I’ve just been talking with an old friend, Hassan, who was one of my main partners in crime during my years in Papua. We built a funky hotel/restaurant/hangout with a lot of good intentions for creating links between Indonesians, Expats and Papuans. The place, The Timika Yacht and Swim Club was built on the Kayoga River outside of the town of Timika (it was a small place in those days). So, thinking about Hassan and the Yacht Club and those long ago days, I did a quick search and came up with an old blog of mine from 2008. I thought it might be fitting to repost it again just in case I actually see Hassan tomorrow and we get to reminiscing.
Here’s a post from the original Life in the Tropics blog over at blogspot. New Year’s Eve got me thinking about this one although I just stayed home and watched some fireworks from the balcony. The old drinking days are a bit of the past.
- Billy Goat – when I drank there in the 70s it was just a little hole in the wall institution that was immortalized by Jim Belushi’s Saturday Night Live skits. Back then, it was just a place that Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times workers used as a place to have a few drinks at lunch or after a shift. It was unpretentious and quirky. I ate a lot of cheese and egg sandwiches there over the years.
2. Oxford Pub – a place on Lincoln Avenue that was popular with the artsy crowd during the 70s when I lived in Lincoln Park in Chicago. It was a fairly big place with decent food. It was a 4 am bar so when the 2 o’clock places closed, everyone gathered there.
3. The Red Baron – just a few doors up from Oxford’s. It was a smaller place run by a German, Herbie. It was my favorite place for years partly because I lived across the street, and partly because Herbie made this great Hungarian Goulash. It had an odd assortment of folks who hung out there.
4. Weiss’s – another Lincoln Avenue bar from the same period. It was right on the corner and fairly big. I used it as the place for a few hard-boiled egg breakfasts when I was working the night shift at the Tribune and going to U of I during the day.
5. Biu – a small open bar in the Lovina area of North Bali. The owner, Ngurah, was friendly and an excellent host. He’d get tourists together and have these impromptu parties. The only place in the north that had Bintang on tap. He kept a bottle of scotch hidden in the back for me.
6. A place on Orchard Road just south of the Hyatt. I never knew what it was called, and it was mostly a place to eat, but they had a bar where I’d sit and watch the folks walking down Orchard Road while listening to the Singlish of the staff.
7. The Timika Yacht and Swim Club – I was the Vice-President and spent a lot of time there during the years that I lived in Papua. It was in the jungle and that made it all worth it.
8. The old smoking bar in Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok. It was a haven for me during the years that I lived in Pakistan. I’d do a Saturday morning transit and sit there for an hour or so and suck up four double scotches at 7 in the morning while chain-smoking Marlboros before my flight back to Bali. I met some interesting folks there.
9. A place on Telegraph Avenue whose name escapes me right now. It had two floors; the ground floor was a restaurant and the bottom was the actual bar. I hung out there during my Berkeley days.
10. Sri Homestay – actually a restaurant in Anturan, Bali. I drank there for years, occasionally having something to eat, under the watchful eyes of Ibu Sri. My drink of choice there was Three Star arak along with Bintang beer.