Driving up from Yogya to Magelang via Muntilan always brings back my childhood memory.. sat at the back of my dad’s maroon Opel Capitan, listening to some keroncong music and chatter between mom and dad which I seldom comprehended or too random to follow. This time, it was a journey of reflection and contemplation to celebrate another interesting 12 months of my life.
Like a déjà vu it happened to me last Friday. The music was the same.. Kroncong Moritzko, Saputangan, Bengawan Solo, Rangkaian Melati sung by Waljinah. The nibbles were similar.. rempeyek kacang, rempeyek ikan teri and kerupuk tahu. I was on my way to Amanjiwo, one of Aman’s oldest properties in the Menoreh hill facing Borobudur temple. I could not get more excited than this…
We stopped for lunch at one of kupat tahu warung in Magelang, which was always a satisfying vegetarian dish for me.. the combined taste of garlic, chilly, ginger, crushed peanuts, sweet soy sauce, some warm fried tofu and shredded cabbage made my taste buds danced happily.
It took another 30 minutes or so to arrive in Amanjiwo, the ten-year old limestone covered establishment. The entrance is simple with old Javanese scripture hanging from the wall. The little girls giggled and threw rose petals which caught me by surprised. A glass of cold ginger-lime cordial and cold lemongrass scented face cloth, awaited in the guest area, before leading to our room. They were all consumed in no time. The air was fresh, with a touch of sandalwood.
The feeling was so magical, dramatic, but maintaining serenity, discreetness and space. All you can look around you are surrounded by Menoreh hill, tropical rain-forest and a tranquil lotus pond.
Having a walk around the premise, including further down towards the padi field path.. all you can hear is the chorus of cicadas, some bird chirping and nature at peace. In the background, Jai Uttal’s kirtan was played on the in-room cd. I could feel that my yoga practice that evening was more together, full of wholeness and offering to the higher Divine.
Later in the evening, I nurtured my mojito gracefully while nibbling home-made salmon canapé, in anticipation of my simple margarita pizza to arrive, accompanied by green salad mix. At the end, my taste buds had another round of happy dance that day. The staff set a special dining table, with rose petals and jasmine forming a heart-shape bouquet on it… underneath it was scattered with rose petals and float candles.. I could only sigh with contend.
Once they cleared out the dishes, I ordered lapsang souchong tea – a special fir-smoked Chinese tea. It came along with a warm chocolate soufflé and chocolate sauce on the side and especially, with a warmest smile and wishes from the staff… This was the highest moment of my life. Bliss was the right term. After all, it was my birthday…