Spiced Up Game in Jakarta

Friday, September 05, 2014
Here in Jakarta I'm staying at my friend Deni's place.
When I met Deni back in Cebu he told me about his job selling soccer jerseys but it wasn't until I came to Jakarta; that I realized just how much they love soccer down here. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in Jakarta owns a soccer jersey with their favourite team.
Already on the second night we got hijacked to play a match with some of the local boys. It was great fun and with almost 11 weeks without proper exercise it felt good to be doing some movement.


The hospitality we receive from the locals is unbelievable. We're living in a very local area of Jakarta - a place where they're not used to having foreigners visiting. The kids are chasing us on the street and they come knocking on our door. Both the kids and the adults wants to have their picture taken with us and the teenagers wants to battle us in Fifa.
We had barely arrived here before we got invited to a local confirmation party further down the street. With all this attention I'm pretty sure I've smiled and waved to more people this past week than the Danish queen has in the past month.
I've been letting me know that the people of Indonesia isn't too welcoming or friendly, yet the people I've met here proved that to be wrong. What I really enjoy here is the laidback lifestyle, where sitting on the floor playing Fifa and drinking iced tea can be the greatest of nights.


Deni also invited us to a local league match here in Jakarta with the local team Persija playing against Barito Putera from Borneo. The fans here are untamed and after the match, fightings between fans and police broke out. Fortunately we tiptoed our way out of the stadium just as the fights began.


Besides crazy soccer fans Jakarta also has the most insane traffic I've ever come across. The crazy thing is that everyone here drives equally insane which actually seems to work - more or less. Motorbikes are squeezing in everywhere and if you're in a hurry people don't seem to mind you getting in front by cutting them off. The rules here is that there are no rules. Even in late evening on week days the highway is jammed. Yet in the chaos of this traffic jammed city I managed to find a little peaceful moment while night fishing in the local lake close to where I'm staying. Only a single catfish was caught among the ten of us trying our luck in the city lake.
I've tasted catfish and it isn't too bad, so I guess one fishermen went to bed with a full and satisfied stomach.


I've tasted Mexican guacamole and spicy food from a lot of different countries in several continents, yet simply nothing compares to the spiciness they serve here in Indonesia. When you're asked if you want spicy, they're not talking about a little burning pinch on the tip of your tongue. They're talking the fires of hell making you do the 'O-mouth' and 'waving hand' techniques in an attempt to make the burning pain stop. It's not that I don't like spicy food, but the Indonesians will eat anything with spicy. That's the only reasonable explanation I can find to why they chose to put a burning golden flame on top of their national monument...

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