Friday, May 24, 2013

Indie Guide Jakarta Nightlife: Blowfish Blows

aka Where the Fashionless Rich Locals Blow their Money

 I’ve intentionally sacrificed title creativity in exchange for onpoint simplicity to sum up this human body factory excuse of a club. Blowfish is a staple in Jakarta nightlife though, and begs the review because inevitably you will find yourself here fist pumping to David frakking Guetta on repeat. I’m writing this for you so you can make wise choices when planning a night out with the lads. In sum it is a horrid mass of people crammed together, dressed as the biggest douchbags. You can’t enter unless you are wearing heels. Doesn’t matter how dressed up you are or how Diored or oxford cute your flats may be, they will not let you enter. For dudes, a tshirt is going to send you back home, alone with your hand and the Fashion Channel. Collared shirts only.

What NOT to wear if you're a woman going to an Electro show, but totally okay if you're a dude. Not that I'm stylish, but I guess I was expecting Social Club, Paris vibe when Tiga comes to town. Goddamn it. 

 Once you make it in, there are two giant areas. The first is primarily hip hop on the right and the second on the left is guess what? Top 40s ! Crown me the king of barf kingdom please. 

 Pissin' Me Off
1 - Too crowded. I hear friends complain about how hard it is to move in there, that you’re always being shoved in one direction or the next.

2 - I’d rather have a scrotum sit on my forehead than listen to more top 40

3 - Girls are bitchy. This point I do not agree with, but then again I’m not trying to pick up da ladiessss (creep voice). Lots of lady friends, Indonesians and internationals go to Blowfish and they are lovely. I guess because it’s so expensive to get in and the dress code is so tight there may be a higher proportion of cactusy personalities prickling about.

4 - Expensive. Entry ranges from 100-150k on a regular night. Drinks are 100k minimum.

 The Goodness
 When it comes down to it, I will avoid Blowfish but I am not completely opposed. There are redeeming qualities like..

1 - The men are goodlooking. It draws a decent proportion of decent looking people.

2 -  The crowd, despite Betty Bitch Heels walking around,  knows how to have fun. There are tables and people love jumping on it to dance. In no way are they snobby and reserved. These guys let loose!

3 - Good dancing area. Giant platform in the middle gives the Napoleon Complex afflicted such as myself a chance to jump higher and above the crowd. There’s a large dance area, unlike at Immigrant.

 4 - International DJs. They bring in some good acts and big shows. Saw Tiga here in 2010. He was cool. The bouncers were not. Didn’t let me in even though I was on guestlist to write about the show put on by Christian Rijanto himself.. all because I was not wearing feet daggers. See my outfit (photo above)? Er. I will never forgive that humiliation.

5 - 700k bottles of Champagne apparently! (Thanks Tim)

Conclusion: Put Your Pretty Clothes on and Dance!

 Come here with a big group of friends every once in a while. The place is always packed on the weekends and in the end it's lots of fun. Blowfish may be expensive and people have no sense of style (an Indonesian wide problem) but if you are running low on options, this is def not your worst! My old German Rocket colleagues loved this place, if that gives you an indicator of what you’ll find. I think they should loosen up their dress code slash read the memo: HIGH HEELS DO NOT EQUATE TO FASHION. When you have a high cover charge already, chill out on the dress code eh? Like Immigrant. So what if a girl doesn’t want to wreak havoc and torture on the toes that surround her 5 inch heeled weapon foot? Let girls wear flats to go dancing! Also, Blowfish has the influence to change the music scene in Jakarta. It would be cool to see more experimental electro, minimal, sort of nights like you see in Paris. Classy but not overdone and too popular. Ugh, sorry for the rant. It just pains me for expats to be subjected to such distasteful homogeneity birthed from a mere lack of perceived options. We go here because It is changing though. I am impressed by the upcoming Jakarta scene since the last couple years (next post!). Can't wait to share!

Tell the taxi driver Wisma Mulia Gatot Subroto Jakarta Seletan.
If you just ask for 'Blowfish' they will NEVER know and you will lose your shiz on an innocent taxi man.

Clearly I'm bitter about being rejected because of my shoes when I was invited to review the damn show. What do you think of Blowfish? Share with the readers your non-horrible experiences!

Read More Party Stuff
Indie Guide to Jakarta: Review of Immigrant

Other Guides about Indonesia

Music: French indie rock from the underground
If you totally agreed with everything I said, then you might like this.

Download: Sans Attache - Bam!mp3

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Indie Guide Indonesia: Volcano Trekking Rinjani

7 Things to Know Before Kicking Mount Rinjani's Ass

We were basically Jon Snow. The Wildling mount of THE WALL was analogous to my 2640 metre vertical hike up Mount Rinjani, which was fraught with humid air (!) , jungle (!) , volcanic rock (!)  and a speckle of monkeys (!) . We may not have averted death by ice boulders, but by the end my fat legs felt were essentially ablaze with wildfire (okay, okay enough Game of Throne references).  I suffered physically, but it has been conquered!  And despite being stinky, prickly and rockin' a sock tan climbing Indonesia's second highest volcano we were  gods on an island of clouds contained only by the endless ceiling of stars above us.

Right. Gloat-o-clock is over. Allow me to share what was damn helpful to make this trek  the best ever that my bestie, imported from Canada, and I did. Please feel free to add or share your experiences too, eh!

My oldest and best friend comes the Orient to visit me in Jakarta. Great thing about getting older is that your friends have real jobs with real money. They can finally afford to visit me in the obscure corners of the world!

1. Which tour? Pick the 3Day 2Night package
Why would you bother submitting your body and time to only go most of the way up a mountain? You're never going to do this again so buck up and go up to the top. We actually did not though, choosing the 1night 2day package instead which just took us to the crater.

Good Morning! Breakfast with a view at 6:30 am. While we were warm and comfortable, it definitely wasn't easy sleeping. The wind raging around the tent the whole night made us think we would take flight off the mountain side.

It's still awesome, camped out on a crater overlooking the most pristine lake I've ever seen, and sleeping above the clouds. But with the larger package you actually get to go TO the lake and swim + do some hot springs + summit at over 3000 metres. Mild regret, but we were pressed for time / I was scared..

 2. Price. Don't be an Absolute Cheapass
Basically you get what you pay for. For our 2D1N we paid 1.25 million IDR with Rudy Trekker, which included pick-up and drop off to port, all meals, 1 night free stay before trek, equipment, and porters. Most packages include this stuff, but ours was seriously good quality. They made delicious vegan/vegetarian friendly meals on request, consisting of tofu and tempe curries, the guide was young, strong and spoke english (Dika!), our equipment was warm and the accommodation was beautiful and nice.

You can get the same thing for around 800k IDR but you get instant noodles, old guides and less good equip. Also, I've heard of some guide packages using small children to porter the heavy equipment up the mountain. Do not be a dickbag just so you can have more money for beers! Make sure they don't use children.

3. Packing. Don't Stress About Bringing too Much 
 No books, no snacks, no sleeping bag or even flashlight. In our tour everything was included. Plus, you most likely have to carry your own backpack. Do whatever you can to lessen the load. As for books, they may seem like a good idea in theory, you know, reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being while climbing into the sky, but just don't. Your back will be the physical representation of all of Thereza's heart burdens!

 4. What you should pack. Gloves, Spare T-shirts, and Fleece
While climbing, you lose your weight in sweat. Extra t-shirts are key so you don't get cold the higher up you get. Once at the top, make sure you are warm and snug. Fleece and gloves were key for this. ESPECIALLY GLOVES.

5. So yea..You have to carry your own bag
 I know it sounds silly, but I didn't know we had to. When I heard we had porters, I thought it was for them to carry everything. They don't generally. However, you can discuss with them to do it. BUT MAKE SURE YOU GIVE THEM AN EXTRA TIP FOR THEIR TROUBLES. I gave my champion porter an extra 100k.

6. Even if you are a fat ass, you can probably do it
We saw mom's, old men do it and yes, my own big booty was able to trudge up to the top. It's a small challenge if you're not fit, but it's not the type of hard that will make you cry blood or anything. Don't be scared and just give'r. If you can, train your cardio before hand.

Pain face check-in. Not the worst pain face. See the facebook album.

7. Benefit from Lombok's Beauty. Waterfalls!
Before or after hike, do some of the nature stuff. Saw the second most beautiful waterfall of my life. The first is in Thailand, but I never thought anything could match this beauty. It made a perfect and massive ampitheatre of green tropical jungle with powerful bursts of water thundering to earth. It's the mythical kind of place you dream of as a child.

Warning though, it's quite a trek to get there in Senaru. There is one waterfall that is easy and down a path, the other one you have to trek across treacherous bridges with no rails or through an hour of river and rock! Worth it though. Definitely.

Death bridge. WHAT'S THE POINT OF HAVING SPACES FOR PEOPLE TO PLUNGE TO THEIR WATERY GRAVES?? Indonesia's infrastructure confuses the heck out of me sometimes. 

8. Reward yourself with island partying in Gili T. 

Have any more advice? Share it, yo!

Also, guess what?! I got an iPhone, like an adult!! Follow volcano, snakeblood and other cray cray adventures on instagram!

Until the next two weeks of adult friendship!

Grade 12 Fel and Ans. Editors of the School paper, bonafide dweebs. Friends4Lyfe.