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Yogyakarta Day 1: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Malioboro wares

The sidewalk along Malioboro Street. The cars take the center lanes, which are separated from the outer lanes where becak drivers and horse carriages wait for customers. Then at the edge are open air stalls, as you see to the right here, then the main covered sidewalk, then higher cost businesses in the main buildings. For example, Batik Keris is an upscale batik clothing retail store.

On my first afternoon in Yogyakarta, Indonesia I had just finished purchasing some authentic batik art at an artists’ workshop and exhibition just off Malioboro Street. The pieces were removed from their frames and carefully folded. My most important purchases done, I walked back to Malioboro Street and north.

Malioboro Street, or Jalan Malioboro as it is named in Bahasa Indonesia, is something like a long open-air bazaar or shopping mall catering mostly to tourists that runs north of the Kraton, or the old administrative center of the city. Everyone goes here in the evenings, so its a place to see, to shop, to buy, and to be seen.

Malioboro Street has several layers, with becak drivers (pedicabs) and horse carriages waiting for customers, then open-air stalls selling clothing, wood carvings, and everything else you can think of. Then there was the sidewalk, crowded with tourists, and finally the stores inside the buildings themselves.

Malioboro carriage

The horse carriages of Yogyakarta are quite famous, as at the becak drivers (pedicabs). This shows the layout of Malioboro Street: cars and motorized traffic in the middle, horse carriages and becaks in the outer lanes, then open air shops, a sidewalk, and fancier stalls in the buildings. This can be considered as one of the longest open air markets in the world.

I wanted to get some things that would remind me of Yogyakarta but would be for particular people. Mostly I looked at what was available and getting a feel for the prices, so that I could come back later in the evening to buy. I did buy a wooden bicycle that reminded me of the bike I drove for two years in Taiwan as a missionary, except if was lacking the big yellow sign. I’ll have to add that later. It even had the Asian style kick stand that is far superior to American kick stands and the luggage rack at the back. Only the handlebars were different.

I also bought an inexpensive but colorful dress for my wife, but it wound up being too small on top (I really am incompetent at buying women’s clothing and probably shouldn’t try, but I can’t pass up this opportunity).

Batik printed skirts

Colorful skirts in printed batik patterns. Many shops sold dresses like these, or T-shirts, or wooden carvings, or leather work (I bought a new wallet for me), or wood work (I bought a wooden bicycle similar to one I rode in Taiwan as a missionary 36 years ago).

Overall I don’t much like to shop, but here was a cultural opportunity to visit one of the longest open-air markets in the world, get to mingle with other tourists and see the colorful shops and carriages, and get some shopping done as well. I planned on returning to Malioboro Street once I had found some supper.

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