Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Do Drugs

Indonesia is pretty strict when it comes to drugs.

Yes, that is a real sign in the airport. People are thrown into jail ranging from 4 years to life to death for possession, using drugs, or trafficking and police are allowed to search and arrest you based on a tip, which happened to this poor British guy, who is waiting to hear how long he will be in jail for smoking a joint in his home. Yesterday, that article was shoved in Amy’s face and she was told “Don’t do drugs! This is why!” and then it was taped to the mirror in the staff room.

With all the strict penalties for drugs, however, drug use still exists. Heroine was never on my radar until I came here. Conversations about heroine use that I’ve had here have varied from people sharing stories of their past addiction and how they overcame it to people asking me I need any because they know a guy who will give me a good price. The answer to the latter is obviously a very confident NO. People are getting around the system and drugs are in Indonesia, that I am sure of. And that makes me question the effectiveness of these punishments as well as the Indonesian government’s ability to enforce these laws — remember, 400 million people live on Indonesia’s 13,000 islands. 

So why shouldn’t you do drugs in Indonesia, or anywhere in the world, really? I think answering that question with a list of punishments that you will receive if you get caught is ineffective, especially here. I’ve already told you of the population, but the police are a whole different story. Indonesia’s police system is known throughout the country as being incompetent and corrupt, and the little experience that I’ve had with them has been enough to confirm those opinions. But still, when I hear people talking about drug use, they talk about the risk of getting caught. They leave out the health effects, the brain damage, the addiction, the expense, and danger of the drug business.

Throwing someone in prison for a decade because they were smoking a joint isn’t solving the drug problem in Indonesia and it never will. Drugs need to be understood and talked about by everyone, so they understand that the risk of getting involved with drugs is much higher than jail time.



“No Forks in the Toilet” and Other Bathroom Guidelines

Going to the bathroom in Indonesia brings up endless questions. However the question that I most frequently ask myself is why people have to be told not to do the following:IMG_2346Does this sign imply that people need to be instructed that the toilet is for one life function only and not for others, eating and bathing?

I like to look at this from left to right and empathize with the person in the pictures. I guess if you were standing on the toilet while you were eating lunch, it would be much easier to throw all your cutlery, plates, and glasses in the toilet as opposed to carry it to a trash can. I mean, if you were holding onto all those things, you would probably drop it all in the toilet anyway while you were trying to keep your balance and step off the toilet seat. After that, let’s say some sauce dripped on your foot… how convenient to have a hose right there to wash off with!

Being that everything one does in the bathroom is behind closed doors, while I’ve never found myself with this urges I can’t speak for everyone. What you do in a bathroom stall is your business, but follow a few simple rules.

Surfing: I need more practice.

Last weekend, the bule crew (minus Leigh) took a trip to Krui. We were off to a shakey start as we had planned to leave Lampung at 4am Saturday morning to arrive in Krui at 9:am… Amy got up, but the rest of us were dead to the world until 6:45am. Red wine is to blame for my oversleeping, but I can’t speak for Yen and Laurent as to how they didn’t their   3am alarm. Anyway, we made it into Krui at 1pm ready for the beach!


What a slice of paradise we found! The beach was pristine, the waves were fun, the few other tourists we met were awesome, and the fish was oh so fresh!


So onto surfing. The waves are the main attraction to Krui and at Mandiri Beach, where we were staying, the waves were rough and the current was strong, but the sand was so soft and we could not argue with the convenience of walking out of our cabin and onto the beach, so while the learning conditions were subideal, this was our chosen beach for surfing.

I have always fantasized about being a surfer, and Amy said that when we first met, my hair was so blonde and I was so tan that she was convinced that I was a surfer… so I got the right look, which is step one.

We met some very cool Americans over a few beers at a surf camp and one of them accepted the challenge of teaching me how to surf. This was not my first lesson, but one lesson every three years since I was 18 hasn’t exactly made me a pro. Amy stayed on the beach taking pictures for a bit, and these are what she shot…

Dave in the background biting his finger nails while the ocean is treating me like clothes in the washing machine.

Dave in the background biting his finger nails while the ocean is treating me like clothes in the washing machine.

Those are my legs poking out the wave.

Those are my legs poking out the wave.

I stood up and rode in enough times to declare it a successful day surfing, but I don’t have any pictures to prove it. Plans to return to Krui are already in the works, which means that 2013 will be the year I break my pattern of standing on a surf board only once every three years. That also means that 2013 will probably the year that I realize my potential as a surfer and go pro.

I think I have my work cut out for me.

I definitely have my work cut out for me.