Sunday, April 23, 2006

Last Stop in Kaliurang: The Japanese Caves

So we were heading back to Jogja in the car when Julia pointed to a sign that said "Japanese caves -->". Having just finished Neal Stephenson's fabulous Cryptonomicon, in which a great deal of the story hinges on Japanese caves buried in dense Philippines jungle, I couldn't resist. We were all a bit tired out after our morning hike, and needing to get home, but a quick stop seemed the thing to do.

The attendant assured us the caves were just a kilometre over that way, and yes, the walk was easy and sandals were fine... besides tickets were only a nickel apiece. Who could say no? We chuckled at the sign below, posted at the entrance to the park:

This sign is a joke. OK, it isn't really a joke... but yes it is, really a joke. It says "no litter here", and maybe but I don't remember for sure, MAYBE there really wasn't any litter right there. In it's larger context, however, it means "no litter in this area" which probably meant in the park area. I still haven't found a way to understand how such a huge percentage of a population can make such a dumping ground of their entire living space -- work and office areas, outdoor areas, gardens, driveways, streets... nothing is spared... That's why the walk in the jungle below and observing the "buffalo soldiers" and "sand haulers" working in their pristine habitat is so interesting... it's just the city and townfolk who befoul their space...why?

Anyway -- on with the the little cave excursion...


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