During my week in Jogja I was lucky enough to be accompanied by two students from the University Islamic Institute. The other intern students including myself referred to them as our ‘buddies’. They were there to accompany us during travel, help us with the language, and to show us parts of their city and culture most tourists probably wouldn’t get to see. During this week, I got to know each of my buddies as we became friends, and not just friendly faces touring us around.
Apart from the initial interrogating questions about each other’s uni life, family, and hobbies, we spent an entire week hanging out and getting to know one another. I was lucky enough to have two buddies, Yoga and Danti. We visited two temples (Borobudur and Prambanan), sang karaoke one night, went paint-balling, ate plenty of local food together, went shopping on Malioboro St., took a jeep tour up Mt. Merapi (an active volcano), and spent our final night together in a beautiful, village style accommodation where we exchanged gifts and said our final good-byes. My favorite memory of all, was riding on the back of Yoga’s motor bike one night on our way to dinner. It was my first time riding a bike on the hectic streets of Indonesia. The streets are so different than anything I’ve seen in both Australia and America. The roads are more narrow, and there are hundreds of motor bikes weaving in and out traffic. It was quite exhilarating and I quickly got over the fear of being hit or ran into by a car or ‘taski’ driver. After eating dinner with some of the other students and buddies, we walked down to a local street fair where we rented a buggy car (push-pedal). We crammed six people into a four-seater bike as the boys pedaled around the block. It was a great night, full of laughter and new memories. I loved it and couldn’t be more thankful for having buddies so willing to make sure I enjoyed every part of my stay.
Spending a week in Jogja before heading off to my internship in Jakarta was something I’ll never forget. I had the opportunity to not only make new friends, but the chance to study bahasa (language of) Indonesia and travel to some historical landmarks. It’s hard to find words to describe our buddies, as they all had such warm and open hearts. I have never met a group of people so polite and caring, and where our happiness brings them smiles and joy. I hope to meet them again someday along our travels and to keep their friendships cherished.
Lauren Howe 🙂