On Glory and Failure

Every village has its idiot, and yesterday – that was me.

I traveled to the small Javanese Sultanate of Yogyakarta to spend a weekend away from Jakarta, after working on a new product there the week before. What was I expecting to find in a small Javanese Sultanate? No idea! A few people said it was beautiful and that I should go, so taking the advice of a few locals, I went.

After an 8 hour train ride through the mountains of interior Java, I arrived late my first night and chowed down on the local fried rice cooked street-side over a wood burning stove.

The next day, bright and early, I decided to rent a motorcycle. I’ve ridden before all over Nepal and Taiwan (multiple times! and I’ve been saved more than once!), so I figured, how hard could this be?

It was actually really easy going at first. The roads are in much better shape than Nepal (it’s a legitimate question, in Nepal, if you can count a slow moving river bed as a road…) and the drivers are much less aggressive than Taiwan. That is actually one of the strangest things about driving in Indonesia – the traffic is quite heavy, but there’s no aggression to it at all.

I rode about two hours out to Borobudur, a 9th century Buddhist temple, considered the largest in the world. I rode through roads cutting across rice fields and tropical forests. I rode as if the wind carried me, birds flying alongside me, farmers shouting “hello mister” to the odd feigner on a motorcycle in rural Java.

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