The Streets of Jogja and Market Scenes
I had a chance to walk (more like hobble after the climb) around Jogja a bit. Jogja has a much different vibe from Jakarta – it feels like a small town in many ways. There is a big street art scene in Jogja and a lot of the art is very good.
This photo with the motorcycle reminds me that last week I finally got on my first ojek – motorcycle taxi. I put on the helmet and held on as tight as possible to the back of the bike. My driver, Iwan, was very nice and he is usually near my office so we now say hello to each other. Ojeks are really the way to go during rush hour. Motorcycles snake in and out of the sitting traffic and you will get where you need to go much faster than in a cab or on the busway. It wasn’t as scary as I thought because you aren’t ever going that fast. The one downside: expect to breathe in plenty of exhaust.
On the morning I left Jogja, Chloe and I headed to the market. I needed to get food for the seven hour train ride I was about to take. The market is bustling and full of life. Women run the market and it is their domain. The stands at the front will always try and rip you off, so the further back we went, the better the prices got.
These little fellows are why Indonesian food is so spicy. I have eaten a few painful meals where my lips have burned, my eyes have watered, and my nose started running. All in all, I think my spice tolerance is increasing. Maybe, just maybe, I am starting to like spicy food more?
Speaking of food, everyday in the Jakarta Globe there is a back page interview with someone who lives in Jakarta and I recently wrote one on a food blogger in town. I’ve been thinking about journalism today a lot lately. It’s easy to Google something and a few clicks later you might find someone interesting. I stumbled on this blog, emailed the blogger, and a few days later we met for an interview (in English) and that was that. So, I’ve been wondering a lot about how things worked a few decades ago and how contacts were made. Must have been a lot of hours spent at the bar, which still is a very useful way to meet people and learn interesting things. I guess I can’t imagine my life without the Internet.
Bananas in Indonesia are wonderful and come in many varieties. Fried or baked bananas with some chocolate, condensed milk and sprinkles are a wonderful dessert.
Chloe has a guava (and mango) lady at the market (as one always should) who was old and very sweet. It was sad to see how old some of the women were who were still working. Women truly hold up “half the sky” as the Chinese proverb and Nick Kristof’s last book says.
The market is one-stop shopping with lots of raw meat and fish about. I liked these little baskets:
Most of the food is driven into the city on trucks and stacked in crates like these eggs:
Flags were up all over Jogja and Jakarta because it was Independence Day on August 17. This year marked Indonesia’s 66th independence day. Indonesia is an interesting country because it is such as vast place with so many islands and not all of them feel “Indonesian” nationalism. Take East Timor (broke off and formed its own country) and Papua, where there are many problems today.
And, I’m leaving you with some bathroom photos. I had to take some of the bathroom in the kost where Chloe is staying. It looked like a tropical rain forest. It was actually very cool because shower water watered the plants.