A lot of chicken


While we had gotten up real early yesterday morning to go to Borobodur, today we took things a little easier: we had booked a horse cart ride in the countryside for the whole family. After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we were picked up by Ani, our guide, and she had with her a horse cart with driver.

We had just enough space in the cart for all of us plus bags for not being uncomfortable. I am not sure when was the last time I rode in a horse cart, but I think that’s quite a while ago. The cart took us through the streets of Yogyakarta and eventually turned into a more agricultural part of town. The first location we stopped at was a Krupuk factory. Krupuk are these prawn crackers which you get at Thai restaurants as a treat or as a side (spoiler alert: no prawn in there!).
The factory itself was as basic as it gets: one guy was working the a huge piece of dough, which is then made into specific Krupuk shapes by a machine that is operated by two blokes and looks like it comes from the 50’s. The Krupuk is then baked in an oven and afterwards further dried outside.

A view of the factory floor…

And the Krupuk drying outside. We tried them, naturally, and they were excellent – better than what you normally buy in a plastic bag, but here they were of course as fresh as it gets.

After the Krupuk factory Ani took us to the community farm of the village or: “the bank”. Putting money into cattle, poultry and other critters can be a very good investment here, hence the name.
It was a small farm and we saw cows, goats, sheep, horses and chicken galore. A lot of chicken. Nothing too exciting, frankly, but the pureness of the place was captivating and I was spending far too much time trying to get good photos from this place. Ani must have thought I’m seeing a cow for the first time in my life. Now, after having reviewed the photos, I gotta say my take was not great and in no reasonable proportion to the time I spent. I came out with a few okayish photos, most of them chicken, of course.

It’s telling that the best photo I took of a rooster and cattle was a few minutes after we had left the farm.

I snapped these two from the moving cart in the fraction of a second. It’s sharp as a tack and more importantly, I think this photo tells a story.

As we were driving through the countryside and the village, we passed by a number of people. I often did not dare to take a photo of them, because I did not want to intrude. In hindsight I curse myself for being so considerate, because there were some really nice motives flying by. But then again it is weird to snap a photo of someone enjoying the morning on their porch or doing their daily chores.

Nonetheless – and as you can see here -, I got a few photos of children who were very curious about us weird folk in the horse cart. The biggest hoopla happened when we passed by a group of kids riding their bikes. Once they saw my camera they were really keen to be on a picture…

Here a few photos to give an idea of how the countryside looked like…

Next up, Ani took us to a place where bricks are manufactured. There was not much protection from the sun, so Lamia stayed with Oskar who was napping at that time and Tess and I left to learn about brick making.
There was one guy who worked under the scorching sun, churning out brick after brick. I like this photo of him…

What you need for those bricks is a lot of dirt, water and a mold to make bricks. Then some sun to dry the fruit of your labors and you can stack them into nice walls. Oh, and you need to be okay to get your hands dirty…

Now, not that I do not want to get my hands dirty, but with my camera gear in hand most of the time, I did not want to take a risk (not again). Tess, of course, was less worried about that…

Once done, we walked back to the horse cart, passing chili plants…

… and finding a wide awake, happy Oskar.

The last station of the trip was a place where Tempeh is made. Tempeh is some soy product from Indonesia. It does not look like much and that’s how it tastes, too. What was interesting, however, was the place where it is made and the friendliness and hospitality of the women we met. The family was preparing for a celebration that night (in fact Eid al-Adha, the “fest of the sacrifice”, one of the big celebrations for Muslims worldwide).

This is how the kitchen looks like (this is to the right of the photo above).

After this visit we had a little break on the porch of the house where we tried variations of Tempeh. I liked this photogenic basket with chills…

This was also the end of the tour, but before we were taken back to our hotel I made sure that we got a nice photo of all of us in the horse cart. Ani kindly took the photo and it took her a few attempts until I was happy…

But this one is for the family album for sure…

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