Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Random Yogy

It's afternoon and I'm wandering aimlessly. Sorta lost, sorta don't care. I stop for coffee. The lady in the coffee place- well place, it doesn't seem to really specialize in coffee, or anything for that matter, mostly it's just an open faced building with tables- anyway, the lady says she has coffee when I ask. It's hard to tell what anything is here. I don't know any Indonesian so I can't read signs, but more than that, places don't seem to be dedicated to any singular purpose. Houses and shops blur together with motorcycles parked inside doorways and anywhere else they can fit. Sidewalks are restaurants and places to hang out. People seem to be everywhere, with or without purpose.

The coffee lady is curious about my shoes. Specifically how much they cost. Apparently her husband is unemployed and living in Germany. For 2 years now. Her accent is difficult to understand. Also, the things she's saying don't make a lot of sense. Her jobless husband sends her money with which she has purchased multiple houses. Or something. She asks about people in the US not having any jobs now. The fact that I work in Korea seems to confirm to her that the US economy has collapsed completely.

I head back towards the hotel through a random swath of Yogyakarta. At one point, a small group of children playing with paper airplanes spot me and are thrilled. They stop running about and wave hello. I high five the closest, boldest child. Upon realizing that high fives were an option, the other children rush over for high fives all around. You're welcome, small children.

I time my return to the hotel well and wait out the rain before heading back out in the evening. While the general area I'm wandering in has an abundance of shops, restaurants, hotels and such, there's not much going on once it gets dark. Aside from a few Batik scammers who are desperate to lure you into their indistinguishable galleries, there's not a lot happening around here.

Well, when the Lonely Planet mapped portion of town is boring, what better to do than wander off into the unknown areas off the map? Not far into uncharted Yogyakarta I hear music and follow it to a strange open-fronted Karaoke place with people dancing about and a couple tables set on the sidewalk. Indonesian Ray Liotta is sitting at one of the tables and is glad that I've come by. "Have some of this," Ray offers, pouring me a shot from a plastic pitcher.

"Random booze from a total stranger? Just what I've looking for! Thanks, Ray!" Ray tells me it's whiskey, but the shot tastes like candy. If there's any whiskey in the pitcher, it has evaded my shot. Regardless, I join Ray at the outdoor table and meet Slinky Bill and Rat Face (names have been changed to protect the innocent). Everyone is happy to meet me and mildly terrifying to meet. That said, I'm sitting outside and can see a police station just up the street, so I'm not too worried.

Amongst the revelery there is a lone female who is the only one singing and seems to be in charge of the place. Also, Fat Joe is here. He welcomes me and asks if I like to sing. I'm ok with sitting at the sidewalk table, but there's no way I'm setting foot inside the place. Ray asks if I want a drink and I offer to buy a round for the table. They are pleased. It will be ~$12. They do not bring me change and I do not ask for it.

Rat face, a handsome man with facial tattoos, no front teeth, and bleached yellow hair, teaches me an Indonesian dance. First you raise one hand, then alternate the other slowly with the beat. I imitate his dance and he is pleased. High 5's all around!

Slinky Bill has a brother in England. Due to this we are all brothers (meaning me, him,his brother, I guess,...maybe Rat Face too). I was unaware of this Indonesian marriage by-law, but am pleased that Slinky Bill seems less likely to stab me now. Ray asks if I want a girl. I decline and he apologizes. I say it's fine. Slinky Bill tells me he's not gay. I say Ok. Rat Face raises his hand with the beat.

They help themselves to the beer I ordered, but are diligent in keeping my glass full. I set a timer in my head and plan to head on after this round is done. Having basically exhausted our conversational abilities, the group goes back to chatting amongst themselves. After a bit, Ray announces he's leaving and heads off on a moped. Slinky Bill reiterates that we are all brothers (Ray was included as well). Rat Face continues his dance undisturbed. I swig the last of my warm beer, thank everyone and depart as well.

I head back to the quiet, restaurant lined streets of the Lonely Planet map and wave down a bike taxi to take me to the hotel.

No comments:

Post a Comment