Central Java consists of the towns of Solo and Yogyakarta (Jogja), the cultural capital of
Every person in Jogja is a Batik pimp. In most cities in developing
And every tour guide in
Jogja, being the cultural capital, also has a lot of young people playing guitars and singing as they beg for money at traffic lights or on board mini-buses. And most of the commuters oblige, seemingly happy to listen to some senti-rock for two seconds in between the excessive heat, noise, pollution and mad rush.
One day, as me and my guide are forced to wait in sheds several times to escape the rain, local people ask my guide about all my details: where I come from, my race, my job, my hotel, my marital status, my occupation and my religion. They take my free-thinking nature with a brief pause of contempt; but it’s probably a sea-change from Suharto days of 1965 when a million of godless leftists were slaughtered to adhere to Panchshila morality. Indeed, my guide tells me that most Indonesians are Muslims or Christians only by identity card.
I meet a university graduate, now a taxi driver, whose real passion is his side business of making copies of books. He takes great pride in hunting down books banned in
There are the children of
P.S.: More on the sights of Jogja and