Change coming to Blok-M?

Posted: July 20, 2011 in Expat foibles

It appears that things are not what they were on the Blok and a couple of recent examples reported by our faithful readership serve to tell us just how radical the changes have been. Maybe Obama’s visit had some effect after all.

Firstly John Periwistle, a NtJP reader from the Slipi area, tells us of an amazing experience he had with a taxi home one night last week. We can do no better than give you this extract from his e-mail.


I knew there was something odd going on when we got in and the guy didn’t ask me for 20,000 for parking money and, not only that, there was NO smell of cigarette smoke inside his car.

Things took a turn for the surreal when I didn’t get the usual request for 200,00 when telling him where I wanted to go, instead, wait for it …………….. he put the meter on!!

Alice in Wonderland continued as he took us the DIRECT route home as the driver, Budi Pahlawan from Karang Anyar, refrained from smoking and mostly checked if there was traffic coming as he went through red lights and keeping to a speed that passes for really rather reasonable in these parts.

Finally, he accepted the modest but appropriate tip in good part and wished both myself and my new found “niece” a pleasant “Selamat Malam”.

I had to pinch myself to make sure that it was not just another Bintang fuelled dream. It wasn’t, and I thought I should let you know …. John

So, clearly a satisfied customer there but does one swallow (stop it – ED) make a summer? Here is another from “Kemang Kulture Vulture” who reported the following after a visit to Top Gun last week.

As you know, Top Gun can be a bit of a meat market and, in all honesty, this is one of the reasons I make a visit there most weeks for a few games of pool with the boys. Last night it was like a different world.

It all started going a bit off message when bar owner Charlie Bali (NtJP passim) greeted me with a cheery smile and welcome before returning to his usual large Tequila and C1000 orange juice. I was stunned that he has ever previously been aware of my existence or indeed that of anybody else in fact.

Not for chatting up apparently

After that the stage was suddenly full of traditional Indonesian dancers and the customers were standing and cheering as they strutted their stuff. A few of the boys chanced their luck with the dancers afterwards only to be firmly rebuffed.

Finally got confirmation that I had inadvertantly stepped into a parallel universe when I won 100,000 roops from Anen (and he promised faithfully to pay next week) by beating him 2-1 in a best of three and this later followed by my new found “niece” failing to relieve me of my credit cards and iPad after I fell asleep back in Kemang. How unreal is all that?

So, change is all around, they will be filling in the potholes on Jalan Felatehan next, though maybe not, some of them have historic monument preservation orders on them. If you haven’t been in a while, come back, there is CHANGE, though still not perhaps from the 100,000 notes you use to pay your bill.

Do let us know should you have any similarly pleasant and surprising experiences as you go around the Big Durian.

disponsor oleh Badan Parawisataan Blok-M

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