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Students in a long tail boat in Indonesia. Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Indonesia Semester.

An Excerpt from My Journal (With some light touch ups)

Friday 2.15.19 & Saturday 2.16.19

The sky is beautiful here. The clouds drift lazily and loose their waters wherever they go. The pink and dreamy pale blue of dusk is sweeter here than anywhere else. The city has a vibrancy in its color so unlike the standard urban bleached grays, browns, and muted tones that drift almost into invisibility. Here the trees interlaced between houses and offices along the alley streets glow. Buildings explode with a lively array of pinks, blues, greens, reds, and yellows. Graffiti dots the walls, faces and phrases and political campaign banners emblazoned on concrete and hanging from flag poles are passed by the ever-flowing rapids of every day traffic. The greasy smell of deep-fried tempe, rice, eggs, vegetables, beef and chicken and chili dance together with the acidic fumes of passings cars, motorcycles and smokers fill my lungs. The traffic lights and stop signs are gentle suggestions, pedestrians dart between the weaving bikes and trucks. The air is hot and thick, rain clouds come and go, gather and disperse.

The urban symphony rings loud and clear here, a beautiful testament to the places where humans converge and gather, settle and live, die and are born and dream. Each road, street, avenue, boulevard, back alley, walkway and stairwell hum, the lyrics sung by the mosque calls, engine roars and food stall conversations. Each breathe, each glance, is a reminder of how truly beautiful the world is – even in the jungles we create.

Yogyakarta – Jogja – reminds me of places I have seen in an old dream. A movie. A march through the Fez Medina and along the canals of Venice Beach and shop-streets of Santa Monica. Of all the human dramas and stories that go untold save only for those who have lived them.

I guess I’m a bit of a romantic, and a little unoriginal.