07.11.2008 - 12.11.2008 32 °C
Well its been a while. Only a few months have passed and all hell has broken loose. Financial turmoil across the globe. Black fella in the White House. Liddington sitting around in the pub. Where will it all end?
I took a break from the travelling to seek potential gainful employment in the financial sector. This co-incided with the credit crunch, freefalling share prices as well as bankruptcy and nationalisation. You know the most important thing about comedy??......
So end of the world? New World order? The death of capitalism? Winter of our discontent? No more 600 pound internet addicts with massive credit card bills being carried naked from their trailer on a tarpaulin by 12 concerned looking firemen? Tough to tell. Certainly all potential scenarios best observed from afar. Preferably in a place with a beach and happy hours from 4pm to midnight. Theres no point in wallowing in self pity, although to be fair what else could you do with self pity apart from wallow in it. Come to think of it you could swim in it, moving on to drown in it should you so desire and if youre not one for watersports you could stay dry and choke to death on it but (and I have an inkling you will agree) none of these sound overly attractive so I skipped the whole step and moved on, booked a flight. Random selection really and arrived in Jakarta on Saturday. Step in the right direction. Or at least 24 hours of planes and layovers in the right direction. But, and in summary for those not paying attention, definitely in the right direction.
Indonesia has the same land mass as the US and a larger population. Some 260 million people. A hundred or so dialects. It is also the largest archiapeligo in the world. Islands, volcanic stuff, midgets in tuxedos. All a bit James Bond. Quantum of Solace is wank by the way. Watch Casino Royale or one of the Bourne films and you'll have a much better evening and save yourself some cash. I digress.
Colonised by the French and the Dutch originally who must have fucked it up as the Brits got called in for a bit of Empire extension. It still amazes me that the Brits used to run the world. What was everyone else thinking? We can barely run a rail network (although tfl do a fine job Dave) these days and could not even have pubs and restaurants open regularly without the help of a million Polish people. Anyway, no such labour shortages here. Everybody seems employed although it is often difficult to ascertain what exactly they are doing. Pictures:
Jakarta is on Java which has 120 million people on it. Grand total for the country is about the same as Europe. Lots then. Each island has a mix of Hindu, Muslim and Christian with some Buddhists thrown in to chill everyone out. Some places predominantly one or the other and some a decent mix of all 4. A few people mentioned they thought Indonesia was some sort of breeding ground for radical bus bombers. They seem to be getting on fine at the moment. For the most part.
Say hey to Geev. Taking his second holiday to come and join, did some of central america last time so Asia a good place to meet up.
So Jakarta was crap and they had just executed teh Bali bombers so we decided to head south and see if there was a fuss.
Lombok. Then onto Gili Trawangan. Rainy season and the Australian government travel warning for Indonesia means that most places are quite quiet but the good news is that there are not many chants of aussie, aussie, aussie at 4 am. Swings and roundabouts.
Gili is cool. A lot of this going on.
Apparently the mushrooms are halucinogenic. Magic they say. 'One way trip to moon no transport required'. Madness really. Can't imagine why anyone would bother. Irresponsible behaviour. Although it may explain the dude Geev and I met who insisted on talking like a pirate the whole time.
And the guy who insisted I was the monkey king and danced around like a loon rubbing his head and jabbering. Or they may just be loonies. Such a fine line these days. Does make the early morning beach scene quite lively.
Due to the size of the place the only way to get around if you are in a rush is to fly.
Thats a picture of Geev after we had been told to get off the plane as there was a problem with the landing gear. Gathering our bags we heard a loud noise and then this local dude appeared with a satisfied grin on his face, went to the cockpit and the pilot announced that all was actually now fine with the landing gear and to take our seats. Not sure if you have ever jumped out of a plane but there is that moment as the doors open and the cold air rushes in when your brain issues - in clear and simple terms - an instruction that you should really reconsider such a rash course of action. Not sure why but this auto-response is physically communicated to you through your sphincter clenching to such a degree that you expect to shit diamonds in the morning. We stayed on board. No diamonds I'm afraid but we did land safe and sound.
The real way to get around - if you have time - is to take a boat. The water is clear, turquoise blue and its a stunning place to chug past.
3 days on Gili and off to Bali. Supposed to be shite but thats just the crappy resort bit at the south. Not staying long in any case. Off to check out some wildlife. Updates to follow.
Cool eh? Monkey king walks on water. Ooohoohooh.
All the best from me and G. Be well troops. Hasta la revolucion siempre. Although maybe wait til it stops raining.
See you in the morning,