We get lost everywhere and Yogyakarta on Java was no exception. Although we did expect that if we took a becak (tri-shaw) ride we would arrive at the right place only we didn’t!
Despite a very generous tip our becak deposited us miles from where we wanted to be and we have no idea whether this was deliberate, or he got lost or, he just didn’t understand us.
Lost Along the River
Anyway after a very long walk we arrived at the Pasty bird market. Here in small cages you can buy birds, reptiles, insects, and fish along with plants. Song bird competitions are very popular in Indonesia and caged birds are the most popular pets.
A famous Javan saying is “A man is considered to be a real man if he has a house, a wife, a horse, a keris (dagger), and a bird.”.
The conditions these creatures are held in would not be allowed in Europe but the culture there is very different so although I don’t like the thought of day old chicks being dipped in dye and sold as children’s toys that’s how it is and I believe its better to see it than pretend it doesn’t happen.
Merapi or mountain of fire is a still active strato – volcano. We took a tour in a jeep to see the villages affected by the eruptions. Unfortunately is was a very cloudy and misty day so our view of the actual volcano was obstructed but the ride over the lava was fun and the walk around the small villages was interesting. We saw a house destroyed by the 2010 eruption turned into a museum and a bunker in Kaliadem village which was used until 2006 when two people died in it as they were buried by rubble.
Back in Yogyakarta just in time for a Ramayana ballet with dinner. The hotel has held this ballet every night for forty years. The epic saga written by Valmiki tells the story of Shinta and Rama. In traditional costumes and using body movements they tell a long complicated story of how they are exiled to the forest.
This involves deer, a bird and a monkey army but ends with a happy ever after.