The hostel tour guide was explaining to us what areas to go check out, he circled them on a map an said "wait to go to the national monument" the others looked on in half confusion half not giving a shit. I understood exactly why, I said "they are having demonstrations right?" He replied "yes, you are American so you may want to stay away" the reality didn't set in until later when our cab driver pulled up to the main street and I see 2 scooters buzz past with young men holding black and white and white and black flags with what seems to be some Muslim script. The more we drive the more I see Palestine flags and more of these black flags with white writing, The more I also see Indonesians in conservative Muslim garb and again more groups of young men waving these flags. As a American of color who didn't vote for trump and had stood against him and his BS legislation I agree with them, but would they understand that I am a comrade ? Would they care that I am part Indonesian ? My saving grace here is my brown skin and ambigious features that help me blend in, but of course I dressed up with a LBJ Stetson 3 inch brimmed hat my tomato soup Andy Warhol chucks and of course my signature death machine rider PolyRev tee. So although I may be able to fit in because of my skin I look I dress like a cowboy clown in their eyes. I'm taking the hat off and going to store it in my bag for now, tonight we are going to a block party put on by @De La House which is the indo version of @Soulection who btw is playing this block party also. We arrive at the mall area the and German girls I am teamed up with for the day wanted to go to and I ask them if they noticed all the young men waving flags on the way to the mall. I have to mention that I am asking them this as we are going to a mall that has a metal detector and X-ray machine that's scans any bags you may have. Jakarta has a sense of security that probably is just normal to everyone from here but to me it's a sign of the religious and economic divide. The mall is HUGE and has many many levels and everything you can think of. The interesting thing is that I see a add that "gone with the wind" is playing at the cinema here in the mall and the whole feel is very 1950's Americana, they have old posters from the golden area of film put up and Old blue eyes is playing over speakers throughout the mall. You cannot go 5 steps without some reminder that Christmas is around the corner and it seems America's capitalistic holiday spending culture has worked its way into the largest Muslim country in the world even as they are burning flags at the national monument the all mighty dollar is slowing taking over.
The party was racking, Being surrounded by Indonesians is a good feeling, most of the concert attendees were young and hip with all the trappings the modern American Kool kid has but without the need to stick out and be Kool in a corner solo doing it strictly for the gram. I will say most of these folks did know each other or so seemed like. The block party had two areas, one inside one outside, outside being the main stage area with more room and a speaker system to make the sound god jello. The inside area was smaller but also went longer into the night, while standing inside listening to a guy spin some kaytranada a indo guy starts to chat with me in dutch and I cannot comprehend what he is saying and soon he can see that I'm not catching on, remember this whole time I have a LBJ Stetson on soooo he can prob tell I'm Not a local. He begins to speak English and we hit it off, he thought I was Dutch so as you can imagine he spoke Dutch to me and although he Is not incorrect, I am mainly Freaky deaky Dutch it was very frowned upon in American to speak anything but English so growing up my mom never taught me any Dutch and that part of our history has some haze to it but I ramble. @Jeftuz is this new friends name and he DJ's and is playing at 9 at the main stage, what really sticks out to me is the fact that I was interacting with all these ppl who I didn't know but had access to in a very close group of friends tight knit community way and sure enough one of my influences walks right by me and stops. Mother lovin Joe Kay from Soulection himself, fucking smooth talking beat mashing culture creatin eclectic souls forgotten gems ass joe Kay. Calmly I said what up and we dap each other up, I introduce myself and we chat. It felt good to dap someone up who felt familiar and I mean familiar not cuz we know each other but familiar as in we exist in a similar way and want to facilitate the culture. The way @soulection brings folks from all over into one space to vibe out in different ways to the same wave length is magic, it's what we strive to do with PolyRev, the ability joe has to play music and grab your attention and have everyone jumping and moving as one is a sign from Creator, a sign that ... we gunna be alright
Pro tip: everyone daps each other up in different ways but you can categorize them into a few different stereotypes
1. Island surfer/skate which is a slap skin pound it and how ever you do it go a little slower it shows that you are laid back
2. palm to palm hand shake with a arm around pat on the back...haha fuck these are hard to explain and sound weird, this is the one that mainly ppl do in the states or In Tacoma and it shows a familiarity and some what kinship
3. When in Indonesian tap the heart with the right hand after what ever shake you do as a sign of respect. I've been mixing all these up into a new free flowing form
4. My favorite and the shake typically that the only gets used with close homie, you go to shake hands but you beat the hand away and do a quick bro hug, also like you are saying we are beyond that and we just hug it out my G
Back to the party, After talking with the soulection fam the party began and believe me I could talk about it for so long but just know it was amazing. The homie @jeftuz killed it and I see why he travels around the globe playing music and shout out the @143 homies from LA and of course the @Soulection crew for rocking it. Wild cuz they all played some of the same songs but sooo good to hear them in different ways and mixed into sets to give a familiar vibe but with energy all it's own each time the same song was played.
Pro tip: get a burner you can put a SIM cards into while abroad
It's a new day and im trying to explain to the taxi driver where to go while he drives in the chaos and I use my maps.me app. This taxi rides end location was a clothing shop called @ELHAUS, I marked it in my map and because of the wild traffic it was easiest to get dropped off a little ways away from the location. Not thinking anything of it because I have a my trusty map app that will help me and like that I set of.... I spent 3 hours walking around asking ppl if they knew this shop and showing them the address to get nothing. I only gave up because it started to get dark out and I didn't want to be lost in the dark in Jakarta. This place has a go go go mentality that makes the rat race of America jealous, but here everyone is very chilled about it and although they honk constantly it's to let everyone else know what they are doing. My scooter drivers have all weaved in and out and between buses and cars in a way that seems way more efficient than everyone waiting in line and no one cutting like we do in the states. Imagine if LA, a place with little to no rain were to adopt the south East Asian scooter style. Less pollution, more folks getting around and to places on time, less accidents, possibly less road rage. It takes around 2 hours to get back to the hostel and by time I do I eat and catch up on social media and commence to shut the brain and body down for the day.
Today I'm going to set out and try and see this shop again I think, I may also check out some of the national Monuments and the old Colonial area as well as find that clothing shop. Well hours upon hours later I can tell you that the mission was half successful, basically it was a total win but I didn't get a chance to see the monuments or the old area but I did get to @elhaus and got to chat it up with some of the local guys who help with elhaus brand and own the shop in which elhaus just moved into. It seems the brand is focusing on its internet presence rather than its physical location which is something I have thought about for days on end. To be honest the Internet and Ig specifically made me really interested in this brand, I did notice a few folks wearing pieces at the da la house event so I know they were the brand I should try and connect with. I ended up getting the guys to bring all the pieces they had in my size out of the back stocking area and had my own showing basically, I settled on the exact piece I wanted but In a XL which in Indonesian sizes is a tad too big. Once I get back to the states and have to deal with the cold I'll put a hoodie on under and all will be good. They had a few additional pieces I wanted to buy but they said they are only are selling them online and it's probably for the best I didn't get any more, my duffle and back is for sure going to thank me. Until next time PEACE LOVE POLYREV