Posts in Batch 9
47 - Ambiguously Gay Evening (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Things got queer (as in “odd” or “strange”) fast. Indira took a liking to me. Was it my convivial magnetism or the liquor? I’ll go with a little of both, emphasis on the latter. Either way, a slew of personal details followed, details I might not share ten minutes into a new friendship. But, then again, who the hell am I? He had two wives—one Indonesian, the other Russian. Um, ‘kay. (Polygamy is legal in Indonesia.) He just married his Russian bride two months earlier and had apparently been paying the price both literally and figuratively ever since. I asked if they lived in the same house and was given the “No fucking way!” expression posthaste.

Apparently, there was animosity between brides. (Can't imagine why.) Team Russia was a money pit and loved to quarrel…

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48 - Trafficking & Mall Madness (Jakarta, Indonesia)

You’d think the strategy would be rock solid, but it was impossible to determine which folks were following the rules and which couldn’t give a rat’s ass. On this occasion, I apparently followed someone of the “rat’s ass” variety. (Assuming they were native to the area, of course.) He curved right, I followed. We ended up facing the opposite direction (mid-circle) stopped at a red light. This just happened to be in front of a traffic police post. I realized this when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, two members of Jakarta’s finest strolling in my direction. I assumed fault in my neighbor, the motorist’s who’s lead I followed. Leave Johnny Tourist alone, right? Just to be safe, I went with Jedi protocols. Can’t see you if you don’t look. Can’t see you if you don’t look.

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49 - Kalinda’s Other Plans (Sumatra, Indonesia)

There’s something to be said about just being. No camera. No packs strapped to the bike. No real destination. No need for an enhanced state of hypervigilance. Just ride. And smile. Feel the breeze on my knees. Take a breath before death. Chill without a pill before you’re over the hill.

The coastal road led me through a series of small villages, one picture postcard after another. Quaint and tidy with a touch of drowsy. Perfect place to dodder as the day winds down. The sun retreated, casting its orange glimmer across the rocky beaches, old stone houses, and rickety wooden harbors in one final act of rebellion. Beautiful. But, of course, I didn’t have my camera, did I? I wonder…

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