Another Visit to Taman Safari

Let's go to Taman Safari, I sent the message to my little sister.

Again? We've never been to Istana Panda.


So, on one cloudy Saturday we made our trip. 

We stopped by a local stall right after we drove in the main street heading to Taman Safari. We bought fresh bananas for us to nibble and carrots for some animals. 

Safari Journey, Feeding and 
No Feeding Time

Luckily it didn't rain in the conservation site. We could see the elephants, the hippos, the deers, the zebras and the other inhabitants of the animal kingdom.

Some animals were excited to welcome us. What do you bring for us? Do you have fresh food? 

Yes, we have! Here you go. Guten Appetit!

Some were not interested. They were the mighty ones. And of course we didn't dare to greet them either. The official rule says it loud: don't open your car window. Don't stop. Don't get out of your car.

Istana Panda
The safari journey ended. We headed right away to Istana Panda which has been operating since November 2017.

To our surprise, visitors should park their cars and take a bus instead at the bus shelter. I didn't notice how long it was. The road was narrow and steep. It must be the reason of using bus, instead of car.

Taking panda bus is also certainly environment-friendly.  I think, a panda bus can take circa 60 persons at a time.

Finally we were there. The air was cool. The view was so beautiful. It is a buffer zone of the national park of Gunung Gede Pangrango.

Hu Chun and Cai Tao
Both "black mask-wearing bears" came from China in 2017. In 2027 they should be returned to their homeland.

Before seeing the giant pandas, visitors  gathered in a studio to watch a short documentary movie about giant pandas.

Then, we may meet the couple. Cai Tao, the male panda. Hu Chun, the female panda.

Is it Hu Chun?

Is it Cai Tao? 

Panda loves resting. It was exactly what Hu Chun and Cai Tao did. So it was disappointing not to see them playing around.

In contrary to Hu Chun and Cai Tao, we found the red pandas in Istana Panda playing around. According to KOMPAS they are called "fire fox". A red panda is a smaller panda weighed 10-15 kg that looks like a red hairy fox.

I will definitely come again to this panda castle.

The Days I Spent with You (2)

Dear Tony,

thinking back when we first met,
I was so snob. Me, a black man, would hire you, a white man, to be my chauffeur. Me, a black great pianist, would give my best performances on piano to highly respectful white people in the South.

You and me, we were as different as chalk and cheese. You were like a water cannon. You did whatever you liked, said whatever you wanted. The impacts didn't bother you.

At some points you were so annoying, but you were right when you said,

You now, my father used to say, whatever you do, do it 100%. When you work, work. When you laugh, laugh. When you eat, eat like it's your last meal.

You enjoyed your every single moment. 

Deep down inside you were a warm-hearted man. You stood by me in my worst moments of being alone and unequally treated.

You are a family man. Every single day, you wrote a love letter to your wife (with your to-me-so-unpoetic-diction). 

And when you found out that I lost contact with my brother because of a conflict, you came right away with your words,

the world's full of lonely people afraid to make the first move.

And you made me realized that somehow I had my own wall that separated me from my own people, by not singing the favourite songs of black people and not interacting with them.

Dear Tony,

thank you for taking a part in my tour journey, my life journey.

Your Shirley

*Retold from 2018-Green Book movie, the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at 91st Academy Awards

The Days I Spent with You (1)

Dear Shirley,

never ever I imagined that I would work for a black man. In my big family, we even called negros eggplants.

One morning two black janitors did some repair at my house. My wife served them water after they finished their job. Right after they left, I threw away the glasses they used in the dustbin.

Remember that story? I told you about it when you asked me if I had problems working with black people. Well, as long as I could earn much money, I didn't mind to work with them. Besides, all I needed to do was to drive and to make sure that you arrived on schedule. Even into the Deep South. piece of cake.

Then, we made our trips. You set many rules.

Don't smoke in the car, Tony. I can't breathe here in the back.

Eyes on the road! 

Let me have a quiet time! 

You even told me to drive back to the road where I threw away the empty basket of fried chicken I bought in Kentucky!

To tell you the truth, I underestimated your music skill until I saw your fingers dancing beautifully on the piano keyboard. Wow! Even your white audience gave you long standing applause at the end of your performances.

Being with you in the South made me realize how hard your life was. You were invited to play your beautiful music, but your hosts didn't allow you to use the toilet. You had to go back to your motel! You had to change your cloth in a janitor room and weren't allowed to dine together with other guests. Once you wanted to try on a suit in a store. But, the salesman didn't allow you to.

All because your skin color: black!

I wonder why you could stand those miseries. You managed to shake your white audience' hands, smiling at them. I couldn't get it until Oleg, your fellow musician, revealed your reason.

It take courage to change people's heart.

But, everyone has his limits, right? You thundered at a rainy night.

If I'm not black enough and if I'm not white enough, then tell me, Tony, what am I?

Shirley, I was a rasist and bad-tempered. But you changed me. You once told me,

you never win with violence. You only win when you maintain your dignity.

You helped me to see the inside, not the outside of others. I'm very grateful for the days I spent with you.

Your friend,

*Retold from 2018-Green Book movie, the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at 91st Academy Awards

Jejamuran, the Mushroom "Kitchen"

A visit to the so-called Jejamuran restaurant was on my family itienary in Yogya. Many people give positive comments about Jejamuran. So, we  decided to prove them.

'Jamur' means mushroom. Yup, this restaurant located on Pendowoharjo Niron, Sleman, offers a list of mushroom dishes, made of different kinds of mushroom.

At the entrance, we were asked about how many people were going to eat. Then, we received our table number, the menu and two order forms. One form was for ala carte dishes, the other was for set menu. 

A waiter took us inside to our table. It was in the main area. If you want a private dining room, I think, there are some avalaible. But you better ask the terms and conditions first.

Lunch Time!
It was heavy raining. We decided to order something hot and spicy ... tongseng jamur! Original tongseng is a beef stew or goat meat dish in curry-like soup combined with sweet soy sauce and tomato dices. In Jejamuran, the meat is replaced with  jamur merang 'straw mushroom'.

The second dish was sate jamur. Sate or satay is a dish of grilled skewered meat chunks served with nut sauce or sweet soy sauce. Again, in Jejamuran, the meat is replaced with jamur tiram 'oyster mushroom'.

The third dish was jamur crispy, crunchy mushroom. It's also made of jamur tiram.

We usually don't order any drinks than sugarfree tea. But that time, my kiddo couldn't resist the temptation by looking at the bright coloured picture of a drink. And ... one of its ingredients is mushroom too! It's called enokitake.

The dishes were delicious. The only thing we regretted was that we didn't try other dishes 😁😁 Well, we were already full.

The Man behind Jejamuran
Visitors can see some photos of the man behind Jejamuran on the walls of the exit alley. His name is Ratidjo. He has been growing mushrooms since 1968. All dishes served in Jejamuran comes from his mushroom farm. Jejamuran is his business with love and passion.

Miscellaneous Things
The atmosphere is quite nice. There are two fish ponds. The following is in the exit alley.

Right after that we find a small shop where people can buy mushroom crackers. And outside there is a corner with lovely display of mushroom plants that you can buy and grow at home.

Last but not least, the corner can be used as "photo booth". We took our picture. Here we go:

What? It suppose to be Jejamuran, not Jamuran 'moldy' 😂😂 We are awful travellers that we don't have a tongsis (tongkat narsis) ''selfie stick'. But nevermind. The thing is, we've been in Jejamuran. Mission is completed! (Nancy/pictures (c) Nancy)