I left for Malang train station at 7:30, just after breakfast. I didn’t see a single backpacker in my two days here.
I wanted to get lunch to take with me on the train, and I found a row of food stalls just outside the station.
There were only a few open. I walked up to one with a pretty extensive menu. I didn’t really know what anything was, but I saw something that said, “tempe penyet.” I didn’t know what penyet meant, but I was hoping it didn’t mean meat or something.
As I stood there waiting for my food, the group of guys around me were all laughing and clearly talking about me. This has happened to me a ton in Indonesia, and it’s annoying but there’s really nothing I can do. I had no idea what they were saying.
I got the food, which turned out to be a bed of rice with mashed tempeh (i.e. penyet), sambal, sliced cucumber, and lemon basil.
I got to the station, printed out my ticket, and proceeded to the platform. The train was already there. I walked to car 1, found my seat, and got settled. We still had about 30 minutes until the departure time.
Once again, we left right on time at 8:20.
I edited the podcast, napped, and listened to podcasts for the whole ride. I was pretty tired of sitting by the end, and was so happy to move my body when we got to Yogyakarta at 3:30.
When I got out of the station, I was immediately bombarded by taxi drivers asking if I needed a ride. I wanted to see if I could find wifi so I could just get a Grab, but I couldn’t find any. Some old man approached me and told me he could take me to my hostel for 50,000. I told him that was way too much money since the hostel was only 4 km away. He told me he could do it for 40. I told him no, it was still too much. I couldn’t believe how much he was charging, so I went back into the station to see if there was any public transportation I could take.
I asked some bus company employees if there were any shuttle buses, and they told me I needed to take a taxi. Next to the bus company was a taxi stand, so I asked her how much a taxi to Good Karma would cost. She told me 80,000. WTF?? How is it so expensive.
I realized I would have to shamefully walk back up to the original man and take him up on his service. I tried one last time to haggle— I asked him to do it for 30 instead of 40. He told me, “No, 40. I’m hungry!” And all his friends started laughing. I kept pushing, but he wasn’t budging so I gave up.
Right after we agreed on the price, he assured me that Good Karma is a good homestay and then asked me where I’m from. It’s funny because we were just haggling and kind of arguing with each other, but as soon as it’s over you go back to being normal humans and you realize it’s not personal at all.
The cab turned out to be a motorized rickshaw/carriage, and I felt like such an a-hole in it. Like some sort of entitled princess. I really couldn’t wait to get out of there.
I checked in, derped around on my phone for a bit, and went to explore the city.
By the time I left, it was already 5 and I knew it would be getting dark soon.
I walked toward a coffee shop called Lotus Mio that I had bookmarked, figuring I’d go check it out to see if it was worth visiting at a later time. It started raining as I was walking, and continued to pick up the more I walked. I was pretty close to the cafe at this point, so I decided to just go in and order something as I waited for the rain to subside.
I ordered a Vietnamese coffee, and as soon as I ordered it stopped raining.
I sat there, unsure why I was there. It felt like a waste of time and a waste of money.
I finished my coffee, paid, and kept on walking. I didn’t really have a plan, I just wanted to explore. I walked through Alun-alun selatan, a big park with a soccer field in the middle, and then kept walking north.
I really like the vibes of this city. You can feel the history and culture as you walk through it. I couldn’t help but feel really happy as I walked around. I just feel so lucky. I’ve been feeling this way for a number of days now, and I can’t shake it! Not that it’s a bad thing to perpetually be grateful.
I think I’m just trying to savor these last few solo-traveling days as much as I can, because in 12 days it’ll all be over. I will be with Amanda in Malaysia, and after that there will be no more days of wandering about alone. I don’t want to take these moments for granted.
It was getting pretty dark at this point. I was a little sketched out since there weren’t a lot of street lights, so I decided to start walking to dinner.
I wanted to go to Milas, a vegetarian place I had researched online. It was back toward the hostel.
It seems there is no in-between when it comes to tourism in Indonesia. It’s either insane, mass tourism in Bali, or almost none in Java. Even though Java is only a hop and a skip away from Bali. I only saw a few tourists during my hour walk, and Yogyakarta is considered a pretty popular tourist destination.
It took me about 30 minutes to get to Milas. As soon as I saw it, I knew I would love it. It had a big, beautiful garden with open seating everywhere. Some areas had normal tables, others had ones lower to the ground. I chose an area with lower tables. I love sitting on the floor!
There was also a small bookstore, library, and local arts store within the restaurant.
I got my kombucha and mushroom dish a few minutes after ordering. I hadn’t had kombucha since leaving NY, and I was so excited!! It was only a dollar too. Crazy.
I went back to the hostel, found a nice little spot to chill, and fooled around on my laptop for a while. I talked with Adrian on the phone (it’s weird, I never really talk to people on the phone but we talk on the phone a lot), and then went to bed around 11.
I had a really rough night of sleep.
I couldn’t really sleep for a while at first because people were chatting outside and I could hear everything they were saying. Then, about 30 minutes later, they all came into the room for bed. A few of them kept talking, which kept me up.
When they were finally silent, another person came in the room. That person started showering, and I could hear everything.
An hour or so later, someone who had just checked in came inside and turned all the lights on.
When I thought I had been through it all, someone else new came in and climbed into the bed above me, which made the whole bed shake and woke me up.
Then, at 3 am the mosque next door started doing their prayers, which woke me up again.
I really don’t like hostels sometimes. I think I’ve been spoiled lately with either private rooms or empty dorms, so I forgot how annoying they can be.