The flight from Bali to Yogja was painless. The captain was muttering pleasantries over the intercom while we were flying amid towering cauliflowers. The girl next to me was painting her face most of the time. It needed a lot of work, apparently.
Meanwhile, I had many fears. Mainly about the woman in the seat in front of me.She would crush my knees when reclining her seat. I would ask her not to. She would be angry. I would be polite. She would not understand me. The person next to me might mediate. But eventually, none of this happenend of course.
There was a lot of turbulence and the captain asked us to remain seated. After that put the plane on the ground. We were in Yogjakarta.
On my second day in Yogjakarta I took the bus to Prambanan. The city’s public bus system is excellently designed and line 1A is very convenient as it runs from the airport to the city centre and stops also at the Prambanan temple complex, roughly 15 km outside the city centre. Foreigners have their own entrance where they are provided with a free cup of coffee. It seems a nice gesture but one pays dearly for the privilege as, naturally, foreigners pay a hefty surcharge for visiting this site.
After exploring Prambanan I walked around to another temple further away that predates both Prambanan and the famous Borobudur complex. It is the Candi Sewu, which, in Javanese, means A Thousand Temples, which is a very generous estimate for what in reality are some 249 temples, though most of them are now merely piles of rubble.These are, interestingly, arranged in a so called mandala figure, symbolising the Buddhist universe. After Borobudur it’s the largest Buddhist temple complex in Indonesia.
This photo I took of a sculpture at the Sewu temple seems evidence that 9th century Javans had knowledge of the Simpsons.