Borobudur Temple: the Third

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Big party last night was over. Successfully delivered the party as the MC role with my two work-colleagues. After midnight, I felt asleep in Sahid Jaya Hotel & Convention room. In the morning, I just realized that since last night I embraced two awards as a result of my work in the company for a previous year. Even though, I didn’t really win it, I became one of five Best Leader nominees in my company. The award was closely hugged by me along with a symbolically of five gram gold as a door prize which I got last night.

This morning, committee allowed Year End Party participants to enjoy hotel facilities until noon. Because of that, I took time to go to swimming pool, relax my muscles along with several other participants who had been descending into water since morning.

I also enjoyed my breakfast at hotel restaurant for a long time, the most comfortable moment after yesterday’s rushed breakfast. Even more relaxed, I still had time to enjoy my hot coffee on the porch of room with the best view.

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After closing and praying together session in ballroom, all participants flocked to leave the hotel, boarding their respective buses according to the manifest. I sat on my seat. Still on Kanaya Bus number 2 as before since leaving Jakarta. Buses pushed north, the harmonious acceleration of throttle, brakes and clutch shown by the driver made almost all passengers fall asleep. Accelerated by the impact of post-lunch drowsiness before event closing session.

Meanwhile, I prefer to be busy surfing using the world’s leading search engines. Looking for all literatures which can explain a little about the masterpiece of Samaratungga. A masterpiece which was composed by a series of stories starting from Karmawibhangga as a consequences explanation of good and bad deeds, then Lalitawistara which tells the story of the Buddha’s birth, continues to Jataka/Awadana which explains the story of the Buddha before becoming the consecrated as Prince Siddharta and closes with Gandawyuha which explains Mahayana Buddha.

I continued to trace the stories behind the splendor of this ninth century architecture. The Buddhist version of a classic cosmology depiction which involving three realms, namely Kamadhatu (world realm), Rupadhatu (transitional realm) and Arupadhatu (the highest realm of Buddhists).

One o’clock in the afternoon, my bus entered parking area, I immediately jumped, rushed to ticket booth, spent group’s ration money to enter this historic building.

Quite a long queue because of so many visitors, I got a ticket ten minutes after entering the queue. Now I step towards the gate and enjoy the beauty of this historical building from a distance.

Not the first, this was already the third….I have always admired Borobudur….The pride of my country.
The largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Founded by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.
With 2.672 reliefs.
Beautiful view.
72 stupas.
Abhaya mudra stupa.

That afternoon visitation was like a bonus, I was met by a tour guide who was explaining each side of Borobudur to ten foreign tourists. Like reading a novel, I followed the storyline about this temple starting from base level to the top of temple….

Because of my own busyness, for three hours I separated from the group. Like that myself, always troublesome the group by traveling at will….Bad habbit on me.

At exactly four in the afternoon, my smart phone rang, announcing that visiting time was over. It was time to gather back at parking lot because tour group would leave Borobudur soon….

Two Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace’s Plataran

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Who doesn’t know about the greatness of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace. This two and a half century old palace was still the largest kingdom in Java until today. Founded by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I as the embodiment of Giyanti Agreement on 1755.

Simultaneously with the stepping down of the sun from the highest peak, I began to leave Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Market), together with my group along Taman Street to east. Apparently the tour guide intended to entering my group to Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace from south side.

Dokar/Andong right at the junction of Polowijan Street, Taman Street and Magangan Kulon Street.

Changing steps on Jalan Magangan Kulon, I finally entered the palace through Plataran Kemagangan (Kemagangan Courtyard). In this Plataran, there was only a Bangsal which looked clean and well-maintained, namely:

Bangsal Magangan

Bangsal Magangan in south of palace complex.
Bale Raos is a palace restaurant. Near of Bangsal Magangan.

I noticed a uniqueness around this Bangsal where people who passing through this area had to get off their motorcycle and pushed it. The absence of vehicle engine noise made the situation around Bangsal was quiet, cool and serene.

In the past, Bangsal Magangan functioned as a training ground for abdi dalem (courtiers). But now, this place was used for wayang kulit performances and several other activities. Including functioning as a kitchen to carry out a big celebration, for example Ngapem. Ngapem itself was a procession of making apem cakes which was carried out at the moment of the coronation or anniversary of king ascension at Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace.

Its existence was also very strategic to make this area accessible for tourists from south side of palace complex because it was quite close to Taman Sari and Pasar Ngasem.

After enjoying the silence of Bangsal Magangan, I continued to north and started to entering Plataran Kedhaton (Kedhaton Courtyard). Kedhaton is the main platform which has the highest hierarchical level because it is the center of palace complex. Some of the parts which I got on this plataran were:

Bangsal Manis

This building was used as an official royal banquet venue. European-style formal banquets were also commonly performed by the Sultan in this place. Now this place was used to clean the royal heirlooms during Suro month.

Bangsal Manis

In some parts of Bangsal, there was an interior decoration in the form of a dragon snake. “Dragon snakes are a typical animal from China, this shows that at that time Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace had cultural influences from China“, said a female tour guide who accompanied my group.

Bangsal Kencana

Bangsal Kencana.

Right next to Bangsal Manis is the embodiment of Bangsal Kencana. Raised on three floor steps, this Bangsal was a building used to hold important palace ceremonies. If Bangsal Manis relied on a combination of green and cream in its interior carvings, then Bangsal Kencana exhibited a combination of green and pink color.

Gedhong Patehan (Patehan Building)

Gedhong Patehan.

Gedhong Patehan was located adjacent to Gedhong Danartapura. This building was used by abdi dalem in making tea for the king. Non-alcoholic drinks for the king were also prepared in this building. If the king was entertaining guests from Europe who drank alcohol, another room called Gedhong Sarangbaya would be used.

Gedhong Danartapura which was used as the palace treasurer office.

If the Sultan wasn’t present or was on duty outside the city, the serving of tea was still done every day, i.e on six in the morning and eleven in the afternoon“, a tour guide said.

Gedhong Patehan wasn’t open to public, therefore I couldn’t visit this building inside. Five female courtiers would serve the tea. Gedhong Patehan was led by KRT Danukusumo, grandson of Hamengkubuwono VIII.

Unfortunately, this building wasn’t open to the public. Visitors could only catch a glimpse of activities in this building through an open door at the back of the building.

Gedhong Kaca

Gedhong Kaca.

The last part which I visited was a building with glass walls. This building was called Gedhong Kaca and was designated as Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX Museum.

Gedhong Kaca was the longest part which I visited. In the main hall, there was President Soekarno’s statement when he handed over the safety of Yogyakarta to Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX as the King of Yogyakarta and Yogyakarta was part of the Republic of Indonesia.

And in the mandate of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX coronation the sentence was also spoken:

Although I have received a true western education, but first I am and remain Javanese“.

I didn’t have enough time to visit the palace in its entirety. Hopefully one day I could come back to this place to do a deeper exploration.

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Pasar Ngasem: Agrotechnologist from Switzerland

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My imagination of past stretch around Pulo Kenanga has ended. My thinking wass wild enough to imagine the beauty of lake stretch which juts out to the north. The lake in the past looked deep when you look at its bottom which had become a stretch of residential architecture down there. I didn’t know why the lake dried up during its time, so that the bottom stretch of lake was used by people of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate as a new economic center, namely Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Market).

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s go down to Pasar Ngasem. The market is more than two centuries old. We will learn the economic history of Sultanate there! ”, our tour guide started to lead the group down Pulo Kenanga. I immediately finished my last glance on each side of Pulo Kenanga. I moved down at the tail of tour group.

My steps headed north, not far, only around two hundred meters and in five minutes I arrived at Pasar Ngasem. Inside the market, the committee had provided a lunch menu in the form of boxed rice which were neatly arranged on a clean and roofed market hallway so as to reduce heat of the sun which was already at its peak.

Pasar Ngasem inside.

When the participants were busy picking up their boxed rice, I was still engrossed in walking around Pasar Ngasem Plaza which functions as a performance area. In the form of a semicircular concrete platform with a short podium surrounding it.

I watched a foreigner sitting on the podium and enjoying the situation. I purposely approached him to talking:

Me: “Hi, sir. Where are you come from?

He: “Hi… Hello. Switzerland

Me: “I’m Donny from Jakarta. How about Taman Sari. Is that good?

He: “Hi. I’m Armend. Yeaaa..It’s great. It just need a little touch more to make it more classic. Tapi disini panas juga (but it’s hot in here too)“.

Me: “Hahahah…. You can speak Bahasa Indonesia. This is a surprise

He: “Yes, Donny. Surely. I had worked in Cianjur for a year. I little learns

Me: “Yeaa, it’s certainly cooler there. Dibidang apa Anda bekerja? (What field do you work in?)

He: “Agrotechnology“.

Me: “Wow… Cool. Sendirian ke Jogja? (are you going alone to Jogja?

He: “I have a family… .That”, he pointed to his father, mother and younger sister on a side of market who were busy walking around.

The two of us ended up having a conversation that was so exciting until a voice from the end of plaza called me “Donny, let’s have lunch soon, we will leave the market“, shouted a group member reminding me. Finally I said goodbye to Armend and immediately joined the group to enjoy lunch.

Pasar Ngasem gate.

That afternoon there was very little selling activity in the market. Most of the items sold were daily necessities. Even though I know that this was the biggest bird market in Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate. But now the bird trader have been relocated to Pasar Satwa dan Tanaman Hias Yogyakarta (PASTY).

Now this market had played a key role in assisting the existence of Taman Sari cultural heritage. Half of Pasar Ngasem area had been transformed into an area of ​​arts and cultural performances and part of it was still used for traditional trade.

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Boating in Pulo Kenanga

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A secret architectural show at Sumur Gumuling was over….

Come on, ladies and gentlemen, we are leaving for the island!“, our tour guide clearly uttered nonsense words. Where was there island on dry land like this? “Where is the sea?“, I still denied full of wonder.

Walking out through stairs at the end of Sumur Gumuling tunnels, I positioned myself at the back end of group, also pushed my self to surface. Arriving at ground level, the guide casually walked to east while focusing on answering several questions from group members who were very enthusiastic about learning the history of Yogyakarta Sultanate. While I myself was plagued by a busy, it wasn’t important to catch some iconic corners with my mirrorless camera lens.

In the past, the land where we were standing on was the bottom of a lake, ladies and gentlemen“, the guide started throwing a clue which made me play with my imagination. “If I’m currently at the bottom of lake, it means that the island is the higher part of where I stand, and the high part must be very easy to see from here“, it turned out I was still as smart as ever …

I rotate my view on 360 degrees, made a quick looking. “That’s it!”, my observation was fixed on a tall building with thick walls in the style of colonial architecture. And the building was right in the direction which I walked.

In the past, kings and their families often boating above us while enjoying beautiful colors of fishes which swim in a clear lake“, the guide explained again. For me, it was common for kings to have worldly pleasures like that, I didn’t really respond to it. I just thought, how could this place combine to special architecture spots at that time, starting from a bath of royal family, a underground mosque and now an artificial island on the highest part of Taman Sari contour.

There it is!“, the guide pointed his finger at a building which I had guessed through imagination. “Pulo Cemeti“, he smiled to all members of group which he was carrying. “Let’s go up!“, He led the group up stair to entering that sturdy old building. When most of  group members were running happily upstairs, I was still in the lower courtyard and looking at Pulo Cemeti, imagining its original form and royal family activities in it in ancient times.

I arrived right at its building door when the entire group was still busy with selfies. Now I look down, imagining the height of water surface and the activity of boating in the middle of lake and followed by colorful fishes along paddling of boat.

Because many Kenanga flowers were planted around this building, public also often refers to this site as Pulo Kenanga. Oh yes, this building is more than a quarter century old, you know ”, the guide enriched information for tour group.

For then, I sat in a giant wind window and still admired the splendor of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I’s work. These thick walls were of course the influence of great architectural culture of Dutch colonial era, which made this site able to survive today.

Also known as Gedhong Kenanga. Because this building area appears to be floating on water during its heyday, it’s often referred to as the water castle”, the guide explained for the last time. The Yogyakarta Sultanate indeed left monumental works like this one. If its site management were made exclusive, surely all parts of Taman Sari would be a matter of pride for Yogyakarta Sultanate.

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Sumur Gumuling, Secret Mosque of Yogyakarta Sultanate

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Our tour guide waited for a moment for Year End Party participants to enjoy king’s bathing pool, empress and their sons and daughters in the past. For a few minutes I imagined some possibilities of what the story would look like in this place on more than two centuries ago, definitely classics looked like colossal cinemas from old kingdoms. For a moment I thoughtfully enjoyed that imagination.

My focus was destroyed by tour guide’s call to continue journey into another part of Taman Sari. “We will see mosque, ladies and gentlemen!“, He said. I just followed with an ordinary feeling. I could only imagine an appearance of Great Mosque of Surakarta Palace, which I visited three months ago. “Oh, this mosque appearance will like that“, I closed my own guess.

For a moment I was in a large and neatly arranged courtyard with a visitor circular path which follow area shape. A magnificent ornate gate proudly stood at one side of this area, large and old trees covered participants from hot weather of Yogyakarta.

Gedhong Gapura Hageng (Gapura Agung), Taman Sari’s main gate.
A small gate to the mosque.

Meanwhile, on opposite side of it, there was a small gate with a door which leading visitors to underground. Ten minutes later, tour guide called group and they began to follow him into gate.

I was at back of them and began to descend stairs to follow the underground tunnel. “What kind of mosque is in underground?“, I kept curiously wondering.

This mosque isn’t what you imagine, it is just a tunnel for worship. Because this mosque was hidden from Dutch colonialm. In ancient times, Dutch colonialism prohibited kingdom members from performing worship“, tour guide explained, which made me directly understood.

To tunnels.
To tunnels.

It was only camouflage of a function as mosque. A brilliant idea from Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the first Sultan of Yogyakarta”, I started to admire this architecture in my mind. The tunnel could be passed without having to walk down your head, designed in such a way which it was sufficient for adults to pass through. During regular intervals, lamps were installed which would certainly helpful when the day turns dark. Tunnel walls were also shown original stone texture without paint, adding to its classic atmosphere.

I continued to explore along tunnel to find the end of this unique architectural masterpiece. I was even more amazed, the tunnel led to an arrangement of four staircases which were additional part of tunnels and also fifth staircase which was protruded from second floor tunnel to form a stage. “This stage was a pulpit for khateeb (Islam preacher) to give sermon, and palace’s family members would pray and sit listening to the sermon from the tunnel“, tour guide stood on pulpit while pointing his finger in several tunnels.

Tunnel as a mosque.
Other side of tunnel.
A pulpit.

Sermon sound would be heard until the end of tunnels because it used tunnel walls to echo the voice of khateeb” he continued.

Wow, I really praised the smart strategy of Sultan to be able to worship in the midst of colonial government’s prohibition. If Dutch colonial had inspected this place, of course, they would never have known if these tunnels actually functioned as a mosque of Yogyakarta Sultanate which was very secretive. They must have only suspected that this tunnels only served as an access between sides in Taman Sari area.

This mosque was nicknamed as SUMUR GUMULING.

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Throwing a flower in Taman Sari

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My eyes were widened when a noise of people group could be heard when they crossed a corridor in front of my room …. Ah, I felt asleep again after Subh prayer a few hours ago. With quick reflexes I jumped into bathroom and washed myself as fast as lightning. After getting dressed, I grabbed my camera and put it in a folding bag. I jogged out of the room to Sahid Jaya Hotel & Convention restaurant.

Arriving at the restaurant, some of event’s participants had cleared their tables and carried their bags to go to bus.

“Hi, Donny. You seem too late to be joining breakfast. You must have slept too well last night, ”Todd greeted me who was in a hurry to put rice and several other side dishes onto plate. Todd was an expats from Australia in my company. He was one of my best friend.

“Oh, yes Todd. Not as bad as I think. I still have 15 minutes to eat my breakfast, ”I replied without seeing Todd’s face at all.

I joined with some friends who were still halfway through their breakfast. Without more talking, I immediately cleared a breakfast menu whicht I took. Just drinking a glass of mineral water, I rushed to a chartered bus no.2 which was ready to leave.

Sahid Jaya Hotel & Convention restaurant.

In the morning, second day in Yogyakarta, Year End Party participants would visit Taman Sari in several small groups, each consisting of approximately fifteen participants and one tour guide will be prepared at tourist destination later.

A few minutes later, bus was moving slowly leaving that four-star hotel. Situation in bus was very lively, but I just silently sat while watching Yogyakarta’ streets which started to get busy. Bus slowly crept along Majapahit Street, heading to Patehan area, which was about ten kilometers away.

Not long after, twenty-five minutes later, bus slowly entered a multi-storey parking lot. After getting off the bus, I realized that bus hadn’t actually arrived at its destination. Bus turned out to have to stop at Ngabean Tourism Parking in Notoprajan area, because roads were narrow and bus couldn’t enter to Taman Sari tourist spot.

Ngabean Tourism Parking.
In Notoprajan area.

Committee directed participants per group to ride a small tourist vehicle, i.e Daihatsu Luxio, to Taman Sari. I entered one of them and began to crossing narrow road. Seven minutes later, I arrived at Taman Sari parking lot after rode the car for about two kilometers.

A male guide approached us and introduced himself. After getting to know each other witth all members of group,he started slowly walking while giving an explanation about Taman Sari history. Situation was so crowded, so I couldn’t concentrate on listening to guide’s explanation.

Taman Sari’s gate.
Old building in Taman Sari.
Pasiraman Umbul Binangun, the empress’ bathing pool

Taman Sari also was known as Water Palace, because it was often used for bathing the empress and king’s daughter, let me show you the bathing pool“, I heard bits his explanation because I preferred to take some photos of several unique building and must get out from group.

Now I arrived at bathing pool. From many stories which told by a guide, I only heard a important point, of course it was my own version. “Previously the king would stand on top of that multi-storey building while watching concubines who bathing. When the time came, the king would throw a flower at a concubine who attracts his heart, then in the evening the king would get love from the concubine who he has chosen ”. Damn, I only remembered this thing.

Oh No….

Next Story—->

Routine Event: Kanaya Bus Jakarta-Yogyakarta

Shubuh prayer which wasn’t focus, because itwas in a hurry to catch up the departure of chartered fleet, i.e Kanaya Tourism Bus. I had to arrive at my office where located in West Jakarta at half past six in the morning. Then, I rode on a motorbike through the morning streets of capital city which started from my residence in East Jakarta.

Now I have bent my body through the cold wind of street after a few minutes ago, grabbing my 45L backpack which I had prepared from last night. The quite streets made me arrive at office yard in just forty minutes.

Immediately reporting to event committee, I got a box of savory rice with egg  and mineral water for breakfast. Other employees began to arrive, took their food and then joked with others while enjoying it. While I prefered to immerse myself in second floor work desk to complete all equipments which I thought still lack.

Time seemed to flow fast, requiring me to followed committee whistle as a sign that praying together would begin and all employees would be dispatched to Yogyakarta. I hurriedly grabbed my drink bottle and drank it while quickly walking downstairs, standing in a prayer circle and after that I immediately headed for bus number 2 according to procedure which was sent by committee via email a day ago.

Finding my seat for the next ten hours.

After a committee member made attendance, then exactly according to schedule, bus quickly drove to outer ring highway and joy enveloped the atmosphere of the start of trip. I myself just sat on right side seat in enjoying the dawn show at eastern end of the city. I kept enjoying its beauty until the dawn completely disappeared leaving the morning.

Dawn in the city.

It was the first day of third week of December, something I thought really happened …. Traffic jam. Bus which was stuck in traffic began to creep slowly on Cikampek toll road, making situation changed to boring. Some of participants now prefer to close their eyes according to their sleeping habits, cover their faces with blankets, wear black glasses, put on headsets or lean their heads on their friend shoulders, or quite a few who sleep with looked up….open mouths.

Meanwhile, I, who couldn’t fall asleep, prefered to open a novel from a famous writer which I have prepared since yesterday. I read it until bus was able to escape from traffic jams on West Karawang toll road. The bus kept on going and was now entering a new section toll road… Cipali.

In smoothly flow road, a committee seemed to get up from his seat, ready to enliven the situation with a little game and I didn’t know why he pointed at me who was immersed in novel author’s drama. He asked me to come forward and play a word-guessing game with three clues which had to be thrown at other participants without a sound.

I nicely started the game, and in seveeral minutes, all passengers became involved in it. The game was flowing and I returned to my seat and continued reading.

Bus began to entering the end of toll road and exit at Palimanan toll gate, deciding to take in right direction towards southern route of Java Island. Meanwhile, a little game on bus had turned into a boredom-busting amateur karaoke stage.

When lunch time arrived,bus decided to stop at Candisari Restaurant in Kebumen area. I hurriedly got off the bus, quickly took my ablution water to perform Dzuhr and Ashr prayer in a time and then mingled with other participants enjoying buffet lunch.

Saving time on the trip, bus then continued its journey, still passing road congestion which were crowded by vehicles. It crossed Purworejo area, Kulonprogo area and arrived at its destination just before sunset.

I rushed to hotel’s receptionist and immediately entered the room to taking a bath and stretch my muscles to prepare myself to rehearsel for main agenda tomorrow night, because I would be the center of attention by becoming one of the designated three MC.

There was nothing wrong with enjoying for a moment the luxury of Sahid Jaya Hotel & Convention before other agendas woulld come so tightly.

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Citilink QG 125 from Solo (SOC) to Jakarta (HLP): Back into Capital City’s Routines

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Citilink QG 125 flight path (Source: https://flightaware.com/).

It was already past one o’clock when I finished in paying for lunch menu, however, I was blown away by the taste of Nasi Gudeg Komplit and Durian Juice at Javenir restaurant where I stopped by. Lunch session finally ended my adventure in Solo

Two and a half hours before the flight….

Leaving the restaurant, I waited for an online taxi in front yard when Javenir was full of visitors, several cars were queuing up to entering parking area. Five minutes in waiting, I saw a black Toyota Avanza on a road side while turn its hazard lamps on, noticed the vehicle’s license plate, I waved at the driver who looked confused. Knowing my whereabouts, he turned high beam on as a sign he understood.

Airport, Sir!“, I sat next to him while confirming destination.

Ok, Sir….Oh, sorry, I was hesitant for taking Sir Donny. Usually, people who leave Javenir are carrying souvenirs. Sir Donny doesn’t seem to be carrying anything ”, he started to open a conversation.

Oh, I just went there to do a survey for my office’s event, Sir. There isn’t intention for buying souvenirs“.

No wonder. Where is Sir Donny going back? ”, he understood that I intended to leave Solo.

Jakarta, Sir“.

The conversation intently continued for next twenty minutes until taxi arrived at airport’s drop-off zone.

There wasn’t much time left….

After cashly paying taxi, I immediately rushed. Showing my e-ticket and ID card to aviation security, completing an initial screening process, I managed to enter departure hall. My gaze swept over the rows of check-in counters in search of an LCD with a Citilink QG 125 displaying in it. I found it in a corner of row and without hesitation I started queuing.

A few minutes later, I easily got my boarding pass. This time, I won’t enjoy the beauty of flight because I have to sit in column B seat…. Yups, that was the middle column. Leaving check-in counter, initially I smoothly went through second screening process. However, an aviation security officer asked me to take out all electronic devices in my backpack, put it on a tray which they had prepared. I myself am not worry, because I didn’t feel that I have done anything wrong and of course this was still in my own country. I just feel amazed by safety standard of domestic flights at Adi Soemarmo International Airport.

As expected, screening process went straightforward without any problems. I walked towards boarding gate to wait for the plane to arrived.

Half an hour from boarding time….

I took time to do Dzuhur and Asr Prayers in a time at prayer room and spent remaining time fot consolidating with Marketing Conference’s Head of Event Division in Jakarta. I conveyed some important notes regarding my survey results and added Javenir possibility for being a strong candidate for destination.

By sending report via email prior to check-out from Amaris Hotel Sriwedari this afternoon, it means that my survey trip and report were simultaneously completed….Wow, It was good, this free trip has done, the report was also finished….Yuhuuu.

To my surprise, coordination by telephone took so long untul boarding call had interrupted it. I ended the conversation and immediately headed for boarding gate. After checking my boarding pass and ID card, I rushed through aerobridge following other passengers who had previously entered the cabin.

That was Citilink QG 125 using Airbus A320.
To aerobridge.

Boarding was over a while after I sat on seat 21B. Aircraft began to move and cabin crew began to busy in demonstrating flight safety procedures. After being in a perfect position at the end of runaway, plane really took off and left the beauty of Solo City.

Not wanting to be busy reading Linkers, Citilink’s inflight magazine because I had read it during Jakarta-Solo flight a day before yesterday, I chose to sleep and wait until the plane arrived in Jakarta for about 50 minutes later.

The twin-jet Airbus flied 500 km with a cruising altitude of 26,000 feet and a speed of more than 800 km/h. Without turbulence, I fell asleep and felt comfortable in riding Citilink QG 125. For some reason, my heart feels safety when using Citilink’s services. Is it because a suggestion that Citilink is a subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia Airways, the best airline in this country?….Ah, I don’t know….

“Flight attendants, please prepare for landing!”….

The announcement from flight captain made me wake up and prepared for landing at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.

Landing at the capital’s second airport is the most enjoyable thing, because we would go down using manual stairs and felt a sensation when under the giant feet of iron bird. It was rare to be able to get a special moment like that.

Smoothly landing @ Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.

Welcome to Jakarta….

Time to get back into capital’s busy work routine with no end.

Alternative for flight tickets from Solo to Jakarta can be searched on 12Go or the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Stoping by at Abon Mesran Mistopawiro Shop and Closing at Javenir

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Two slices of Serabi Notosuman were enough for me to enjoy this Solo’s typical culinary. After picking up a dozen others at cashier counter as souvenirs, I immediately left the shop for another souvenir shop, i.e Abon Mesran Mistopawiro Shop.

An online taxi drove me to that souvenir shop in five minutes. Now I was in Jayengan area to review shop feasibility for Marketing Conference participants to stop by.

As soon as the online taxi stopped at shop parking area, I immediately entered shop and glanced around to observing merchandise completeness on display. Then I concluded that the shop was worth visiting as a place to hunt for souvenirs. It didn’t take long to visit it, just ten minutes. This was because Rahadian, my friend in doing a survey, would back to Bandung soon.

Abon Mesran Mistopawiro Shop.

After visiting Abon Mesran Mistopawiro Shop, Rahadian said goodbye and headed straight to Balapan Station. Meanwhile, I prefered to head to hotel to spendind remaining two hours of my staying time. Rahadian already took an online motorcycle taxi and left, so I ordered an online taxi to Amaris Hotel Sriwedari.

After arriving at hotel room, I spent two hours for compiling a survey report which I started from the day before yesterday and ended this morning. The report was targeted to reach Marketing Conference’s Event Division today as material for decision making regarding which destinations to visiting. I was so serious about preparing a report, but the phone rang. “It must be a receptionist call as a reminder that the staying time is over,” I inwardly groaned. But whatever it was, I had to leave immediately before being charged an additional cost.

But where was I going? Remembering that my return flight to Jakarta was still in afternoon. I had to think to make use of my remaining time. My hand moved quickly to touch my smartphone screen and started for surfing to find something.

Yes, I know where to go“, my heart cheerfully cried out .

I left the room, walked down the floor in the lift and handed the key to reception desk. I ordered a taxi online and drove to where I intended. The taxi quickly moved out of Solo City’s gate, seven kilometers away. And in 20 minutes I arrived.

Yes …. Javenir“, my heart said.

Javenir courtyard.

Javenir, a well-known souvenir center on western edge of the city which was a favorite for travelers in looking for souvenirs, even some tourist buses which were full of local tourists seemed to go back and forth in this place. I entered selling room and toured every corner. There wasn’t doubt about souvenir completeness in this store, from batik clothes, handicrafts and snacks. I decided to add this place as a list of preferred destinations for Marketing Conference later. I left the shop with a pack of coffee beans and rushed to its back building which was functioned as a restaurant. I decided to have lunch with a group of local tourists there.

Parking area.
Restaurant.
Restaurant inside.
The menu.

This lunch was the closing of my survey adventure in Solo, this free journey has reached the end of the story. Because after lunch, I had to immediately go to Adi Soemarmo International Airport to return to Jakarta.

Savory and Soft Serabi Notosuman

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Enjoying local culinary delights is always an interesting thing for travelers. This type of culinary is a special attraction because it reflects culinary treasures of region in question. This time I would taste one more typical Solo culinary after I’ve tasted five of them.

That morning, I decided to leave Alun-Alun Kidul (South Square of Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace) early because the sun had shone on that open area. After taking shelter for a while under Waringin Kurung Sakembaran*1, I immediately ordered an online taxi service to Jayengan area.

Shortly after executing the order, a black Toyota Avanza came to pick me up. Taxi driver was very easy to recognize me after I had given my characteristics in detail starting from the color of my clothes, bag and shoes which I was wearing. I opened the front left door and buried myself in the seat.

Serabi*2 Notosuman, Sir!”, I confirmed the destination.

“Ok, Sir”.

The online taxi drove to east, tracing morning streets of Solo City. It was a national holiday, Islamic New Year, and streets were deserted. I arrived in ten minutes and entered parking area. The first glance was a large green nameboard with words “Serabi Notosuman”, this was the famous Solo City snack. I should try it or at least bought it as a souvenir.

Parking area.
Production area.

In a corner, six production employees were busy working on making serabi. Those employees deftly handled more than a hundred mini serabi pans, carried large basin of dough from the kitchen, greased each pan with oil using a round brush, poured the dough with a distinctive hand shake to form a thin layer over the puddle of dough, then covering the pan for three minutes to produce a cooked serabi. Hot serabi were started to be lifted one by one using a small taper and then were cooled on top of tampah*3, then were wrapped in banana leaves to be ready to sell to buyers. Indeed, the serabi which sold in this outlet were fresh serabi because they were directly taken from the stove.

I entered the inner room, it turned out that this outlet didn’t only provide serabi. But it also provided some other traditional culinaries such as intip, jenang, lanting, jipang*4 and others.

Selling room.

Serabi Notosuman itself was almost a century old, had a distinctive and savory taste of coconut milk. That morning, I chose to order two kinds of serabi, plain serabi and chocolate ones at a price of IDR. 2,000 per piece to bring as a souvenir.

Located on Mohammad Yamin Street, this outlet operated from 06:00 to 17:00. This culinary based on rice flour and coconut milk had two outlets with different owners, namely Serabi Notosuman Ny. Handayani, which was characterized by its orange color packaging and Serabi Notosuman Ny. Lidia with green color packaging.

So, take your time to stop by at Serabi Notosuman when traveling to Solo.

Note:

Waringin Kurung Sakembaran*1: The twin banyan tree is full of magic in the middle of royal’ south square

Serabi*2, one of the most common snacks in the market when visiting Java

tampah*3 is tray which is made from woven bamboo

intip, jenang, lanting, jipang*4 are typical Javanese snacks

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