Sunday, January 12, 2014


It was an early wake up call, the morning we went to the Borobodur temple. But it was the main reason we flew into Yogyakarta on Java Island, so we took the darkness in stride. Seeing the sun rise over the temple would be worth every minute we lost out on sleep, we reasoned. And it... was. Slightly. After we could point it out in the valley below, about 10 miles from the mountain we stood upon. It wasn't necessarily what we had envisioned, but the sunrise was spectacular either way.

We were permitted three hours to explore Borobodur once reaching the temple gates, said our driver. He led us towards the ticketing office and let us free once swaths of fabric were wrapped around our waists to elongate our dresses.

In most situations, Esther and I explore locations together. But my trigger happy camera finger kept me lagging behind, trying to capture a shot of each (504) Buddha statue, as she bound her way up the multitude of stairs to the top platform. And there, we lost track of each other in the maze of 72 Buddha enshrined stupas.

I wandered around, snapping one photo after another in search of her before making my way over to an edge of the temple that was relatively void of people, overlooking lush green mountains to absorb a moment of peace. And I achieved that. I was in the midst of a completely zen moment when a local woman on the other side of the stupa I was standing near and I made eye contact.

Her eyes lit up, and she ran around the stupa with her two young children, pushing them in front of me at the same instant she held up her camera. I shrugged my shoulders and smiled, offering the OK. Her daughter verbally sighed, and I thought I caught the roll of her eyes.

But it was then, in the midst of what should have been a 10 second photo-op, that I became the object of a 10 minute photo shoot.

A group of young teenage girls walking past us squealed in delight, attracting an onslaught of locals that came rushing in their direction, cameras in hand. It was my turn to verbally sigh, while smiling to the lot of them.

It was in that moment of chaos, atop a place of tranquility, that I spotted Esther above me, taking photos of Indonesians, taking photos of me.

1 comment:

Patti said...

Amazing, amazing place! Loved that Esther was taking photos of the photo shoot.