Friday, 25 October 2013


My flight gets delayed and as I’m hoping to catch the footy in Surabaya,  this is not good news,  an hour of playing 'The Walking Dead' on the Ipad sees us finally board and take off to Java.

     Seeing Surabaya from the air is quite amazing, it’s a huge sprawling city ,  don’t quote me, but a guy i spoke to here, claims it to be the 2nd or largest industrial city in the southern hemisphere..?

  By the time i land, get to the hotel and check in, its after 10pm.  I'll throw in a plug for the black pepper chicken at the Olympic Hotel where i stayed, because it was that good,  I later find out that the Olympic Hotel is actually known as a short-time hotel in Surabaya.  Google it if you don't know what that means!

It’s Ramadan in Indo,  a bad time to be here for a pisshead like myself,  no bars open and expensive domestic travel, luckily for me, I have a great nose for finding places to drink!   
I see a bunch of taxi guys all sitting around, I say 'can go 15 Palms'?    ‘ ya ya,  we know , we know.  15 palms’,   ok this is too easy.....   hehe   sure.  

  So around 40 minutes later,  after a quite extensive tour of the city,   we end up at the Surabaya army base...???   'yes,  yes,  this is Priti Par?!    (or something like that sounds like 15 palms). What the fuck dude?   I’m a bule in Surabaya,  with a backpack, do I look like I wanted to go to the bloody army base?!   haha  Not sure who is more confused, me, the taxi guy, or the bunch of soldiers all starting to take an interest in the crazy bule who turned up for a 'visit'!     

  Oh well,  a couple of phone calls later and we're off to 15 Palms to watch the footy, this is still no easy feat and I’m getting sorta pissed off by now,  but we finally make it and to be honest, when i stood out the front, i thought 'what the hell is this shithole'.

  The place looks closed, blacked in windows,  one of which has a hole in it,  and pretty much an eery ghost town feel about it.  I find out later this is due to them supposed to have been shut during Ramadan.

Never one to shy away from a dodgy looking bar, I cautiously open the door,   a gasp goes up around the room, they are amazed at the newcomer, I’m simply amazed there are people inside! 

  You can almost hear the whistling and see the tumbleweed roll past...     but I am quickly and warmly welcomed by a great bunch of guys,  who are just amazed more than anything that a newbie has found the joint,   they are later more astounded that I just happen to be in town 'on holidays'!   

Unheard of around here apparently,  great news for me,   I love being the only tourist around.   The locals down the street, in the shops,  pretty much everywhere all stare and want to chat,  and are extremely friendly and curious.

I spend the next couple of nights at 15 palms, mainly to watch the footy, but i have also met some great contacts and new friends here, locals , expats and travellers.  Some local guys take me out on my last night in town for beers and delicious bbq pork they had been raving about,  it was a great night, i love getting the proper local experience. 

The boys drove me home afterwards which was much appreciated as it was a decent cab fare back across town, we bid fond farewells as if old long lost friends, I love these chance encounters in foreign lands.