On a violent meeting and psychedelic fish

I'm feeling rough, I'm feeling raw, I'm in the prime of my life.
Let's make some music, make some money, find some models for wives.
I'll move to Paris, shoot some h***** and f*** with the stars.
You man the island and the elegant cars.
>Time to Pretend by MGMT

All cities have their rhythms and a mastery of these predictable patterns is essential to a reasonably hassle free life. Good timing is everything.

And Jakarta is no exception. So whenever I need to travel the clogged arteries of this sick and unhealthy city, I try – if at all possible – to do so during Friday lunchtimes when the traffic suddenly disappears from the roads in a similar way that the Red Sea opened up a passage on the order of the great Prophet Moses.

I find myself at my chosen destination – the Jakarta Stock Exchange building in no time at all (If I had traveled at any other time, it could have taken up to an hour).

It’s not possible to simply walk into the front entrance anymore (the doors are now permanently locked) and I have to walk to the main entrance around the back. But wtf is that?

 Bentley in Jakarta
Wow! A Rp5 billion Bentley. I wonder if it belongs to that guy who doesn’t have to pay taxes?

A visit to the Jakarta Stock Exchange building always brings back memories for me. I was managing a small company there when a large earthquake hit and everyone else legged it as fast as they possibly could - probably leaving me the only person in the building!

And I was also there when terrorists decided in their lunacy to set off bombs in the underground parking lot, killing a lot of people and guaranteeing their one way ticket to hell.

The memory of this act of barbarism lingers on and explains why the Jakarta Stock Exchange building is now one of the most tightly guarded buildings in all of Jakarta.

Anyway, I’ve taken the fast moving lift up to one of the upper floors before going through some glass doors into a posh looking room filled with fancy art works (copies of course) and a nice looking sofa.

It’s pretty quiet – it’s Friday lunchtime – but there are a few people in the queue and I find myself standing next to a rather professional looking Chinese lady.

She’s in her late 30s I’d say, and is wearing a checkered business suit - which is rather tightly tailored – and has a large pearl necklace around her neck. She has makeup on – but only sparingly – and has long, jet black hair which looks like it’s just been washed. And she smells like Paris.

She then stumbles on her heel, and as she looks up, catches my eye.

Me: Be careful, or you’ll end up on the floor!
Her: (she smiles and laughs softly)
Me: Worried about the debt crisis too?
Her: Yes. Should I be?
Me: Only if you have debts. Do you?
Her: No.
Me: Well don’t worry then. Europe’s a long way from here.
Her: Are you from Europe? Which country?
Me: And I’m ********. Who are you?
Me: No please – you don’t have to be! Was it something I said?

She then reaches into the inside pocket of her jacket, whips out a card and gives it to me:

WTF! You have to be kidding me! It’s a misprint surely, it must be. But it’s not. It’s not a misprint; it’s her real name…

And as for the strangely named psychedelic fish?

Well, that ain’t a misprint either – its real name is Histiophryne psychedelica – but the name of an Indonesian fish which has been named as one of the world’s most bizarre newly-discovered creatures by the International Institute for Species Exploration for 2010.

Perhaps I should tell Violent.

 psychedelic frogfish
Indonesia's psychedelic frogfish wishes everyone a nice trip


  1. wat a riot of a name! i mean seriously , that was really was / is her name! u shud have "so who exactly baptized u" , or even better "so wat does ur name mean".

    u know the traffic , stock mkt security description etc all are pretty much excatly where im from. i went to the karachi stock mkt a few days ago , didnt meet anyone violent though , did see quite a lot of SUVs & other ridicoulous expensive cars, but then we bankers are used to it- be it jakarta or karachi

  2. Sadya, maybe I'll call her up and ask her those questions!

  3. Wow..her name is Violent......Anyway, what is in a name?

  4. not much but some are funny. Like Rally Marina (google it!)


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