Bike update

So, apparently it takes about 2.5 days for a bike to be loaded in Singapore, shipped to Jakarta and unloaded in Jakarta. Then in takes about 2.5 days for the shipping paper work to be arranged here in Jakarta. End of story is that I cannot even commence the customs paper-work until tomorrow, 5 days after the bike was shipped from Singapore.

The Db Schenker contact here in Jakarta, Mr Dody, has been very friendly, but i can’t help but get teh feeling he is deliberately delaying me for some reason, and my sinister mind draws up images of him arranging with his cronies a paperwork maze that will enable them to extract a variewty of bribes from me.

Combine this with the fact i’ve had the first dreams i’ve had for about 2 years, that i’m reading C.G.Jung’s memoirs on the unconscious, that the place i’m staying in is maze for the conscience, that I’ve not had a feeling of being ‘In motion’ (see comments on Buckminster Fuller here) and you might begin to understand that describing my mental state as ‘agitated’ is a bit of an understatement.

Oops, wrong place, again.

Found out on Friday that the bike is not shipping until Sunday, so nothing for it but to spend even more time in the pub. Getting a little sick of Jl Jaksa by that stagfe with exceptions, such as the always fun and honest Memories staff.

Being Friday memories is full and by this time i’m known to many locals by name, which is welcoming in one way but kinda like being bakc in Cobram in another way. I get chatting to Elle, a french girl travelling on her own and Manuel, a spanish guy who has just spend a couple of months in Australia and also travelling on his own. Bopth are slightly moire mature, seasoned travellers and are refreshing to talk to compared to the constant troupe of fresh faced party poms.

Anyway, Elle and Manuel are both keen to get out of Jaksa and see some other spots. So based on a reference by Kris we head to Block M. Its a disaster! We head to “Top Gun” bar, knowing that the name should have been enough to keep us away. Its a pub with a live band. Band on the right, bar on the left, pool table at the back, young and not so young skanky asian girls in the middle, disgusting old white men loitering around the youngest and skankiest girls. I head straight for the pool table and don’t bother to buy a beer. Manuel obviously hasn’t quite picked up on it yet, so he buys a beer for Elle and himself. Elle is second to realise how bad the place is and I help her out with her beer so we can leave, Manuel is a bit slow but gets there when two expats start trying to take over the stage to sing their favourite song. I walk out feeling sick when I see an old white dude dry humping and worse a girl who is extrordinarily pretty and only about 18, if that.

All I can do is apologise for suggesting that we could trust Kris. But, being seasoned travellers we decide to give one other bar a go before making a hasty generalisation and deciding to write off Block M all-together. Its a little better, I can’t remember the name of it but still nothing compared to the Stadium, and the fact that teeh dance floor is faced with mirrors and all the current dancers are dancing to their image in the mirror is a bit disconcerting, so we leave.

The taxi driver talks us into going to Red-Square on the way to Stadium. I have heard its good, so we agree. It looks very flash from the outside and unfortuantely we get knocked back for in-appropriate footwear! (Manuel and my sandals are ok, but Elle’s thongs are not!).

So we finally make it to Stadium where the price has gone up for Friday. Its 70,000 IRP and I get the impression from the other two that I’m blowing their budget tonight! Stadium is a little more crowded but still plenty of room to dance. In fact the crowd jsut helps hide the zombies a little better, making it a bit more enjoyable, not that the Zombies do any harm. I notice this time though that the three of us are creating a small problem on the dance-floor because we are dancing in a circle. Everybody else is dancing in lines facing the stage! Strange.

Yet another good night at Stadium, eventually.

Partying In Jakarta

On Thursday I miss out on a trip to the traditional markets with Yanti and her Family due to a miscommunication but make up for it by heading to the Stadium night-club with some locals from the pub. The ring leader is Maria, who works 2 jobs – Receptionist in a hotel and also in a factory out of town near where she lives. She is in tow with some old friends who have not seen each other for 3 or more years and intend on partying to catch up. They have gone through an elaborate logistics plan to pull the whole night together, and it makes getting to Kings Cross on a Saturday look like a walk in the park. For starters, they live about 1.5hrs out of town, Maria has only just finished work (1am) and her friends arrived un-announced in town (from the Phillipines and Singapore) so had to go buy some party clothes for her!

Stadium is amazing, its like Marble Bar in Sydney but with good dance music and 3 levels of balconies looking onto an open dance floor and a stage about the size of marble bar itself. The difference is probably the ‘spa’ and ‘massage parlour’ on the 4th floor. Its busy but not over-crowded and the corwd consists almost 90% of locals. Plenty of ppl on the dance-floors but plenty of room to move, the music is loud but not to loud you can talk almost normally. Its just how I like my night-clubs.

I’ve been warned to watch my wallet and phone and mind the drug takers. First impression is that there is a lot of zombies on the dance floor and around, I soon find out that these are the druggies. We have been there about 10 minutes before Maria asks if I want some exctasy, I politely decline. She asks if I would be angry if her friends takes it and I reply honestly that it doesn’t bother me. I’m actually curious to see the effect.

So we dance and party the night away and the girls come down off the high after about 2 hrs. In the mean-time the on stage DJ is joined by 6 scantily clad local girls who proceed to become even more scantily clad over the next hour. All up it is a good night but a tad expensive, with entry being 50,000 IRP, which includes a glass a beer and additional drinks costing around 50,000 IRP a glass.

I get home about 5:30am having not trusted the girls to drive me home and am pleased with myself at having successfully negotiated the grey areas and at having picked up the locals sleep patterns – 4am – 9/10am, 1/2pm – 4pm.

Jakarta Bike update

I was so happy when I received the customs confirmation for the temporary import of my motorbike into Indionesia, looks like I was a little hasty in my celebration though because it seems that DB Schenker Jakarta and DB Schenker Singapore just don’t get it.  Its a shame, because they have been wonderful people.

I have copied below the customs confirmation and the email I just receveived from DB Schenker Jakarta that put me in a state of rage. The issue they refer to is what kept the bike in Singapore to start with for nearly 2 weeks. Read the customs confirmation and then read the email from DB Schenker Jakarta and tell me if you think they read the email from customs that I forwarded to them. Emphasis is theirs.

Customs confirmation
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From: iwan kurniawan

Date: Tue, May 10, 2011 at 3:19 PM
Subject: Importing Good with ATA Carnet Form
To: damianfuller@gmail.com

Dear Mr. Damian Fuller,

Regarding with our discussion this morning about the procedure of imported goods using ATA carnet, we can explain that the procedure is very easy :

Owner of imported goods must fill and signed import declaration and attach with Original documents of ATA carnet and copy of passport and the Bill of Lading.Customs officers will conduct physical inspection to imported goods by comparing data on the ATA carnet documents with imported goods to ensure conformity of goods with the documents .

After finished the inspection, customs officer will sign and give its stamp of approval on the sheet at the top left of the original ATA carnet as permit from the harbor to the regions of Indonesia. At the time of exportation from Indonesia to other countries, the owner of the goods to fill the Export Declaration form by attaching a second sheet document under the ATA carnet of original and copy of passport and copy the documents during the previous import documents.

Once again, Customs officers will inspect the physical goods by comparing data on the sheet with the ATA carnet goods to be exported to ensure conformity of goods with the documents.

After finished the inspection, customs officer will sign and give its stamp of approval on the top right sheet original ATA carnet as permit the loading of goods to the ship to be exported.thats all export import procedures using ATA carnet form in Indonesia, hopefully it can help you to do your activities in Indonesia. Good luck and have a nice trip in Indonesia.

Regards,

Kurniawan
Client Coordinator
Customs and Excise Office of Tanjung Priok
Jakarta, Indonesia

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Db Schenker Jakarta email
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Dear Mr. Damian

Received with thanks your document and email confirmation below.

Pls noted that attached Invoice and P. list was not recommended for our custom purpose, since this personal cargo. As our custom regulation, personal couldn’t import motorbike to Indonesia without under or using Diplomatic Facility (under Embassy’s facility).

Pls kindly check and advise this matter to origin for this issue soon.

Thank you

** Please be informed that our office will be closed on Tue, May 17th, in observance of Vesak Day 2555. We’ll be back to open normally on Wed, May 18th.R> Dody Danar. S. STOcean Customer Service Dept

Schenker Petrolog Utama, PT – (DB) SCHENKERRuko Enggano Megah Unit 7R Tanjung Priok Jakarta Utara14220 – Indonesia

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Jakarta Pics updated

Some pics from my stay in Jakarta so far have been updated. They are mostly people as my sight-seeing has been confined to trips to and from various government buildings, and to be honest most of my time here has been spent on the computer or phone so far!

Oh-O

Well, I think my belly has done pretty well. I’m quite proud of it actually and to be honest, I did think those Sate chicken skewers were a bit raw last night.

I think “Belly proud” could be a new term. I know a few people I could name who often seem to convey a sense of pride in their belly by the way they give it a gentle rub or an affectionate pat after dinner or during beers. Hands up belly proud people, its time to stand by your belly and recognise that whilst a larger waistline contributes to your chances of life threatening disease (like diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems) an unhealthy obsession with belly murder is tantamount to a lifestyle threatening disease. Its all about balance people.

Jakarta: Mulsim yet sinful and decadent yet poor yet friendly

This place is in-sane. The people are mostly Muslim, but you can hardly tell. There is a Mosque about every 250m but I barely hear the call to prayer and certainly the locals only pay it a little more attention than the Bule (white foreigners). To be honest, I have been struggling with a few inner battles the last few days. The turmoil of being surrounded by prostitutes, pimps, poor people, paedophiles (In my book any 50+ old man that is paying for sex with a 20 YO is just as morally reprehensible as a paedophile, so may well be called one, although technically doesn’t fit the description. If he gets it for free with no impost on the free will of the girl/boy that is a different story) and drug dealers. I strictly do not participate in any of these activities. I’ve never done recreational drugs other than alochol, I don’t intend to ever do drugs and I intend never to pay for sex. Thats my position and it is strictly personal and pretty inflexible and its grounded into my identity and my ego identity – what I want to be. I refrain from applying it to any others although I have been known from time to time to question friends on their motive and thought process.
Biggest Mosque in South East Asia – Jakarta.
 Picture courtesty of: www.residentialimage.blogspot.com
The problem here in Indonesia is that there is a lot more grey area. In Australia, if you want a prostitute you would go to a brothel (I’m assuming your not stupid enough to use a street prostitute since its illegal and health risks would be appalling). Point is, your prepared for it. Your first impression of the persion is as a prostitute and chances are your in-bred bias and the fact you know they are doing what they are doing for money, not because they like you is going to mean your probably not going to develop that much of an attachment to them. Here, your tour guide, or your favourite bar tender or a girl you meet in a bar may provide ‘special’ services.
For example, I made friends with 2 locals, Kris and Julia after they were introduced to me by a Kiwi – Daren. He had nothing but praise for them and he came across as being pretty consistent with me in character and in what he was looking for from a holiday. Both Kris and Julia have been a bunch of fun to hang around with and have been very helpful, even though I explained that I was here really for work rather than sight-seeing. We will often play pool together for hours or sit and drink. Kris is always up and down talking to people trying to find clients and I provide him a legitimate reason to be in the pub and also a reference I guess. First greay area – is Kris a friend or a tout? My response now, both.
At first I thought Julia and Kris were together, they work together, rent a room in the same hostel as me together (this is common though to save on accommodation costs, especially since most of the locals only sleep about 3 or 4 hrs at a time max). When I questioned them on this they had a good laugh and said they were just friends. We have had a couple of late nights all together now and while I tend to pay for more than my fare share both Kris and Julia are always offer and never take advantage, whilst on occasion a few others have tagged along and to put it politely, they only joined us once. To put it in perspective, to shout Julia and Kris dinner and a beer each costs me about $5 AUD, in return I get help with catching buses, taxis, navigation, where to eat, where not to eat, who to talk to and who not to talk to and someone to eat dinner with!
Golden Crown Discotheque (and ‘massage parlour’)
Picture courtesy of http://www.jakarta100bars.com/

Kris recently headed off on a tour job for a few days and I noticed that Julia started hanging out with a few of the more obvious unsavoury types and her behaviour changed subtly to match. Although no open proposition was ever made, it did get me thinking that it was on the table if I asked, whether paid or unpaid I don’t know but it was enough to alter my perception of the existing relationship for the worse unfortunately, to the extent now that we hardly hang out. I find that sad and wish I was capable of dealing with this in a way that enabled me not to bias my thinking based on the environment and the surroundings, a way to prevent that thought of “I wonder if this person is genuine” popping into my head.