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.