110238650113056271

Sun. December 5. Evening.

I read in an online newsletter today that tomorrow night a US Vs. Britain darts tournament is to be held at a bar ten minutes’ walk down my street. I’ve never been in the bar, and it’s a gorgeous night, and I figure “hey – if there’s a darts tournament, there must be a board or two down there. So, this morning I dug out my darts (haven’t used them here yet) and set them on the entry table… and used the prospect of an evening at a dart board to hunker down over the budget and the database I’m building for the school…

A day’s work behind me, stomach gurgling as always these days, and I head down the road to this bar, called D’s. It’s 6:30. I get there, and in another wondrous conversation of virtually no words with a couple of workers seated over some long planks of wood in the parking lot (like all parking lots here it’s a fenced-off bit of the sidewalk, which yes, means that us pedestrians used the street to get here), I learn that the bar is closed tonight. Don’t be thinking this is Sunday and I live in a kinda backwards traditional country. I do, but it’s an Islamic country, and Sunday has little meaning… oh well. Guess I’ll check out the tournament tomorrow night…

Instead I’ve come back home, sent off some work emails to beat the clock tomorrow morning, fixed a cocktail, and hauled it and my laptop up to the wonderfully breezy pool-deck (see pics in the archives here) and resolved to break my silence…

I started writing again about a week ago, and I’ve just re-read it and decided to let it stand. There’s a pretty long political rant towards the end I invite you to gloss over, but it’s there for the record and in case you don’t, let’s start this rich feast with dessert and work backwards… In keeping with the pop-culture plagiarism of this Blog, I shall call this photo- journal “Baby you can drive my car”.

There are pics-a-plenty in the archives of the streets from my balcony… so this one is here in contrast. After a Saturday night a few weeks ago spent listening to this Islamic world celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the New Year, which was quite a cacophony considering the ban on celebrations that was in force the whole previous month, I awoke, after an ear-plug assisted rest, to the following scene below (click to enlarge) this paragraph. It was a possibility that was no longer in my consciousness here in Jakarta, but something which wouldn’t change for the next four days. The city simply emptied. No signs on the windows. Just nothing, anywhere. Nobody. What a joy! – no traffic, no fumes. Getting places was easy. Except there were precious few drivers, fewer taxis, and still fewer places to go. Just sit and read… like Burgess Meredith in that Twilight Zone episode where he’s the last man on Earth and it’s just him and all the books and time in the world… and he breaks his glasses and can’t see to read… Next year I’m planning ahead and getting outta here, too, for otherways insanity lies for those of us with nothing but the working life here…

Still, this pic is here to contrast with what follows. What follows is a series of pics and exam questions developed mostly while to- and fro-ing work to relieve my boredom when reading in the backseat anymore would risk fouling the taxi…

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2 Responses to “110238650113056271”

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