I spent Christmas wandering some forgotten streets of Yogyakarta with a few fellow American expats. After checking out the Taman Sari Water Castle, a popular tourist destination near the heart of town, we found ourselves lost in some nearby side streets, untouched by the commercialized pomp and circumstance that had infiltrated much of the rest of the city.
Along one of these streets, amid graffiti art and stacked clay roof tiles, a lady leaning gently against a door frame smiled sweetly as I walked by. When I asked if I could took take her photo — Boleh photo? — she sheepishly giggled, perhaps a little embarrassed, before pulling out a comb to straighten her already tidy hair. I waited as she finished, resettled herself against the door frame, and smiled back at me again.
Further down the same stone-brick path, a little girl paid me little mind as I observed her habitually sweeping up some leaves. Her back against a blue wall close in color to her Angry Birds outfit, the girl glanced at me before looking up the road to her reassuring mother and continuing her idle sweeping.
Dustin Volz in Yogyakarta, Central Java