With a map from the hotel we stayed, The Boyfriend and I rented a motorbike to tour the city. We had a few attractions on our mind. Among them were the Bird Market, Beringharjo Market and Jogjatronik Mall.
We were initially making our way to Bird Market. However, we pretty much got lost and the friendly locals informed us that it was better to visit the birds in the afternoon since it was hotter in the morning for the owners to let them out for display. So we changed our decision and headed to Jogjatronik Mall instead.
Jogjatronik Mall, like its name suggests, is a mall selling computers and electronics. So what the heck were we doing there? Because The Geeky Boyfriend was determined to check out every electronic mall in the places we visit. Just like my goal to visit at least one secondhand bookstore in every place I go. Duh. Leaving disappointingly, The Boyfriend concluded that purchasing power of the locals was lower since the stuff sold were mostly low-end. By that time, I was grumpy and exhausted for roaming around the streets on the motorbike under the hot sun. So we skipped Beringharjo Market and went to Malioboro Mall instead to chill in the comfort of air-conditioning and iced-drinks.
Next, we left for the Bird Market. First thing we noticed when we were in Yogyakarta was the sight of birds and cages everywhere we went, including where we stayed – Sosrowijayan. Being the animal- and bird-lover, The Boyfriend had been really enthusiastic to meet the birds, speak to them and find out how they were doing – whether they were lonely, cold, bored, warm or hungry. I kid you not. Anyway, the Bird Market has not only birds, but animals like dogs, cats etc. We also met a lot Westerners at the Bird Market. And as expected, we heard some of them awww-ing about the plight of these animals having to be put in the cage and on display for sale. Blablabla. They share the views that these animals should be either free in the streets or kept by loving owners. Bunch of naive people. These animals are kept in cage and attended by the farmers/ owners (they were bathed and fed) because they still have value. The day when they are free on the streets is the day no one cares about them, also the day where they could end up in a worse fate than being kept in a cage. They also have to understand that not everyone (including animals) is born equal. Some is meant to live an easy life and some simply don’t. Sadly, having to grow up in a developing country, I am not blessed with idealistic point pf views towards life.
After the Bird Market, we went back to hotel for a quick nap. At night, we rode our motorbike to the famous and happening Malioboro street where stalls and stores line up along the streets. Since we still had many days to go in Yogyakarta, we didn’t buy anything for ourselves yet although I had my eyes on many fancy hand-made items.
P/S: When we were on our motorbike, every time we stopped to ask for direction (and we did that MANY times throughout the entire day to get us to our destinations), the locals (be it the pump attendant, villagers, students, stall owners) never once walked away or turned us down. One of the young guys even jumped on his motorbike and brought us to the nearest petrol station when we ran out of fuel. We intended to tour the city again on a motorbike on Day 5 and 6, unfortunately The Boyfriend was sick so we never got to go with the plan. Otherwise, it was a perfect way to make the most of our stay here.