Sunday, 24 January // Rainstorm, Vihara Buddhagaya Watugong, Tanjung Mas, and Travel to Jogjakarta

This morning I called a taxi to go to Aulia's house before we head out for our adventures for the day. On the way there, it starts torrential raining, my driver gets lost, and I need to play him voicemails from Aulia for him to receive directions. By the time I get to her house her street is flooded about 3-4 inches deep; my feet are soaked. I hang with the family inside on the mattress in the television room and we take selfies together. A stray kitten wanders inside to avoid the rain. I nap and the cat cuddles into my chest for protection in warmth.

Aulia wakes me after about an hour. The rain's stopped. We get ready and leave for Vihara Buddhagaya Watugong - a buddhist temple about 20 minutes ride from her home. The temple reaches skyward with seven roofs interrupting its steady upward rise. There are some other tourists there. We take our shoes off to enter the temple itself and observe some religious people making prayers.

After the temple we try to go to Tanjung Mas, the industrial port of Semarang. We get inside, but there's so much security and all the areas are closed off or no photos allowed. 

Also, I had lost my Chase debit card a few weeks ago in Jakarta. I had called American Express (my credit card company) asking if they could activate my cash withdrawal services. They said it was no problem. But actually they have no partner ATMs in Indonesia, so today when I tried to withdraw cash I wasn't able to. And I don't have enough money for my bus ride to Jogja in the evening. I have some USD; all the money changers are closed on Sundays. Aulia tries really hard to help me find some way to get cash, but we can't. She ends up giving me just enough to complete my money for the bus, and she has just enough for her bus back to her hometown. Thanks Aulia :)

So she drops me at my home just in time for the shuttle bus, which picks me up directly. I load in all my bags and find a spot in the first row directly behind the driver. The sun is setting, yet I can't sleep. I just listen to music. The ride to my hotel in Jogja runs for five hours. The driver speeds along narrow rolling roads amidst rain and traffic, but I am the the last to be dropped off. My hotel in Jogja is called Hotel 1001 Malam. It's located far down a narrow alley (Gang) - like the filipino eskinita. The time is close to 11. I bring all my things up to my room, turn on the aircon, and .... meet up with one of my Instagram friends at Malioboro street nearby. She brings her friend as well. We walk down the street towards the traditional street market (pasar). We get some ginger tea and chat for a bit, but I am tired from my travels so they go home and I go to sleep.

Mike SaccoComment