Thursday, July 15, 2010

off the rails

My second day in Indonesia I woke up *really* early because it had taken a good hour to reach the train station when I bought my ticket. There was the sunrise, through my dirty window.


And this time, since it was so early, it only took 20 minutes to get to Stasiun Gambir.


I got on my train. It's an 8-hour train ride from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, and I chose to make the trip (at least the "to" part) during the day because it's supposed to have great views. The window of my train car was the dirtiest window I've ever encountered, but the views were very pretty.



It's a holiday here in Indonesia, and I hadn't made reservations ahead of time for a place in Yogya. Most of the guesthouses in the Malioboro area had "full" signs out front, and those that didn't just told me when I asked. My taxi driver was fantastic though and took me to the other backpacker area across town and tried a couple of guesthouses until I found a room. It will do. It doesn't have a hot shower, but it has two double beds and a twin, and it cost less than the guesthouse where I wanted to stay in the first place.

I didn't sleep very well, though. My windows don't close completely because I have a fan room. The first Muslim prayer call is before dawn, at about 4:30 in the morning. I awoke to that, and then slowly realized that there was a managerie of caged birds down the hall, which called from then on. Most of them just screech, but at least one says "wow-wow."

So I got up, and had some gado-gado!


Gado-gado is a big pile of steamed cabbage, green beans, sprouts, potatoes (and tofu, here) served with PEANUT SAUCE! The peanut sauce is in the gravy boat there. In Thailand I've only ever seen peanut sauce with satay, and I've only once seen non-meaty satay. Hooray, I say, for peanut sauce.

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