Nov 20:  Yogyakarta

Up 7am, awake since 6:30am.  Couldn't get in position on account of my sore shoulder and toe till after 2am, but I slept well after that except during the call to prayer, though it was actually soothing.  At this point I was so sleep-deprived that I was able to sleep through loud noises.

Got out of bed and my limp (from my toe) was worse because a metatarsal was also affected.

Left 8:09am.  Borobudur (largest Buddhist temple complex in the world) is 58 km and 1:27 away, according to Arnot, out local guide these couple days in Yogya who accepted my FB friend request.  I'm friends with only one group member at this point.  That's what happens when the full names aren't on the sheet in the lobby.  Past G trips were fun when we could tag people along the way.

Arrived at Borobudur 9:25am.

Ficus tree just inside the entrance.

There it is.  10 levels.  Other temples go to 11.  Humans are allowed only to level 9 (nirvana).  This is because, as the local local guide (not Arnot, but the guy just here at Borobudur) informed us, humans have 9 holes.  He pointed to them on himself:  ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth, there and there.  I'd say between the boobs is a 10th hole, but that's me.

Grassy area to the left of the main path/stairs to the temple.  Photo spot.  We posed for a group photo here.  Oh, I didn't mention this until now...Barry's preferred method of communication during the tour is WhatsApp.  I think I had it years ago but was getting too much spam and no one I know uses it so I deleted it.  I reinstalled it, but it's connected to your phone number, and you have to get a code in a text message to verify your account, which I of course couldn't do because I have no cell service outside the US and can text only to other iPhone users via Wi-Fi.  So for this tour there were group texts and photos that I missed out on because I couldn't use WhatsApp.  I finally installed it when I got home and Barry added me to the group, but I couldn't access the chat history.  So the group photo here exists, but I don't have it.

On our way up!

Reliefs.  Another Bloody Temple.

At some point someone tried to protect the reliefs from weathering with yellow paint, but the color deteriorated and ended up looking worse.

Relief close-up.



I think I took this from the 7th level.  Each of those stupas had a Buddha inside and I had no idea until I was back in LA.

7th level.  Somwhere around here (maybe here) Barry took a pic of us sitting on the ground in various Buddhist poses.  Again, WhatsApp.

7th level.  Stupas.

8th level I think.

8th level.  This is the Buddha from G Adventures' Best of Java ads.  This specific statue made me want to come here.





Stairs back down.

From the meeting point.

It was 11:25am.  I was in this peaceful grassy area waiting for the rest of the group.  Monks and other Buddhists were singing and praying here.  It should have been a pleasant experience.  And was drowned out by the call to prayed blasting from loudspeakers from the city below.  STFU.

Left Borobudur 12:22pm.

On the way back into Yogya I saw this sign that I'd seen at other gas stations.  Took a pic out the window of the bus slightly behind where Lindsay was sitting.  I tried to make it clear that I wasn't sneaking a photo of her.  I hope she got that.  When a girl sneaks a photo of me, it's always hot, but I get the sense girls don't appreciate it in the same way.  I took this photo because I agree with the message.  You might assume that because of my background, carbon is my favorite element.  Nope.  Nitrogen!  It's 78% of the air we breathe.  It's fun to play with as a liquid.  You can freeze a banana in it and then hammer a nail with the banana (this rarely works properly), or pour it on your arm to freak people out.  It forms two of the most useful compounds:  ammonia, which can stand on its own three legs (if you don't have a coffee table, it becomes a coffee table), and smells wild, and when you let it out of a compressed tank it condenses into a liquid and if your drop sodium into it the sodium electrons themselves become solvated and isolated imparting a deep blue color to the solution, because it's a strange electronic species; and nitric acid, which is fun to throw copper into (e.g. a pre-1982 penny) and watch the orange gas (which smells too nice, so you have to do it under a fume hood, where smokers should be required to smoke) be generated, and fun to get on your hands because it stains them yellow.  Nitrogen makes organic compounds better.  Carbon gives us toluene.  Nitrogen gives us 1,3,5-trinitrotoluene.  AC/DC didn't write no song about no fucking toluene.

Also on the way back, Arnot stopped the bus at a market and got us some snakeskin fruit.  That was unusual.  It was more meaty than sweet, the way I think jackfruit might taste.

Most people were doing the bike ride.  We had the choice of being dropped off at Jl Prawirotaman II to look for lunch, or going back to the hotel.  I think the bike ride was departing at 2:30pm, so there wasn't lunch time for those people, so I was the only one who got off for lunch.  Went to Gading Resto & Bed.  There was a Mexican place I'd wanted to go to but it didn't open till 5pm, plus it was farther down the street, plus my toe and metatarsal.  Had ayam balado (chicken in chili sauce with steamed rice) and a large Prost.  Biggest serving of meat so far on this trip.  Wow.  That was a good amount of chicken.  Best meal so far.

Walked to the hotel 3:15-3:30pm.  To the pool.

I'm not really a big pool guy, and yet this photo had to be taken and published.  Sat on a beach chair after this.  White Barry and Linzi also did.  There's Ian under an umbrella having a beer.  I spent my time here on my phone and transcribing my travelogue.

To my room 5pm.  I remembered why I always have insomnia at the start of every tour so I manually solved that problem.

I can't connect to Sirius XM so I can't listen to Howard Stern.  Must be an oversight and not a political decision.

I noticed that hundreds of birds were congregating in the tree near the pool, and hundreds others were flying around jockeying for position.  I figured out that they were taking their seats for the call to prayer, because they know it starts at sunset, and they love to sing along.  This was adorable.  I love animals.

Birds in the tree.

Birds scoping out alternative viewing spots close to sunset.

Birds so excited for the call to prayer.  This is so cool.

At 6:20pm I went down to the lobby to see if the bike people were back and anyone wanted to go to dinner.  The gang came back at 6:37pm.  No big dinner plans.  Barry said some people were just staying in.  I ate more than usual at lunch so I'm good.

Tried to poop.  Failed.  4 days except for that nugget.

While shaving I popped a routine zit on my chin and evidently hit an artery.  Dripping blood.  Weird.

Showered.  Bed 9pm.  Wow.