Tales from Tangerang

I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 weeks since I left KL for the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Jakarta. Tomorrow is the last day of the sale before we start the whole tear down – something we all dread since it’s not exactly fun. But hey, overall, it’s been a great trip.

Firstly, the sale isn’t even in Jakarta. It’s actually in a city called Tangerang, 25 kilometers away from Jakarta. Something I only discovered after landing. Not that it really mattered – people from all over Indonesia attended the sale anyway. Also, BBW Tangerang doesn’t really roll off the tongue.

Tangerang is a pretty nice city. It’s not too different from KL, so I didn’t really feel homesick (not that I feel homesick often anyway). However I do miss people and Snuggles, so I’m looking forward to going back home.

I’ve come to appreciate the efficiency of Malaysian cashiers. They are really miles ahead when it comes to efficiency. I’ve never waited so long for a McDonald’s meal before.

Counting in Rupiah is challenging. Maybe I’m just mentally challenged but shit, the number of zeroes they have to deal with. Why not just remove three zeroes since the lowest denomination they have is 1000 anyway? I have no idea. But stuff here is generally cheaper than back home. And even the pop up restaurants outside the event didn’t cost an arm and a leg for a drink.

My command of Malay is terrible – and despite Indonesian being pretty similar, there are quite a number of words which don’t carry over. I definitely had trouble communicating sometimes. Fortunately I have Google Translate to help. Download your dictionaries for offline use – it seriously helps.

The sale has been tiring. On the plus side, I feel like I can lift heavier shit. No idea if I’ve been this strong all along or I’ve gradually gotten stronger over the past few months. I’m also better at using a pallet jack than I was a few months ago. Nicked myself with a cutter earlier today – only injury I’ve had so far. Saw this one dude with a hugeassmotherfucking water blister on his toe. They call it ‘kapalan’ over here. Something to do with a ship because there’s water inside the blister.

I also learnt some important words – the Indonesian word for masturbate is apparently a word that sounds like ‘cholly’.

Also discovered a new band which I’m digging a lot – The 1975 (thanks Pam! btw do check out her paper craft, it’s insane) here’s one of my favorite tracks from them:

They remind me of California Wives. Good shit.

Other than them, Cigarettes After Sex and Lil Dicky has been my playlist for the trip.

I saw a man wash his hands with the water from a urinal. I’m not sure if that’s better than the plethora of dudes who don’t wash their hands at all.

Also, eating food that’s 12+ hours old can give you a tummy ache.

I made plenty of new friends and even managed to meet some old ones.

It’s been a good trip. See you again, you crazy, crazy book hungry people.


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