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Published: March 10th 2013
High to low.
Thats the only way I can describe the last 24 hours. It's been a real rollercoaster and something of a real first for me.
So let me explain, the high: well the 9th of March was quite possibly one of the most amazing days of my travelling career, currently in Jakarta, myself and my two new housemates, Viv and Angelica decided to go down the train tracks, a short ankot from where we live. The train tracks are basically the slums of Jakarta, but they are a beautiful place and I really loved my day here. The kids followed us and we took photos and even played some badminton. It really was a perfect day and for me, I got to see the Jakarta that I wanted to see.
This was all followed by our decision to fly to Bali for some mountain treking the next weekend and we promptly booked our flights. So now you can really see, that we are on a real high and to compound this, we decide to wake up early and go to listen to the call to prayer at the local mosque.
This it turns out was
a mistake and thus follows the low. So we set out, 4am. No sooner had we left our street and things had begun to go bad. We heard a small meow coming from one of the city's open sewer systems, a wee kitten had got stuck and was basically dying. In an amazing feat of bravery, Angelica jumped down a fairly impressive drop and rescued the small thing. I helped her out and we set about trying to find somewhere safe, unfortunately, no sooner had we saved it then did it decide to jump down into the river which flows through Jakarta... our last sight of it was it trying to swim in a raging torrent of the rain swollen waters. I have no hope that it survived. It was probably for the best, I've never known a cat with such little natural instincts, so surely its better to drown quickly than die slowly in a sewer?
Shaken, we carry on and to the girls dismay, they see a homeless man, who on occassion had harrassed and followed them, this put them really on edge and for me, I just ignored it and couldn't stop thinking about the poor
cat. Unfortunately, if things were bad for the girls already, they were to get worse. Naturally our minds were extremely distracted and in hindsight, it would have been better to have gone home, but we pressed on and we made it towards Puri Mall.
I can honestly say I've never known something to occur in such slow motion and yet I was seemingly powerless to do anything, Angelica on the outside of us (stupid on my behalf) was walking with a bag over both her shoulders, her expensive camera inside of it. I slipped behind them as I saw the scooter creep alongside. I must have known something was wrong, because everything slowed down. His engine was cut off and he was simply coasting on a previous acceleration, he close, too close and I cried to warn them, I thought he would hit her. But no he didn't. He ripped the bag off her, leaving a mark on her arm in the process and sped away, trying to restard his engine. Before I knew it, I was running after him angrily, but just as I got close, his engine sparked to life and he was away. I turned to
see Viv and Angelica crying in each others arms.
We were stupid, we had been so off guard, what with the previous day and all the small problems we had leading to this moment. I knew there was something wrong and I was just to slow to react. Its really shook us all up, Viv and Angelica are understandably scared. Angelica in particular won't leave the house without me or Martin ( another local teacher) and I had to sleep on their floor to relax them. I am very angry at my own stupidity to be honest, I am also a little shook up about it. But you got to press on, we all came out of it relatively safely and like an old friend taught me, I have a story to tell... I wish it was happier, but we all got out ok for the most part and I am relieved at this.
The worst has happened this time... me
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