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A Rainy Wheel through Jogjakarta

Our first full day in Jogjakarta began with rain. We collected ourselves and walked down to breakfast. Lacking coffee, and still somewhat asleep, we agreed to the waitress’s suggestion and ordered the European breakfast. It was fine, and certainly beat the pants off our untoast experience in Bandung, but left something to be desired, in terms of volume, and butter content. We vowed, after being revived by coffee to opt for the local option in the future.
With the rain seemingly done, and the sun back out again, we climbed on the speed TRs and headed south. We kept riding until the city began to dissolve into jungle. Here we discovered a truly unbelievable expanse of furniture makers and sellers. For kilometers, we rode by nothing but furniture, and we were astounded by the prices. 10 dollars for a very sold hand built chair. Lots of cheap tables and couches, all made of deep rain forest woods, and without the use of nails or pegs. Quite unbelievable.
We wheeled on until even the furniture sellers were gone and it was just us and the rice farmers. Rice take an order of magnitude or two more labor to grow than wheat or corn, as evidenced by the fact that there are always many people out in the rice fields, scooping mud, redirecting water, spreading various powders, and generally keeping things in line. The rice farmers also seemed to be enlisting the help of a number of strange stork-like birds, perhaps for pest control? If you know anything about this farming method, please tell us in the comments.
We wheeled on past plot after deliberately flooded plot, until the sky began to threaten rain. We were just able to duck into a small local shop in time to avoid the huge pelting drops. The interior of the shop was so packed with inventroy that I was almost unable to make it up to the counter to be refused access the the bathroom. Perhaps the only inhospitable event to date in our adventures in Indonesia.
The rain lasted no more than 10 minutes, and we were once again off. We caught the Jogjakarta ring road and took it part way around the city, eventually angling back toward the shopping district, where we were fixing to have lunch and conduct some operations for project K9.
The rain began again quite suddenly as we were passing a local bank. We called a quick waypoint and dashed for cover.
This time, the rain ceased to quit, and eventually the security guard at the bank agreed to watch over the cycles and lend us an umbrella so that we could go out and find some food. Huddling under the umbrella like two young love birds, we sloshed through the centimeters of water which ran in the streets. Luckily, right around the corner, we discovered a gigantic grocery store/mall with a vast, but none too clean food court. We selected a place called Basko, which seemed to be a chain and also the name of a certain kind of everything but the kitchen sink soup: 2 different kinds of noodles, meatballs, chicken pieces, fried shrimp cracker bits, and a variety of leaves. We were famished and the Basko proved nourishing and tasty. Refueled, we exited the mall to find the rain had once again stopped.
The remainder of the wheel followed the pattern of the first half, with a cocktail of scheduled and unscheduled (rain related) waypoints. One of which was at a stand which appeared to deal in traditional sexual remedies, and elixirs. The fellow spoke little english, but seemed thrilled to have us post up there for a but.
With the rain continuing into the night, we opted for dinner at a nearby cafe, frequented it seemed, exclusively by foreigners, and covered with the same gecko themed artwork as the Setia Yewan. The food was just fine, and they played Brazilian and Cuban music very loudly throughout the entire ordeal. We wiled away the rest of the evening reading about rice production on the wikireader and discussing the fantastic possibilities associated with a South American/Caribean wheeling. For that however, I guess you, dear reader, will just have to stay tuned.

Our first full day in Jogjakarta began with rain. We collected ourselves and walked down to breakfast. Lacking coffee, and still somewhat asleep, we agreed to the waitress’s suggestion and ordered the European breakfast. It was fine, and certainly beat the pants off our untoast experience in Bandung, but left something to be desired in terms of volume and butter content. We vowed, after being revived by coffee to go for the local option in the future.

Dahon Speed TR Under the Palms

With the rain seemingly done, and the sun back out again, we climbed on the speed TRs and headed south. We kept riding until the city began to dissolve into jungle.

Scott and Woody Wheeling

Here we discovered a truly unbelievable expanse of furniture makers and sellers. For kilometers, we rode by nothing but furniture, and we were astounded by the prices. Ten dollars for a very solid hand-built chair. Lots of cheap tables and couches, all made of deep rain forest woods, and without the use of nails or pegs. Quite unbelievable.

Wheeling through Paddies

We wheeled on until even the furniture sellers were gone and it was just us and the rice farmers. Rice takes an order of magnitude or two more labor to grow than wheat or corn, as evidenced by the fact that there are always many people out in the rice fields, scooping mud, redirecting water, spreading various powders, and generally keeping things in line. All without shoes.  The rice farmers also seemed to be enlisting the help of a number of strange stork-like birds, perhaps for pest control? If you know anything about this farming method, please tell us in the comments.

Mosque This Way

We wheeled on past plot after deliberately flooded plot, until the sky began to threaten rain. We were just able to duck into a small local shop in time to avoid the huge pelting drops. The interior of the shop was so packed with inventory that I was almost unable to make it up to the counter to be refused access the the bathroom. Perhaps the only inhospitable event to date in our adventures in Indonesia.

The rain lasted no more than 10 minutes, and we were once again off. We caught the Jogjakarta ring road and took it part way around the city, eventually angling back toward the shopping district, where we were fixing to have lunch and conduct some operations for Project K9.

The rain began again quite suddenly as we were passing a local bank. We called a quick waypoint and dashed for cover.

This time the rain ceased to quit, and eventually the security guard at the bank agreed to watch over the cycles and lend us an umbrella so that we could go out and find some food. Huddling under the umbrella like two young lovebirds, we sloshed through the centimeters of water which ran in the streets. Luckily, right around the corner, we discovered a gigantic grocery store and mall with a vast, but none too clean food court.

O Nice

We selected a place called Basko, which seemed to be a chain and also the name of a certain kind of everything but the kitchen sink soup: two different kinds of noodles, meatballs, chicken pieces, fried shrimp cracker bits, and a variety of leaves. We were famished and the Basko proved nourishing and tasty.  From there, we spent a few minutes inspecting the offerings of the grocery store.

Yogurt

Refueled, we exited the mall to find the rain had once again stopped.

Yogjakarta Carrying Plywood

The remainder of the wheel followed the pattern of the first half, with a cocktail of scheduled and unscheduled (rain-related) waypoints. One of which was at a stand that appeared to deal in traditional sexual remedies, and elixirs. The fellow spoke little English, but seemed thrilled to have us post up there for a bit.

Remedies

With the rain continuing into the night, we opted for dinner at a nearby cafe, frequented it seemed, exclusively by foreigners, and covered with the same gecko-themed artwork as the Setia Kawan. The food was just fine, and they played Brazilian and Cuban music very loudly throughout the entire ordeal. We wiled away the rest of the evening reading about rice production on the WikiReader and discussing the fantastic possibilities associated with a South American/Caribbean wheeling. For that, however, I guess you, dear reader, will just have to stay tuned.


Comments

  1. Henkes | January 18th, 2010 | 9:10 pm

    I’m selfishly putting my chips in early to be part of the South America Wheel… perhaps I could connect you two up with my Smithsonian colleagues in Panama for a romp in the jungle or meet you in Peru for a tour of coastal sedimentary structures in the land of the Pliocene giant sloth.

  2. Mark/Dad | January 18th, 2010 | 11:39 pm

    I like the picture of the fellow on the scooter with his cargo wrapped around his head obscuring most of his vision, and bare feet, but he is wearing a helmet! I think I’d want an “Ideal Pil” or two before attempting that!

    How do you manage to get so many pictures of both of you on bicycle, and the occasional 360 degree video pans WHILE wheeling? Or do I not want to know?

  3. Joe | January 19th, 2010 | 3:41 am

    I’m curious, how much do you worry about food, such as getting organic or no msg, and is it easy to get Vegetarian dishes? Everything looks like such fun though! Keep up the amazing posts!

  4. Woody & Scott | January 19th, 2010 | 9:47 am

    Mark,

    The short answer is you don’t want to know, but we do take care of our personal safety before whipping out the camera. Both cameras, and the flip video recorder, are right at our hip so we don’t need to expend too much effort grabbing them. Then we look for other speedbumps or hazards in the next hundred meters and begin multitasking.

  5. Woody | January 19th, 2010 | 9:59 am

    @ Henkes
    Great. Not selfish at all. It would be a great pleasure to have you to accompany us on that trip. South America Wheeling 2014, here we come?

    And you know we here at AsiaWheeling have a soft spot for anything giant and Pliocene.

  6. Woody | January 19th, 2010 | 10:54 am

    @ Joe

    Hey Joe! Thanks for asking. We are not too worried about Organics and MSG. MSG does not bother Scott and I much. In fact, I think it’s quite tasty. Organic food is something which AsiaWheeling supports, but it’s virtually non-existant in most of these places, so we don’t make the effort to seek it out. I think we’ll see that changing going into the future as people make more money here.

    In general, the food is much more local and sustainably produced than one might find in the US regardless of the lack of certifications.

    Vegetarian food is no problem in India ad SE asia. Will be almost impossible in some other places. Stay tuned.

  7. ha1ku | January 23rd, 2010 | 9:50 am

    Hi, guys. Great photos, great stories.

    I own a 2008 Speed TR and couldn’t help but notice the photo of yours (http://asiawheeling.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/P1121843.jpg). My kickstand is too short and virtually useless. Did you have to fight with the bike to get it stand? Did you replace the stock kickstand with something longer? I want to know!

    Thanks.

  8. Woody & Scott | January 24th, 2010 | 1:20 pm

    HA1KU,

    We’ve actually had no problems with our kickstands, and the bikes stand up just fine as any other would. One trick we’ve found is to rotate the handlebars to the left and balance the bike when using the kickstand. Hope this helps!

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