Maybe I’m Amazed…..

Yesterday morning I made caught the Garuda flight from Denpasar to Yogyakarta in central Java. Nothing to special in that really. I came back on the late evening flight and arrived back about ten at night to a friendly but quiet Bali. I’ve done it a few times in recent months and what was once quite an adventure has become rather ordinary.

Yesterday I had five hours to kill and did a walk through the markets and the back alleys of central Jogja which I enjoyed more than I expected to. I found a street the length of K Road that sells only pirate DVDs and CDs and I bought a couple of CDs.

I love the Department stores full of Xmas glitter above Muslim shawl displays, the dozens of bent over old men, backs long ruined, down dirty gangs weighing precious stones and the groups of giggling school girls that could be anywhere on the planet if it wasn’t for that cheeky Indonesian grin that you see everywhere here and nowhere else.

Some of the awe returned.

And Garuda – it’s a flight like any other Garuda flight which means it really isn’t like any other. The runway at Jogja International Airport is a piece of work and you tend to bounce around and across it rather randomly, but you get there. The woman next to me was down praying feverishly to her god. I’d rather put my faith in the maintenance crews but that’s a not a comforting thought on this 737, which had life jacket instructions in Russian stencilled on the back of the seats. I guess they were stripped from an Il-18 or something back in the day. The broken ashtrays were superglued shut.

I once flew business class on Garuda for six hours with every light on the plane. It was the middle of the night and the inflight entertainment system crashed at the same time. The crew seemed to have no idea what exactly to do and smiled before hiding. But Indonesia comes with a degree of acceptance of these things.

The killer record:

Terry Brookes featuring Aaron Soul – City Life (Carl Craig vocal mix) This is single of the year right now hands down. I don’t know where brothers Terry and Aaron are from, Europe I guess since this is on a Dutch label and Terry has released a couple of singles on European labels, but Carl Craig does something special again in a year when he’s done it over and over again. In the same way he nailed 2003 with Angola, right at the end of the year and redefined tribal techno, this drags his sound back to Detroit circa 1993 when KMS were doing all those wonderful Chez Damier tracks.

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