IT'S NOT PARIS THAT IS BURNING
(Jakarta and I have one more late night rendezvous before I leave, last of the trash fires I swear)
After the islands, back to Jakarta on our way out:
- Hellish overnight 12 hour thigh-to-thigh cramped economy train ride from Yogya to Jakarta. As unpleasant as it was there were a lot of friendly characters on board and some good food. Our bikes doubled the ticket price as "cargo," which meant that they just stuck one in the bathroom (half in, half out) and the others in the walkway.
- While walking down an alley I pass a food cart with some guys sitting around. One calls out hello and I answer the same. Just as I pass by, one guy leans over toward me and hisses "Osama Bin Laden" at me. I look at him and reply "Barak Obama" (it was the only equivalent that came to mind). He repeats himself louder, I do the same but with some laughter mixed in. He announces it once more with some intensity as I walk away.
- A lawn-mower-engine-powered rickshaw.
- Walking around alone at night I meet a guy who tries to pull the "art exhibit" scam familiar to me from China. Give away #1: "It's officially state-sponsored." Give away #2: This "official art exhibit" is down a dark side alley.
- Being warned three times in one night that I was in danger. There was some confusion with one guy who was warning me with head-cutting-off gestures. It turned out he was trying to explain that someone had recently been decapitated on the train tracks I was on.
- The mobile band system with generator cart.
- Running into three different streets totally blocked off to the public for wedding parties in one night.
- Meeting friendly guys in an alley who force me to hang out and drink some homemade liquor they called "manis"(?). My wandering got pretty stumbly for a while after I bid them goodnight.
- Accidentally coming across the #1 gay cruising spot in Jakarta (so I was told), which made sense since it looked like Times Square in the 80s.
- Some kids throw a bag of water at us from a balcony while at a local night market.
- Giving stray kittens fish heads.
- A mis-press of an elevator button lands Greg walking onto a floor of a building with nothing in the lobby except a security desk, and a ping pong table. Within seconds he has challenged the guard to a game.
- Going to a really cool Wayang puppet museum.
- Getting clipped by a tuk-tuk while riding alone around Jakarta.
- New favorite food/desert: es tyeler/buah ("Dizzy ice").
- Favorite new drink: avocado shakes.
- Seeing giant shark fins for sale at the Jakarta airport.
And off to Japan. . .
• Santogold and Diplo - Right Brigade
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