Tuesday, June 15
Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia
Today was kind of a mess. I hitched a ride in a becak downtown to catch a Wayang Golek wooden puppet play scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at a place called Nitour, but I couldn't find it to save the whales, or my life. I asked several different locals, but they didn't know what the hell I was talking about. After sweltering in the hot tropical sun while I walked up and down the street looking for Nitour, I'm convinced the place either closed down or never existed to begin with.
As a consolation, I visited the Sono-Budoyo Museum, which is made up of numerous rooms that are chock-full of fine traditional Javanse art and artifacts, including a gamelan, Wayang Kulit shadow puppets, masks, batik, hand-drawn books and even a room featuring Balinese versions of the same. All of this stuff was definitely a highly detailed treat for the eyes.
Next, I strolled a few blocks over to the Taman Sari, also known as the Water Palace. This place was really hard to find. I spent over an hour walking arond in circles looking for it, and my feet paid the price as they got super hot and blisters formed between my baby toes. I've been walking way too much lately. The Water Palace was built back in the 18th century as a cool-down spot for the Sultan, who supposedly also had some hidden romping rooms in there. The place is a maze of large bathing fountains, stairways and tiny doorways and rooms that look like they were designed for pygmies. Since my feet were all worn out, I took a becak back to my room, and after a three-hour web session, I took a much-needed break for the rest of the evening.