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Yogyakarta …

As I wrote in my post yesterday I’m staying at a really nice place. It is clean, has charm /those are the words of one of the girls in the dorm/ people are nice and surroundings are genuine. Since I arrived 5 am it feels as if I have been here for several days already.

I started with cleaning myself up before I left the hostel. By then one of the girls staying in the dorm had woken up so we talked for a bit. She had been to Bali and already spent at few days here so she had a lot of info to share. I so admire these young men and women. This one in particular turned 19 last September and now she has been on the road for three months. This is a way to build a character.

As always I try to get to know my immediate surroundings first. My first reaction was how kind the locals are. Hadn’t walked more than 5-10 meters before the first person greeted me. I said hello back or just nodded and smiled. The latter turned out to be a winning concept. So there I was walking random streets, nodding and smiling, observing when I saw a lady enter an alley. I turned back and followed her. She turned around and looked at me which gave me the feeling I had stepped into a private area. I asked and pointed Can I go there, she said something I didn’t understand but looked friendly so I continued to follow her. That was a a good call. This turned out to be the way to the very local food market.

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This alley was like a dream, it had everything. Vegetables, meet, chicken, fish, tempeh, stalls with ready made food. I stopped at a stall where a woman was buying take away, food looked delicious, and asked if I could eat there. No problem. The woman got inside and came out with a plate and a spoon. First rice and then I pointed at some green leafy mix, another mix of chillies peanuts and something else and of course the tempeh. Then she showed me inside the house. I was in their … living room where there was a tv, two sofas, small table,  two bicycles, pots and pans, buckets, three cages with beautiful pet birds hanging from the ceiling, stuff and stuff and more stuff everywhere. In the far end a saw a glimpse of the kitchen also stuffed with a lot of things and pots and pans and … I sat down and started eating. The neighbors came and stood in the doorway pretending they were not looking at me.

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The food was delicious. When the lady entered the room I looked up and told her how good the food was. All the ladies suddenly smiled and gestured happily at me.  As in relief, as in a hallelujah moment. Yes, we did have a happy moment for different reasons.

Full, very happy and smiling I continued my walk. At the end of the alley I was stopped by three men sitting in a booth. Hey, where are you form, aaaa Swither land, no Sweden, first time in Indonesia … Turns out one of then speaks English which is very helpful for us all.  The second one is just sitting there quiet. The third one is dentist and it’s his booth. Guy number one tells me the dentist is really a good one. I turn to the dentist and give him my impressed face, he nods and gestures to me to look at him. Then he pops out his teeth and shows me. Guy number one says loud and clear Good dentist. And once again we all nodd and gesture in consensus.

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My next goal is to get a bus ticket to Bali. It takes a bit of walking in the heat before I find the place. And just as the girl at the hostel told me, you pay 275 000, get on the bus at 2 pm and get of next day at 11 am just outside Denpasar, Bali. That includes  stop for dinner at a restaurant and the ferry. Brilliant.

On my way back to the hostel  I pass the touristic market. One salesman asks me where I’m from and that ends up with taking me to an art exhibition. Batik is made in a very time consuming and special way here. 12 local artists are represented at this exhibition. Exquisite work but I travel light. No buying.

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Back at the hostel I see new people have arrived. New talks and  new friends. Looking forward to tomorrow.