I have arrived Tuesday afternoon in Indonesia. I’m always surprise how two countries, one beside the other one, are usually very differents for each other. Sure, they are usually similarities, in the food, expressions, face..and its the beauty of travelling on the bicycle. You can feel the continuity from one country to the other one. Indonesian people are speaking a very similar langage than in Malaysia and at first look, they look alike. But, the architecture is very different. The shape of the roof are totally different. A mix of Japaneese, Vietnameese’s architecture and most of the houses have a lot of very fine and nice wood carvings.
At the airport, after been delight by all of this architecture, I came back quickly to the reality. When I have unwraped my bicycle, I have noticed that the back fork had tork (where the wheel is clip to the fork). Usually, I pack my bicycle in a box. This time, I did not ! Garuda airline’s policy had some restriction about the size of the bicycle. The total could not exceed 158 cm…which is impossible. Having spend a lot of money those past days, I took a chance and I have decided to wrap my bike. This is usually not recommended, I did it once and I did not have any trouble. I was scared to be charged extra money for over size, this is why I have took a chance. First thing in my mind, not another thing to deal with it ! I need a rest !!! I could even hardly put the back wheel on. I was so angry and I could not believe I had to deal with another thing: got many time problems, with my stomach, my foot and now my bike… I was also very worry because I love my bike’s frame. I thought it would crack if I would try to replace it in the same position. This frame has done so many Km. This bike is part of my life, like a husband… I love it ! For this trip, I have changed all the part but keep the origial frame. On top off it, when I finally struggle to put the wheel on, I notice I had a puncture. It not too bad but, I had not sleep, I was exhausted and it was really hot ! However, after few minutes, the airport’s staff make me laught. The things were happening exacly how other cyclists had told me. I was surronded by more than 20 mans. Everytime I was doing something something with the bike, everyone was getting exciting. When I took my tool and I have remove the tire they did: WOOOOOW !!! and then, when I took the new inner tube and I put it back inside of the wheel they did : OUUUUUUU !! Wow, you can change a tire !! >. It was hillarious. Some people were taking me in picture. My friend gt at the airport around 14h 30, he has fixed my bike a little bit and then, we went to his house. When those thing happen when you are back home, you have your car, you have time… When you travel, its different. It was the second time I had problem with my bike (pedal in Italie). The plan was to go to the bike shop the next day. It took only few minutes to the bike’s mecanic to fix my bike and it only cost me 10 000 roupies (1 $).
My close friend know how I like to eat ! I love discovering new food. Its a real pleasure for me. When I travel, IM always hungry neither if I’m not. South east asia is a very good destination for food lover. in central asia, Goergia, I got tired of the food. There is not most varieties. Here..its a paradise and its so cheap ! As soon as we got the my friend’s house, we got some local food. Jus outside of his house, there are differents food stall. In my country, usually, you have to drive to get some food. Here, everything are mixed together. A food stall is like a very small noun permanent street restaurents. Just a metal roof, few chairs and a table. The cook is cooking infront of you. I was really happy, the food in Indonesia is much cheaper than in Malaysia. Finally, I got my .50 $ meal (rice, chicken, chili suace and fresh basil. Supposly, Java’s island has the reputation to be the cheapest indonesian island for eating. Last night, I have order a nasi goreng (fry rice). It so funny. You can order from a food stall but you can also order from a mobile food stall (someone is riding his bicycle and instead of having pannier, he has a small kitchen infront of his bike. You don’t even have to go out in the street. You only have to pay attention inside your house. When they are riding their bikes, each mobile stall does a different noice. It tells you what they are selling and you don’t have to reach your doorway for nothing lolol. If you want to eat some noodle, you need to looking for a bang bang (wood stick). If you want to eat some cake, the bicycle is doing some music….
I already love Indonesia. Usually, the first feel in a good indication for me. Plus, if my feeling is good in a big town, I know I will enjoy the countryside. Everyone is smiling here in Yogiakarta. But, everyone is also looking at me, cheering me, thump up when I ride my bike in town. Some one took me in photo this morning. Each country are different. In Turkie, they did not like to much to be taken in picture. InTajikistan, they were requesting to be taking in photo. In Kyrghistan and here, they take me in picture. My new friend told me that Yogyakarta is independant from all Indonesia’s gouvernement. In the past, this city was a country. Now, it is part of Indonesia but the city is run by a Monarchie. According to my friend, the king is doing very good and is very appreciated by the local people.
This morning, on our way to the king palace, we have stop in a park infront the south gate of the sultan’s palace. In the park, there are two bunch of threes infront of each other. My friend told me that there is a myth around those two bunch of threes. The myth says that if you stand infront those trees from a distance (beside the road), you keep upit eyes closed, turn around 3 times, make a wish, walk toward the trees and that you can walk between both without looking, your wish will happen ! Told my friend, I can do it ! I No big deal ! I can do it ! Don’t not seems difficult at all. Then, my friend said: most of people, right before the threes, are turning right or left… That’s exactly what I done. I could not believe it. I was walking straight (in my mind). When my friend shout at me, I could not believe it. I had turned left too !!! Whateverrrrrrrrrr….my wish will be realised one days 😉 !!!
After Yogyakarta, I would like to ride through the quite roads inland to meet local and stay in villages. Java is well known for the traffic and I want to avoid it. They are fews volcanos along the road and I would like to go trhu Bromo national park. Would not be easy but I think I will beautiful !!! Inshalla !! It will depend of my foot.
Indonesia has different religions. People living on Java and Sumatra’s island are mostly muslim. Bali is hindu. I had keep my clothes I had bought in Tajikistan. As most womens here are all cover with long clothes and wear scarf, I will wear my baggy clothes too. It won’t be easy, it will be hot and hilly but….
Here is where I’m staying right now. I’m very happy that I have meet my friend Akuntanu Widyantono. We have great time together and he knows what cyclist are looking for. Many thk !!!!!