Saturday, 23 January // Goa Kreo, Sam Poo Kong, Maerokoco
Today Aulia scooped me up from my home and we zoomed over to Goa Kreo - a famous cave known for the monkeys that hang out around it. There were many tourists and it was very warm. Her friends also happened to visit there that day. We saw them and said hello. They joked in Bahasa that I was her bule boyfriend. The monkeys had a lot of attitude, but they were afraid of me. Some people fed them with peanuts. The cave was really boring. But it was located on an island in a reservoir created by a dam, which was beautiful and still and large.
We raced in the motorbike down the mountain towards the Sam Poo Kong temple - it's an ancient temple site since 1400 with a recently renovated temple complex. On the way down,w e got distracted by an old plane that was put up on stilts by a small zoo.
Zheng He (a Muslim Chinese explorer) arrived to Semarang sometime between 1400-1416, and some of his lieutenants liked it so much that they stayed and erected a temple in his honor. It has fallen into disrepair and been rebuilt or restored many times, but the current iteration is majestic and minimal.
We finished at the temple and scooted over to the Maerokoco, a display of traditional houses and architecture from Central Java. I was surprised by the diversity of construction, materials, and interior design styles. At Maerokoco they have a cute restaurant on a bridge over the water. The park is right next to an abandoned central park, with amusement rides and cracked tiles and infesting weeds.
We got sate on the way back to Aulia's house and had a dinner of Sate, Rice, fried tofu, fried soybeans, a corn and tomato soup, some vegetables, and kruppo. Aulia's little brother brought his friend over because he wanted to meet me. The kid was quite tall but a bit chubby and had a Fly Emirates Arsenal jersey on from Puma and a colorful scarf. His hair was swept over his head. I joked that all the girls in his school must love him. He just smiled and asked, "what do you think... the girls in Indonesia or America are better?" with a cheeky grin.