Well-Being in Jakarta, Mal-Veiling in Tehran!

My week so far has turned out to be quite an acceptable blend of sloth and sociability, both pursuits facilitated by Jakarta’s weather continuing magnificently hot.

Having had an adequate sufficiency of sunning myself out front once my weekend visitor had gone home, into town it had to be.

To ensure company, I smsed around, and managed to rouse a couple of former colleagues from their post-Ramadan torpor. We met up in Ya Udah, where the food is always good and the beer still affordable. A big Bintang costs Rp.44K, which is less than you’d pay for a small one in some of the posh Kemang hang-outs where the moneyed expats slake their thirsts.


yaudah bistro jakarta Ya Udah


And although the excellent Makronen, a kind of Teutonic macaroni and pork dish, seems to have disappeared from the menu, I can happily recommend the Krakauer – a hefty pork sausage, with ‘side-dish of your choice.’

I think the price is Rp.54K, again not at all bad for downtown Jakarta these days – not a patch on my still-shuttered warteg, of course, but even when that fine little eatery re-opens, probably next Monday, there’s not a cat in hell’s chance they’ll have beer for sale!


  • ————-
  • warteg
  • —————-
  • Mbah M, who runs the place, never has, catering instead to hungry office-workers, who are obviously not interested in a beery swill before returning from lunch to face their gaffers – this ain’t London! In any case, the fragrant liquid is increasingly hard to get outside big supermarkets, thanks to the present government’s Creeping Shariah mind-set.

Anyway, the afternoon turned into night, and not having seen my companions for months ( in one case) and three years (in the other) there was much to catch up on.


But I didn’t over-do it, a mere quartet of Bintangs enough to satisfy my needs, and left in time to get the Busway home – and, oh, yes, the traffic in and out of town was very non-Jakarta, only the occasional red light causing delays in progress.

On the subject of red lights, I was impressed to note that, in contrast to many Jakarta civil servants, who are oft-reported as taking unduly long breaks after Ramadan, several ladies of indeterminate age had got back to work already after the long weekend holiday, greeting me in friendly fashion as I made my ten-minute way from the bistro to Sarinah Busway stop. 


I politely replied to each and every one, that after four big Bintangs, going home alone was my only serious option (had it been eight, who knows!) and they in turn regaled me with amiable banter as I passed along Jalan Wahid Hasyim.

A good outing, altogether.

So yesterday a sultry, soporific day, no long treks anywhere, except to buy some mince and spuds, then cooking and eating them.

And I have to retract my previous recent cavilling about tv holiday movies here, since I sat enthralled to Die Hard 1,2 and 4, plus, last night, Hercules, good Achaean action, and there’s been some vintage stuff like Close Encounters and The Wild Bunch.

Tomorrow, a grand visitor to enhance my festive mood.

And today?

Not sure yet..

….local prowling to try alternative food sources, of necessity, but only after I have woken up properly


….but had to laugh over my second kopi jawa, as I pondered the morning, bright and promising (the morning, not me!) for I spotted an amazing item in a UK newspaper. 


A senior Iranian cleric has warned women they risk ‘illnesses of the intestines and the stomach’ if they fail to cover their bodies from head to toe.

Seyyed Abolhassan Mahdavi issued the warning on Monday, and said primary school children must be educated about chadors – a type of robe – so they ‘grow up with modesty.’


baghead_garbage What a load of garbage!


‘Currently, our brain guides us toward the chador which is the best dress for women in Islamic society since it covers the body of women from head to toe and does not draw attention,’ he told state-run Fars News Agency. 



Warning: Seyyed Abolhassan Mahdavi has warned women they risk becoming ill if they don't wear a chador

‘Mal-veiling brings such frenzied emotions into the souls of people…according to doctors, illnesses in the intestines and stomach begin as a result of such frenzied emotions and spread to other organs of the body. Therefore if people care about their physical health, they should wear the most appropriate dress which is the black chador...proper dress for women in society is a black veil so that the rights of others are respected…’.


No comment!


Heck, why not comment on this sorry old simpleton?

‘Respect for the rights of others?’

Let’s get real!

How about the rights of others to appreciate the beauty which God bestows  on women? And their right, if they choose, to display that beauty?

But that’s just my opinion – how about you?

Do you prefer these three in the photos above, or the sad sacks?