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J a v a J i v e :: Paradise is not all that it seems
a boy leaves everything he knows for the tropical island of java, Indonesia - soon to find that paradise is not all that it seems...

August 21, 2003  

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. . . w e l c o m e . . t o . . t h e . . j u n g l e . . .

Home? Yeah, I’m wondering where that is. Is it Indonesia now? Is it America? Is it Cape Town?

Well, at any rate, I’m back in Jakarta. The Marriot was bombed downtown only days before my return – how’s that for a welcome home! It feels a bit strange knowing that I was eating sushi in that hotel in June! I must be getting used to hearing these events because it didn’t even really surprise me.

I’m buying a car next week, so I’ll be able to get around much better, and hopefully explore Java a bit more.

I have a new roommate – very cool guy. He’s 24, and actually looks a lot like me… many people ask if we’re brothers. It’s interesting to see things from the perspective of being here for a while. I have to help him stay out of trouble… there’s way too many girls here who “just wanna be friends!” or are “in university and need money for books”, or “lost their handphone, can you help?”. My roommate is just like me, in the fact that I’m very attracted to the beautiful girls here, so I have to help him to be careful not to get involved with the wrong crowd.

In some ways, I’m settling in here, and finding myself becoming much more comfortable getting around, speaking, and “fitting in” – well as much as a blonde, blue-eyed guy can here! I hope this year I can find time to travel a bit more, and learn more about life outside of Jakarta. In the meantime, I hope the terrorism doesn’t get much worse, and that I can remain in this gritty, beautiful, corrupt, crazy city.

Sampai besok!

posted by Brandon | 9:33 PM

August 04, 2003  

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. . . b a b o o n . . i n . . m y . . c a r . . .

Ok, so I drove to the Cape Point today... basically the end of the earth, it's the farthest point south in Africa, where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic meet. There are many signs around saying, "Do NOT Feed the Animals!". I noticed there were many baboons - you know the big monkeys with the nasty asses that look as if a 5 pound fissure was cracking open from their anus?

Well, I saw a rather obnoxious baboon trying to steal orange juice from a child, and figured I'd capture it on my video camera. As I was getting the camera out, I felt something soft brush past my leg... and before I knew what was happening, a friggin baboon JUMPED into my Mercedes! I had left the back door open slightly and he just hopped right in. Needless to say, a crowd quickly gathered around my car, laughing, shouting, taking pictures and video.

I'm yelling at the thing to get out of my car - yeah, good idea Brandon - very effective. Then, ANOTHER one jumps in from behind me! So now I have two big ass baboons jumpin around in my car. One in the front, grabbing a cheeseburger, and one in the back, making off with a can of Pringles (chips). I finally back away, and to my relief, they jump out and scamper up the nearby hill. As all the tourists are laughing, I'm thinkin, "Well at least they can't open the chips!", and of course, the baboon sits down on his festering rump, and pops open the can of chips as if it's an everyday occurrence! The other one is leisurely consuming my cheeseburger - the only lunch I was to have - while I just gaze in awe at what just happened.

So, next time you watch, "Wild Vacation Videos" or something similar, and witness a distraught American guy yelling at two baboons in a Mercedes, please think of me...

posted by Brandon | 9:27 AM
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