If you think that visiting a city should be done in a conventional way, by following a tour to see places such as monument, museum, or palace only, well I tell you a good news, you can do more than. That’s what I did when I visit Jogjakarta. I took a cool excursion to visit the country side by cycling. The activity not only seeing the scenery in country side, but also to have a closer look of daily local people’s life, or doing thing you never did before, as for me, planting a baby rice and making my own Tempe, our famous soya food in Indonesia.
The tour started since 8 am. Lucky for us, it wasn’t raining that day. I don’t really like the feel to pedal my bike on the muddy roads. The tour was not so big, it’s only the 6 person with 2 guides that one will lead us in the front row, while the other one, will wait for us patiently on our behind, to make sure we weren’t lost in the track.
First stop was the crackers own made factory. It was so surprise me that making a crackers is not so easy and crunchy as we take a bite of it, hahaha. Because it is a local business, so mostly they still do it manually, for example, there is 3 people wait under a machine which run by a feet of man (yeah, a feet – while he can fanning himself from the heat, his legs keep moving to rotating the machine). The machine will drop some flours of the basic ingredients for the crackers, while the doughs falling down, the workers will place it to a mold. When I saw them were doing it, it looks so easy and simple, but when I tried by myself, it’s so difficult, I can’t make a beautiful flower shape as they did, poor me. But it was so fun. The tour guide also explained to us how the process to make crackers. After they mold it, they need to dry it in certain heat, after it dried, they will fried it and voilaaa… the crackers will be ready for eat and it will be enlarged from its original form.
Next stop is to the rice field. Here, we will learn how to plant the baby rices. Be ready to let your feet muddy. The fun thing by doing this tour because you can learn the daily life of local people, you can feel how to be a part of them and you can do what they usually do. Anyway, we met with some ladies that allow us to follow them doing the plantantions. After take a look for a while how they do it, we try to copy what they do and it was also fun. Now I know why the rice plants look so grow orderly straight, because they use a bamboo as the measurement, they also put a mark in every inches of the bamboo, so we just follow that mark to put our baby rices. I wish my baby rices will grow nicely soon, hehehee..
After wash our hands in a small runnel, we were continue to our trip to the cattle business. At this time, we get more knowledge that cattle for local people is a valuable treasures. They put their effort to raise the cows diligently, for one cow, it can be pricey around 7-8 million rupiah (USD 700-800). It also depends on the weight, age and kind of cattle, whether they a breeding cow, the milky cow or the meaty cow. Maybe for them, having a cow is such as having money on the bank, cows are their investment for the future.
We were heading to a local rice milling to see how they separate the grains from their skin. It was a very hot day, and actually a good temperature for drying the grains. So fun to see how they swept the grains and make sure it gets the same temperature and dry well. Also what so fun to see how the put the rough grains to the machine and watching it comes out already become a clean rice, you can cook it now to get your own hot white rices, hahaha.
The tour not yet finished, the next stop is to see and learn a bit how to make your own bricks. We were just interuppting a man who is busy making bricks. From him we know, it costs around 500.000 rupiah for 1000 bricks. Oh NO, I can’t imagine if I should work under the sun and make thousand of bricks to get the money, but it’s the way he lives, and he enjoy it. I also get an excitement when followed him to make my own bricks and the coolest part of it, I can put my name on it. Oh by the way, while make a brick, you should make sure it meets the mold evenly. Because if it’s not, the air on the mold will make the brick not strong and easy to break.
Last but not least, we spend another time in the best spot from all. Tempe home made factory! Yeayyy… I love Tempe a lot, as how Indonesians usually love it for their daily meals. Tempe is a food made by soybean. Mostly people only know Tofu, but Tempe is more containing lots of Vitamin since the soybean is used for making Tempe first before use it to make Tofu. Tempe is so delicious, especially when you eat it still hot and put some chilly on it, yummmy! A little bit sad, for such a weathly country in nabati resources such as Indonesia, we still need to import the soybean from United States, that’s a new thing for me. Anyway, usually they put a bit of yeast to some amount of the soybean, the measurement of how much yeast you use should be depended on how the temperature, if it’s a hot day, don’t put so much, vice versa. Then you place some of yeast soybean in a leave and pack it in a small package, then just leave it for one night until some fungus combine the beans, on tomorrow morning you can fry the Tempe and eat it. It was a big plus for us, because the owner ladies just made some local snacks and they fried some for us. Yummy!!
We finished our trip at 12 pm. Time to lunch and our belly already hungry. 4 hours riding the bike can consume your whole energies. By lenght of the distance, we already rode our bike for 16 kilometers. Hurray for us, because we had such an athletic muscle, hahaa. The scenery along our ways was so beautiful, it was a bright day and a pleasant day. Maybe you need to do it when you are visiting a city, then you will feel your trip won’t be same as before. The advantage of holiday is, you can do things you never done before.