Yogyakarta

 I am sitting in my hidden temple as the sun has made its big debut. All the lizards and chickens and people are awake and have been for some time. At 6 am, I am the late riser. The markets have already been plundered, the rice fields have been tended to, and your noodle breakfast is currently simmering in the pot.

If Yogyakarta is too hard to say, feel free to call it Jogja. That is the name that easily falls from the mouths of school kids and vendors who are eager to tell you about the city. Jogja is like a faulty transmission. The city races off at high speeds only to be slowed down to a halt to get some juice or see if the Martabak is fresh. The constant ebb and flow keeps everyone in the moment, lest the city zoom off again and there you are left wondering if this chicken is going to have you for breakfast or the other way around.

When you do come to a stop in Yogyakarta, make sure you look up. You are sure to be nestled in the middle of some monument or another. Mt. Merapi hangs back in the distance, his puffs of smoke reminding you of his presence. Pranbanan sits to the north, waiting for you to get lost in its many temples. And Boroudur is nestled an early scooter rides distance away to the south, waiting for your yawns and starry eyes. It is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, but Borobudur is also a little known time machine. All you have to do is walk around the entrance 3 times, enter from the east, and voila! it is the 8th century. 

Jogja isn't all about the ancient buildings human hands have made. Deep down in the depths there is a place with a surprisingly lack of raptors and long necks. Jomblang cave is a 60 meter repel down to a prehistoric forest and a misty view. A timeless river lives there, creating limestone pillars and carving out new caves to fill its droplets with. If Borobudur is Buddhism's biggest temple, Jomblang cave if Nature's biggest temple. You will feel the same amount of reverence, awe, and a desire to shave your head for fear the humidity might kill you.

You don't even have to leave the room of your hotel to experience Yogyakarta (though it is the  author's expressed intent that you do). The call to prayer from the local Mosque will seep through the woodwork and lull you into a rhythm you didn't know you had. Chilies will crawl onto your taste buds although you were quite sure you weren't eating anything. And the sweet smell of cloves and sweat will surround your persona and never let you forget where you are.

Like everything else in Yogyakarta, you should leave in a cloud of smoke. Cigarette and scooter clouds should follow you wherever you go, so that everyone is sitting in anticipation on what will be there when the smoke clears.