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That Buddha Is One Cool Dude…

Yogyakarta is a nice city, but there’s not a whole lot to see here. The two main attractions, Borabudur and Prambanan, sit about 30 minutes on either side of the city center. Still, the local padong food is delicious, I was staying in a great guesthouse with some friendly travelers, and I found a supermarket that sold blue cheese (!) What more could I ask for? I ended up staying in Yogya, called “Joja” by the Javanese for about 4 days.

On my first day, when I actually started feeling human again, I vetured out for some local food and then treated myself to an hour long Javanese massage. This cost me about $6 and really, I should have gone back everyday after that. It was glorious.

On the second day, I somehow found myself waking up at 4am AGAIN! This was for a sunrise view of Borabudur. I had organized a trip with three others and as we left town, an Aussie guy decided to join our group and jumped in the van. He’d had a good night out in Yogya, in fact, he hadn’t made it home yet. During the hour long drive, he proceeded to preach to us about what a “fine dude” that Buddha was, with a Smirnoff Ice in hand, often times forgetting his thoughts mid-sentence…hilarious! By the time we’d finished touring Borabudur, he was nowhere to be found. We ran into him later that evening at a local bar, and he gave us a hazy look like he recognized us from somewhere, but couldn’t place it. When he finally figured it out, he came over to say hello and showed us the new tattoo he’d got that day- half-finished, probably due to his condition! Never a dull moment, I tell you.

Borabudur and Pramabanan were impressive. I personally enjoyed Borabudur more, and found the architecture more interesting, but it could also be that by the time I reached Prambanan, it was nearing 40 degrees, and I was flailing. I headed back to town for a chill afternoon, and then met up with the group from the temple tour to see a Javanese puppet show.

This isn’t really something I would usually attend, but I appreciated the invitation and went along for the 8:00 show. Now, while I can appreciate the art and craft behind this, the story was read aloud in Indonesian, and all we had was a dodgy English translation of the story. An hour in, when I found out the show was 2 hours long, I slipped out the back door. In town, I ran into an American couple who I had met on the journey back from Ijen, so I spent the last hour of the puppet show enjoying some Bintangs with them! Time well spent.

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