Tag Archives: culture

Living la vida Jogja!

20 Jan

So week 2 of the internship has come and gone rather quickly. Life in Jogja is fairly easy and work is rather interesting plus my Indonesian is becoming so much better from all the translating I’ve been doing here. Because we had the Annual Meeting this week which I didn’t attend and rather hung out in Jogja after going to Jepara, not much exciting has been happening work wise (unless you want to know about regional disaster risk reduction programs in Indonesia- very interesting stuff!)

On the other hand outside of work I’ve managed to fit a fair bit into this past week. Generally we spend most nights hanging out at the house, chatting in English and Indonesian and sometimes having a bit of a jam on the guitar as well as watching some hilarious tv.IMG_5703 It has also rained a lot. A few days ago it poured for hours and Thursday morning it rained which was unusual but meant there was an amazing view of Merapi in the afternoon. The rain is great as it gives you about 2 hours of reasonably cool relief from the sweltering heat afterwards. A few days without rain and the humidity is enough to send you mad or at least walk around the office and house yelling PANAS! (hot)

Wednesday night I caught up with a friend from back in Australia who is studying in Jogja for 6 months and some of her Australian friends studying here. We went to a very nice restaurant at the mall sitting out on a balcony (Funnily enough it’s called The Balcony) and ate some delicious food (duck!) as well as some cocktails which were far too strong. It was very expensive by Indonesian standards (150 000 Rp or about $16) but it was nice to catch up and I had a wander around the mall afterwards as they don’t close until 9-10pm generally.

A few posts ago I was complaining about how expensive Jogja was- turns out I was completely wrong as we live in the student area meaning pretty good prices.IMG_5715 For example a few days ago 4 of us went to a kaki lima (food stall which basically consists of just a cart) and had some delicious mie ayam (chicken noodles) and es jeruk (cold orange drink) and it cost us 27 000 Rp or $3 for all 4 of us. Most meals I’ve had here when we’ve gone out have cost about $1-$1.50 tops and most have been incredibly delicious. Water costs about 40c for a 1 litre bottle and beer is also cheap but seeing a large Islamic university is up the road there is very little of that around. Even catching a taxi from the mall to my house is only about 9000 Rp or $1 but normally I just walk.

I’ve also been eating a lot of rice. Indonesian food 3 times a day sounds hard to get used to but is actually quite nice. I’ve also learnt that you can do amazing things to a packet of mi goreng with a few extra ingredients. Barely drinking any coffee here (although I’m having one as I write this) as sweetened tea is the drink of choice and it is incredibly addictive. Never imagined I would go from drinking black tea and coffee to overly sweet tea and milky, sweet coffee. Jogjakartans sure like their sweet food.IMG_5744 So back to my week, Thursday night I had arranged to go to the Ramayana ballet at Prambanan with one of my friends from the UNY group that came to Australia as he was performing in it.IMG_5761  It turned out a fair few of them were performing so it was great to catch up with them. We had a look around the grounds first and took some photos of Prambanan before I met some people from the office to watch the show. It was incredible! The one in Canberra was good but this was mind blowing. The music, costumes, dancing and acrobatics were amazing. For those unfamiliar with the story it is based around Rama and his wife Sita who is kidnapped by the evil king Rahwana. Rama then launches a rescue mission with the help of Laksmana and the white monkey Hanuman. In the end he wins back his wife and I presume they live happily ever after. IMG_5786 The plot is of course much more complicated (they call it an Epic for a reason) but it was a fantastic show. Also Hanuman’s monkey soldiers were played by kids probably only 10-12 years old and they were amazingly good and super cute.

Afterwards we rode home (Prambanan is maybe 20 minutes from Jogja) and were cruising along on the motorbike until suddenly da duh da duh da duh – tire puncture. Queue a good 20+ minutes of sitting on the side of the road while someone fixed the tire making what was already a late night even later. All good fun though and its amazing that you can find someone to fix your tire on the side of the road at 10:30 at night. IMG_5774 That’s about it for now. Exciting news is I have an amazing interview lined up in Jakarta next week so I have booked flights and will also get to spend 3 nights with my friend Kelly which if the last Jakarta trip we did is anything to go off will be a lot of fun. Booking flights was a struggle trying to pick an airline. As someone in the office said “They’re all just as good as one another just go the cheapest” so I ended up paying only $73 for return flights on an airline with a reasonably good international reputation (although I just read an article saying several pilots have been arrested for crystal meth possession). Also heading up to Salatiga this weekend and looking forward to catching up with everyone up there. It’s a public holiday on Monday for Imlek (Chinese New Year) so long weekend!

Courts xx

 

This is madness… THIS IS BANGKOK!!

30 Dec

I’m currently in Siem Reap using the ridiculously slow internet after a long day of driving (will post about it later) and trying to recover from what was an incredible One Night in Bangkok.

The flight to Bangkok was great. Scored an exit row seat and had an epic breakfast of nasi lemak, cake, chocolates, 2 types of juice and magnums. Getting to the hotel on the train was super easy and then all that was left to do was explore.

I jumped in a taxi to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. The Grand Palace is amazing I have never seen so much gold in my entire life and the Emerald Buddha was terrific. The Buddha was left wrapped in plaster for many years before it cracked open and it is now highly revered.IMG_5159 Before seeing it you had to cleanse yourself with holy water and the room was dead silent with people meditating. After that I wandered around the guards and saw the Royal Thai Guards which are like the Buckingham Guards but with pith helmets after which I walked down to Wat Pho.

Wat Pho is home to a massive reclining Buddha and while in the temple you had to put 1 baht coins in 108 copper pots and there was more temples covered in gold which in the afternoon Bangkok sun wasIMG_5211 all a bit too much so I hopped in the tuk tuk to head to the MRT station onwards to Siam Paragon.

Siam Paragon is a ridiculously large mall (I think 6+ floors) including a floor with a Lamborghini dealership and many other luxury brands. When I ventured to the bottom floor it appeared all the Buddhist rituals had paid off as I found food nirvana. I always think you can judge a city by its supermarkets and this one was incredible. Every type of food imaginable, huge organic section and heaps of imported products I could have stayed there for hours.IMG_5232 The public transport in Bangkok was really easy. I caught the sky train and MRT everywhere (except the temples) and was feeling like I’d conquered the city in the afternoon when someone asked if I lived there. Until I started to feel a bit too confident and proceeded to get on the wrong train. Two stops later I was confused as all hell and the Thai guy next to me said “You don’t know where you are supposed to be do you?” I jumped onto the platform embarrassed and sprinted onto another train and back to where I started eventually making my way back to the hotel to meet my tour.

After a welcome dinner a few of us decided to venture out to the night markets at Khao San Road. For those of you who don’t know what this is it’s the super seedy backpacker area of town and no shopping was done. The quiet trip to the markets turned into a few bars, a lot of singing, buckets and sampling some bugs from a vendor. I tried crickets and meal worms and was cringing at the memory of them all day today. It was an absolutely manic place with several tattoo parlours packed with tourists (Don’t worry I didn’t get one) and several offers for ping pong shows.IMG_5240That’s it for now. I’m off to Angkor Wat at 4:30 tomorrow morning!

Courts xx