The opportunity came up that I could get away for a couple of weeks so I booked the ticket to Indonesia for a quick trip. I'd been to Bali before and wasn't to fussed on going back and instead decided to fly into Jakarta and get the train to some smaller cities that I heard were great for painting.
Jakarta is hard to describe if you haven't been there and seen it yourself, its a huge city that is quite hard to navigate around especially as a foreigner. The place is hot, muggy, dirty and absolute chaos with some of the worst traffic I have ever experienced. Just catching the train around and looking out the window at slums and people living on the side of the tracks is an eye opening experience and makes you look at life in a new way. I don't think you could ever get bored exploring this city.
I was only there for a quick stop before moving on so I headed to the local graff shop, easier said then done I made it after a couple of hours walking down some dodgy streets, being stared at by everyone and a taxi driver who "accidentally" kept missing the turn off on his gps...
Later that day I got a message from a local writer from WALS CREW who had seen my piece and knew I was in town, there was no time to meet up as I was about to leave but he told me he had good friends in Bandung which was my next stop.
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I arrived in Bandung but when I got off the train there was a more relaxed atmosphere and I could just feel that this was going to be a great trip. After meeting with a few guys from the JMK CREW we arranged to paint that night. Now as most of the people reading this would know when you paint in Australia and most places in the world you don't want anybody seeing you and calling the cops so it was a shock to me when the spot we were painting was on a busy main road in front of loads of people.
They assured me it's cool and the police don't care about graffiti (still not sure about that haha) so I went with it and started painting still feeling a bit uneasy about the crowd that was gathering behind us and taking photos.
Indonesia has a big Muslim population, there is a huge Mosque in the middle of Bandung which dominates the skyline and several times a day there is a call to prayer which can be heard blasting all over the city.
I had booked a half decent hotel but when I arrived it was actually pretty old and run down the bed was itchy and somebody had forced the window open so they could smoke and it didn't quite close properly which let in every noise from the mosque, city and busy street below.
The next few days were spent checking out the city, hanging out on the famous Braga Street eating different foods drinking some beers and painting street pieces at night. After that was on to my next stop Yogyakarta.
Upon arriving in Yogyakarta I noticed it also had a chill vibe, friendly people and there were pieces on the streets absolutely everywhere, I was definitely in the right place! I managed to connect with Rune & Minas, a local couple who run one of the graff shops in the city. We made some quick plans and decided to paint the following night.
Now it wouldn't be a trip to Indo if you didn't get sick or food poisoning at some stage and out of nowhere I came down with a crazy fever. The climate is extremely hot and muggy and there I was shivering, cold and completely out of it.
As I was only there for a few nights I didn't want to miss out on the chance to paint so I went anyway and somehow managed to finish my piece on auto pilot. It was a rough couple of days but luckily the chemist's over there will give you anything without seeing a doctor or having a prescription so I was on the mend fairly quickly.
When I was searching for a hotel to stay at I found one that looked great with a nice view that was close to the train line where you could watch the trains going by, this was good except that it was also right next to a railway crossing and every time a train came through it would blast it's horn at full volume and it seemed like that happened all night, combine that with the mosque call to prayer and you're not sleeping much!
I needed to fit in some normal tourist stuff as well and found a short drive outside Yogyakarta is Borobudur, the worlds largest buddhist temple. I managed to get a private driver and got out there to catch the sunrise and shoot a time lapse, pretty amazing place i'd definitely recommend seeing if you're ever in that part of the world.
Huge thank you to the JMK & WALS guys and Rune & Minas for making time to hang out painting and showing me around their cities. Peace!
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SHUTE from KOC CREW is a graffiti writer from Canberra. He first got into graff in the mid 80's and has been hooked ever since. His style is public but with his own fresh and unique flow. Check out the Route 666 videos to catch loads of his and the crews rolling steel.We caught up to find out a bit more about him and asked for his favourite flicks.