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POETRY ON TWO WHEELS – Part 2

July 17, 2019 7:54 am Published by

THE MAD & BAD BIKERS OF INDONESIA

[ PART II / II ]

Now the chances they take, the chances they take – you think ‘Are they even using part of their brain?’

But in fact many bikers seem to be able to operate perfectly well without a brain, although these two are in serious peril of breaking their fucking necks.

Now here’s a novel way to carry a bicycle… on your motorbike… if you don’t mind running the risk of getting tangled up, destroying your motorcycle, your bicycle – and yourself …

No helmet,
no eye protection,
no gloves,
no license

Part of the thrill of riding a motorbike is the chills and spills, and the lingering possibility you will …

…  the planet Earth so hard you will wake up in… another world…

The author, on his trusty mountain bike, came up behind traffic all bunched up along Jl. Sudirman. When he passed, and snapped, the sad scene unfolded: dude was in the Busway lane – illegally – and attempted to mount the broken cement divider to get back into the normal traffic pattern. He caught a tire, went ass over teacup and his noggin went

against the 5,974,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilogram celestial sphere. Score =Terra 1, Skull 0.

But what about his helmet?? Riders are required to wear a helmet! The law says so.

Oh it’s peacefully lying on the road beside the hapless biker. Apparently, the strap was not fastened: he went one way, the fifty-thousand-Rupiah brain-bucket another.

THE PRAYERFUL
BONE-CRACKERS
OF CIMANDE

When you take the old road from Bogor to Sukabumi about fifteen minutes past the intersection at Ciawi you’ll come across a nondescript town called ‘Cimande’.

 It is famed for its mystical bone therapy – Islamic practitioners use an amalgam of prayer and massage to reset hips, pop shoulders back into place, align shattered femurs and generally nurse back to health those without enough money to seek proper medical attention. At least this was the case before the advent of the Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial (and that’s a mouthful), or BPJS for short:  ‘Employees Social Security System’ is the official English translation, which is puzzling because it is actually a national health care protocol, through which all 260 million Indonesians can get very reasonable hospital treatment from physicians.

The massage and forcible reduction of a dislocation is done without any anesthetic or painkiller whatsoever – the experience is so excruciating that patients scream in agony and often pass out.

90% OF CIMANDE PATIENTS
ARE MOTORBIKE RIDERS

This kind of injury is amusingly known in Thailand as a ‘Japanese dogbite’: you got yourself bitten by a vicious Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki or Suzuki.

Massage is accompanied by a regime of Islamic chants and prayers. Regarding these ‘Spiritual Elements’ CNN says ‘Naim’s Hajj massage technique has its own characteristics, not simply massaging by pressing or squeezing an injured part of the body. The massage technique Haji Naim has mastered is considered to be unique. But of course there will still be a feeling of pain.

Massage oil is also used to help relax the muscles and smooth the skin. It is yellow plant oil from Cimande; ingredients for this oil include coconut and sugar cane. What else does it contain? Hasan was reluctant to divulge it.

“That is the secret of the Cimande family,” Hasan said.

One thing is certain: the oil is thick with its spiritual element. Hasan revealed that the oil was also “filled” by prayers or readings originating from the Koran.’

“So the oil is filled with water and other medications,” Hasan said.

For patients suffering from arm fractures, be prepared for pain because the arms will be massaged, stretched and straightened. To return a broken bone back, similar to the treatment of a traditional fracture, a wooden board was ‘affixed’ to the arm and bandaged.

Not only about the technique and the typical massage oil, Haji Naim’s family massage technique also has a spiritual element.

“There are special practices that must be done, such as fasting, prayer, and tirakat so that the massage technique is correct,” Hasan said.

SO LOOK OUT FOR THAT
‘JAPANESE DOGBITE’

The biker culture in Indonesia is not concerned with technical innovations – the machines sold are all pissy little Japanese singles or old-fashioned twins, prettified up with lots of fancy plastic and digital gauges. Instead, local people go to great effort to do crazy, dangerous stunts on bikes, which they video and upload, or attempt make their bike unusual-looking. Some are quite striking:

If a motorbike this small aims to be a ‘Chopper’ what would you call it? A ‘Chipper’?

There are also moments of drama – ‘road rage’ on two wheels.

Some of these little machines approach works of art. This is a Vespa – believe it or not.

How far, far, far to motor, to have a delicious Euro-meal with magnificent beer and drinkable plonk. Yes, at the end of your long, dusty trail you’ll find Ya Udah Bistro fine food and fine drink a-waiting you, dear reader.

Remember the most important mantra of all when riding on two wheels!!

 

“No, the use of Helmet is not necessary,
but please next time use a Condom!” 

 

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