Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Jakarta Nights

Imagine the scenario; lively streets, bustling with all sorts of people. Bars, restaurants, shops and traffic. Loud music and shouting. Lively street scene, a good place for people to hang out in the evening or spend the night with friends drinking, chatting and socialising.
The place has a good vibe and it is known for its bars and people. One night someone is out with friends and its getting the late, the beer has been flowing I am sure for a while and the friends split.
The next thing you know, one of the friends is covered in blood in the middle of a bar after being 'glassed' by someone else and all hell breaks loose. The police arrive and there is just general confusion and finger pointing. The glassed person comes round, he does not really understand what has happened, manages to walk out of the bar and get a taxi home.
In pain and in need of medical assistance he goes to a hospital where he receives 16 stitches to various parts of the head and given pain killers and some drops for his eyes as they have had glass slithers in them and need time to heal.
Still in pain the next day, he returns to hospital as his sight is getting worse and on seeing an eye doctor gets told he has received the wrong medication for his eyes and has 50% vision. Fearing the worse he freaks out and rightly so and has a few days of worry until his next appointment. Luckily for him the next appointment confirms he is on the mend and his sight will get back normal in the next week.
Sounds horrific and from those who know western cities and life, we can assume it happened to someone in the west on a night out.
Wrong. It happened in Jakarta. In Jalan Jacksa. All the above is true.

The glassing attack is the worst thing I have heard happen to an expat here in over 3 years. It is made worse as I know this guy and it would have been unprovoked.

My message is a cautionary tale for those out for a beer in the cities 'nite spots'. Be careful and be aware that a bar is a bar no matter where in the world you are. Alcohol can fuel violence and attacks. Western people should know that so please don't think it does not happen here. Be responsible and be safe.
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