To be honest

had been a little afraid. Afraid that I had become jaded, indifferent, incapable of being moved by the specificity of a place.

Was I ever wrong. Welcome to Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (Known to all and sundry as "Jogja," official spelling notwithstanding).

To be fair, I am staying in a hotel so exceptional I can hardly believe it, but to be equally fair on the other side, I have been traveling since 6:30 am and my plane was kept in a holding pattern circling the terminal for an hour, waiting for permission to land.

So I think my judgment (that autocorrected to "kismet," make of that what you will) is sound.

I am in love with this place. Wow, are people ever quick to smile. I mean, it typically comes in response, it isn't generally unprompted, but when it does come (and belive me, it does), it is a smile like clouds parting for the sun. (And there is no lag time. One thing that struck me in Malaysia was that extra beat, the uncertainty. The smiles came, often, but the delay always kept me guessing.) 

Add to that that I was basically adopted at the information station. Roads are human size. And traffic, while fierce, is also mostly sort of orderly. Lots of people on bikes, including ladies, even on main roads (though of course here, as everywhere, everyone blocks the bike lane).

And the there is this.

It is mossy, ferny stone walls and shoeless kids flying kites. It is river-fed cut-out bathing holes. It is hand-drawn pumps and narrow alleys and curving steps down to the river. It is tiled roofs and orchids and crowns of thorns and every kind of "2-inch Tropical" I have ever bought grown lush and healthy. It is few common words and much gesturing and nodding. 

It is a beautiful place.


It is below the equator, and I was walking down tortuous crooked streets, and somehow I did not get lost.

I know. I can't explain it either.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you've found your true home. The combination of many, many of the things you love.
Only missing water towers and trains? And, your own kitchen?

pouletsecret said...

Mom - Those crown of thorn stems? About an inch an a quarter in diameter. Also, the hanging potted plants? Orchids, all. (Don't worry. I've crossed paths with at least two trains already.)

Anonymous said...

Right out of a fairy tale....this summer, some wine, a couple of trowels and a wall of hanging potted plants back of the garage...Carp