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    Tropical Punch Tour: Java Part 10

    Sunday, June 20, 2010
    Solo, Java, Indonesia

    Some carved wood figures in the Kraton Museum in Solo, Java.

    A few traditional Javanese masks in the Kraton Museum in Solo, Java.

    Sculptures of gamelan in the Kraton Museum in Solo, Java.

    This town gave me a beatdown today. I spent two or three hours riding a bicycle around these chaotic streets looking for sunblock, as the little tube I bought last week was almost gone. I pedaled my ass off and back on again, up and down the avenues and around in circles trying to find a supermarket. Each local I asked told me to go in a different direction. With my shirt soaked in sweat, I walked into several different little maze-like malls, but all they sold was clothing and small electronic gadgets. One store had some fancypants Nivea suncreen and moisturizing lotion with SPF 50, but it cost $8.00 for a tiny five-ounce bottle.

    A rebab gading in the Kraton Museum in Solo, Java.

    A gamelan model in the Kraton Museum in Solo, Java.

    A very hammered display in the Kraton Museum in Solo, Java.

    I finally gave up and set out on a search for the Sasono Sewoko Museum, where there was supposed to be traditional Javanese dance practice from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The same exact thing happened, as each local I asked sent me packing off in a different direction. Maps are semi-useless in Indonesia, as many intersections don’t have street signs. I ended up at the Kraton Museum around 3:00 p.m. and decided to just go with the flow, which calmed me down. This joint is full of royal portraits, figurines and carriages, and a bunch of charming, dusty old displays of traditional Javanese art and music like Wayng Kulit, Wayang Golek, gamelan, masks and much more.

    An omelette served on homemade bread at Warung Baru in Solo, Java.

    Homemade garlic bread at Warung Baru in Solo, Java.

    I resumed the search for sunblock and finally found a small bottle of Nivea with SPF 20 for $4.50 at a supermarket. Then I took a much-needed nap in my room, followed by a delicious meal at Warung Baru, which consisted of an omelette served on homemade bread, and an order of homemade garlic bread. By the way, Warung Baru also runs a little hotel, and yesterday I got a much better room there with a nice bed and a private bathroom for only $5.00. This was by far the cleanest room I’ve stayed in on my whole trip.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    All words and photos ©2010 Arcane Candy.

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