What To Do When Your Indonesian Taxi Driver Kills A Man

Beer bottles in ladyboys, fat chicks and killing people... not your typical couple of jars down the local. Welcome to Jakarta...
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Beer bottles in ladyboys, fat chicks and killing people... not your typical couple of jars down the local. Welcome to Jakarta...

A night out usually entails a bit of a jolly up, a few cheeky halves and a good time had by all. One friday night back in 2005 didn't exactly end up that way. Out drinking with a few fellow teachers, we ended up in Poppa's a quite notorious bar in Jalan Jaksa, Jakarta which stays open all night. We were with a chinese businessman called Jonno, who was a bit of a 'Boleh' groupie, (he loves westerners.) He had a Mercedes Benz which had one additional extra, the boot was full of Gin and mixers. Also a complete set of glasses, all set out nicely. We had spent previous weeks swanning about town with the drunkest stoned driver you will ever meet this side of George Michael. Jonno is is a raging alcoholic, the chinese version of Dudley Moore in 'Arthur,' a really nice guy, but a complete loser with the ladies, (actually unlike Dudley Moore.)

We ended up on that friday night bar hopping, Jonno smiling away as ever with what was left of his teeth, and swerving wildly across the road. Poppa's was the last stop. Once safely ensconced inside, an intervention was staged by other teachers already there, who knew Jonno, banning him from having anymore to drink. You might have well have cut his balls off (not that they were much use to him) and all he could say was 'Whiskey please,' 'No Jonno, you are too drunk.'

I can sympathise with the man,but he had one fatal flaw. He agreed. They even made him eat food. This was a bunch of young, still idealistic teachers, who in their infinite wisdom that you allegedly have when you are twenty, (they were travelling round the world  and 'discovering' themselves,) trying to deprive a 40 year old man of his only enjoyment in life. I sneaked him one in, and the look of gratefulness on his face makes me think that maybe one day I will go to heaven, despite what my wife says.

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Next on showtime was a still shitfaced Jonno attempting to chat up a girl. He wasn't as arseholed as earlier though, and got off to a good start. Actually it really looked like he was in with a chance. An hour later however it ended abruptly when she got up and walked out of the bar.

Everyone was like 'what happened?' Jonno procceded to tell us that he had asked her whether she would like to come back to his 'sex palace.' Yep, that will seal the deal, it's his mum and dad's 'palace' by the way. Never mind. As the night continued, there was a well known local ladyboy, not known to me however, who seemed to like me a lot and came and sat at our table next to me,  and was doing everything to get me to go with it/him/her. All requests were politely declined, so man/woman resorted too slightly more drastic measures. My mates were still there and were pissing themselves laughing, but the next move shocked them and me. My new friend then picked up my bottle of Bintang, (the big bottled variety) and bent over the next chair, and pulled it's skirt up and put the bottle up it's arse slowly, hmm...'more tea vicar?!!' I had no idea what to do, this apparation was saying 'c'mon you know you want this.' On the other side of the table Mikey and co were dying with laughter, so ignoring it all, I shouted to the barman, 'another beer please' maintaining my cool, just,  and finally it went away. Jesus.

My new friend then picked up my bottle of Bintang, (the big bottled variety) and bent over the next chair, and pulled it's skirt up and put the bottle up it's arse slowly, hmm...'more tea vicar?!!'

It was getting near daylight, and there were only a few people left including a girl (a real one) called April, fat, so I fucked her in the toilets. It seemed appropriate.

Then getting rid of her I decided it was time to get a taxi. I wish I hadn't, watching someone die before your eyes ruins your morning, and theirs.

It is not to be recommended. At all. I didn't personally do it, but my Taxi Driver did, coming back from the bar at 8 am on a saturday morning, I had to be at work at 9. The driver had decided to cut through a red light, and a motorbike driver going way too fast, smashed into the left hand side of the taxi, exactly next to where I was sitting, I saw him smash into the passenger window about ten centimetres from me and bounce back off with his neck snapped, I saw it snap in the split second he hit, and then watched as he went bouncing off down the road. Never got his name, but it was one hell of an introduction. Killing people in Indonesia like that can result in a lynching (for the taxi driver, then multiply that by one hundred with a 'Boleh' passenger) A crowd gathered, and started approaching the car, and they didn't look like they were going to be offering us a cup of tea and biscuits. Machete on toast seemed to be more likely. Personally I prefer Marmite.

Machete on toast seemed to be more likely. Personally I prefer Marmite

The taxi driver accelerated off, and to stop us being killed, had to smash into cars to escape, we did finally, and when we finally got back to where I lived, (I still can't believe I let him drop me directly outside where I lived,) I got out, and he came out and looked at the side of the car, which was heavily dented and smeared with blood, and went 'huh, Blood...' with a pissed off look in his eyes. (We agreed to not keep in touch, but as that turned out, it seemed that he did.) He was probably not as pissed off as the Ojek driver's family I guess though.

The following week, just confirmed my fears that I may be cursed, or maybe just a unique spectator in the endless disasters continuously circling around my entire life. Coming back from the airport, there was a crash and a woman was lying dead in the road, with one of her arms 3-4 metres away. The police wrapped up the body in newspapers, and left her there for hours, and you can't get much more dignified than that. I unfortunately know this, because the traffic was at total gridlock and I was stuck next to the scene for hours, and I didn't even have any beer.

Another insane thing about Jakarta is that, if you are dying, and if you actually manage to get an ambulance, no one will budge an inch, to give you right of way, usually because they can't, there's just no room, or they just want to get home for dinner. So if you think you are going to die, or give birth, or any medical emergency, camp outside a hospital well beforehand, or if you can't manage that, just write out your last will and testament and then have a drink.

So if you think you are going to die, or give birth, or any medical emergency, camp outside a hospital well beforehand, or if you can't manage that, just write out your last will and testament and then have a drink

Of course the taxi affair didn't finish there, some of my housemates decided to take it up a notch, A handwritten note, in Pidgeon English was stuck on our gate, purportedly from the taxi driver, threatening me to keep quiet, as taxi driving was his livelihood, and it said he knew I had talked to the Police, and I was in trouble. I actually fell for this, and was seriously considering leaving Jakarta. After a week, someone cracked and told me the truth, it was made up, by my housemates and my fucking girlfriend! I tried to laugh.

Revenge is sweet, I spent the next few times we went out, scouting out any gay guys I saw in bars and clubs and there were plenty, I would point out my mate Mikey, and say he's too shy to talk to you, but SMS (text) him, here's his number. He had about 3 months of texts inviting him him to various hotel rooms, usually with an accompanying picture of a hard on in full glory. He kept asking me, 'how are these people getting my number?' No idea mate.