How Could I Not Love It Here?

DSCF0933DSCF0957Before I go into details on how I feel about Yogyakarta, the people and everything.. you ought to be introduced to Sosrowijayan and its Gang (alleys), the famous International Village where backpackers stay. One can find plenty of cheap losmen or homestay (mostly run by the family who stays there too) at their Gang 1&2 and other necessities like money changer, tour agencies. Not to mention, it is merely few minutes walk to the happening Malioboro streets where you can shop for batik and other handcrafts.
However, the tricky part comes when most homestays don’t accept booking. Instead, it is based on first comes first serves basis. Since we would be arriving late in the evening on Day 1, I was so worried of all the nice places being fully booked. I didn’t want to end up sleeping in a dirty and seedy room, so I at last chose a small decent hotel which accepted room deposits. The hotel doesn’t exactly have much character, neither is it the cheapest around. But I didn’t have to be wary of being greeted with surprises like bedbugs or musty smell when I checked in. So when I saw other backpackers go from one place to another searching for a place to crash in the dark, I was glad that I didn’t have to go through that.
By having a look at the pictures, you would have probably guessed why I loved the place. It certainly looked better than the pictures I Googled prior the trip. So when The Boyfriend was down with food poisoning for two days, I wasted no time, grabbed my camera and started exploring the Gang alone. Since it is named International Village and flocked with backpackers, you would have expected it to alter to cater to foreigners and subsequently lose its charm. Maybe. After all, the locals have changed their occupation and turned their house into a laundry shop/ tour agency/ cyber cafe/ homestay. But they are still living there performing their daily chores. They go to the surau to pray, they feed their kids, they gather together and chat, they have committee meeting exactly where you walk pass.
It did make me feel like an intruder at times, but they weren’t seemed to be bothered with your presence (I know I would hate it if strangers hanging around my house and poking nose at my business). I felt in awe to have the luxury to be part of their lives. When I was tired walking around, I sat down at the lovely terrace (definitely the biggest plus point of our hotel) and enjoyed my cup of coffee while people watching and reading. At those moments, corporate life seemed so far away.


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