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Baby Moslem girl

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Batiks, batiks, so many batiks

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Prambanan Hindu Temple

YOGYAKARTA, JAVA     My goal in Yogya was to take a batik class from Dr. Hadjir.   I located him early in the day and learned the class ran from 12:30 - 5:00.   That allowed me several hours to roam (and sweat profusely).  I did buy one batik.  I wanted it as a pattern for my class.  My batik class was harder than I ever imagined.  Those tools didn't seem to work with my fingers.  Either the wax wouldn't run or it globbed, but here was progress by the end of the day. However, I spent most of my time on an abstract.  I made it clear that I didn't like doing abstracts.  He gave me cotton to design my own art work.

Normal students never tried anything so complicated, but Dr. Hadjir never told me that when I showed him my design.  Just before I finished, the artist whose work I copied passed by.  He said it took him five days to do one but he worked on ten at a time.  One batik was enough for me.  

Yogya, as the city is called, was a tourist trap.  I couldn't walk anywhere without being stopped.  There were two major groups of offenders -- bicycle taxi drivers and batik merchants.  For sanity purposes, I took to being deaf, walking on, or bluntly saying I had no interest in batiks.

PRAMBANAN HINDU TEMPLE       I visited the Prambanan Hindu temple complex, constructed in the mid-ninth century, on my own without a tour.  It reminded me of a mini-Angkor Wat.   What I enjoyed most was not the ruins but a group of Moslem school girls who wanted to be photographed with me.  Then, I photographed them.  Had I taken the tour, I would have gone to a batik and silver shop.  Instead, I took a tricycle ride to Candi (temple) Sewu, a Buddhist complex a stone's throw away.  Okay, a three kilometer throw.  Then, I went on to the Phaosan Temples.  These were finally free to enter but getting there past rice fields was the best part.

Copyright 1998 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.