Monday, April 27, 2015

jogja istimewa

we had been planning on going back to the beach this weekend, but since w couldn't get his leg wet, we opted to go to yogyakarta (aka jogja) instead. we were going to go with pak andi again, but he didn't show up. instead a different taksi driver showed up at about 6:45am. so we went with him. it was the four of us, our taksi driver, and our neighbor/friend ibu danny (it turns out her name is danny, not danik as we had previously thought). 
 here we are on our way.

 we arrived at the kraton in jogja and walked around a bit. here is a motorized becak--those are pretty common in jogja. i haven't noticed any in solo though.

 there was a man selling taxidermied animals--mostly snakes, but there were a few weasels in there too.

 this one's my favorite.

 here, the man selling the animals is showing us that this one's tail can move.

a lovely chicken.

 inside the kraton.

 our guide knew english really very well. he told us that these pillars represented the three main influences in the area: islam, buddism, and hinduism. 

 a nice picture illustrating our guide talking to us and s trying to capture everything on the little video camera that ibu danny brought and let s use.


 i love the lines on the ceiling.

 a large group of visitors to the kraton. i like the matching shirts.

 can you tell which of these people is not real?

 a close-up of one of the mannequins at the kraton. the mannequins were wearing the royal clothes.

 after a quick look at the kraton (and our guide was quick), he took us to a nearby batik school. we walked through this narrow alleyway.

 we enjoyed the organic patina on the wall.

 we arrived at the school only to find that there were only two "students" working on making batiks. they appeared to be experienced (since their designs were very elaborate). our guide told us that we could buy the lovely batiks at the store associated with the school. and they really were lovely batik tulis pictures. the problem was (1) they were expensive (starting at around $100 and going up substantially from there) and (2) the money was going to charity. the second is not a bad thing really, but it meant that it would feel weird to bargain the price down. needless to say, we didn't buy anything there. but we did enjoy looking at the two students and seeing the beautiful batik pieces. 

 our guide showed us a piece of fabric with the pattern drawn on it. 

 here is one of the students putting the wax on.

 a started but not finished harimau batik. 

 a picture of the last supper.

 some of the batiks had gold paint added to them. 

 this one was a cool one--very abstract.

 i like this picture. a cool bust we came across when we headed back to a different part of the kraton. 

 we attended a wayang kulit show at the kraton. i had been wanting to go to one ever since the first time i came to indonesia. the first interesting thing about the acara (program) was that i didn't even know the show had already started. the shadow puppets were not moving much. but b informed me that the show was indeed in full swing.

 then after about 15 minutes of very little movement, the gamelan music started to swell and there was some real puppet action. the shadow puppets started moving a lot, which was much more entertaining. and it was fun to hear the gamelan music.

 here are some pictures of the musicians. they were situated behind the screen.

 as you can see, there were a lot of instruments and musicians. also, everyone was wearing traditional clothing (including the kris knives that b and w wore at the wedding). 

 a fun naga carving. 

 ibu danny informed us that this carriage was for bringing food to an event.

 we saw some old pitchers given to the sultan from various parts of europe (london, germany, etc).

 another nice chicken. ibu danny told us that this one was very valuable. 

 it seems to be a cross between a dragon and an elephant.

 i love the painted metal and the beautiful tiles. 

 enjoying the shade. we were blessed with nice weather--not too hot and not really any rain.

 i like these portrait pictures of the royal family. i like the positions they're put in, the batik patterns, and the interesting ear ornamentation (they add something to their ears that makes them look pointy).

 a fancy wooden wayang-type puppet.

 i love this one.

 a dead cicak being eating by ants.

i'm not sure what this chalkboard-type sign is all about, but we liked it. interestingly, it refers to a date in 2012. 

 this was an interesting element within the kraton. if you look closely at the stained glass near the top, you can see old-timey american style instruments. when i saw this bandstand-type structure, i imagined that something very similar to this could be in the heartland of america (for some reason i keep thinking of missouri). 

 a cool plant with neat roots.

 ibu danny found some seeds she gave us to keep as oleh-oleh. she said they were from a fruit that is only grown at the kraton.

 we tried a little bit of the fruit, but my part was very astringent. it reminded me of eating an unripe persimmon, although it was not as bad as eating an unripe persimmon!

 a cool carved piece hanging at the entrance to the kraton. you can't tell, but this is actually very big.

 a lovely image of a wall at the kraton. when i saw it, i said to brian that i wished i could paint that. the organic patina on the walls here would be perfect for watercoloring. 

 here we are right after w and s got their jogja batik hats. they do look really cool.

once we finished at the kraton, we headed over to gembira loka (the jogja zoo). 

 they had a lot of signs about the penguins. the penguins didn't seem like the neatest animals there to me, but to each their own.

 walking through the zoo to get to the first exhibits. the zoo is really nice. i like the city of solo more than jogja, but the jogja zoo is much better than the solo zoo.

 we couldn't help taking a picture of this sign. ibu danny said that the adjective used to describe this penguin meant that it was young. we still thought it was funny.

 we first came upon the orangutans. they're so big!

 b and i got a kick out of the fish spa (where you put your feet into some water with a bunch of little fish who eat the dead skin off of your feet). we've heard about this type of terapi before, but we didn't stop to take advantage of it. we kept moving along.

 a cute deer mouse. although it doesn't look like it, this little critter has four legs.

 perhaps our favorite exhibit was the bird houses. we walked into a screened off bird cage! there were all sorts of beautiful, tropical birds. (w will post more pictures of this part of the zoo.)

 then there was a lorry exhibit--where we could walk amongst beautifully-colored lorries!

 the green ones were my favorite. when they moved their heads/necks you could see purplish stripes between the green feathers.

 this is a fun one of w excitedly taking a picture of the birds.

 w happily holding this beautiful bird.

 i love this one. look how happy he is.

 ibu danny, s, and i getting our picture taken with a group of young school children and their moms.

 the loudest monkeys we came across. they were loud! actually, i think they may have been Muller's gibbons. they had neat skin that would stretch and puff out under their necks.

 we rode an elephant! that was one thing i had wanted to do.

 w went first. he wanted to ride on his own.

 riding an elephant is a bumpy business. you jostle around quite a bit. 

 then b, s, and i went together. 

 it was nice to have the bars to hold on to.

 after we got off, we got up close to the elephants trunk. 

 we petted it.

 and then it below a bit of mucous on to my leg. (thankfully, not a whole lot.)

 then we went on a camel ride!

 again, w went first and rode on his own. 

 both of the kids agreed that the camel ride was bumpier.

 s rode with ibu danny.

 after the camels, we came across an animal show. we saw an otter perform and then this sun bear. the bear could roll a ball in the air.

 the bear could look like it was playing a guitar.

 but the culminating feat was that the bear could ride a tricycle. s ate this up. she had a huge smile and was laughing and laughing.

 then we went on a boat ride. it took us around the body of water in the center of the zoo and lasted about 10 minutes.

 we enjoyed seeing the burung unta (camel bird) aka ostrich. they really are such strange animals.

 our last big site was this hippo. it was big and liked to open its mouth at us.


after we finished at the zoo, we headed over to the main market area in jogja. it was crowded--lots of people, stalls, becaks, cars, etc. 

 we ran out of battery, but once we were done looking around (and after buying a few things), we rode a horse-drawn carriage very much like this one back to our taksi. it was fun, and w and s loved it.