Strange Stranger Magnet


Conversation with a taxi driver # One hundred and something.

Taxi driver: I am a Mick Jagger specialis

Me: Apa?

TD: ANGIE! ANGIIIIIIE! Wit no lovin’ in our boats, and no money in our souls, you cannnnt say you satisfiiieeeed!

Me: Woohoo! Yeah Pak! Ayo!

TD: Apa lagi?

Me: Errr…

(TD’s handphone rings to dance music tune . Has detailed conversation in Indonesian “yah, dia orang Australi. Yah, sebentar, ya.” Passes the phone to me).

Me: Halo?

Voice on phone: Giggles

Me: Halo! Nama saya Belinda!

TD grabs the phone off me. “Ya! Dia Orang Australi! Betul!”

TD: That my wife, my istri, missus.

Me: Oh ya?

TD: Yah. She hypersex.

Me: Err? Apa?

TD: I harus leave Jogya. She di Jogya. She with laki-laki different all the time.

Me: …

TD: She come to Jakarta, satu minggu. I cannot work missus. We make love, six hours, setiap hari. Still she want more. I tired, I tired missus. I say her- I cannot! No more istri! You know, hypersex?

Me: I know

TD: Maaf, ya missues for say this. Ya, she hypersex. Nanti aku nggk bisa bangun. Aduh. Saya mau cari- you know cari, missus? Find? I want find?

Me: I know.

TD: Ya, aku mau cari istri bule. Wife for bule, ya. Tidak hypersex. And tall. You know tinggi?

175 centimetres tall Me: Yes. I know.

TD: You beautiful, missus.

Me: Saya turun di sini, pak. (I get off here).

My mother calls it the family curse —the tendency to attract very very strange strangers in my every day life. When I was a little girl I used to offer old senile ladies lifts from the bus stop on a regular basis, forcing my mother to deliver on the promise. She didn’t really mind, because Mum’s got this endearing thing about being nice to old people in the hope someone will be nice to her when she’s past it. She also attracts strange people. She married my father.

Back when I lived in Sydney I had homeless people follow me home and reveal to me their life stories. If an odd-looking person got on the bus, guaranteed they’d sit next to me. Moving to Indonesia, big, white, bule me, has magnetized me ever the more. Except now half the time I don’t understand what they’re saying. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it. I love strange people.

I know I’m not alone. We strange stranger-magnets are never short of such stories. I’ve always wondered what it is about us. I’ve been told I have a bit of a naive/sincere/innocent/incompetent look about me that maybe is nonthreatening? I guess I could also be described as slightly eccentric, and so maybe they subconsciously recognize a kindred soul?


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6 Responses to “Strange Stranger Magnet”

  1. Hedi Says:

    emang selalu orang yg punya sex appeal bagus, u are maybe one of them

  2. dava Says:

  3. nyscha Says:

    yeah I think it’s the naive/sincere/innocent/incompetent thing maybe, because i get that too and i’m guessing it’s because i look like too much of an idiot to be judgmental hence strangers aren’t intimidated hence i become a strange-person magnet.

    it’s fun, though, no?

  4. Suicidalcat Says:

    I laughed so hard I think I just shit my pants.

    In any case, you’re going to jail missus.

    Oh, KRB’s coming to Jakarta to hand the Judicial Review draft on the pornography bill to the Constitutional Court on the 7th of January.

    Be kind and write something about that will ya 🙂

  5. Laurene Says:

    hahaha this reminds me of the time when a taxi driver in jakarta tried to lick my hand when I paid.
    OK, I kind of provoked him when I answered the classic already-married-or-not question: “aku belum nika tapi sudah kawin”
    Strange situations with strange people make your life so much more interesting…

  6. Novia Says:

    Why don’t I get conversations like this on a cab? Life’s unfair!

    Yeah, too bad you still hobble along with your bahasa Indonesia, Belle. I mean, imagine all the nasty tidbits you can milk (ouch) out of the cabby. The kind of aphrodisiac his wife’s on, what kind of protection do they use, what sort of jamu he is taking to keep from perishing from too much sex. The possibilities, oh, the possibilities.

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