Recently, my blog has not been posting correctly when I upload a post. Therefore, like the Malaysian post this will be much shorter and not as in depth since I already did the post.
Anyways, Indonesia is a place you will never think you'll get to as an American, but then you end up and it is a wonderful time. The language was similar to Bahasa Malayu so I ended up having two weeks of the language which made it stick a little bit longer than most I learned on this journey. It has also surprisingly a large population throughout all those islands as the fourth most populous country in the world.
Jogjakarta (Yogyakarta), is the cultural capital of the island of Java which means I was able to see the huge Buddhist temple of Borobudur - failed sunrises, excited Malay and Indonesians who wanted to take pictures with me and my travel buddy Magdalena (where are you?!), the huge Hindu temple of Prambanan complete Shiva shrine and a Mandala layout, the sultan's palace and a Javanese housing style mosque. Everyone tried to get a hustle from batik sellers to fruit carts since I was walking with a lady which means everyone tries to sell you something if you look like a couple.
Food wise, I was trying to stay on vegetarian as it was not only notorious in Indonesia, I was also trying to deal with my worms situation (yes I had worms on this trip and I wouldn't be able to cure them until a Singaporean pharmacy). However, the gado-gado with pecel (peanut sauce), the tempe (fermented soy cakes) and the cardamon teas were delectable on my palate. I also joined my fifth and final cooking class with a Balinese lady leading it and a group of a British couple (the woman was taller! There is hope) and a funny Dutch lady (the former colonizers were everywhere). We made Ayam rendeng (chicken rendeng - more on rendeng later), krupuk (chips), tempe, a sweet and spicy dessert, and an eggplant (aubergine) salad washed down with Bintang (probably in the top 3 beers of Southeast Asia) beer. The hosts of my hostel were also kind (Indonesians are some of the nicest people in the world) enough to show us a warung (food place) with beef rendeng. Rendeng is cooking past curry where the sauce seeps into the food. It is one of the most delicious foods I ever had.
One another note, I was invited into a house a seductive mom and her daughter. The mom welcomed me while the daughter told me her life story. I understand a green card situation when I see one (this is my sixth experience with one), but it was still a strange and somehow beautiful moment on my journey.
Jogja was a blast and this was only the first half of my trip in Indonesia.