Thursday, 22 August 2013


Just another up to date post, sorry for the confusion but I figured it might be better to keep the story current once in a while until I get caught up, but will be doing full trip reports later.   I have been in Jakarta since Saturday and just relaxing, catching up with friends, some writing and other work and enjoying my first hot water shower for a while.  I am staying in the dodgy, naughty part of town apparently,  as all my Indo friends keep laughing about. 

  They keep asking why on earth I decided to stay in this part of town, I had no idea, just booked through Agoda as usual and this was the best place for the price.   I'd recommend it too, the Magnolia Boutique Hotel,  it's the best room I reckon I've ever had in Indo for the price range, less than $30 a night.  Very nice, large modern room and bathroom, free fast wifi, large fridge, kettle, free tea, coffee, water & noodles. 

They also have a media player hooked up to the large LED TV, with movies on there already  or you can plug in your hard drive.  Location is good also, nearby to the main street, plenty of Indomart, Alfamart, ATM's and food options nearby.
 I went for a game of pool on Sunday at a nearby hotel, got quite the shock when I walked in and there were around 100 prostitutes all sitting around in skimpy outfits giving me the eye as I was one of only a few people in there, and the only bule. (white, or foreigner)   Strangely though, i was not approached?!  WTF?!   Anyway, the beer was a bit too pricey for my liking and I bailed after only 1 and headed for Jalan Jaksa (jalan is street) which is pretty much the backpacker hub of Jakarta.  I had been here before, and there is a great pool hall there.

  The accommodation in this street is pretty crappy for the price, though I didn't mind Margot Hotel last time, small rooms but their food is pretty bloody good and cheap and there is free wifi in the restaurant.  Played quite a few games of pool with Randy, a yank who lives and works around the area, he was pretty dam good too and we battled it out for the next couple of hours, with me definitely coming up short on the scoreboard, even after whooping him off the break in the first game.  A few beers later we finished up and I went to meet a friend from last trip,  got some dinner and back to the hotel.
Jakarta has just been catching up with friends and computer stuff, with a trip to the immigration office today to extend my visa.  My god what a clusterf**k!  I have never seen such a ridiculous system and still have to go back tomorrow to collect my visa and passport.  Luckily I had an Indonesian friend with me or I possibly would have given up and walked out without her translation skills. 

 We were shuffled around this building from one floor to the next for stupid shit, like getting a bill from one guy on the 4th floor then having to go the cashier on the 2nd floor and back again to the same guy on the 4th with the receipt?!  For fucks sake, put the goddam cashier next to the guy,  its one tiny window, just a small example of the lunacy of the place. 

 Also avoid going there at 12pm, that is lunchtime and unlike everywhere else in the world, the place just comes to a grinding halt for an hour?!  You can't take lunch breaks like normal businesses and keep things moving?! I arrived at 11:51am and by the time we realized we were supposed to be on the 4th floor to start the whole process of being pinballed around the place, it was 12:04.....   Fcuk!
Last night we ventured up the street and I had a go at drinking fresh snake blood.  They have a cage full of them and this older lady just sticks her hand in there, wrangles one behind the head and drags it out without being bitten somehow.  It's head is removed in front of me and the blood drained into a cup.  Nothing is wasted though and it is quickly skinned and processed ready to go on the coals as snake satay sticks.  I would have eaten that too, but was already full from a huge feed a little earlier.

  The drink was quite tasty actually and not disgusting at all, I was almost disappointed.  This was all done by torchlight as the whole street was in darkness as a leaking gas pipe had exploded not long before, taking out a few cars and I believe some people were badly burned, let's hope they are ok.  I filmed this whole ritual thinking it was going to be really gross but it was fairly tame and something I would definitely drink again. (unlike the Solbrew whiskey & cola)   enjoy, but for anybody a little squeamish, snakes were harmed in the making....  

That is the snakes liver heart that she cuts with scissors before I drink it
 Sorry but I have reduced the video quality greatly to make uploading easier, this was filmed on my GoPro and the original copy was around half a gig...