Jakarta Bound is a travelogue about life in one of the largest and most densely populated cities in South East Asia.
After the unfortunate incident between Jeff and Simon, I had agreed to be a go-between so that they could at least resolve the monetary aspect of their issue. Simon had agreed to compensate Jeff for the loss of his physical belongings to the tune of 16,000,000 IDR, but the loss of all those photographic memories of his wedding and his only child growing up could never be compensated. Nor could Simon’s abuse of his trust.
I thought I was helping by offering to meet Jeff on Simon’s behalf to hand over his money, but perhaps it would have been better if I had made him man-up and do it himself. Jeff, understandably, still harboured a fair amount of resentment toward his ex-lodger, which was fair enough. But because he had never got the opportunity to see Simon again after what had happened, he never really got closure and I think he had let his resentments stew. So when I met with him he decided he was going to direct that resentment toward me. Fuck that.
Simon could only withdraw a certain amount of money at one time from his bank’s cash machines so he was paying Jeff in instalments. I met with Jeff at a bar in noisy Tribeca gardens to pay him one of those instalments on Simon’s behalf. When I arrived, he was lounging in a booth in one of the bars looking dour and pissed off. I was a little bit later than was arranged so that was the first thing he started on about. This unemployed man of leisure was not happy that I had kept him waiting. I apologised but he continued to ramble on anyway. I ignored it. Then, as he was counting his money, he started with his digs.
“So you’re Simon’s errand boy now?” was his first swipe. I parried, not wanting to get into a verbal scuffle, but he continued; “How can you trust someone like Simon?” “Do you do everything for him now?” “How is your cosy little apartment together?” “How can you trust this man? Don’t you have any integrity?” – Now he was starting to get on my fucking nerves, so I told him…
“Look Jeff, you were the one who let a stranger into your home – your family home – without taking any kind of security or even a copy of his passport for ID. You let this stranger into your home with your wife and child when you had another apartment that was free. Why would you do that? Was it simply because you were thinking about the money? Did you put money before your own flesh and blood Jeff? Yet you’re talking to me about ‘trust’ and ‘integrity’!” He had no reply, he just babbled some nonsense about having trust and faith in all people; “Yes, and where did that get you?”, I said. I felt a little bit bad poking at what I knew would be a raw nerve, but what was I supposed to do? He then changed the subject.
“Where is the rest of the money?”, he said.
Simon had given me 4,000,000 IDR to pass on to him. I had counted it twice after he gave it to me to make sure that it was all there, and it was. I knew it was. Yet Jeff had counted it twice in front of me and somehow came up 100,000 short. I took it back off him and counted it again and sure enough it was all there; the guy was just being an arsehole.
“It’s all there Jeff. Count it again.”
He counted it again as I watched and it was all as it should be.
“Right then, that’s us done. I’m gonna get back”, I said and turned to leave, but he couldn’t resist one last dig.
“It’s a good thing that you trust him so much. I hope your new best friend doesn’t fuck you like he fucked me.”
I’d had enough of his shit. “First of all” I said, “He’s not my ‘best friend’, I’ve known him less time than you have, and only an idiot would trust someone they’ve only known for five minutes. Secondly, I am not worried about him fucking me over Jeff, because I’m pretty certain he’s aware that if he does I’ll fuck him right back a lot harder than you did”, I told him. “If I were you and he had brought some random girl into my house who robbed my shit, I would have made damn sure he paid for it. And I think he knows that.”
I must have raised my voice and looked a little bit pissed off at this point as the security guard came over and asked us to take it easy. Jeff didn’t have much more to say either, but I did.
“Look Jeff, just because you feel bad about letting a stranger into your house and putting money before the safety of your family, don’t take it out on me. I’m just trying to help you two resolve the situation. I suggest the next time you let people stay in your home that you take as much time taking a copy of their ID as you do their money. You should also be thankful that Simon didn’t turn out to be some crazy lunatic because your mistake could have turned out a lot worse.” At that, I turned and left him to marinate on what I had said. I also decided that I wasn’t going to be doing any more money drop-offs for Simon.