Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
Our first full day in Yogyakarta started with duelling muezzin making the adan at extremely high volume at around 3:30 am. Later the sun rose, revealing a tightly packed network of houses with few multiple storey buildings. The breakfast buffet at the hotel was amazing in variety of predominantly Javanese dishes and good quality too.
We had a pressing need to wash all of our clothes so we packed everything and set off for the nearest laundry marked on Google Maps. We soon discovered a laundry in our own block but we can’t wait the 3 days that the laundress quoted so on we walked hoping to find another. We were beguiled by the charming network of alleyways beside the river and decided to explore. We were greeted enthusiastically by many residents, some sitting inside eating but happy to call a greeting, wave and smile. Some children ran over to shake hands with us. A young man on a scooter told us where we could find a laundry and a young girl ran along to show us but unfortunately it was closed.
On we walked enjoying the narrow, twisting lanes, colorful houses and fences, cheerful greetings and views inside traditional Javanese houses. We encountered a friendly family and the two women happily guided us to a nearby laundry where we arranged to have 5kg of washing done by tomorrow evening for the same cost as having the hotel wash 1 shirt. The laundering family were friendly and seemed to enjoy the interaction as much as we did and only seemed slightly bemused that strangers would turn up at their door and be unable to communicate thoroughly.
As we triumphantly set off to memorize the path to the tiny laundry in the maze of alleys a dramatic thunderstorm broke on our heads and we sought shelter under a front awning of a house. As the rain worsened we became increasingly wet and settled in to wait. A man smoked a cigarette in his front yard opposite us and took pity and invited us into his home! We sat in the front room of a presumably 2-3 room narrow home with the bedroom separated from the front room by a curtain. We sat on lovely upholstered Javanese lounges and were served tea by the wife of our savior. The front room had a few Catholic symbols on display and the lady wore shorts and had her hair loose. The man chatted with us as best could be managed with his limited English and our smattering of Bahasa Indonesian. We counted 5 song birds in lovely wooden cages hanging in the yard and room and a hen in a cage near the front door. One wall of the front room had a lovely painting of a landscape with parts of it raised above the surface of the plaster. Their 5 year old daughter happily led our children into the house to play together.
After retracing our steps and continuing towards Malioboro Street we were stopped a couple of times by small groups of either families or school children asking for a photo with us. We noticed that the Science Park was very popular so we went in and our children enjoyed playing with the equipment then chose to go to the Planetarium show. It was their first time in a planetarium and it was exclusively in Bahasa Indonesian but our children were enthralled throughout.
Next we walked past grand colonial buildings, a monument to a communist battle and then up Malioboro Street past many batik and sundry stalls where i was interviewed by some smiling teenagers with a video camera and photographed some more by different groups. We bought some lovely batik clothes for our children then passed through into a famous and very large store which sells batik fabrics, clothes, hand drawn batik, accessories, and many other items. I bought myself a couple of lovely blouses to replace the ugly travel shirt that irks my husband.
We took a horse and carriage ride back to our hotel. At the hotel we had complimentary high tea but abstained from the sugary treats because the behavior of our children becomes intolerable when they have sugar and we two avoid sugar generally for many good reasons (you can read about my diet under the Diet menu). For dinner we met a friend of a friend and we 3 adults had an enjoyable meal with adult conversation while our children and her daughter played together.