Last weekend me and my friend Cindy went to Solo and our mission was – to find a vintage or antique item in Triwindu Market. So on Saturday morning we were at an already bustling Tugu Station and our train was the Prambanan Express for only Rp. 6000. It was full of people and hot but we didn’t want to take a train with the AC because we would just miss the essence of traveling. We wanted to experience things as it is.
It’s always so much hotter in Solo and the sun’s rays were just sharp on our skin. But no matter, we were up for a great meal. So we hopped on a becak (it’s a cycle rickshaw) to eat at a Soto stall. Soto is a simple soupy Indonesian cuisine which consists of broth, meat and vegetables. There’s a lot of variations authentic to many regions in the country and this dish doesn’t grow old. Now the way we eat Soto is usually accompanied with (of course) rice but here, the way to enjoy this comfort food is to mix the rice together with the broth. Now I was confused by the strangeness of it but nowadays, I don’t ever want to eat Soto any other way.
After we’ve stuffed our stomachs, we took the becak again to Triwindu where we dove in straight to the search. The mood for leather has been lingering for a while so I went around to search for some kind of leather bag. I just realized then that besides exploring the market, having an idea of what you want will make everything easier. So, after you’ve acquired want you want, you’ll feel more free and relaxed to find other knick-knacks. It’s always such a joy to go back there and I feel even the more luckier that the market is just an hour train ride away. While searching, a lady showed me a beautiful brown leather satchel that I knew I had to have for myself. The brown was just so rich and it would be perfect to accompany me in campus.
Okay, I’ve mentioned this before but it’s all about bargaining and I’m not the most brave person at that but I’m still learning. Come up with a specific budget for your item, then state a lower price than your budget. If your offer is rejected, don’t walk away (but you could do so as the seller will be intrigued and possibly be calling you back to them – or even literally chase you like one lady did to Cindy), meet in the middle by settling on a price that’s lower than what the seller proposes but fits comfortably to your budget. All you shoppers out there are probably experts at bargaining but there’s nothing wrong with sharing right? 😉
Finally, I managed to get the bag for a relatively good price and Cindy bagged a framed artwork after a successful bargain. Afterwards, I took her to a cafe next to the market called Tiga Tjeret. It’s pretty much like a cafe version of an Angkringan (if you don’t know what it is, you can find one of my posts all about it!). It’s a semi-outdoor cafe with two stories, adorned with wooden furnishings and some vintage posters and ads on the walls which I’m sure they got from next door. Cindy and I are huge fans of tempe mendoan fans so we ordered that and some cold beverages to cool us down. So, Tempe or Tempeh is a soy bean cake and Mendoan is a way of cooking it where the tempe is smothered with flour and then fried until you have a crunchy crust and yet a tender inside. You can savor this awesome source of protein with either sweet soy sauce or straight out chilli like I did here.
We just talked and laughed, then we ended the day in the near evening feeling happy with our purchases and went back to Jogja with another Prameks train. We enjoyed the train ride home and entertained by laughs and chatters of a group of young boys sitting across us who were apparently on the way for a soccer match in Jogja the next day. Ah, I wished we could just travel some more the next day but college assignments were waiting for us. But no fret, Cindy is officially my travel buddy and I know that this trip is just the start out of many adventures in the future. So definitely, definitely stay tuned for that.