Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 1 March 2013 • Blog
If there is one thing that I was looking forward to do in Surabaya, it would be meeting up with the Hifatlobrain-ers. Www.Hifatlobrain.net blog is one of my favorite Indonesian travel blogs since it has a lot of great stories about venturing the country. I heart their photos and I snuggle to their warm words from the road. We had already met Ayos Purwoaji, one of the front men, a few years ago at the Wego Indonesia party when they launched ‘Vaastu’. I was looking forward to meet up with him on his territory.
During our four day stay in Surabaya last year, we were accompanied by Ayos himself, Lukman Simbah, Werdha, and Ruli the Great. Why is he great? Well, he claims to be filthy rich and he’s a bit chubby. It takes a great man to claim that and owning it. They took us to some of the unseen places of Surabaya, places that I wouldn’t wonder on my own. That’s what the wrong kind of friends are for, right?
They seductively promised an Illuminati tour which sounds pretty glamorously mysterious. But knowing they were lobrainers, we ended up visiting not one but two graveyards. One graveyard was closed because we got there too late – blame it on Ayos for oversleeping – and the other had prostitution activities. Mysterious indeed *lift eyebrows*. One of these graveyards were the Evereld Kembang Kuning. For some wacky reason, these lobrainers like the smell of the dead. However, we were left educated. The Art Deco cemetery was interesting with all its intriguing bits and pieces. I also thank them for taking me to see another side of society. In a country with such a dense population and poverty very much amongst us, the cemetery is the place where you can get cheap sex without any lights or eavesdropping walls. Who could tell who’s getting some in the creepy dark? But seriously, what is it with Hifatlobrain and cemeteries?
Hifatlobrain also have a unique place to chat. They could have brought me to some antique or hype cafe in the city, and yet they brought me to … a water gate. Like, whaaat?! Admittedly, it was awesome! Such a different ambiance in the city. Gushing water, the sight of a high rise with a ridiculous LCD display on top, and a hint of river stench which I can’t say was entirely clean. So urban! Loved it!
Lukman Simbah, the first brother of the bunch, accompanied us to Surabaya’s hole in the wall: the sidewalk disco. It’s nothing less than its name. It’s on a sidewalk, and it’s a disco with turntable and all. It rocked \m/!!!
And no, they’re not tour guides. Hifatlobrain is a blogging bunch but they have a special niche that can’t accommodate every wondering tourist in town. If you have some interest of the local Indonesian culture or the so-called authentic travel journey, then you’re in their alley.
What most Indonesians probably don’t know is that the Hifatlobrain guys are –as they would say it- ‘pekok’, which is a nice blend of beyond stupid and funny. Personally, I think it’s their main asset compared to their serious image that they have successfully portrayed. We had tons of laughs! Amongst that laughter was our inauguration being a lobrainer. I walked across the narrow bars of the the water gate to then walk parts of ‘pataya’ street alone. Vira had to ‘Move Like Jagger’ house music style at the sidewalk disco.
We have also inaugurated them as HOT, a name we bestow upon Indohoy’s blind worshipers. How can they not worship us? We went through their inaugurations with little hesitations and lived to tell as official Lobrainers, blind hifatlobrain groupies. How are we not cool after that? We’re proud to say, we challenged them at their own game and hopefully colored their lives as much they have ours. We love you guys!
Here are our continuing project with them. It was both an honour and joy to work with them.
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