Regular readers will know that this isn't my favourite activity but occasionally needs must.
For Jakartass it's the traipsing around for shoes. You'll probably know that Indonesia exports shoes by the container load but can I find a comfortable fit? Can I f***.
It's not that my feet are abnormal. They're wide, true, but size 11 (UK) or 12 (US) is not that unusual among westerners. I generally have to find an outlet selling goods not fit for export, or one selling imports, often branded goods made in Asian sweatshops such as the lowpaying factories here in Indonesia.
I tried a few places yesterday with Our Kid in tow. Apart from meeting a few friends in Jalan Jaksa where he failed to finish off his Ya Udah burger, this was an abortive venture.
At least it was until we arrived in Jalan Surabaya
, the street of small lockups selling modern artefacts and an establishment selling second-hand LPs, laser discs and CDs. I've been going there for years when I'm in need of an aural boost. A browse through the racks digging out unknown treasures is my one unalloyed shopping joy here in Jakarta.
So, as I contemplate another traipse through town later, I'm tapping this out to the refrain of a band who I'd never heard of, Kosheen
, who are apparently quite big in the UK and Yugoslavia. I'm certainly listening and I'm almost dancing. Great stuff.
There were a few modern jazz classics added to my collection as well, including a Jaco Pastorius
tribute, John Schofield
and Don Grolnick
. I haven't listened to them yet. For the moment I'm grooving to a new sound.
Hey, there's life in this old dog yet.
Now for those shoes.