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November 2003

 

High-Points


After the wedding on September 26th and a very busy October buying a very cute motor bike to use around Ubud, it was time for our long awaited Honeymoon.

I had been wanting to visit the Buddhist Monument of Borobudur in Java near Jogjakarta ever since my arrival in Bali in 2001.  Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this incredible place was built between 760 and 830 A.D.  The thinking is that this monument, unlike others, is meant to 'teach' about Buddhism.  It is covered with reliefs in a series of galleries that depict many events and scenes from everyday life in a manner which seems to intended to communicate with ordinary people rather that religious authorities.  The incredible detailed reliefs provide examples of architecture, boats, farming practices, clothing, jewelry, and dancing of the period.  The site is completely round and has several levels.  The idea was that teachers, probably monks, would lead devotees along the galleries, explaining the tenets of the faith and illustrating the lectures with carved panels.  The people would walk around the lower level first 4 times.  Each time they would 'read' the stories in the panels.  After reading the 4 stories on the lower level, they proceeded to the middle and read the 2 stories there and then up to the top level which provided a wonderful view of the surrounding country side and was meant to represent reaching heaven!

Here are several great web sites that have images and information about Borobudur:

http://borobudurpark.com/ Nicely done site with many images

http://www.bergerfoundation.ch/Borobudur/E/  Tons of images

http://www.emp.pdx.edu/htliono/borobudu.html the story of Borobudur

Our plan for a honeymoon included several MUSTS. 

  • We MUST stay at the hotel that is actually on the grounds of Borobudur

  • We MUST visit the American Consulate in Surabaya to see about Yanti's Visa to America

  • We MUST have time to visit with Yanti's family including many folks that I had not met yet

  • We MUST fly (Yanti's first time in an airplane!)

We were able to accomplish ALL our MUSTS!

It was actually a little difficult to do.  The problem was the airlines and what flights were available; the hotel and what was available; and an appointment at the US Consulate.  But finally, after many calls, we settle on the week before Eid al Fitr, which are the 3 days that are equivalent to the Christian Christmas celebration and conclude the Holy month of Ramadan.

First we flew to from Bali to Surabaya, about 1 hour from Bali, to both visit Yanti's family and see the US Consulate.  It was interesting to be given the 'deluxe' tour of Yanti's home town.  Everyone wanted to meet her new husband - the very large white guy!  Since my Indonesian is good enough to ask directions and other general questions but not good enough, yet, to carry on a good conversation, the talk was 'light'.  But Yanti acted as my interpreter through-out the visit and we all had a great time.  Her family loves to laugh as much as Yanti does and she loves to laugh as much as I do!  They took us up into the mountains for a swim and a view of a beautiful waterfall.  And several meals at local cafes - the food was great! 

We also had our interview with the consulate which was filled with Indonesians applying for Visas so they could work on cruise ships!  The consulate staff told us we could either obtain a non-immigrant Visa for Yanti which is the same as a 'tourist Visa', costs about US$180 and takes several days and was pretty easy to obtain once we had all the correct documents (her birth certificate; our marriage certificate; etc).  OR we could apply for the preferred Immigrant Visa.  This would give her the infamous 'Green Card'.  It would allow Yanti to live AND work in the US and come and go whenever she wished.  However, this Visa takes about 6 months to obtain and costs almost US$500.  We are still debating which to go for.  It will depend upon WHEN we think we will be coming to the States for a visit.  (More on that later).

So after 3 hectic days visiting and meeting, we took the 1 hour flight from Surabaya to Jogjakarta.  We had the hotel (Manohara Hotel) pick us up for the 50 minute drive from the airport to the monument.  The hotel is the only hotel that is actually ON the grounds of Borobudur so it was easy for us to walk the 300 yards to the monument early the next day to see the sunrise!  We were the only people on the monument that morning until after the sun had risen.  It was beautiful to see the country side from the top and then watch the fog covered land change slowly as the sun rose!  Check here for more images!

We relaxed for 3 days and 2 nights at the hotel (it was nice to NOT unpack and move to a new hotel each day like we had been doing!).  Then we had the hotel take us back to the airport for our flight back to Bali.

It was all very exciting for Yanti.  The 3 short flights gave her a real 'feel' for flying.  One was at night; one was in a thunder storm!; and one was a beautiful day time flight with lots for her to see from her window.

Coming up: Yanti & Bruce go to CHINA!


Don't forget to check out 

Ł       http://www.BaliBeadedPurses.com Now Yanti carries about 20 beautiful purses and several beaded necklaces and hair clips!

Ł       http://www.BaliTravel-Insider.com for all your Bali travel needs and questions!

 

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