Dawn of a new civilisationSeptember 29, 2016

I was expecting a cultural experience in Java after I heard my mate's insightful remarks on Yogyakarta. My parents were rather surprised about it after I considered writing a paper on the evolution of Batman's costumes through the decades. I wasn't pulling a leg, as my professor gave me (and my coursemates) the option to think of an essay title (aside from his short list). My folks might have thought of me as a superficial teenager who wanted nothing more than a day at Bondi Beach, so they seemed pleased when I told them about my plan to see the temples in Indonesia. This was a new experience. And my housemates and I have been planning this trip for months.

There were a handful of tourists at the Prambanan temples, and the morning sun seemed too high. Was it 8 AM? I couldn't recall the exact time, as I met another (University) student. She studied in Malaga and Lyon. She wanted to spend her gap year in the Far East. She asked me about the stone houses in Rosemary Island. She happened to be the third person who asked me the same question since my arrival in Jogja. I was taken aback the first time I heard the question. I struggled to come up with an answer the second time around. The third time made me wondered why I haven't travelled to Western Australia.

Oz would turn out to be a huge country after my first trip to the Outback. The arid land seemed to touch the distance, and I thought that there wouldn't be other lands on the planet. (The land area of Australia was relatively smaller compared to Canada's.) This wasn't my impression, as I grew up in Gold Coast. The sea had no bounds.

Back to the question, I would admit my ignorance. I wasn't interested, as I figured out that I would see the other parts of Oz. Besides, I wanted to be on my own. I don't want to end up as one of those young ones who were in suspended adulthood. Blame it on the economy. Lack of confidence would be the other reason. I was one of those lucky ones, but there was no excuse for being an ignorant tourist.

The great discovery

My mates and I cut our visit short after we saw the dark clouds in the distance. Our quarter turned dark and soggy in a couple of hours. I was hooked to my iPad, as I was curious to know more about this great discovery. Aside from the stone houses, scientists discovered remains that would tell something about the early history of Oz. Could it be the site of a first civilization? I wouldn't go too far, as this would mean rewriting the history books. Then again, the location of the continents was much different back then. It was possible that Australia was attached to the African continent. (And there was no need for a land mass. The event may have taken place during the Ice Age.) But there was much to learn about the Outback. It would go back to the dawn of time.

I also made another great discovery in this part of the world. Java might have been a melting pot of different cultures centuries ago. The biggest Buddhist temple is located here. Prambanan Park is the site of Hindu temples, which looked like fat obelisks. And there was a Mesoamerican pyramid in the remote community of Sukuh. I would suspect that the history would be more significant than Khmer's, which my new mate confirmed the following day. We were studying the Ratu Boko, where the elaborate gate was what remained of this once-mighty fortress. It would cast a shadow over the grassy slope before sunset. There was a volcano in the distance, which became prominent during this time of the day. Ideas swirled in my head, as the panorama became more surreal. I was wondering about a great race of men. I was also thinking of Bromo. My mates were hoping to travel there the day after tomorrow. I was starting to think the same way.

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