Silvia has been in Jakarta even longer than me, waiting and waiting. Silvia is the owner / operator and dive instructor of the rajalaut-bunaken resort in Suliwesi and is off to Italy to drum up some more business.
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.
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.