There are so many things that I love about Jogja – one of the oldest cities in Indonesia. From batik arts/craft at the bustling Malioboro Street, the yummilicious street food, the street performers, the Kraton (Sultan’s Palace), the arts and culture i.e. theater, gamelan music, batik, wayang kulit (shadow puppetry) to the friendly and helpful locals!
The journey from Probolingo to Jogja was a nightmare! At the travel agent’s office in Probolingo, all 9 of us travelers were told that we were gonna travel to Jogja (other’s Solo and Surabaya) by respective VIP buses. After an hour’s wait, a mini van appeared and all 9 of us who was going to 3 separate directions where shooed into the mini van.
It wasn’t until the Romanian couple got off at Surabaya’s Juanda Airport that we realized that we have all been conned in broad day light. Instead of a 7 hours drive to Jogja, the journey would then take 10 hours because we made a detour to Surabaya!
To make matters worst, the mini van broke down at Solo at about 11pm. After several unsuccessful attempts reasoning with the travel agent on the phone who refuses to send another mini van for the rescue and refuses to pay for our cab fee to Jogja. Plus the fact that we couldn’t resolve in spending a night in Solo because the hotels were fully booked for the holiday season, I approached and bargain with a cab driver to take us to Jogja for Rp.160,000.
I didn’t think Rp.160,000 for an hours drive to Jogja was a big deal. I was sleepy and grumpy and was ready to take off with or without the other petty travelers in lala land; arguing which were the cheaper options. Pauline followed and I was glad that I had her as a companion.
We reached Jogja at 1 something in the morning. It was raining and there were no more rooms at Bedhots. Atok (a friend who works in the guesthouse) suggested that I sleep in the living room until the morning comes because the whole of Sosrowijayan has been fully booked for the holiday season. I was tempted to but unconvinced that the whole of Jogja has been fully booked, we went off and after a frantic search we finally ended up at one guesthouse at Prawirotaman at 3 something in the morning, soaking wet
What an experience! But in all, the 4 days spend in Jogja thereafter, plus a new year celebration (Jogja Style!) was worth all the trouble.