CALCULATED CASUAL CARELESSNESS
(riding with the tall bike kids of Yogya)
We finally get to Yogya, and feel like we're home:
- Getting in to Yogya late at night and meeting up with friend-of-a-friend Maya, who lives at the Performance Klub house. She welcomes us and promptly sets us up to stay at her place, which is really nice (open courtyard/garden thing, guest room).
- We meet her cat, who first bites you and then sucks on the spot he bit. We can't remember the cat's name so it's promptly branded "Viper Suckle."
- The next day Maya takes us on a tour of some ruins and an animal market. There are some crazy animals for sale: large white owls, a hawk, snakes, mongoose, ferrets, tiny squirrels, lizards, tons of birds and fish. Ira first witnesses a writhing weasel having it's teeth yanked out with pliers, and then one of the small fierce-looking owls being fed to a mongoose. He is traumatized, Greg and Conrad promptly collect the left-over feathers.
- We go to the tourist-shopping street later to look for a hat for Greg. As soon as we get off our bikes a posse of punk kids on crazy tall bikes ride past. We yell at them, but they just smile, wave and keep going. Later we head out on our bikes and pass the same group of kids hanging out at the end of the street. We stop and tell them how we had heard of them and came to Yogya to meet them. They had heard we were coming, but didn't know when. We rounded up a posse and went for a long nighttime ride around town.
- The next day, Atom (one of the local bike gurus) helps Chloe make her mountain bike into an Indonesian-stye tall bike.
- When asked why I am not on a tall bike, I explain that it is for comparison reasons: to make them look taller.
- A bizarre call to prayer distorted through a messed-up sound system sounding like something out of a horror movie.
- There are a string of bombings in Jakarta at fancy hotels aimed at westerners. We are not in Jakarta at the time, but it strikes a strange chord with us because everyone we have met has been so friendly and welcoming, it's just sort of like "huh? . . . really?"
- Riding bikes outside of Yogya to the abandoned water bottling station which has turned into one hell of a swimming hole.
- Wildlife in Java: cats, bats, rats.
"Bule" = Whitey (literally means albino).
"Bagus" = Cool.
"Sip" = Cool (in Javanese).
"Pit dhuwur" = Tall bike (in Javanese).
"Tongseng" = not entirely sure, but probably dog meat.
• Gamelan Gong Kebjar - Ketjak: The Ramayana Monkey Chant
A band's place at last.