Reinventing my personal blog

13 Nov 2014

Do You Know About Galau?

I was just telling someone tonight: I force myself to meet a different stranger in Jakarta every single day that I’m here.

Even if I’m exhausted after work (which I usually am), I try to meet a new person, or eat a new food. Go to a new area.

The first time I lived outside of Singapore was when I moved to Dubai in 2007 right out of university. Then, without the metro or a usable public transport system, I was lost, angry and disoriented (I don’t drive). I hear it’s different now, but I’ll never know.

Jakarta, despite the terrible traffic (and I don’t think I’ll ever stop saying that; I certainly haven’t heard any locals stop complaining), works for me.

Between the ojek (motorbike taxi) and plentiful and good taxis, I’m pretty much covered.

I try to practise my Indonesian with total strangers, too.

Tonight’s conversation went a little bit like this.

Cabbie: Why did you not get into the cab earlier! Is it because I am black?

Me: No!

Cabbie: Okay!

Me: How long have you lived in Jakarta!

Cabbie: 20 years! I’m from Timor! I play in a band! Check it out on YouTube! T-I-B-E-T B-A-N-D G-O-M-B-A-L

Me: Tay- ee- bay- aa- tay… fuck, what’s this G in Indonesian?

Cabbie: Watch my videos! I’m singing! Let me put on some of my other music for you!

Me: (recognizes words like… cintamu, denganmu… JIWANG ALERT GOES UP)

Cabbie: Do you know about the galau?

Moments like these.

Rockstar cabbie in ridiculous YouTube video.


Nus Bany, is his name. He’s the one in the insane costume. He also arranged and composed most of the music.

Nus Bany is now my regular taxi driver contact.

I intend to unleash him on all of my unsuspecting business visitors.

Yes, I know about the galau.

And it might be a sign that I’m moving further away from my Peninsular Southeast Asian roots when I now say galau over jiwang.

I love galau music. What’s your fave?