Touring the Cigar Factory

Trip Start Nov 17, 2009
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Trip End Sep 05, 2010


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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

WM has been known to enjoy the occasional cigar.  In Bali one could purchase excellent quality cigars at the Matahari grocery store.  In Jogya no one knew where or how to buy cigars.  To make things worse, the Indonesian word for sugar is pronounced cigar.  Half the folks here pronounce the Indonesian word as if it begins with CH, while the other half pronounce as if it begins with S.  And once they figure out what you're talking about, they BOTH correct you.

WW noticed painted in the empty cigar box that they were hand rolled in Yogyakarta at the Taru Martani cigar factory.  So we set out on foot, with map in hand, determined to find it.

We walked the better part of three hours through kampungs, little residential neighborhoods, by the Sultan's Palace (yes, they have a sultan here and he lives there)  then finally got there.

The place closed at 4, and we got there at 4:30.  The security guard called someone, and they got a key and let us in.  Work was done, and we were invited back to tour the following day (today).

The workforce was all women as the reader will see from the pics.  They are paid piecework.  Our guide was  a young woman named Remy who speaks less english than WM speaks Indonesian.    But she was enthusiastic and  we both tried hard and it was  a blast.

WW had never seen cigars being rolled--WM hadd seen this in South Florida in his misspent youth by old Cuban men grumbling about Castro and smoking on the job.

The best cigars there (Robusto) are made for export only and WM was not allowed to buy.  Even so, the Super Caronas they sold for 67 cents each are pretty nice.  WE took a taxi this time.
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