February is the anniversary of my job offer. It hardly seems possible that this journey has already taken one year. Even more insane is that I’m spending the days before Presidents’ Day weekend in a city that I did not even know the name of just one year ago, Yogyakarta or Jogja.
During the 3-day Chinese New Year break, some colleagues and I took a train for 8 hours to what an American friend and I have decided is the “Santa Fe of Indonesia.” Cultural and artsy. We took a one-hour plane trip home. Although inplausible, the train and plane were actually the same price: $30.
I plan to return to Central Java and revisit the 2 temples that dominate the area with their majesty and beauty: Borobudur and Prambanan. While there, we tasted the local culture by hopping into becaks, or bicycle peddled 2-seaters, to explore around our hotel. We heard gamelans. We attended the Ramayana ballet performed in a shelter near the Hindu temple due to the downpour. My next visit will also include a hike to Mount Merapi, which erupted as recently as 2010.
So many words are fun to say in Jogja. If you come visit, I’ll put Yogy on your list. I now know a good driver and an amazing place to stay.