Borobudur Sunrise

June 13, 2014

Everything I felt was of no importance compared to the grandness of this place.

Hope and the Hopeless

Darkness. The first thing I saw was darkness. My phone was blinking beside my pillow while playing Where Have You Gone by Carousel. I thought about snoozing it but I realized I had to force myself up because I had important things to do.

Budi arrived at the front gate just in time to take me to the temple. He’s one of the caretakers of the guest house where I’m staying. When I introduced myself to him last night, his face lit up. “Melody Ghina!” he exclaimed and I laughed and told him Adi had the same reaction.

It was still dark when we arrived at the Manohara Hotel and the sky showed signs of rain. We were given a torch and a sarong before we could enter the gates of Borobudur.

While I was asked to pay a hefty sum to enter, Budi said he did not need to pay to get inside. I asked why and he mentioned that he used to work there for many years.

Budi found us a great spot to see the sunrise. I thought things were going well until I felt a drop of water on my hand. Then there were a couple of drops. It started drizzling and my chance of seeing sunrise was gone.

Disappointed for the nth time, I took a walk around the top level of the temple hoping to calm my thoughts. An internal monologue began in my head and it told me that I shouldn’t keep expecting things to happen the way I want it. That I have no control. That I should just enjoy where I was–in a beautiful temple full of history. That everything I felt was of no importance compared to the grandness of this place.

So then I looked up and saw this. Even without the picture-perfect sunrise, I was absolutely happy.

Inside each stupa is a buddha facing outward. Some of the stupas were broken due to an earthquake that happened a few years back.

There is a story behind the carvings and statues of the temple but it was difficult to know where to start.

If you look closer, you will see their eerie expressions.

Borobudur Park is a huge place to walk around in so you could explore other things aside from the temple itself. My walk took me to an elephant camp. Closer inspection showed that they seemed to be chained to the ground.

One pulled on its chains using its snout. When it saw me, it stopped what it was doing, waved its snout in my direction, and moved closer to look at me.

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