Monday, 3 March 2014


I have been far too busy with family and work through February to really provide my normal narrative on life out here but that does not mean it has all stopped, quite the opposite, it continues.

Throughout the majority of February I have been soaked daily due to my working schedule and the frequent passing storms and the rain they dispense. It has even taken the pleasure out of riding.

My shoes always damp, my helmet smells, my new water proof coat and trousers leak and the bike has changed colour to a browny dirty one.  The house has got damper, the water features on several walls are interesting and the mould which has moved into one corner of the kitchen ceiling as put by the landlady's builder 'is to be expected, it is raining hard and so houses leak'. So thats OK then. I won't fix it or try too and if something like the water pump breaks down, I will let it rather than telling the landlady because clearly something's out here are not important; like preventing things from getting worse. I don't know why I am surprised I deal with this a lot.

It seems that out in Indonesia, a problem is something that has broken beyond repair otherwise it is not important if it can be taped over or ignored until it breaks. This way of life means that people save money on repairs because it is cheaper to buy new. Everyone excepts this. I try not too but seem I have too because, that's the way it is. The idiom painting over the cracks seems to spring to mind and with the cracks in my walls then it needs filling then painting over. The cracks could be the normal ones you get in new houses or the due to the plasterer who when plastering the walls, did half a wall one day and then the other the next and in between it dried and shrank, like its supposed to do. Sigh.

Still moving on, its still a nice house when it dries out and the sunshines and that is now starting to happen again and the temperature is back to the mid 30's in the sunshine so that makes it better.

One thing with all the rain is the fact that bugs and things grow and reproduce and once the rain has stopped these things then come out of the water and go and find you. Things like mosquitoes which carry dengue fever.

So on the first dry, sunny and hot Sunday of the year the ominous sound of a petrol driven leaf blower could be heard and that meant the man with the killer smoke for the drains was coming and so we had to shut all the doors and windows for the next.

Basically someone wanders around the streets of Jakarta with this death machine blowing some kind of insecticide into the open drains and drain holes and the like in the hope of killing larvae and other nasties lurking below. It can't be a healthy job nor nice for the person doing because of the abuse they must suffer.
More smoke and god knows what else to breathe in
 The smoke is blown through the street and then once he has passed the great migration of cockroaches starts and they all run onto the streets to die unhappy deaths through either poison or the locals killing them all. A lot of these horrible insects ran under the gate and at the house to escape this but ultimately died anyway but it is quite a sight watching them all run at you.

Scattered around the car port to die
After about 30 minutes later they were all pronounced dead and whilst some continued to scuttle in there were very few left. In our house all the drains are covered to prevent mice and the roaches from getting in so we never had any, maybe one.

You don't see this in the guidebooks
Once they were all dead, it was up to me to collect them all up and dispose of them in the bin and the clean the carport down, check the shoes and washing and then open the windows again. Happily though I think this happens no more than twice a year so we don't have to breathe it all in.

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