Jakarta Bound is a travelogue about life in one of the largest and most densely populated cities in South East Asia.
I stopped off at the local Indomaret and picked up a couple of bottles of Anker beer before I headed back up to the apartment. Simon was still at home when I got in so I opened both the beers and gave him one and told him all about my meeting with Jeff. It was pretty funny in retrospect and we both had a bit of a laugh about it, but when I told him I wasn’t going to do any more money drops for him he wasn’t so amused. Nevertheless, as was typical with Simon, he was quite calm and pragmatic about it and suggested that I could maybe meet with Jeff’s wife Evi instead. This seemed like a pretty good idea. I didn’t particularly mind helping him out if there was no stress involved, and the couple of times I had met with Evi she was always easy going and pleasant, like pretty much all of the Indonesians I had met. I couldn’t imagine her being awkward with me in the way Jeff had been. It also dawned on me that Jeff was possibly trying a bit of psychological chess. Perhaps he thought that by implying that I was a being some kind of little bitch for Simon, it would pique my ego and I would stop doing his money drops, forcing Simon to do it himself. Or perhaps I was just overthinking things, something I’m prone to do. Either way I agreed. Keeping Simon onside was in my best interests. Despite his faults he was still one of only two ‘friends’ I had in Jakarta and everyone needs friends. Especially when they’re miles from home.
Since I had moved in with Simon, we had rarely stayed up late, drank a beer and had a chat in the way I expected flatmates would do. I found this a bit odd as when we had been out our conversations had flowed freely. Perhaps he had a different head for different occasions. People can be like that. Also, I didn’t start work until two in the afternoon so going to bed late wasn’t a problem for me. Simon was usually out by 10.00 in the morning so he would be in bed by midnight most nights. Since I usually didn’t finish until 9.30 at night we tended to be out of sync, which kind of worked for both of us because it meant that he got at least an hour with the fan blowing into his room and was usually asleep before I got into bed and turned it off. But that night I let the fan run longer than usual as, despite sharing my bed most nights with that bitch Insomnia and not falling asleep for two or three hours, I wanted to have a little thinking time. That night the idea of destiny shared the bed with us.
Some people have a great belief in destiny, but I have my doubts. Mainly, because whilst most of the destiny adherers see it in a positive light, the other side of that coin isn’t always a positive thing.
Take Boabdil “the Unlucky” for example. He was the last of the Moorish kings of Spain to occupy the Andalucian throne in the stronghold of the magnificent Alhambra in Granada. From his birth, the Moor soothsayers prophesised that Boabdil’s reign would mark the end of the Moor’s 700-year rule in Andalucia, and they were proved right. Everything this guy did was fated to lead to the ultimate end of the Islamic empire’s reign in Spain. So what if some people are destined to be failures from the moment they take their first breath? And what if those people who are unfortunate enough to have this destiny forced upon them, never having a chance no matter how hard they try – what if they decide that they are going to fight their destiny head on and refuse to lose? Is it a futile battle? Do you just lay down and die? Or do you suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and take arms against a sea of troubles and, in opposing, end them? Is it possible? Can you fight fate? Why was I thinking this? Well, it wasn’t the first time I had ruminated on this idea.
I’ve come from what is romantically termed ‘humble beginnings’ and from a very early age I had decided that I was going to make my own destiny; I was going to be the difference. Yet it seemed, despite putting the work and effort in, everything that I did ended in failure. It’s been pretty depressing. Yet here I was, in my third profession, having made a bold move to force a paradigm change in my life, but still hitting brick wall after brick wall; how the fuck could I manage to take a job eight thousand miles away from my place of birth, yet within a month find myself embroiled in some drama, albeit relatively trivial, but drama nonetheless?
You could argue it is my choice of friends, but what other choices had presented themselves since I had been in Jakarta? None.
You could argue that it is my combative personality, but combative personalities have helped many successful men and women succeed. And besides, I hadn’t done anything particularly confrontational since I had been in Jakarta. Yet within less than a month, a had gone on what was a highly enjoyable night out and it had turned into the catalyst for a drama that was not of my doing!
Fuck you destiny. Fuck you and the grubby little boat you sailed in on. I’m going to take my resilience and shove it up your tight little party pooping arse.