We felt pretty sorry for ourselves when we had to leave Jakarta in the middle of the film festival last week, but it was the only time we could both get away, and language school seemed more important. So it felt like validation when we stumbled onto a documentary film fest inYogya after our classes on Friday.
Left: Larry Weinstein tries to wrap it all up
We saw most of Beethoven's Hair and all of Mozartballs, and director Larry Weinstein was even on hand to take questions. One audience member asked, "I didn't really understand the movie. What was it about?" That seemed to leave him at a bit of a loss.
We went back the next day to catch some movies at a cafe, and struck up a conversation with a bunch of students. They turned out to be members of a group blog called Cah Andong, named after a traditional horse cart used in Yogyakarta. The blog is about "exploring the exoticism of Yogya," and part of its mission is to help draw visitors back to the city after the earthquake of late May.
After watching a bunch of docs, we went to a nearby EsTeler 77 and got some noodles and of course es teler, a syrupy concoction of ice, coconut milk, jackfruit and avocado. Everybody talked in a mixture of English and Indonesian about Yogya, movies, TV, and the relative merits of various Indonesian sci-fi soap operas.
Alma tackles a plate of dumplings
They were an impressive bunch. I sat across from Alma, who's studying engineering. Next to her was Alex, who majors in Informatics, a discipline so new that Indiana University recently established an entire department just to figure out what the heck Informatics means. But they were cool and didn't try to explain any math to us, which would have been hopeless in any language. We parted with promises to keep up with each other's blogs and try to get together again.