An Apology, A Black-Out, A Deluge, A Good Old Bar Gone – Oscar No More!


Another walkabout report on Jakarta’s ever-changing face for those of you overseas who pine for the place.
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But first, I must preface this post with an apology to commenters not yet published – a series of small disasters and technical hitches have restricted my activity here, not least a major neighbourhood power-cut, which blacked-out electricty, most notably as I stood covered in soap and half-way through a morning shave today.
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The night before, the torrential rain (which is back again tonight and made me late home!) had interrupted use of the computer, then rising late for an appointment led me to skip early day inspections, until the power-cut supervened.
So I now publish all outstandiing commets, very belatedly!
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Oscar’s Bar has allegedly closed.
I mentoned last week that the Amazing Hotel on the corner of Jalan Falatehan is almost ready to open its doors to the public, and I stated that being right next to Oscar’s, a certain degree of amazement should not be unexpected.
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oscar cap
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Since then, those expert in such matters have made a point in advising me I’m not up to scratch with my news-gathering!
This gives the lie to scurrilous sorts who claim I frequent Blok M’s dodgier bars.
But then of course my thoughts were straying to the golden age, back when the last century was fading and the new one not quite begun.
In those days, I was introduced to the bar in question by a German friend, who lived in the same boarding house down Fatmawati.
He and his girl-friend escorted me there and my initial impression was that enormous numbers of girls were milling around immediately inside its doors.
Having pleasanty navigated that painted ocean, the next thing that stood out was the condition of the furniture, wooden benches that had seen better days.
Oscar’s was a clean enough hang-out, but an air of decrepitude hung over it like one of those well-loved old T-shirts that we will not readily throw away.
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But it was fun. 
The live music was truly lively, all sorts of customers leaping onto the stage to bellow their faves, country mostly or sixties rock songs. I seem to recall I joined that distinguished roll-call too, but only once. It was then I got the cap shown above that still protects my skull from Jakarta’s heat on sun-bathing Sundays out front.
But all changed, for the worse, when some enterprising new manager took over and gutted the joint.
No character, no enthusiasm to return, so hence my ignorance of its demise..
Oscar gone, Bali Hai gone, whatever next?
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