Well, it’s been over a week now

I know I should post some photos, but I’ve barely been outside the secured compounds of the hotel and workplace, and when I have, it’s been behind glass in a driver van.
That’s how it works over here when you work for a large company. They worry about employees getting into strife at local markets or bars (or being robbed/kidnapped), so we’re banned from doing anything in the outside world unless escorted or without express permission. So, I’ve eaten a lot and used the internet every night. World of Warcraft gives me a ping time of 600-1400ms, so it’s fair to say I’m not at my best with that sort of delay. Not even close.
As per usual, I picked up a chest cold from the flight, and this time the accompanying asthma has more severe implications, as the air is terribly polluted to the point of stinging eyes at times. I seem to be almost allergic to the environment – well, it seems that way because I get an itchy throat and ears pretty much every few days, and I can’t work out if it’s some low levels of peanuts (kachang) in the food or not. All the stereotypes of Jakarta are true – yes, you see families of 4 on motorbikes, yes the traffic is utter chaos (but it somehow works!) and yes the food is utterly awesome.
The hotel is great, the beers have a weird taint that I can only attribute to regional waters used, and it’s absolutely normal to spend 1hr 45 mins in a car going to a party (like I did), only to return in 21 minutes. Speaking of that party – Dave and I finally arrived and went to head inside a really lavish affair feeling underdressed, when someone nudged us to the right into a doorway and we were in the oppulent surrounding of the real party. As opposed to wedding we had just tried to gatecrash next door. Oops. Pretty soon, a bunch of expatriates and wives arrived and a band started off some tunes followed by karaoke and plenty of red wine. Lithe asian ladies danced and sang immaculately, and the Indian host butchered John Denver’s “Country Road”, as did most others. (I was too shy).
Tommorrow morning, I fly to Surabiya, and then catch a train for a few hours to a remote village. Should be really interesting.
OK, I’ve succumbed. Here’s a trained monkey from the Taman Mini trip we did on the weekend. He just jumped onto my arm and hung on upside down. His owner controlled him on a light chain, and beat a drum to indicate which moves to make and when. He did some amazing tricks with a multitude of props including wearing an army helmut and donning a machine gun and crawling over the ground. I haven’t laughed that much in ages.