Bob's indonesian vacation

Day One - Arrive in Jakarta at 9PM after pop-overs in Hong Kong and Singapore. Head immediately to the “backpacker’s” district which turns out to be more like a “red light” district filled as it were with all manner of nefarious and ill-disposed individuals. Am nevertheless caught up in a series of suprisingly innocent encounters until the 4AM call to prayer commences it’s wailing forth. It doesn’t put any of us in the mood for prayer exactly but it does bring the evenings festivities to a somehow strangely pleasant, if not entirely spiritual end.

Day Two - Arise after a full two hours sleep and take a short train journey to Bogor, a suburb on the outskirts of Jakarta. It is a singularly unpleasant location aside from the massive rainforest park at it’s centre. Some of those trees are a universe unto themselves I swear.

Day Three - Am introduced to the fine art of highway travel as I bus it from Bogor to Bandung. Bandung is a prosperous city set in the mountains with half of it’s streets and alleyways apparently designated pedestrian only. Beautiful place. At five o’clock I board the train for Yogyakarta. The train route is far from the highway so this makes for a lovely trip through the mountains with open windows and stops in dark, moist and mysterious locations. Am accompanied in my sojourn by a lovely young muslim lady who is eager to practice her English and long train ride Yoga. Arrive in Yogyakarta at about 2AM and check into the first hotel I stumble upon. Sit in the dark (Indonesians sit in the dark a lot) and chit chat with the staff until about 4AM. Am inspired to teach a “sit in the dark and speak English” class but as I am frequently inspired in one way or another this idea passes quickly only to re-emerge once again now as I relate the experience to you.

Why do they sit in the dark a lot? Is it just a preference or does it have to do with the prevelance/cost of lights and electricity?

I’m looking forward to Chapter 2 already. There was a bit of foreshadowing in “Day 1”, and I am a little worried that the nefarious and ill-disposed individuals may show up again later in the plot. Guess I’ll have to wait for the next installment…

The no lights thing may be partially related to a need to keep expenses down but once you get used to it it is fantastically relaxing and intimate. I plan to try it with my group of twenty year olds this evening. I will wear my sarong and play the “sounds of indonesia tape” I made as background. It contains a lot of chickens clucking, children childrening etc.

Day Four - Visit a Buddhist monument depicting the stages of enlightenment. It is in the shape of a small hill and may in fact actually be a small hill depending of course on how you define the words “small” and “hill”. Words are funny that way. In any case as you wind your way up and around the monument you are likely to observe, as mentioned, the various stages of enlightenment beginning at the bottom with lots of large breasted women, elephants and other human expressions of longing and supplication. At the top you will notice a lot of guys sitting around cross legged with good posture. Apparently women do not achieve nirvana. Or perhaps they were born there. All I know for sure is that it was hot as hell and I wound up with sun stroke and a migraine. I met some students on holiday from Borneo who took me to the local hospital where I begged, unenlightened one fashion, for a shot of the good stuff. Slept like a baby that night.

(The purpose of “the trip” is always spiritual enligtenment although it should be noted that this in no way implies an altogether umworldly approach. Au contraire. Real spirituality is about achieving at least a rough and ready sort of harmony with others and with yourself. In that spirit I would like to say that I am happy to be welcomed back here after the cantankorous display I put on in the weeks before my deprature. Thanks guys. And Dave’s Girl, I know I owe you a PM :blush:)

Day Five - To be honest I didn’t see much of the rest of central Java. What I recall is a blur of highway maddness.

Day Six - East Java is a cavalcade of swollen rivers, rice paddies and naked people bathing. Green is the color here and brown the flesh. If ever I saw anything quite so beautiful…

Day Seven - The beginning of real illness. Nose running like a faucet and the swelling and pain in my throat make of life a painful endeavor. The combination of high fever and third class indonesian public transport begin to have a loosening effect on the mind’s defenses. Demons are wrestled with and succumbed to until all that is left is an aching hole where my thoughts and emotions once were. It is, in all seriousness, extremely therapeautic. Like a brain enema.

Day Eight - Arrive in Bali where the body insists upon and recieves a full two days sleep. Emerge from my slumber only for sustenance and massage. Massage is a vital and regular part of bob’s life while in indonesia and he is in fact fairly certain that in his feverish delirium he often stumbled directly from one massage directly into another. This has the effect of accelerating the course of his illness and it is not long before our intrepid explorer is on the road again. This time to the island of Lombok…

Days eight nine and ten or something - On the way to the Gilis (Gili is indonesian for island and is, I believe, etymologicaly related to the giligan of giligan’s island fame) I meet a film studies professor from england who lost an arm in a diving accident and who would have lost his very life if not for the courage of his fearless son who happened to be accompanying him that day. I proceed to lecture him on the merits of the Dogme95 school of filmaking over the next few days and admit to all manner of things both various and sundry. In any case such was the case in this case. The snorkling at this location is a major disappointment but the snorkel surfing (body surfing with mask finns and snorkel) are spectacular. Take a short poop over to Gili Air where (Gili air where? anyway…) I am once again overwhelmed by the exquisite magnificance of nature’s splendor. Some places really are too beautiful to be described and it was for this reason that cameras were invented. Unfortunately the pictures I took failed somewhere in the development process and this fact is perhaps one that I will regret in a sincere, if not particularly desperate, way for some time to come. Suffice it to say that the waters surrounding the island had that azure thing going on and there were many yes we have coconut trees scattered about amongst the fungai of notorious repute.

Day Fifteen - Travel back through Lombok but with a pause in the rain forest and a short consultation with the monkee population there. They assure me that despite how things might appear to me now the universe is no doubt unfolding as it should. Far be it from me to dispute monkeee wisdom but just between us I am not entirely certain that this is true and have been plagued for some decades now by the notion that I should attempt to intervene in some way with the universe and it’s unfolding. If only I knew where to begin.

Day Sixteen - Back to Bali and more massaging. There may be other things to do in Bali but I would be the wrong person to ask about that. Getting massages however is something that I do know something about, or rather two somethings about: 1) It is delightfully affordable. 2) It feels GREAT especially when they focus in on those problem areas.

(I realize that this is not in Latvian but it does contain a sexual innuendo and like the song says one out of two ain’t bad.)

[quote=“bob”]Day Sixteen - Back to Bali and more massaging. There may be other things to do in Bali but I would be the wrong person to ask about that. Getting massages however is something that I do know something about, or rather two somethings about: 1) It is delightfully affordable. 2) It feels GREAT especially when they focus in on those problem areas.

I had plenty of rubs myself in old Bali. Not one could compare to Thai massage. Well, okay, there was this old grampa that came around our villas. He had a thigh the size of my forearm. But man, he could rub the tats off of Allen Iverson. I’ll post a pic of it in a couple of days.

We also went to a spa in Ubud for a real quality rubdown. Couples massage, followed by a jacuzzi and a cup of ginger tea. Romantic and relaxing.

Sure wish we’d run into you down in Kuta there bob. Woulda been fun to see you there. Same goes for Loretta, but I think we missed him by a day.

OK enough of all this silliness about balls and monkees and all that.

Day Seventeen - Back in Jakarta just in time for diarrhoea. Nearing the collapse of capital reserves at this point so am forced to negotiate Jakartinian public transit with a rear end fit for fire fighting duty. Not a pleasant experience but a memorable one and there is perhaps something to be said for that; although it was a rather a disapointment that I was unable to visit the nightspots of the Glodok district, one of which, Tanamur, is described thusly in horny, er, lonely planet - Jakarta’s most infamous disco. This institution is jammed with gyrating revelers of every race, creed and sexual proclivity. It is unbelievably crowded after midnight. Wear what you like - I had planned to wear my new sarong. Oh well.

Day Eighteen - Am awoken at 4AM once again by the call to prayer which, as it turns out, was a good thing as I would have missed my flight home otherwise.

The End

Can I horn in on Bob’s Indonesian Vacation?


Thought I’d share with everyone; The Top 10 Things I did in Bali.

10.Buying 52 newly released DVD’s for less than 1400NT
9.Doing mushrooms and watching a colony of ants work (for 2 hours :loco: )
8.Being offered a job to develop and run an all-inclusive resort
7.Viewing the terraced rice paddies just north of Ubud
6.Dining at Sewak in Ubud
5.Tickling a clown fish while scuba diving in Lovina
4.Valentine’s dinner at the Bali Hilton
3.Scuba Diving on Menjangan Island
2.Balinese Dance Demonstration for our group of (mostly Canadian) expat whackjobs in our private villas
1.Watching my g/f scuba dive for the first time

Okay, I am missing being on holidays. Thanks for indulging me this pre-lunch hour fantasy.