Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Merry Christmas

Day 288
I was in a complete haze when I got off the train at Yogjararta and just followed the crowd out of the station. I was sure that I could find a place on my own with the map in my guidebook and I walked past all of the pedicabs. This turned out to not be the case though and I gave in a got one. A few minutes later I was close to the random hotel I had picked in my guidebook. A guy just hanging around walked me there. He told me that it would be full due to the holiday. I was in such a haze I asked him what holiday. I've gotten used to showing and everything being closed due to some battle that no one really remembers or because Buddha stubbed his big toe on that day a long time ago. He looked at me oddly and then said that it was Merry Christmas. I kinda liked that, it assumed that everyone has a nice Christmas and not just a hope that they do.

The hotel that I picked did have space and I was allowed to go straight to my room despite the fact that it was 6 am. They guy who checked me in tried to sell me all sorts of tours but I told him the truth, I was too tired to think and if he would give me a pamphlet I would look it over after I had gotten a few hours of sleep. He did tell me that all the museums in town closed at 2 and that if I wanted to see them that day I should be sure to wake up in time. This I appreciated and I set my alarm before going to sleep.

After three hours I got up and took a shower. It was painful. I was still tired, but I did begin to feel slightly more human. For some reason I couldn't find the flyer that I was meant to look through over lunch. I was a bit bummed because there was a tour or two that I wanted to take. Luckily, as I was headed out, I found a different guy with the same company and was able to get a new flyer.

I then made an attempt to visit the Sultan's Palace, or Kraton. This was easier said than done. Part of the problem was fighting off the pedicab drivers and the rest of getting rid of random people who just wanted to talk. I was under a bit of a time constraint and whereas I normally would have been pretty friendly, I was really just getting annoyed that everyone was slowing me down so much. Everyone wanted to give me advice and ask what I thought of Indonesia and how long I had been in Yogo. No one even hinted at wanting anything from me. Well, some people wanted me to check out their batik art, but they were easy to defect. Eventually one guy walked me most of the way down and I was happy to arrive to have some privacy back.

This didn't last long, before I knew it I had a free guided tour. At the end he left before I could have even given him a tip. This was odd though because I didn't see very many other people walking around with a guide. The palace was a bit odd, it was in the Dutch style and seemed really out of place. There wasn't much there and the tour didn't take long. Basically Java has hereditary sultans that functioned as governors. The current one is the first to not have a harem and to not have a son to pass his tittle on to. For unknown reasons there were several chickens in cages. I just don't understand the livestock everywhere and feel compelled to take lots of pictures of it.

After the Kraton I was surprised that the guy who walked me down was still hanging out. He walked me back part way, to where his motorbike was parked and then was on his way without me trying to get rid of him. I ducked into a Dunkin Donuts so that I could read through my tour options. I would normally do these things on my own, but with limited time I am forced to take tours. When I had finished I went to the office and booked the one that I wanted.

I then headed to an internet cafe to try once again to upload some photos. This is really starting to get annoying. When I could take it no more I headed for dinner. I was still exhausted and simply went back to my hotel room. I was out by 7 pm.

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