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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: October 2015



By four o'clock the midday heat has begun to mellow. Along kampung alleyways the raucous commotion of city life gives way to the occasional sounds of playing children, splashing water, cooing pigeons. Domestic life emanates crisply out of thin walls and open windows. Some people are freshening up with a mandi or cooking in their kitchens; others are watching television or quietly strumming guitars by their doorsteps. The sun, by now sunk behind buildings, has given way to the calm, mild air of early dusk. Islamic calls to prayer and a church choir echo faintly across the neighbourhood; a train whistle signals the next wave of newcomers and returnees from Jakarta.

In the evening, the tranquillity of our leafy open-plan homestay is punctuated only by the fleeting rustle and murmur of a guest, family member or friend. Only 50 metres away, thousands of people are re-converging onto Malioboro Street. The food stallholders have set up along the street; customers sit on straw mats under temporary awnings to eat and chat and listen to the passing busking groups. For a time a political campaign and then a rock concert dominate the soundscape. By midnight, social life has gravitated into smaller pockets, one being the Prada eatery. Individuals and groups pull in to the roadside eatery from nightclubs and elsewhere, eat a meal or drink tea, many then staying on to chat and sing along with the Astro Band and others until the five o'clock closing time.

By this time the sky is beginning to brighten, goods transporters are up and about, and soon breakfast stallholders have set up across the street, catering to truck drivers, students, government employees. By ten o'clock all the stalls and shops along Malioboro Street are open for business, and the road, slip-lanes and footpaths are again crammed with workers, commuters and strollers.

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Musical Worlds of Yogyakarta
  • Online ISBN: 9789814414463
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