Jakarta

In indonesia you buy a "visa on arrival," what they don't mention anywhere is that this is one of those paste-in style visas that uses and entire page of your passport. Obviously hey aren't allowed to cover up old stamps, and of course there is no blank page in mine. So, after 24 hours of transit, I get yanked into a little concrete room bustling with immigration cops. They all agree that the ONLY thing they can do in this case is put me on the next plane back to Frankfurt (my flights origin). Then they sit down to eat dinner and i know clearly what's going on, they are trying to sweat me. So we began the game. Just to make it extra clear they are taking steps for deportation a few Lufthansa reps dropped in to confirm the rebooking. An hour later I ask them most dominant (and sleazy) official, named FITRAH IZHARRY, if there is some kind of solution, maybe a "fee" that can be paid. I hide most my money in my sock and offer "all I have" which is about $40. He's insisting on $200. Another hour passes and we eventually settle on $100, which he insists I withdraw from a cash machine.� This bribe is to put the visa on one the four� ammendment pages of the passport, where you technically aren't supposed to put visas, but many countries have already stamped the other 3 pages by accident, nobody seems to care.�I audio recorded the whole transaction, need to edit out the long silences and post it later. After all that fun w/ immigration, and the usual battle to get a metered taxi instead of a rip-off agent, I arrived in central Jakarta� wtih Nova, vocalist/rapper and activist that somehow ended up my defacto tour manager in Indonesia. I'm saying in her step-mom's hotel, which she described to me via email as "spooky". The room was once peach colored, now a collage of skid marks and stains from squished bugs. The window is crusted over with pollution emits only a dim light in full daytime. They desk guy asked if I wanted� "ladies". Now that I've been in europe few years touring, �I feel like i'm returning to another time in my life, actually a place that I feel more comfortable. In the touring musician life in europe I always feel like an imposter. When at some Ibis hotel in europe I'm scared somebody is going to discover me and call the police. � We went for a walk when I arrived the barrio, which she qualified as Jakarta's bronx. I'd agree, except the bronx doesn't have shacks hanging over shallow rivers of sewage nor sound like a motocross rally 24-hours a day. In the bronx people eat at tables, have tv's in their own houses. It might sound like I don't like Jakarta, and yes it's a difficult place, but it has it's charm too. Also my gig there was about a gritty as it can get, at the Jakarta Art Institute, which is more like a squat, organized by the Sakit Kuning Collectivo. There was someone at the gig who's full time job was to shoot off aerosol cans as flame-throwers. Some fotos from the event. �