Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Indonesia or Bust 9

27th May 2006
So let me begin at the very beginning today. I was lying awake in my bed as you cannot sleep past 5 am as the house comes to life and people rev motorbikes fry foot outside my door and make such a general racket that sleep becomes impossible. I was lying there and suddenly I realised in my dozing and drowsy state that the room was shaking, I first thought it was a motorbike or something and then when it hit me like a brick to the head that it was an Earthquake I jumped out of bed but it had stopped as quickly as it had begun. It was odd, the floor seemed to lurch, but nothing happened. No walls collapsed no dust falling from the ceiling, nothing.
I didnt know what to think so I looked around and all was in order. Not until I went to the internet cafe later on did I realise the extent of the damage. The epicentre was 25 miles from a central Javanese city of Yogjakarta. The city today is in ruins, over 2,275 people have lost their lives and thousands more are injured. I was shocked as the tremor had travelled al the way to East Java and made my room shake a little. I feel starnge knowing that something that made me jump out of bed has killed so many.
Its an awful feeling and it has taken th lives of countles numbers and so many more are still missing.
I muts now take a step away from the earthquake and tell you all the fun that has hapened. A big sopository of fun to brighten your day. To start with I was inteviewed by Malng Tv and I said vagina live on tele. This is an onruining joke with any Indonesian interviews that we do. I am dared to say 'vagina' and I do so. I am not one to back away from a dare.
June 3rd
This week after the awful earthquake has seen my work at the Red Cross double, tripe and it continues to rise. The blood stocks that were alreadty depleated by the 2004 tsunami had to go to the site. Therefore as I am only allowed to work in East Java I was left behind while the aid workers left to go to the 'Jogya' epicentre. Therefore this week I have been wotking my sweaty balls off loading aid trucks, sorting aids supplies and getting blood. I even donated blood my self. Giving the deeply thivk vein goo to the nurse who giggled at me throughout. I know what you are thinking 'are you mad, giving blood in a developing country'. But I opened the brand new box of sterile single use needle attacked in a air tight sterile package blood donation packs. They were shipped from the manufacturer in Singapore ad I throughly inspected it myuself before hand. Once I was satisfied I donated 250mils of blood. This is nothing in comparision to the pink that we give back at home. But still after wards juts liek when I donate in England I gfot up and the blackness set about my eyes. I started to see through a fog and felt sick. But before I could sufvfer the indignity of collapsing and faining. I somehow managed to in my blindness take off my trademark cowboy hat and put my sunglasses inside, place them on a table and walk or rather stumble over to a table lye down and raise my legs. I did this all unknowingly and was later told what I had done. All ther nurses still laught at me for this.
I have been all over the city collecting blood. Universities where I am mobbed because I am white, collegse, schools with thousands of female pupils and a handfull of meas who look daunted and scared all the time. I went to the military medical academy today and that was a laugh. The people there acted like they have never seen a white man before. I was bomberded with questions in pigin English and as my Indo languege has basically ended and stopped being learnt I answered them as best as I could. Before I knew it I was being paraded round the campus and was made to pose for photos galore. Then one trainee army nurse decided my leg hair was the best thing since sliced bread and started to painfully pluck it when I was unawares!!
Taking of unawares I haveben snapped again for the Malang Newspaper, called Radar Malang. ASgain when I least expected it I will appear in the news. This occassion wasnt for saying vagina at a Red Cross event but was while I was up a ladder painting spitfires, yes you read it cotrrectly spitfires on a wall of a specil needs school. A load of us have been going in the afternoons to decorate and paint thr Ya Pe Aceh school for special needs. This place is awful beyonds words. Th moment I enterd the smell of urine hit me. I was so moved and juts had to hold the poor kids hands as I saw the condition they were in. Large metal cots that can only be described as Medieval were in a room soaked with urnien while their writhing bed sore ridden occupants looked out vacantly. The poor kids have no life here. I will and I promise raise some money when I am back home as this place needs help drastically. Some kids were tied intot he cots to stop them from moving and when one poor lad started to cry a woman slapped him and shook him by his withered legs. I was lile slapping her a bit, but I refrained. The same woman I later saw hitting a downs syndrome boy with a shoe! All the carers are not actual carers. They juts work their and resent the mess that the children make. They have no passion or love for the children, to them they are a source of income. Therefore I witnessed poor kids lying in their own urine and their skin so red that it looked like it would come away at the touch. There was a woman in a cot lying there gurgling and what a life she has led. The poor love had bee there for 13 years. Not moving juts cot ridden for over a decade. Poor woman, I hated this place. It was so awful that how I disdnt crack up I dont know.
As we cannot save the world, but ewe can make a small difference with the small funds we had fundrised by having a stall selling cakes and 'whiteman things', where I painted peoples faces all day. This was done at the Red Crosses Konser Bahtit;. Whish is a large openaired keep fit session. Anyway we raised some cash and I had said vagina on tv and the cash was spent on a big project that we start tomorrow. But with the spare cash we had we purcahsed paints and brushes and transformed their room into a colurful collage with picture sof lions, my spitfires, flowers, bosta, people running and cpruple clouds adorned on the walls. It is not finished yet and wonders were worked by a group of lads accompanied by a fantastic artist who juts loved to steal the ladder while I was up the wall painting my dive bomber scens. This group added to our man power and in two days the entire room was alive with colour where before it was drab and dull.
Up a ladder painting planes was my duty. But to add a British feel of couse these planes became spitfires and I added rotorblades spinning and the RAF emblem to them. I enjoyed the painting and I hope the poor kids can get some visual stimulation from it.
To get back to the other occasions that I have appeared on either Maang tv or Jakarta radio I wil have to go back intime. A the first time I was filmed at the Malang festival dancing on a wicker horse \doing the kula lumping dance. The second time was at the maduran festival where yet again I was dancing around all dressed up (this is debatable if it was seen on tv) and then being interviewed by the malang tv crew at the konser bhakti event where people in leotards danced around and wobbled their arses. The radio interviewI was sipping a cool beer in dutch colonial cafe when some jakarta interviewer/DJ approached us and we all had to make comments on Malang. But alas I never heard the boradcast so it is debateble whether it was aired. Now hopefully I will be in tomorrows paper!!!
This week I have also been to a naval academy for one of the 'teams' EAD's. We were treated to a comedy video about lifeboat safety and a talk from a man who has obviously been told too many rude jokes by British sailors!!! But they let of flares that day in the blistering sun, so all was not lost!
7th June 2006
Pagelawan painting extravaganza. EAD ETC
The weekend juts gone saw a painting and renovation extravaganza at the Uber Islamic community of Pagelawan. I liek to say the name in a posh Terry-Thomas accent! This community seems a bit well to do really, as all the residents seemed to have rather loud lavishly furnished houses. So how they ahve let their local community school fall into such a state of delapedation I dont know. The school was filthy and falling apart at the scemes. The rooms were cluttered with broken chairs and the library had not asingle piece of paper within let alone a book!
The community is so Islamic that even the men have to cover up their shoulders and chest all the time. Therefore a hot humid slog was going to occur over the weekend as even our knees had to be covered. You woudl think that a group of whiteys comming to do up their school would be iven an allowance to wear shorts. But not in an Islamic country, oh now.
Its so ironic. Next to the school down a slope there is a pool carved out of the rock and fed by a stream and all the local (except fully vlothed women) were jumping in naked all the time.I swam in the pool three times. It was great but I was harrasses by naked kids pulling on their little man planks and shouting at me. Why is it that when a white man swims the kids try and follow him? Also why do they pioint at their bits and shout at you? Do they think that I have the power to make it less mini Indo or something. Needless to say I stayed in the pool until the nakedness of children made me run away from the pool.
The entire weekend was a great laugh and we tranfromed the school into a massive mural embellished palace!

It was an early atsrt at the weekedn and I knew that I would get filthy with paint. So I went with my t shirt (the one ruined by the rust stains, after one of my filthy ouse mates took it off the line and put it on the railing) with 'Jim fixed it for me written on the back for prosperity in red paint.
So we met early and immediatly we crammed into the car and off we went to Pagelawan. I am still getting the piss taken out of me by Katie for my pronounciation of this place name. We stiopped en route to grab the local rag. It was the Surya paper. A real local obscure one and low and behold who should get on the printed page but none other than the duo of Fae and Katie painting flowers around their door. Naomi was mentioned and the report was quite small, but press coverage is press coverage at least.
We drove for ages and when we reached Pagelawan surrounded by rolling cultivated rice padi fields and risen fileds with irregated water features, we discovered that we 3 (me, Katie and Fae who both were wearing awful britney and christina t shirts that i found in a shop) were the only ones not wearing those horrible new 3 tone green t shirts for the GX programme. My t shirt is a loody large and instead of it swamping me it is so bloody large that I am constricted by the thing that cuts into my tits.
Oh well at least everyone else looked like fools in their green and I had 'Jim fixed it for me on my back'! So we set about to work and the load of us along with a handful of locals with bloody hundreds of giggling and laughting kids staring at your every move we set to work.
First thing we all did was scrubb the walls. every inch was coated in a thick layer of filth. The rags literally fell apart that we scrubbed so hard. Then after that we all painted the undercoat of the 'lovely' aqua marine classrooms and all walls. I was hounded, every move I made little kids got under my feat and annoyed me. So I gave them a wall and some brushes and set them o work. I have never seen such a mess afterwards. We stopped for coffee breaks when we could procure hot water from somewhere and soon the coffee exculsive club was formed. So much to the extent that I was up a ladder and Fae came over and made a head gesture that beckoned me. This was then followed by hushed words of 'I have made you a coffee'. It was such an espionage event to get a coffee.
I spent the first day inbetween the odd food stops that they made us all have, painting. The food was filth, but I gulped down loads on the first day. So much so that my the time the latter food stops came round I carried on working throughout.
So what we first did was to paint the walls. All the walls. Then by the Kindergarten on the walls was an area reserved for murals and the like. I started to draw chalk outlines of two monkeys and the GX logo. All the time while I had been woring away like a busy bee, the sour po faced woman from the British council and the equally uber lazy Fifie (Project supervisor) sat watching me. Then as I was finishing my chalk outlines the latter waddled over to me and said that we 'dont need any of that'. Well I had just stood there drawing and you fucking watched me you freak. So I gave her the chalk and said 'you fucking well do it then' and walked off. I went into a class room where Daisy and Fae were painting the walls and being pestered by the bare footed little kid who ran around shouting 'Mr' all the time rolling the r to sound like a robot! I was required there to paint the top parts of the walls perched on a table as they couldnt reach and the tables were a might unstable. So I painted the walls all round and watched out the window as my Monkey outlines were painted and soon two colourful monkeys took shape. Fuck you I thought.
As the murals were taking shape after I finished the painting of the walls and left the locals to copy my actions for the second coat. I went over and painted on the wall a huge elephant and a tiger. This was all done with shading and colours mixed galore. I soon had a huge crowd round me. The white man paints!!! Fifie came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder. I took my earphones out and she said 'This is really good'. Well that wasnt an apology and I still cannot abide her so I said Yeah and put my headphones back in and continued painting.
My tiger and elephant was soonjoined by a parrot and I sat their covered in paint as I seemed to have gotten it all over myself. The little kids all gathereed round me would sometimes get a shout from me to clear them off as they seemed to get so close that they could fuck you up the arse and then sometimes I would get them to say the animals I was painting in Indo language. Theses kids just loved me. But were so bloody annoying!
Hugh had done a great job in organising the whole affair and was the one who got me back doing murals and drawing the elephant.
The school overloked the community swimming pool. A man made pool fed by the river. It was clear and clean and had little fishes just uike the Indo toilet basins swimming in them. I could see so many naked bodies swimming around and washing openly in it. So then if they can swim naked and run around on the banks naked, why do we have to cover up our shoulders and all that bollocks. This entire community is fucked! Ther so called community head was roaming around like a pompadore all weekedn and did less that Fifie PS and that was absolutely sod all.
Finally the daylight receded and the dusk fell around us like a blanket. Our work was done for one day and with the lack of light and no spot ligts or electricity of anykind at the school that was all we could do. I immediately went down to the pool that now no longer had loads of people washing in it and all the inner tubes were put away oput of my reach. I dived in and swam lenght after lenght. The water seemed to refrresh and rejuvenate my body and soul.
As Hugh had stayed the night here last night off we went to this massive and amaizing host home.
But as the host home was an Islamic one the mosque music which was a little boy and some geezer singing into a microphone was pumped into the house making the arabic ringing in your ears. The house was massive. I even had a chain where a chandelier would be one day hung. The thing was that the house wasnt finished and was half plastered and half concrete. But still compared to mine it was a palace of clenliness and they served us up beautiful food. Of course no one spoke a word of English but we soon found the two rooms we were occupiying. One for Indo boys and one for Hugh, Ibby and myself. With one large bed, but a balcony!
The host house was truly impressive. The floors were so clean that you couldhave eaten off them. There was a maid and also all the mod cons. Well the Indo version of mod cons.
We soon went over to one of the other host houses wre all the girsl were sitting up and we played games, chatted and drank cold tea until it was all quiet outside. This of course was 9pm as Indos all go to bed early. At the end only the Brits were up playing word association and names games. . We all chatted so much and the night was areal laught. But all good things muts come to an end so off to bed we went.
The badminton players in the street had all put away their cocks now!
Oh in tennis you have ballboys, but in profeshional or olympic badminton do you have cock boys?
We all went back to our host home, full of food and tea with loads of sugar. The Indos were all in bed and Miftah was snoring keeping Rizky and Anhah awake. Ibby who is terrified by everything wrapped himself in Hughs mossy net and went to sleep. We all got in the bed and soon were dreaming about all sorts of things. I awoke absolutely freezing and needed to get a top to put on. But unbekwnost to me Hugh had got out of bed and was sleeping on the floor. Therefore I stepped on his amd went flying.
At 3 am I was woken with a start. The bloody mosque with the tannoy inbuilt in this house was booming out at such a high level that no one could possibly sleep at all. The noise was terrific. Why do they have to do that?
The next day.
We emerged suffering from lack of sleep and after breakfast I went down and swam in the pool and washed to wake myself up. Katie went down at 5.30 and said with the early morning mist upon the water it was terrific.But alas I wasnt up early enough to do that.
Anyway today I worked my bollocks off again and even drank my coffee after naomi had washed her paint brushes in it! I started off up a ladder finishing off the wall and using a brush tied onto a stick to reach the top bits near the roof.
So the wall was transformed into a super mural. I painted an absolute extravaganza on the wall and was so chuffed with the end result. I painted real surreal items. A hot air baloon flying over head with 'Get high with Hoogie air' written on it with a person vomiting over the edge of the basket. I also painted a bear on a union jack guitar. A ringmaster with big ginger moustache and a whip in hand. A chicken on her eggs a parrot on the other wall near the tiger. A cheese zepplein dedicated to Katie and also came up with the idea to make the central pillar a hand prints mural of all the team. Of course all these randoms joined in and put their prints on the walls. I waited to last and put mine up right at the top in black and also painted a union jack and wrote my name as El capitano Benoit. Then I made the ringmaster have magic coming fom is hands and a fish and then drew a gorilla with lipstick on and boobies!
.We have made the school lok brilliant. The only trouble is that all the paint is water based and will probably rub off or wash off before we leave Indonesia. But no matter it made for a cracking photo.
The kids were out in vengeance again today and every step I made I seemed to tread on one who came right up to me to watch me paint. Even the adults came over and stood watching as if inspecting, but said nothing. Occasionall one would give the thumbs up. I was truly covered in paint though. My clothes were ruined and all the paint had seeped through to my skin and I was covered in all the colours of the rainbow and many more of my monkey mixes.
I had to go for a swim so I went down to the pool. I was followed by all the kids who by now all kept shouting 'Mr. Ben' all the time. I jumped in and swam around a bit. Splashing the cool refreshing waters all over my paint stained and dusty body. The banks were lined by those dropping trees where the roots come from above. The same trees in fact that are in alun-alun. But sadly as I swam around the kids all joined me. The problem was that they all just stripped naked and dived into the waters. They even pulled on their dicks. I was called so I turned round and a few of them were pulling on their todgers and pointing to them shouting. It was a bit too sick for me so I washed , got out and went back to the school where I caused a stir by walking through a near deserted playground with my shirt off! Oh I am such a naughty boy!
Finally we cleared up and all was done. We had to pose for pictures and we dished out the toothbrushes that we had bought for the kids. Endah gave a speech over the microphone about dental hygienne and showed the kids how to brush their teeth. Thats juts an example of things that need to be shown to many Indonesians as so many smiles contain disgusting teeth.
On the way hom we laughed and joked and also played yellow car with the introduction of yellow jilbab. We passed little tuc tuc things and when we got back we were all throughly knackered.
There apparantly was some fair in town and a few of the Indos wanted to go. I went with them and wish I hadnt. It did have a fun fair but their was a massive poxy cheapo maket and the Indos walked through at such a slow pace looking at all the tacky shit. I had to leave so bid by goodbyes and off I went via two angkots home.
The rest of my week has been mighty surreal!
I was accosted my random men in the bird market shouting 'hey cowboy, you very handsome man' at me and one of the nurses at the Red Cross now likes to pinch my cheeks like a small child. It hurts!
This week I have also discovered that there is an ulternative option to Indomilk the gloopy semen like filth that is in place of milk out here. This substance is called Max Creamer and the name is such a prono name that I love it.
This week we also rturned to finish off the painting at YPAC (why-pay-achay). This was the school where the poor little kids were rottign awa in heinous cots and one little lad wa shaken and smekcd for crying. My hear went out to them all and I spent my time playing with kids and paitning the walls a piss yellow. There was one kid who was so great. He was practicing his cunting with me and when he got to ten successfully he whizzed around whooping in his wheelchair with hands waving in the air.
Today 7th June 2006
Today was the day that Miftah and I ran our Educational activity day. It was at the Brawijaya museum and we met their early and played on a staionary tank in the otside garden area. The theme for the day was War; A warnign from the past, a lesson for the future. The EAD had both fun and serious parts to it. For example Miftah ran a blindfolded land mine navigation game for his fun part. For my fun part I played on the rooftop 'Bruce's play your cards right'. Yes I dod the nicfe to see you, to see you nice game and used war stats. I started comically like 'whats was the shortest war in history' an finished on a sombre harsh reality of casualty rates caused by warfare. The seious sessions were group discussions about four war related topics. The tipopics were: The enviromental impacts of war, Can there ever be a just war. The after effects of war and The war on Iraq points for and against
We also had a talk by some sargeant major in the Indo army who gave a potted history of Indonesia in the second world war. To finish the day I ran a museum quiz where we let loose the groups to find facts and figures and comical bits and bobs around the museum. One question was who is the dapper man with a moustache that Clark Gable would admire? The answer was that on the lits of Malang mayors over the years there was inbetween the unifromed vivic officials and army generals a man denim clad with a glint in his eye. He was none other than the mayor in the 70's. What a ledge!
To end on a high note this week I saw the touch up midget again! I was on an angkot going into the centre of Malang a while ago and a one eyed Midget (no I am not taking the piss) got on and tried to caress a woman leg. I watched in amaizement as he slowly edged closer and closer until he was almots ontop of her. Shje moved away and he moved closer again. It was pure comdey and his little hand then tried to rest on her thigh. She was of course having none of it and kept moving, but the little fellow persisted. Eventually he realised that he had been clocked by me and sheepishly moved away and sulked. But today I saw him and he saw me. He then huriedly crossed the road t avoid my smile!
Lastly I think I was attacked by lice this week. I showed two British girsl around the pasar basar (underground market) and when I emerged fromthe durty dead chicken infested bird flu trap of a labaryinth I was itching all over. So Every item of clothing I own had to be washed and de-louced!
Well I better be off as I have written far far far too much and if you have reached this far you should be rewarded with a Brucey bobus!
Take care my friends and lovers
Til we meet again
Keep on trucking
Love and tickles

Remember 'no, no, no you can't touch the ferret'!


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