[this post will contain lots of numbers to show how truly interminable the ride was. ]
So where were we? Oh yeah, Day 2 of our Borobudur trip. After a totally great brekkie of everything bad (fried eggs, fried rice, buttery croissants, fried sausage, keropok) we staggered back to our room 0830ish, ostensibly to take a shower and pack for whatever trip we decided to take, but instead to fall face down on the bed and sleep till 1100. Woke up hungry again but decided to eat only when we were safely in Jogja. After checking out and laughing at the Rp200,000 price of a van taking us to Jogja (it was only Rp85,000 the previous day), we walked for about 15 minutes to Borobudur’s bus station, all the way having to say no to becas and horse carts desperate to have us as passengers. I was very tempted to just throw my backpack on the horsecart and be clipped-clopped to the terminal but I looked at the sweet horses and it didn’t seem right to inflict two fatties and their backpacks on them.
Arrived at the bus terminal sweating like a pig and found we were again the only tourists there. Duly bought tickets to Jogja’s Giwangan bus terminal which cost Rp10,000 (by this point we had decided that we weren’t gonna stay in Jogja for a night and head straight for Bandung. As the executive trains bound for Bandung only left Jogja after 2100, we decided to take the bus instead.) but took 2 hours. It rained and the bus windows had to be closed. Not-so-pleasant smells started wafting pretty fast, not just people smells mind you but a whole range of livestock as well. The old ibu sitting next to me was very chatty and insisted on me quoting the Malaysian prices of the gazillion things she mentioned and was very happy each time Indonesian prices were lower.
Ibu: Kalau makan?
me: Lebih kurang RM3 or Rp8400.
Ibu: Hah!!!! Sini murah!! *cackles and nudges me*
It was ok the first 10 minutes but I get carsick easily and as the bus veered madly around slower vehicles and suicidal livestock, I just wished the woman would stop bleating about prices and making me do seriously difficult calculations in my head. Then, then we stopped at a Pasar Burung and people got off and new people boarded with all sorts of avian purchases. It was this point in time when all the headlines regarding bird flu in Indonesia came back with a vengeance and I tried desperately not to make eye contact with a rooster who was making a bid for freedom.
2 long hours after boarding the bus, we were dumped unceremoniously (‘mas! sini! turun sini!’) at Giwangan. Touts of every size and bus company descended on us. It took awhile but we finally found a bus that was leaving for Bandung in an hour. What the agent didn’t tell us and lied through her teeth about was Cileunyi (our stop) was in the middle of nowhere, wasn’t that close to Bandung and didn’t have the millions of taxis she promised would be there. More of that later.
By this time (1415) we were desperately hungry so we went down to the mass of food stalls to have lunch. Very nice nasi goreng though the cook thought MC was a Javanese native travelling with his Korean (but Indonesian-speaking) girlfriend. Humph. I will never hear the end of this. We boarded the bus at 1445 and had to suffer the indignity of the conductor telling us very loudly we were ripped off. We had bought the tickets for Rp80,000. Apparently it would have cost Rp70,000 if we bought it from the conductor himself. The whole bus had a merry laugh at our Rp10, 000 extra bus ticket. Thank you, we aim to please.
Man I’m pooped. To be continued.