"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at." - Jimmy Demaret


Jogjakarta trip
Day 3 - 30th April - Solo, Jogjakarta
(Part 2)

The locals didn't seem to sweat much. Probably a combination of their being used to it and their ancestors having been here for millennia.

There was a place called Ayam Goreng called Kentucky. Gah.

The sheep here all look pathetic. It must be too hot.

I saw a place with a sign reading "fotocopy" which was weird - shouldn't it be "fotokopi"?

I just missed my train, so I had 2 hours to kill. I decided to have lunch:

Nasi Rames (with chicken). Fried Chicken, tempeh, ikan bilis and crumbs (?). The old woman serving me used her hand to take the food but I didn't really care, since I'd already done what I came to Jogja to do. In any case, that would build up my system so even Indian Rojak would not be able to kill me.

Stall. Spot the huge lizard in the first picture.

I tried a few lines of Dutch on her, but either I was very bad or she was even worse or she was too young or she hadn't learnt any last time.

How you can see sugar is free here - there was a lot of undissolved sugar at the bottom of my Es Teh. I ordered a second serving which had no sugar, though - maybe the makcik ran out. Or thought I was pre-diabetic.

Though this was only 1 hour by train from Jogja, the signs in the train station were different - the toilet was "kamar mundi" ("kamar kecil" in Jogja) and the mosque "mushola" ("masjid" in Jogja).

At the station, I was intrigued by Intip Goreng - rice formed into the shape of a bowl and deep fried. The makcik at the stall tried to palm one off on me (drizzled with black syrup) for the unbelievable sum of 75,000 Rp (about S$11). I was so scandalised, I gasped and stormed off. Immediately, she offered it to me at 5,000 Rp, which was still overpriced, but I said alright. This incident only confirmed my observation that everybody in Indonesia was a cheat when it came to money - I wouldn't be surprised if I was ripped off at 75% of non-signboarded places, but usually I had no energy or saliva to bargain.

Es Soda Gembira - carbonated bandung. Which, as expected, was very sweet.

When my train pulled up to Solo station early, I rushed for it like everyone else and left the Intip Goreng behind in the process. After it pulled out 15 minutes early, I discovered that it was making a loop, and after stopping at another station it soon returned to Solo (I didn't get my Intip Goreng for fear of missing the train, and anyway it had probably been stolen already). Perhaps everyone else was kiasu and wanted a seat. The fact that the lights were turned off for a while (possibly to save power) didn't seem to deter them.

Weird music to announce the train's departure - they used the Big Ben music. Het Wilhelmus would've been more appropriate.

I was surprised that the trains ran on time. Thank god Indonesia had not been an Italian colony. I would investigate further, but I don't think Abyssinia is a particularly fun place to visit and anyway camels might be more reliable there than trains.

Train on the way back. "Business class" had all hard seats, and one woman was sitting on (and crushing) her vegetables. At least they didn't have anemic rotating fans like in the morning but vents in the ceiling.

Train tickets were tied to the train, which was stupid, since reserving seats was not possible.

I was wondering why there were no garbage bins on Javanese trains - until I saw 2 guys throwing their drink cups out of the window.

The Indonesians I talked to thought I was a student - perhaps because I was frugal.

At one station a sign translated "musholla" into English as "mushalla". Great.

Some jokers (even women in tudungs) were wearing jackets which were zipped up. Maybe it's the modern equivalent of wearing a hair shirt.

Back in Jogja:

You've heard of nipple slips - this is a loincloth slip.

I was a bit hungry so I inspected the street food again. The brown satay was something starting with "bar" but I was not adventurous enough to try mystery meat. Nor did I want chicken intestines so I settled for pisang goreng and a fried bread ball. I asked how much it was and thought I heard "12", but it was "dua" so I was lucky.

Bun with what is probably Gula Jawa (Gula Melaka) in it.

The Last Supper

I also stopped in a convenience store:

Dutch Lady is around after all.

Local Root Beer. Maybe A&W was being paranoid, or locals don't give foreign brands the benefit of the doubt. This 'The Groovy Taste' Rasa Root Beer was awful - before the root beer taste hits you, the bitter taste of tonic water does.

"Silikon Kondom HP"

"Hotel Pantes". CWN also thought it was something else at first.

I don't know why I took this

We then went to the shopping centre again and looked in the bookstore.

Probably the first time I've seen a price tag marked up

Female Delusion: "The definitive guide to deciphering 'manspeak': What Men Say, What Women Hear." I think the fact that women get so confused says more about women than men. Indeed, this is hinted at by one line in the blurb: "Why do we ever ask 'Does my bum look big in this?' when no answer on the face of this planet is ever correct?"

I was very surprised to find a copy of "God is not Great" on sale, as monotheism is one essential component of Pancasila. It's probably banned in Malaysia.

"Sufi: Solutions to World's Problems"
Another haram book: sufi is banned in Malaysia!

The blurb of the book above is very cunning - what seems to be praise for the book are actually words about the author, and they aren't even genuine praise:

""Your presence, and that of Maya and Liny (author's two colleagues accompanying him for the conference), made all the difference. Everyone seems to be happy with the outcome." - H.E. Ambassador Kesavapany, Director (sic) Institute of South East Asian Studies, Singapore

"We really enjoyed your participation." - Dr. Farid Alatas. Associate Prof. and Head, Dept. of Malay Studies National University of Singapore"

Evidence of the unpadded bras on sale in Jogja

We then went for dinner by the road side again.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Es Tape (tapioca). This was disgusting and tasted like diluted juice gone bad. The green bits at the bottom were like styrofoam.

Satay cost 17,000 Rp, which worked out to more than 50 cents a stick. This must be the night market premium, but it's still ridiculous. Almost everyone eating by the roadside was local - where do they get the money?! Incidentally we didn't see any ang mohs eating street food - maybe they don't trust push cart or fly-by-night places. Then again, they can afford restaurants.

Sate Kambing. Even at >50 cents a stick, half of it was offal!

Sate Udang

Nasi Goreng Istimewa. This was really bagus.
CWN: "The tastiest thing I've had in Indonesia so far, on the trip. Of course, nothing beats babi panggang... but we're on the wrong island"

Bebek Bakar. As with other local style meat, this was ridiculously tough. In fact, the only meat I'd eaten that wasn't tough was Ayam Goreng Kentucky (i.e. breaded).

Dinner at the road side

Band. I was surprised because they went beyond the usual guitars (see the violin, double bass and drum set). Too bad there was no collection box or I'd have given 1,000 Rp - I was really impressed.

I liked the design of this frontage.

After dinner, we went to Angkringan, this road where local bloggers apparently hang out (and side by the road side). Presumably there's wi-fi there, but I didn't see any laptops.

Truck with lots of water bottles.

Angkringan street scene

There were enough people at Angkringan for there to be people directing traffic.

CWN had kopi joss - coffee with a piece of charcoal inside. Local superstition has it that this reduces the caffeine level. CWN said it tasted the same.

Street kid. Just seconds before she picked up a squashed cockroach and flung it away. Ugh.

Flower. I liked this.


"Friendly Atmosphere". I love places which have to advertise these things.

"Areal Becak" (their rest area, presumably)

Dodgy-looking drink.

Guava is called Jambu here.

Borobodur and Prambanan bread. Wth.

"Sutra. 12 Kondom impor". Uhh... And it's licensed from a company in North Carolina.

"Bear Brand. Ready to Drink Milk"


Fiddling with the hot water in my room shower brought me back to my titration days - outside of a very fine range the water was either extremely hot or super cold. The toilet also leaked through the day, but Indonesia has lots of water so it's okay.


[Me: Ooh, you use your left hand {to eat}. How sneaky] I wipe my ass with my right hand.

[On Angkringan] Why do bloggers meet here? There's no wi-fi right

I've learnt from my days in green that cigarettes are very good for driving away most things. Including horny guys.
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