…fyi, she’s dead) that manufactured ‘batik’. The hotel was actually transformed from her main house, which later being renovated into a garden-typed hotel (sooo natural-friendly…but the scariest part, her room is still there, ok! Not allowed to see what’s inside (biting nails). As being informed to us by one of the staffs there, it was only for her children and grandchildren. Beside inherited this hotel to her son and daughters, there were 2 other hotels and homestays in Jogja that belongs to her, which also known as Duta Hotel and Duta Homestay.
“Ayang! Mana tripod?!”
Hubby shouted and slammed his backpack on the bed! I WAS the one who responsible for this item. (Each of us carried 2 items and have promised to eye on own items at all the time. Hubby carried backpack and camera bag, while I carried backpack and tripod bag! And it was with me when we reached the airport!) I tried to call the APV’s driver, but Celcom had no coverage! Dang! I forgot to ask for roaming! I ran to the reception and asked the receptionist to call the APV’s driver. She later confirmed that the tripod was in the APV. Thank god! Or else, hubby will cry like hell as it was bought one day before we flew. The APV’s driver later came over to drop the tripod bag and surprisingly, he asked for another Rp5000 (which was about RM2), since he was already far from the hotel. Hubby just gave him to keep his mouth shut. (There goes my Rp5000!)
We took our bath and had some refreshment from the hotel (oh god, the pandan cake was so spongy and delicious! And the tea was perfect!) We later went along Prawirotaman Road, looking for dinner. There were couple of western-food shops that also served local food and the prices were not so bad (if converted to RM). But our aim was to catch a simple-economical but yet, bizarre food in town, that we never had in Malaysia. But time was running out and we were starving like hell (we only took nuggets for breakfast at home, back in Malaysia and we took no lunch in flight). So we just went to an ordinary warung (small restaurant) and we ordered nasi goreng udang and nasi goreng ayam which later we couldn’t find any prawn and chicken in it! Hahaha! But it tasted like it has one! (And the cook took his own sweet time to prepare our dishes, when there was no one except us in the restaurant! Gile slow!) While having our dinner, hubby have a chit-chat with one ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) asking the charges to bring us around town. He later came to me and I negotiated for Rp20,000 for taking us to sight-seeing and ‘belanja-belanja’ (shopping). He insisted to take us to all places that he knew and he promised that it will be the cheapest shop of all.
So after Maghrib, we looked for the ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) and surprisingly, he was there all the time, waiting for us to say our promise to him (actually we told him that we will look for him right after we got our rented-car around 6pm. But it was sent to us around 7pm. So dah lambat la. In addition, lot of competitors (trishaws) along the Prawirotaman Road and they hardly get customers as foreigners (mostly westerners) preferred to rent bike and bicycle. So the ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) tu takut kena tipu la). He took us to ‘batik’ shops but we didn’t concern to buy one. He later brought us to painting shops but again, we turned him down. He later cycled us to ‘kaos’ (t-shirts) shops and the same thing happened we didn’t buy one. We actually tried to buy one but no size for me. Suddenly he asked,
“Ngak ada yang berkenan? Gi mana? Ngak jadi belanja-belanja?”
“Ngak ada yang cocok” I replied.
But I did buy one painting and hubby noticed that the ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) received tips from the seller, once we walked out! Oooooo…and that’s the reason why he circuitously insisted us to buy at all shops that he sent us in! (Yeah, that’s what they do for living). But there was one ‘kaos’ (t-shirts) shop that we went into and we had a big-time shopping there. We bought more than 10 ‘kaos’ (t-shirts) and got discounted. Each t-shirt cost around Rp45,000 (which was around RM15, still cheap compared to RM but the material is good. They named it ‘dagadu’). So this time, we walked out the door and eyed on the ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) to see how much will he gets, but he had no luck with this shop. Unfortunately, the seller didn’t tip the ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) at all…so, too bad, dude! There are people that won’t help others in need.
We continued our ride to Malioboro Street. On the way, we passed thru Taman Sari (esplanade that jam-packed with youngsters loitering/dating/remp-iting and small-time hawkers selling local food like ‘bakso’, ‘bakmi’, ‘gudeg’, ‘sate’ and such). We didn’t stop by as we were rushing to spend more of our Rp at Malioboro Street. This street is known as the most popular street in Jogja and sizzling spot for cheap items, especially ‘kaos’ (t-shirts) and souvenirs (wall pictures, key-chains and more). You’d never been in Jogja if you don’t spend some time on this street! Seriously! Remember those ‘kaos’ (t-shirts) that I bought earlier? This place sold it with quarter of the price! Shisss! Without waiting any longer, I bought a pair of java-‘batik’-printed kaftan for my stepmom, 3 pairs of java-flowery-printed palazzo for my sisters, wall-embossed-picture of Borobudur Temple for us and a bunch of key-chains for colleagues and friends.
An important fact, ‘becak’ (trishaw) really rules in Jogja! They can stop, turn left and right, cut queue, slow down others, and they can even make other transports stop and give way to them without anyone honked at them! (Amazing kan? If this craze takes place in Malaysia, confirmed sume orang akan maki hamun and honked them like hell! But again, we don’t use ‘becak’ (trishaw) in town…we have LRT…and we only use ‘becak’ (trishaw) to let outsiders see and we can say to them “Hey, this flowery-lampu liplap-and complete with sound system-‘becak’ is our Malaysia’s pride and heritage tau”. Tu ha ada kat depan A-Famosa yang tinggal pintu je tu. Becak can also be found in Penang). We were actually jeopardizing our life and hold our breath to the limit. Our life was in ‘becak’ guy’s (trishaw-er) hand! He stopped in the middle of the road while all cars, bikes, buses, vans, lorries, you named it, were approaching towards us! We did take out our hands and wave (stop sign) to all of them but the ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) just smile and said,
“Ngak apa-apa mas, mbak. Di sini ya udah biasa gini. Becaknya diberi laluan.”
I added “Oooo power ya gituk…ooooo…bagus ya, kalau di Malaysia, ngak bisa di tengah-tengah jalan ginik, makanya mas nanti di ‘pinnn-pinnn’ gitu oleh semua!”
We all laughed out loud.
On the way back, the ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) still insisted us to buy paintings and batik but we had no desire to buy one since we didn’t have freedom of buying and power to choose shops that we wanted. Hubby whispered,
“Ayang, kita jalan esok je sendiri…senang nak benti kat mana kita suka”.
“Ok…ni nak makan kat mana?”
I told hubby that I would like to have street ‘bakso’ (that was my first objective when I was still in Malaysia…to have the real ‘bakso’ that originated from Indonesia). So we asked the ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) to bring us to any street stalls nearby on our way back to hotel (they called it ‘lesehan’ where u sat on a mat that was laid on the passageway/sidewalk with only light come from street-neon-light. Memang geli and takut coz we wouldn’t know whether we will be eating with our partner or ‘uninvited’ creatures. Hahaha!) And we saw, there was one warung (small restaurant) and the aroma of ‘bakso’ has lured us towards it. But instead of selling ‘bakso’, they served ‘bakmi’ (why not? We never heard of it before). When ‘bakmi’ arrived, it was actually ‘maggie goreng with vegetables jeeee’! But you can have it with or without soup. Laaaa…ni ke bakminyee…but again, it was delicious tau! I thought I couldn’t finished it, but hell yeah, licin! Since we were so kind and pitied the ‘becak’ guy (trishaw-er) that has 2 kids and lost his house during earthquake and has cycled 100kgs which was twice of his weight, we did ask him to join us eating. The price? Rp7000 each! (Uih so expensive ar? Nasik goreng semalam baru brape je?)
And so we paid…we thanked him and he reminded us to look for him tomorrow if we want to pusing-pusing (go round town) again. But we told him, we already rented an Avanza and will be going out of town. We went back to hotel and sleep…zzzzz!