When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Committee--a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done." - Fred Allen


Jogjakarta trip
Day 4 - 1st May - Jogjakarta
(Part 3)

Disgusted by the human mosquitoes in Jogja who kept trying to suck our blood and felled too by the heat, we decided to skip the Imogiri Royal Cemetary and Kota Gede, an artists' village.

This was not an unwise decision, as a description of the latter warns that it is a tourist trap:

"Since entering Kotagede area, tourists begin to enjoy various kinds silver handicrafts at various prices sold at the front part of local people's house functioning as the gallery at the same time...

Please drop by at the gallery to see various kinds of handicraft, ranging from jewelry, silver ornament and utensils that are made with artistic touch of Kotagede silversmiths. Warm smile and greeting are pleasant reception to begin the exploration through Kotagede."

So we went back to our hotel and had lunch at a restaurant near there.

This was billed as Roti Paratha (and they told me it was Indian), so I was eager to see what the difference between this and Roti Prata was. However, I was disappointed to find out that it was frozen Prata (I wonder if Indians overseas who buy frozen Paratha made in Singapore get annoyed when they eat it).

Later research shows that while sources agree that the Indian Paratha is different from Singaporean Prata, all are silent on the difference.

A few sources also seem to have plagiarised each other, with the result that they claim that in Singapore and Malaysia, Prata is "drizzled with condensed milk and eaten as a warm snack"

Unfortunately they were out of avocado, so I got Es Jeruk. Which was actually Kordial. Since, unlike virtually everywhere else in Jogja, this was not watered down so much as to have no taste beyond the sweet, I finally figured out that Jeruk meant Orange.
Since there wasn't enough ice at first, I asked for more ice, and my cup was taken away and returned later suspiciously diluted - I suspect they poured out some of the drink and diluted it before adding the ice.

Nasi Goreng Istimewa. It wasn't very Istimewa.

Nasi Kembali (goreng with lamb). This was quite good.

"Creambath" is one thing, but this place as "Facial" also (IIRC CWN was the one who pointed it out, not me)

Tamarind juice - ugh

After lunch, we retired back to our rooms until the relative cool of the late afternoon.

Es Valentine at the back and Es Dangdut at the front. Dangdut is a haram form of music.
This was the worst shaved ice I'd ever had - it asn't shaved so much as chipped.

Sad Indon rock playing in the shop

"Menu Spesial: Babi Panggang
Chainese Food"
I was very happy to see this. This and the shop beside it were the only restaurants we saw with pork on the menu. However, it was too early so we decided to return later.

"Babi Panggang
Babi Kecap Inggris"

More Babi

A place that probably sold Babi

A place that might've had Babi

Mannikin with breast band. Incidentally, we saw no Malaysian Mannikins

Pieta gallery

Indon rockers talking to an Ang Moh

Grafiti I didn't grok

Various parfum parfum. Including Green Tea Perfume. Wth.

Wallets: "Osama Bin Laden. The HERO of Moslem" and "Guees"
I don't know which one I prefer.

A place which sold frogs. I don't know why they didn't go all the way and sell pork as well. Maybe some animals are more haram than others.

"Royal Garden Restaurant. the sensation of royal dining experiences....."
Restaurant owned by the Sultan's daughter.
Notice that "100% Halal" and "dining" are stuck on. Maybe they used to be 99% Halal and offer different sorts of experiences.

They really love Gudeg (Jackfruit). This is a whole row of shops selling it.

Asosiasi Peternak Jangkrik
Astrik Indonesia"
A business with a cockroach as its symbol

"10 Program Pokok PKK
2. Gotong Royong"

"Antique Japan Craft" sold in Jogja. Right.

A bilingual advertisement for airport jobs.

We then went to ViaVia cafe, a chain of travellers' cafes with branches in Mali, Senegal, Argentina, Nepal, Nicaragua, Honduras, Tanzania, Belgium (where it originated from) and Spain.

On our way there, one becak driver told us it was 2.5km away, and the lowest price he offered us was 10,000 Rupiah. We didn't believe him as we'd been conned by well nigh everyone else in Jogja, and because it looked quite near on the map (200m or so) but it turned out to be more than 2.5km.

When we rejected him, I commented that either the becak man was lying or the map was lousy (it didn't say it was not to scale, and was accurate for the centre of town). Either way, Jogja looked bad.

After walking for about 2.5km, we arrived at the start of the street ViaVia was on. By this time we were so tired and annoyed, so we unhesitatingly hopped on the becak of a man who came along and said it was 3km away since he quoted us only 5,000 Rupiah (naturally, it was only about 600m - BASTARD).

The street ViaVia was on (Prawirotaman) was a big Westerner hub - until the 2006 earthquake, when activity moved to Sosrowijayan (where our hotel was). There were still some shops catering to them, like a shop offering civet cat coffee for S$3 per 500g of beans, but it was otherwise quiet (except for ViaVia itself).
Frankly I found it puzzling as it was so far from the centre of town. But maybe the ang mohs could afford to becak their way everywhere.

Cafe interior

Belgian Chocolates - not something you expect to find in Indonesia.

"Beef sausage
I asked them if it was pork bacon and they said yes. Woo hoo!

Es Kopyar: "A delicious sweet drink with coconut jelly and [rose] syrup"

Frites with mayo!

Salad with bacon
We consumed more vegetables in this shared salad than in all other meals in Indonesia combined.

Typical over-selling: "Borobudur is one of the Seven Wonders of the World"
I also thought they misspelled "exotic" in calling Candi Sukuh and Candi Ceto "erotic", since no description of the eroticism followed. But here's Wikipedia:

"Candi Sukuh has a distinctive thematic reliefs from other candi where life before birth and sexual education are its main theme. Its main monument is a simple pyramid structure with reliefs and statues in front of it, including three tortoises with flattened shells and a male figure grasping his penis. A giant 1.82 m (6 ft) high of lingga (phallus) with four balls, representing penile incisions,[1] was one of the statues that has been relocated to the National Museum of Indonesia...

Candi Sukuh contains a pervasive theme of spiritual liberation symbolized by reliefs and statues. There is an obvious depiction of sexual intercourse in a relief on the floor at the entrance where it shows a paired lingga (phallus) and yoni (vagina)."

Their menu. I love the assurance at the top: ""All dishes are prepared without MSG. All vegies are washed in boiled water. All drinks and ice cubes are made with boiled water. We use organic rice"

When you use your credit card in Jogja there're 3 copies of the receipt - one for you, one for the bank and one for the shop. Hah.

Exterior of cafe

On the way out of ViaVia, we took a becak. The guy quoted us 30,000 Rp because it was uphill. He pedalled very slowly, and was visibly (and audibly) exerting himself to the limit, so at one point near our destination we hopped off when he couldn't pedal anymore and gave him 50,000. He was very happy.

I saw a shop advertising copying ('photocopy/lichtdruk'). The other services were in English, though.

I saw a place: 'Bumi putera art gallery'. Hah.

Since this was our last night, we dropped in at a big shop with signposted prices and airconditioning to do shopping.

Boxes of linga. They were too irregular to be pestles.

Pirated souvenirs. Now Indonesians can trick people into thinking they visited Australia, Egypt, a random European country and Atlantis (YOU tell me where that strange nude woman in the back is from).
I got a Horus, since he was cheap. His paint got slightly chipped and the base of his staff got dislodged during my return journey though.

Dutch cash register


"Do not squat"

Primitive lock

The first time I saw a streaked wig.


There's something charming about Bensin signs.

For dinner, we made our way back to the area with Babi.

Super Babi: Babi Panggang Kombinasi. It was quite good, though the sauce was a bit strange. The sio bak was particularly good. The thing at the bottom is chicken.


Unfortunately they were out of Sate Babi.

Menu. It was the most extensive of any place here.

Kiam Cai soup they gave us. With a bit of assam.

They had Es Jeruk Murni. Murni means pure, so this would not have been Kordial. For once.

After the Babi, I was still feeling peckish (CWN had some Nasi Putih, but I had wisely held back), so I ordered:

Nasi Goreng Ham B2. The Babi Panggang rocked my socks, but this sent me to new heights of ecstasy, so tasty was it.

"Sedap" brand Kecap Manis. How creative.

This Chinese lady seemed to be the owner. Notice what is on the table - "The Little Nonya 1 Movie Collection". GAH.

The stall


[Me: For the life of me, I don't know why people like travelling in Southeast Asia] This is the worst example of Southeast Asia I've seen.

[On the office] It's a distortion forcefield. [Me: I will pull you back into reality] I don't think I like Gabriel-brand reality

Basically for this trip we paid minuscule amounts of money to find out that Indonesians typically eat what we consider as rubbish. Frozen prata, mee from a packet.

Yay. I shall walk around naked in my room with the fan on.

[On the lack of vegetables] Indon people don't shit is it... How come these people don't get colon cancer?

What shall I tell Puppy when she asks 'how was the trip with Gabriel?' 'It culminated in a search for sio bak'.

If you go to a Halal food court in Singapore everything is sweet and no wok hei.
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