About Me

So, basically this blog was started by envy. Kulam Ikan Tetangga (the neighbor's fish pond) is a variation to the saying that goes "the neighbor's Grass is always greener". The Neighbor's Fish Pond will always have fatter and more fish (than your own fishpond). And so it is.

Are You a Tourist Newbie in Yogyakarta Who Wants to Spend Your Hard Earned Moneys?

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May I suggest to google a map online and locate this store?

Mirota, an acronym of Minuman (drinks) and Roti Tawar (white bread) is a unique store originating from Yogyakarta. The store sells almost everything, from crafts, batik prints as well as hand-made, antiques, furnitures and decorations, to traditional trinkets, souvenir and even silver jewelries with reasonable and exciting prices. The store also provide a cafe with local Javanese menu, and it opens branches of supermarket in strategic places in Yogyakarta.
Although the store opens a branch in Surabaya, East Java (which to my delight also include a book exchange!), I have never seen any branch westward of the island. Could it be because the concept of the store is deemed by the owner as non-applicable in the 'Tatar Pasundan' due to cultural difference? Or is it because there was already Sarinah, a chain of stores (which was big in the 80s but as I wrote this had became some sort of a dying breed) with almost the same concept?

Hardcore batik painter ladies at Mirota Yogya, you can see them work almost every day there.

I can't remember when exactly had I became a Mirota fan. I think it was probably in the late 80's. My aunt and cousin are responsible in introducing me to the Surabaya branch. They went there for the trinkets and decorations and such, since both are avid home-decor kind of people. My mother took me there for batiks. I had a lovely blue grey batik wrap skirt for my 12th birthday, which my mom bought in Mirota.

In middle school I started to develop a different interest on the store for its collection of silver accessory and trinkets. On one of my school trip to Yogyakarta, I was ecstatic to see that the city has a more complete (and probably older too) store in Malioboro street. It was more a jumble compared to the neat Surabaya branch that I was used to. But, there were more weird stuffs covered in dusts, treasures if I may, in its shelves. These stuffs also came in sometimes ridiculously cheap prices! I bought a lovely sun catcher for around 12 thousands rupiah once, the chandelier of colorful glass beads and the diamond shaped mirrors reflected the sun lights to my room and survived for over three years before a housemate accidentally ripped and broke the thing. I bought bracelets and earrings and necklaces made from beads and wood, each was less than 10 thousands (when it would be sold for at least 17K in Bandung, Surabaya, or Jakarta). I bought a set of three in one purses, each bigger than the other, made from woven fabric for 10 thousands. For 100K bill I can get a bag full of things. I felt so rich!

Yours truly, high on flu and cough medications and had loads of fun with colorful woven tote bags (for Lioni) and an array of mad wood masks sold in Mirota... HAHAHAH!

The Malioboro Mirota store was burnt down some time in early 2004. The news was on TV. I immediately called a friend who's also an avid Mirota lover and we lamented and grieved for all those treasures burnt in the fire. Returning to Yogyakarta a year after the fire, I'm so relieved to find the store survived. While the management rebuilt the old store, it was opened in a different building, still in Jalan Malioboro.

The new Mirota Malioboro we see today is a lot bigger and a lot shinier. The prices are still cheap and there are still an array of weird stuffs sold in it. Although it's never going to be the same old Mirota with treasures buried in dusts at the back of the shelves, I still come to the store every now and then, to buy something or just to amuse myself with the atmosphere and merchandises displayed in the store.

This thing for example, not sold, but they put a sign on the piano telling that should anyone wished to play the piano, it could only be done on Wednesdays between 19:00 - 22:00. As for the why, I didn't bother to ask. They always put offerings on and around the piano. HA! Wanna play the piano for a dare? Lemme know!

I wish Mirota rewards me with discounts for posting this in my blog :P I can absolutely splurge there.

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