Our time in Yogyakarta has come to an end and it’s time for us to move on to Malang. Unlike my last trip to Java, we are using public transport to move around the island so it’s off to the train station.
I expect chaos at the station but find order and calm. Mind you, this is Yogyakarta’s Executive Class station. We sprung the extra money for the comfortable train, rather than economy because we’re here for a good time and I rather pay $20 for a comfortable day than suffer away to save $10.
We board around 7:15am and take our relatively comfortable seats. It’s all very civilised really. There’s air conditioning, wait staff who bring a menu through the carriage so that we can order food or beverages throughout the journey. Security guards monitor tickets and passengers to ensure that we don’t have to worry about theft from strangers who have not bought a ticket. There’s even a power point to allow us to charge our devices throughout the 8 hour trip.
We settle in. Paul sleeps and I work. As I do, I keep half an eye on the scenery passing by the window. The farmlands and jungles are pretty out there. I am grateful to be able to work on a laptop on a train, rather than with a hoe in the fields out there. And I know that it’s but for the grace of God that I am not out there.
We arrive in Malang with only a half hour delay. That’s apparently not too bad for Java. The city is a jumble of old roofs, masses of scooters and bright signs. It’s definitely cooler here than Yogyakarta too, being about 400m higher above sea-level.
We check into our hotel and the fact that McDonald’s is right next door doesn’t escape either of us. I mention that I could go the simplicity of Maccas given the nausea that is still plaguing me (at least the trots are mostly gone). He has been thinking the same thing and so we throw our gear in the room and head back downstairs to eat double cheese burgers and fries.
We head out for a walk to the Alun Alun Malang. It’s fantastic. There’s a huge beautiful mosque across the road and people relaxing in the park.
We then head out to find a massage. There’s a place about 5 minutes walk from our hotel and it’s fantastic. We get a 60 minute leg and foot massage with foot cupping to finish for 50,000IDR ($AU5). The massage place is modern, clean and turns out to be highly recommended on Trip Advisor – so it’s not a dingy back alley place. We end our day by making a reservation for a two hour massage tomorrow night. Welcome to Malang.