Jogja was the highlight of the entire Java trip both for my daughter and me, but getting there was a nightmare. It was the Christmas weekend—not a problem in Muslim Indonesia, I thought. Wrong! Every train and bus was booked with students returning home. The only possible route out of Bogor, was a taxi to Bandung where we waited until the following day to catch a jam-packed train to Jogjakarta. After this grueling nine-hour journey, my daughter started counting the days before we’d be back home. “Twenty-one days to go,” she moaned as we wearily dumped our packs in our room. At least I scored one point landing in a hotel with a swimming pool.
Even though she wasn’t enjoying the congestion of Java, (the most densely populated island in the world), the stinky cloves cigarette smoke, the friendly people tweaking her cheeks saying how cute she was, she didn’t complain while we were site seeing.
It was a bonus travelling with her. Everyone was friendly, respectful and curious about a dark-haired child travelling with her mum. Because of her, I met so many Indonesians eager to talk with us.