Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Night on the Town

This place is dead. Maybe it's just early, but 10pm Saturday and nothing is happening. I stopped in a nice enough 2nd floor balcony bar. There's an older European couple and a couple of presumably local guys. This area is packed with hostels and restaurants, but it's quiet.

I like that there are lizards running around. They don't make me think of unsanitary conditions like a rat or a cockroach would. Instead I think, "neat, a lizard!".

Aha! My first awesome toilet. I'd read in the guide that non-flush toilets were common throughout Indonesia, but prior to this bar I hadn't encountered one. It's like a squatter hole toilet things that you can sometimes still find in Korea, but unlike those, this one doesn't flush. Instead there's a water basin and scooper for manual flushing. There was toilet paper though. No wiping with your left hand here. Even so, I think I will poop in my expensive hotel, thank you.

I move on to another bar. There is a giantess at the bar. Foreigner. Gotta have 6 inches on the guy she's with. Indonesian people are generally pretty small, so I'm a bit frightened. I'm never sure how to acknowledge other foreigners when traveling. There's always an odd moment when you make eye contact and both must nod in recognition of the fact that you too look different than other people around.

National Geographic has a music channel? Ah, and terrible Korean pop music is playing. Back to the hotel it is.

On the way home, I hear music in the street and encounter a quintet who've set up shop along the main road. The have a standing bass, drum set, 2 guitars, and keyboard. They've got a few friends watching and one filming them playing in the street. I stop and watch and they seem happy. After they finish the song they invite me over to talk and play drums. They seem amused and film my awesome drumming (yes, that's now 2 Asian countries that I have toured as a drummer).

As I leave the musicians and head on back to the hotel, I realize that I've been unfair to the Indonesians. Thanks to the Lonely Planet's prices (from 6 years ago) and constant warnings about pickpockets and kidney thief's, I've been predisposed to assume everyone is trying to rip me off or screw me over in some way. In reality, everyone has been ridiculously friendly. Even if they have been overcharging me, the prices are still cheap.

I feel even worse when I see many of the petty cab guys sleep in their bike/cart things. I'd avoided using them before, partly because I usually don't have a real destination and partly because I'd feel like a jackass being biked around town. Now I feel like more of an ass for refusing their service. One of the petty cab guys is still awake and asks me where I'm heading. I tell him my hotel. He drops me off and asks for ~$1. I give him ~$2 and head up to my swank hotel room overlooking the pool and he heads off to wherever.

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