02.02.2014 - 05.02.2014
At 3am on Sunday morning we headed to Denpasar airport to get a flight to Yogyakarta. I think, like most, I'm always on my best behaviour in an airport and treat the security checks as an official procedure. At Denpasar I took the female only queue to have my hand luggage scanned. The lady behind me threw her nike cross-body bag with force into the scanner ahead of mine and then persisted in what felt like hugging me from behind as I waited my turn to walk through. I reunited with Dan as a guard took his swiss army knife off him with glee (clearly going to keep it for himself). After all that urgency my groper walked painfully slowly infront of us to the gate. Sometimes when it's really early in the mornig it's easy to hate other people. At the desk to pay airport tax a large group of men were walking through. So I just walked with them and we didn't pay. (Winning back that petrol one thousand rupiah at a time)
We stepped off the plane and followed then crowd on the tarmac by foot. The airport reminded me of the remote Alaskan one in film The Proposal. As we walked past 4 planes people where coming out of the terminal from various doors to board seemingly random planes. The baggage was unloaded onto trolleys that were pushed by hand to a hole in the wall that led to one conveyor belt. At any moment I could have jumped onto another plane for a mystery journey! In the toilet I was faced with the odd queue-at-an-individual- cubicle-door routine often found in busy asian female toilets. I'll say it loud and proud: I like fair orderly queues - I'm English of course!
We got a local train into town and became a great novelty for all the other (local) passengers who enjoyed a good stare/giggle/point at us. Dan reminded me that he'd had enough of asia a while back and it was me making us go on one last stint before sterile Singapore.
As we walked down Malioboro Street I wasn't prepared for the whimsical horse drawn carriages. And then we saw a boy riding a penny-farthing...
On our second day Dan kindly agreed to go to a two hour batik workshop. There was little explanation into the process and we were thrown in amongst the professional women and men who were creating impeccable intricate designs. We selected and traced a stencil before applying wax. Once we'd both finished, our work was taken to one of the ladies who thickened and approved of the designs. We then picked stamps from an endless cabinet of complex designs. At the end of it we both had a table runner shaped piece of our own batik and I'd got a well missed craft injection.
After all that concentration the "luxury" (£16 per night with breakfast) Hotel Dafam Fortuna rooftop swimming pool and sunken bar was calling us.
Reluctantly we bought 5am minivan tickets (Ergh early mornings) to visit the 9th century Borobudur Temple in nearby Magelang. With a breakfast box in hand we saronged up (again) and got to the temple for 6am. The entrance fee for a local is 30,000 INR (~£1.50) but a foreigner pays 220,00 (~£11) . An undated but well out-of-date student ID got me in half price. Horay for the small wins. (Certainly regained that petrol money now) I would put Borobudur high on my list of favourite temples. The view was breathtaking and the carvings were amazing. It wasn't too hot so maybe that helped!
When we reached the top there were loads of students keen to practice thier English and we enjoyed talking to a group for ten minutes or so. Then the paparazzi arrived. If you want to know what being a celebrity feels like. Be a white person at the top of Borobudur. There was plenty of other white visitors but I was the flavour of the morning. Girl's loudly snapped photos of me on their blackberry's, giggled with excitement when I walked by and nearly died when Dan grabbed me by the shoulders, twisted me round to face my fan club and I gave them a peace sign. I offered to have my photo with one group but they were more interested in taking photos of me than standing close to me.