The Bittersweet of Yogyakarta: A Memoir

Lutfi Hanifah180410160040

Special Region of Yogyakarta, like its name, it also had a special story for me. First time I went to Yogyakarta, it was in 2015 when I had a high school trip with my friends. I was so excited at that time because other than it was my first time to Yogyakarta, it was also my first time to go on a trip with friends which meant no parents. Because it was my first time to go to Yogyakarta, so it kind of surprised me. I didn’t expect that Yogyakarta was that nice, start from the people even until the places that I visited with my friends. I fell in love with Yogyakarta from the first time I step my foot there, because I didn’t see much traffic not like what I usually saw in Bandung, not hearing so many car honks to us, so I thought my trip would be great.

We arrived in Yogyakarta around 5 am in the morning, where we took a bath and do the preparation in the public bathroom which also my first time to experience it. After that, we follow the trip schedule from our school until 7 pm when we finally done and went to the hotel. I thought the most interesting part was when we actually had our free time, just we, ourselves with no teachers. We started to make a planning where we could go at that time, what food should we eat, and where we could shop to buy souvenirs. So, we didn’t really waste the time, the first place that we visited was the northern city square where they held a festival named Sekaten Festival. We tried so many rides such as ferris wheel, round up, and carousel until we couldn’t count how much money we have spent for that place only. Until one of my friends Shafira, reminded us that we still had some places to go to, so we couldn’t spent all of our money on the festival.

After enjoyed so many rides in Sekaten Festival, we went to southern city square not that far from the first place. In southern city square, we saw the legendary banyan trees. They said if we could walk pass the trees, our wishes would be granted. Then because of that myth, we couldn’t skip it just like that. We tried it too with the blindfold which we could lend for Rp. 5.000,00 each person. It was quite expensive actually, but our curiosity got us much better than anything, so it didn’t really matter. My friends tried it one by one and most of them succeed in passing the banyan trees easily, so I got more curious. I tried it last and while I walked straightly passing the tress, I pray to god. I wish our happiness would last longer, and I wish we could enroll to our favorite universities. In southern city square, we could also lend a beautiful odong-odong because they put so many lights that made them pretty to go around the square. We had so much laugh while riding that thing because that was also our first time to drive it. We had a hard time to drive it at first, but then we managed to drive it smoothly thanks to my friends who worked really hard to pedal it. I was really happy because at that time we didn’t really think about anything other than just enjoying ourselves and have fun.

Without we realize it was already 10 pm when our stomach started to grumble, so we decided to go to Malioboro to shop and to buy some foods. We then ate in aAngkringan, a long carrying pole with hampers on either end. I ate nasi kucing for the first time, which was a small portion of rice with toppings such as sambal, fried fish, seasoned potato, and quail egg satay. It was so delicious with Javanese taste that was sweet but spicy at the same time even my friend, Nadila had to take another portion because she liked it so much. I thought I couldn’t really get this taste in Bandung, so this new taste was really overwhelming and matched really well with my tongue.

After we were full, we went to Malioboro Street where there were a lot of shop to buy souvenirs for people at home. Many people said that Malioboro is a must place to visit if you go to Yogyakarta, and I agreed with that. We finally spent almost all of our money here because we wanted to give the souvenirs for our family, our relations and also our other friends. We bought so many things start from batik until the famous bakpia pathok, we bought them in Malioboro. We also had a lot of discount because Malioboro was a place that you could bargain to get a cheaper price. After we stroll around Malioboro, we went to Malioboro mall that could be reached by only walking for some meters. Not much to see in the mall because it was like the average mall we could find in Bandung, but before we could continue our walk my friend, Nabila started to realize that she forgot her shopping bag and it was left behind. She start panicking because that shopping bag contained all of the souvenirs she bought before which cost a lot of money. We tried to calm her by saying that we would go and find it with her, so that we went back to every shop we visited before but in the end, we couldn’t find it anywhere.

She started crying after that, blaming us for not reminding her and not to take notice beforehand. Of course, that was ridiculous but I was trying to understand her because I knew she was upset and sad for losing that shopping bag. Until one of my friends, Elda couldn’t take it anymore and start to yell to Nabila because she didn’t stop crying and blaming us for what happened. The situation got darker and the tension between them got thick after that, when they were yelling and shouting to each other until some people looked at us. While I, Nadila, and Shafira tried to stop them, Nabila storm off of the place alone and left us. We knew from that, that it wasn’t going to be easy. Finally I, Nadila, and Shafira tried to talk to Elda about the situation and we tried to make her understand about it, and after so many long talks she understand it and willing to apologize to Nabila regarding her action. So we went back to the hotel and saw Nabila in the lobby cried alone. We came to her, calm her, and then apologize to her. She also admitted her mistakes and apologize for what she had done.

Indeed, just like its name Yogyakarta was very special. In just a day, Yogyakarta allowed me to experience their nice things about this city, allowed me to get closer to my friends through our experience in their amazing places, but also gave us another different story which we didn’t really expect in the unexpected place. But good or bad the stories about this city would remain special for me just like what Yogyakarta should be.

Photo by: Pradito Rida Pertana on tribun jogja (July, 13 2018)

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