So messed up I want you here / In my room I want you here

Last night I almost caught a bur­glar.

It’s amaz­ing what a bit of adren­a­lin does for one’s brava­do. With­out that adren­a­line I seri­ous­ly doubt if I would’ve leapt naked after the guy with a torch in our liv­ing room.

And if I’d not been naked maybe he wouldn’t have run quite so fast. If our roles were reversed I guess I’d be out of there rather quick­ly if some­body a good foot taller, and some­what wider, came run­ning out a room undressed wail­ing obscen­i­ties.

When you throw two dogs into the mix, bear­ing in mind that most Mus­lims are ter­ri­fied of the things (why do I think he was a Mus­lim? I’ll get to that) it’s no won­der he ran down the hall, out the jim­mied win­dow and over the wall with such rapid accel­er­a­tion.

Yes­ter­day was a shit of a day. Actu­al­ly, most of it was ok, but both Brigid and I were exhaust­ed after she’d had to go to Yogyakar­ta the day before and I’d had to do the dawn air­port deliv­ery and late night pick­up. At 11 pm last night we’d had a call to go to a ware­house to super­vise an issue with an over­full con­tain­er due to ship but fraught with prob­lems. We’d got home at 1 am and gone to bed, to be wok­en, at 4 am, by the dogs: Star, our nervy Bali dog, and Chip­py, the dachs­hund with a Napoleon com­plex and the sort of ears and nose that gen­er­a­tions of hunt­ing bad­gers get you.

We’re used to it – the odd night where the dogs go bal­lis­tic over a cat, water mon­i­tor, or bloody civet on the roof and run around the room and the off-suite bath­room, like obsessed wall climb­ing howl­ing lunatics. It lasts five min­utes and then back to sleep, push­ing one or both of us off the bed as they posi­tion them­selves for max­i­mum com­fort. There has to be a rea­son why humans accept this and manoeu­vre them­selves to cause the ani­mal min­i­mum dis­com­fort whilst we hang off the side of the bed.

Last night was dif­fer­ent – they were surly and aggra­vat­ed – a lit­tle like the way they react to the pow­er guy (since elec­tric­i­ty has recent­ly dou­bled in price in Indone­sia, we do not dis­cour­age this). So I got up and wan­dered the house fol­lowed by the dogs, and found noth­ing.

Iron­i­cal­ly Brigid had said ear­li­er that night that we were get­ting lax with our secu­ri­ty, and I’d locked our out­side bed­room door for the first time in months.

We set­tled the dogs but Chip­py sat on the end of the bed snarling qui­et­ly peri­od­i­cal­ly for about five min­utes and then leapt off bark­ing furi­ous­ly again. I got up and saw a light in the liv­ing room through a win­dow – quite clear­ly a torch – so, with­out think­ing ratio­nal­ly I loud­ly opened the door and ran into the room, fol­low­ing by, now, high­ly agi­tat­ed dogs. The small guy, in a white t-shirt, took off and the scream­ing and bark­ing began.

It was over in about 3 min­utes. He was gone. The dogs were doing perime­ter patrol and I was reflect­ing on how stu­pid I was to leap naked at a guy who may have had a machete or knife.

And I put on some clothes.

He took noth­ing, drop­ping the lap­top I’m writ­ing this on now, harm­less­ly it seems and with­in 15 min­utes the police arrived. The sin­gle detec­tive was thor­ough and very help­ful. I’ve been crit­i­cal of Indone­sian police quite a few times on this blog, and with good rea­son, but on a one to one lev­el like this I’ve always found them to be help­ful, friend­ly and pro­fes­sion­al.

He asked me what the guy was wear­ing (we found his flipflops out the back – he’d left them in his dogs-and-naked-bulé dri­ven rush to leave). I told him. He asked me his height. I told him. He asked me what colour his hair was. I didn’t know what to say – all Indone­sians have black hair.

We talked about whom it may have been and were remind­ed that this is both the begin­ning of Galun­gan, one of the most impor­tant reli­gious peri­ods in the Bali­nese cal­en­dar, and a full moon. Both meant it was unlike­ly to be a Bali­nese. When you throw in the impend­ing Ramadan peri­od when Orang Jawa are expect­ed to return to Jawa, to their vil­lages – a big expense for a labour­er here (most of whom are Javanese) – and this means there is, at this time every year, a huge upswing on this sort of pet­ty crime.

And despite the fact that the prick want­ed my valu­able lap­top, it is pet­ty crime, so I’m a lit­tle uncom­fort­able with the advice a few have giv­en us (not the cop), to run out scream­ing Mal­ing! Mal­ing! Mal­ing! (Thief! Thief! Thief!). The local neigh­bour­hood then comes out and takes chase, usu­al­ly result­ing in the death of the offend­er by beat­ing or hack­ing. This is some­thing I know I could not deal with. Plus, if I’d run naked into the street scream­ing any­thing at 4 am, chances are I’d be the one with a prob­lem.

The police­man left about 6 and we final­ly went back to sleep, with one small dachs­hund deter­mined to stay alert and on guard duty the whole time, on the end of the bed, where she nev­er usu­al­ly sits, watch­ing the door.

We love our dogs. They had Chick­en satay for break­fast.

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