Mornings are the best time to explore with milder temperatures and rain usually not coming until late afternoon. Joel and I would finish breakfast then meander the windy back roads of the neighborhood near the hotel. Homes tend to be vibrantly colored with small porches covered in plants and birdcages. Gates are also hugely popular with most being bright and elaborate. Every street is an unexpected surprise as you can also find a brand, spanking new mansion next to a tin roofed shack, but it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll always see at least one loose chicken running around.
We’ve also noticed an abundance of murals- they’re everywhere! I’ve wondered if business owners arrange to have their buildings painted or if there just aren’t graffiti laws because it seems like any spare surface is covered in art.
Another morning we checked out Pasar Satwa, which translates to animal market but we had heard it called the bird market. They do indeed have a variety of different animals, but birds are by far the biggest business. From what I’ve gathered, owning a bird is a status symbol of sorts and the best way to keep up with the Jones’ is to display your birds front and center on your porch. I’ve also heard there’s a belief that when someone places a curse on you, if you own a bird the curse will transfer to the bird and you’ll be protected.
Our transportation to and from Pasar Satwa, as well as pretty much everywhere in Jogja, was bejak. On a hot day (which is everyday) we prefer the motorbike bejaks over the pedal ones because you get a better breeze. All the drivers call the motorized ones helicopters. We’re still scratching our heads on that one.