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Monday, August 4, 2008

The news so far....

Wow, where do I start? I guess I apologise for not doing a day to day blog firstly. Its been a little difficult to get online, and when I have, I've opted to go and see the place I am at instead (selfish I know).

Well, the 17 hour flight from LA to Jakarta was a breeze. Singapore Airlines were amazing, economy was like first class, so much leg room, puts all other airlines to shame! I slept loads and played FF7 Crisis core all the rest of the flight with mikey. They even had metal knives and forks! luxury. We had a short connection flight when we arrived and then onto the hotel.

The first thing I noticed on the drive from the airport was how poor some of the country was. It seemed like a massive divide between the very wealthy and the very poor. There were iron and cardboard shacks all along the waters edge for miles, plastic bottles and rubbish littered the rivers. There was a constant smell of decay and sewage in the air. Then suddenly as though we crossed an invisible line into the city the high rise buildings and posh hotels replaced the slums. It was very humid. We asked to be taken to see some sights, and the host drove us to a mall with western stores, we were like "nah mate, can we go see the real Jakarta?" so they drove us to this street and we got out. We walked down this ally, and the security guy with us said to be very careful because it was dangerous. I've never seen anything like it. I was shitting myself. I suddenly felt very embarrassed, I was hoping to take pictures but felt as though I was taking advantage of the people for my own gain. Most people were friendly but you could sense that some couldn't believe that we were there, walking around. I couldn't work out who was looking at/watching who. We kept moving and stuck tightly together for safety, I'm sure if we were in a smaller group we would have found trouble. Thank god for the security dude with us. For the most part I took photographs off the hip so to keep my camera out of sight and also not to offend anyone. I was nearly brought to tears by some of the children walking and laying around. We were not harassed by people begging because I think people we more surprised to see us in the area, but it was a very, very humbling experience. Even amongst such poverty I could see people smiling and laughing, and the colours were amazing. After we returned to the hotel, I had a hard time readjusting and justifying sleeping in 5 star luxury having just witnessed what I did. I was awash with emotions and guilt and a very strong sense of iniquity. The contrasts I saw and photographed were extreme. I am still confused between pity, sympathy, gratitude, guilt and helplessness and feel I have been changed. I have felt quite mildly depressed since.

The show was amazing, but somehow my mind was not 100% focused and continually returned to the young child without shoes following us around that day. Such tragic beauty.

We left for Singapore, everything since has been a blur. I've been poorly with stomach cramps and find it difficult to get my energy back. Singapore could not have been more opposite to Jakarta. It was very clean and very rich. The hotel was like nothing I had ever seen. I thought they had made a mistake when I entered my room because there was no bed, but I had no idea that it had its own bedroom and 2nd bathroom. The suite was bigger than my home. As amazing as Singapore was, my first impression left feeling cold and dead. I went for an explore to the rain forest at Bukit timah and found some peace and harmony at the top of the hill, and decided to take a random bus to where ever and walk around the city. I walked for 5 or 6 hours not in a hurry to arrive anywhere. It was very welcome solitude where I was able to tidy up the mess in my head from the past few days. My stomach still hurts and is making my dizzy and disorientated because I can't eat much without spewing.

I would like to add, I have some amazing friends around me and have met some great people. I really do appreciate how lucky I am to do this journey and to share this with very like minded friends. I know your thinking, "what about the shows?" but to be honest, the experience is so much more than simply performing. The Singapore show was fraught with technical problems but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I wouldn't want to disrespect those people who came to see us by allowing technical issues to dominate my memory of being and performing there. It is a privilege to be here and do this so I must take the mistakes, learn from them and apply.

As you can probably see, I'm all a little up and down. I am pretty overwhelmed and I am trying to be positive even though some of my experiences have changed me. Today's show in Hong Kong looks like it will be awesome. I am going to rest up so I can play my best. I don't think I have enough time to fully experience Hong Kong on this journey, maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to come back.

I'll be posting my photos up on my flickr when I have enough time, gotta go sound check now.

....and justice for all

50 comments:

6ftunderthstars said...

hey jamie, it was nice hanging out with you, dave, sean and keith by the esplanade. hope the strange belly feeling goes away! come back to asia soon and stop by melbourne (i'm moving there!) so we could hang out again and share more drunk stories :) for now take care and have loads of fun.

xx
jess

pokcay said...

yes jamie, jakarta is the land where the wealthiest and the poorest of people live together.

and yes, the facts on the field are saddening, living is absolutely hard in jakarta.


hope to see you soon in jakarta! :P


-gilang / the guy with the flag on jakarta jam!

MsAnnieAnnie said...

i think the people that live in such poverty can be the happiest in the world, because they are able to appreciate even the smallest things in life.

of couse its pityful, but on the other hand we are the ones who dont seem to know what is most important in life..

Carmen said...

hey Jamie, it's Carmen here! your chaperone from Singapore! hope you still remember me. oh is your stomach feeling better yet?

anyway, i hope you boys are having fun and doing fine. send my regards to everyone, including the crew! and i really, really hope to see you guys soon.

till then, take care alright!

xoxo
Carmen

IThinkISawTheSkyTonight said...

Reading that moved me because although I have never seen anything like you have described, what I imagine is horrific.
Though the majority of the wealthy don't appreciate things as much as the poor may do. It's a shame.

Hikari Yamino said...

What happened to the young child then? I can understand your feelings. Its really not fair that the poor had to live that way. Everybody, especially those rich ones, should really wake up and start to help these people. I've never seen that much discrimination between the rich and the poor here in my country, but i can really imagine how the people in Jakarta felt. Sometimes i feel so guilty that here i am living so comfortably yet complaining, but many others out there are desperate for food and water.
Its nice to know that you considered their feelings before taking pictures. That's really cool man. my respect for you has increased. Although i knew you weren't materialistic, this just proved that. Money can't buy happiness and i think that it has made many of us blind and not see the real challenges of poverty many had gone through. I was hoping that all of us could do our part to help those in need.
Btw, where were you when you posted this entry? Just wondering.
P.s.Its okay to be overwhelmed by your experiences and even if its painful, time will make the pain go away. Stay healthy and chill always, Jamie!

kerry said...

Woah your description sounds rather amazing that poverty can live so close to the rich, as you said, its a great inequality...
it certainly sounds although the experience has had a big effect on you [and your stomach apparently, hope you feel better soon]

hope the gigs are going well
coming to see yous in edinburgh in 8 days! i cannot wait. i really hope to meet you jamie, you seem like such a lovely guy.


ly
xxx <3 xxx

jaclyn said...

bukit timah is such a beauty spot..good choice jamie..if you guys come back to singapore and if you're a nature lover. probably Sungei Buloh Westland Reserve is one of the most interesting swarm nature walk. you could see more of komodo dragons, mud skippers, lucky enough crocodiles and many more
Get well soon jamie.
have a good gig in hongkong

theurbanlie said...

Hi Jamie! I'm Donna and I was at the Singapore airport as you were checking in. I'm awfully shy so I couldn't bring myself to chat.

I've visited Indonesia and seeing some mansion right next to a slum with kids running around in grimy, torn clothes felt like so wrong and unfair...

If you get to visit Singapore again check out Sungei Buloh (tho like the rest of S’pore, it's kinda sanitized). And you guys came during the Chinese's 7th lunar month (aka Hungry Ghosts Festival), which involves traditional and religious rituals that are sadly dying out and would be amazing to see and capture.

Anyway, hope you're feeling better now. = )

Nab said...

Hi Jamie. (:

I really hope you're feeling better. Your post made me cry, cause that's exactly how I feel whenever I go to Indonesia (I'm from Singapore). But of course, my reaction won't help matters there and around the world much, so I suppose we can just do the best that we can to help.

I hope you had a great time at SINGfest despite the technical problems. I did - you guys performing and giving it your all really made the whole experience amazing for me and my friends. Thank you SO much. Please come back soon. xoxo

Take care and lotsa love,
nab (was right in front of you at singfest! [: )

winterblair said...

hello jamie.
im a fan from jakarta. even me, a Jakarta-born kid, i still feel so weird sometimes living in this city... i can get everything i want just by shouting, but there are thousand of people out there who still cant have their basic rights even if they shout on the top of their lungs.
it's just, i never thought someone from my favorite band would ever really have interest in seeing the REAL jakarta... and have a deep thought about it and even write it down.
so thank you, jamie. it really is a great post :)
xx

Black Velvet said...

I'm glad you wrote this blog because even though we're not there, and you were affected first hand, by reading this, we can be affected too. Just reading about your experience and seeing the pix from your hip makes me feel grateful for what I have (even though, usually, 70% of the time I'm disatisfied with what I have). Seeing, hearing and reading about poverty and other sad/bad conditions can make us all become better people. Thank you.

nicki said...

I think that most of us in the western world really don't get how lucky we are, and take far too much for granted. Exposure to the way other countries live would be a good way of making people put their lives into perspective, and maybe make us much less self-centric.

But as msannieannie said, maybe they are happier than us, as they are not surrounded by the irrelevant crap we tend to fill our lives with.

Hope you are feeling better soon
xx

Hill said...

Hi Jamie,
I love reading your blogs because you always have some insights... Yes, I think the problem exists in many countries. It is sad, but I hope you are feeling better now.

It's a shame that I can't make the Hong Kong show... I'm living in California, and will go back to HK on Friday. Hope to see you soon... I can't afford to miss another chance again! And yes, you should come back to HK someday! (altho there are lots of malls filled with western stores -__-)

I wanna see you :(
Hermione

portia. said...

that's one of the best blog posts i've ever read :)

you're so lucky to be able to visit places like that and see first hand how completely different life is for people around the world.

i'd love to be able to do something like that, it must kinda make you realise how much we take for granted in our society :/

Well, it's good to be hearing from you, and I hope the dicky tummy is better soon XD

love Portia :)
xx

helenaavondale said...

Hey, Jamie. I've never been to Jakarta or anywhere in Asia, however I have seen extreme poverty and I know that as small as I was, it moved and has stuck in my memory.

It's crazy to come from such a progressive place to a place where time has stood still and not continued to improve. It is worse though, when the people around you be your own family. I know it is very humbling and it still makes me feel guilty to know that I have family living in those conditions.

Hope you feel better, though, and that you enjoy the rest of the tour.
See you in the states.
xo, Jackie

in-d-n said...

first of all, i am very shocked that you guys chose to see THE Jakarta instead of the luxurious malls which are pretty much overtaking the city bit by bit. for that, my respect to you guys just went waaaay up!

yeah, it's kinda sad that the difference between the rich and the poor in Jakarta is very significant. and i definitly know how you feel after seeing those. i've lived in Jakarta like forever and walk passed those kind of situation everyday. as much as i've adjusted myself to the view, from time to time i still found myself in guilt whenever i passed by them esp on a walk home from hanging out with friends where we indulged ourselves at one of the mall.

aside from all those, the photos are all wonderful shots. i can just comment on each of every photo. like that orange vehicle is called "Bajaj" here, did you try it btw? =D
and the bunnies... they're for sale...

anyhow, i hope you guys really enjoy your stay in Jakarta and will come back here again and explore the city even more.

-octa

Ronnie said...

heyy
how many piercings do you have?
:P
since time was limited i didn't get to ask you if that under eye piercing hurt...so did it?
pleeeasseeeee come back to hk or go to Melbourne please please please

TUNG said...

Hello JAMIE, this is Tung, hope u still remember me, i met u at the Hong Kong's backstage door in the morning. Hong Kong also have a wide range between the rich and the poor. there are some beggers on the street...... you may see if walk on the street that not for tourist.

It was a AMAZING show in Hong Kong. I cried for it.can u see us cried? lol and you guys are totally great, u are so nice to us. love the moment that met u at the backstage door and after the signing. You are so funny! i wish we can see u soon in the own Lostprophets show in Hong Kong. i promise i will be there JAMIE! Love you so much!(and your beautiful hair!)

have a nice day and take care!xxx Tung

Elvira said...

hey Jamie,
I'm from Malaysia. I went to Singapore for Singfest just to watch you guys play. =]
I definitely agree that there were a number of technical hiccoughs but seeing you guys play was totally euphoric - those problems were overrode. I think all of us will only remember how awesome it felt to be in the presence of Lostprophets! =]

I really hope to see you guys in Malaysia sometime in the future.

Anonymous said...

hello!!jamie!!!! hope you still remember me.karman from hong kong.miss u:(

FUNK said...

This blog post reminds me alot of the poem 'I Am A Cameraman' by Douglas Dunn.
The idea of photographing the poor and suffering but feeling guilty and taking away their dignity.
If you haven't read that poem, I suggest you do so.

http://adifferentvision.blogspot.com/2004_08_01_archive.html



It was interesting to read this blog. I've always thought of going to a country where there is extreme poverty amongst the rich. But i'd feel to out of place and guilty, asif I was intruding and just going to be morbidly curious or something. =/

Johnny (Prophet2142) said...

wow sounds like one heck of an experience in jakarta, it always makes me wonder how people in that much poverty can be the friendliest kindest people ever, its because they only have each other really so they appreciate the small things and peoples company i think, amazing.
Hope the shows went well, hey just wondering why arn't there any official MTV rock am ring 2008 videos up anywhere yet? there are of other bands.
Nice that you play FF7 Crisis core, me too! i play it on hard mode (its soo solid) and i am up to the bit meeting profesor Hojo in the shinra coperation, where are you up to?
kk enough of my jibber jabbin now hope the rest of the shows go well and smoothly.

Electric Barbarella said...

i can feel the emotion coming through your post. it's shocking. i remember when i went to thailand last year it was a similar story. driving through these little towns where people lived in tin houses broke my heart. i'd never felt so guilty in my life than when i arrived at my big plush hotel. even now it makes me guilty.

i also hope your

elinette said...

Hey Jamie

Sometimes I also feel ashamed of being so fortunate while a billion people are starving to death or living under these poor conditions as you describe. I mean, here in Sweden where I live you don't see many poor people at all. You just walk around in your own bubble not knowing how lucky you are.

One thing i really don't get is HOW can these wealthy and filthy rich people who live in Jakarta witness this misery every day? Maybe it's something they get used to or choose to not see. That's freakin scary and horrifying.

Anyway, i hope you'll have a nice and safe flight back home and also that your stomach gets better =)

And remember! Your always welcome to come over here to Sweden/Scandinavia, anytime you like. Would be aaaawesome.

xx
elina

shuanghong said...

OMG. i didn't realize you did not feel well. you totally looked fine and stuff. my apologies for disturbing you.

Sandy said...

I'm glad you didn't write about the shows. I do love the shows but life is so much bigger.

I have felt much the same when backpacking in Malaysia or East Africa. It's some how even more unbearable now I have kids of my own.

Ofcourse, it's right that this kind of thing gets us down, but I started to think that no amount of aching about it will actually change things. We just have to do what we can to help when we can. Never enough, but anything anyone of us does it a start (I'm not even going to mention G8 etc).

Your photos are amazing as always.

Hope you feel better and enjoy the great experiences.

andreajane said...

Hi jamie,hope you re feeling better,i cant find the words to explain how reading this blog and seeing the photos made me feel.Its all to easy to take things for granted and be court up in our own little worlds so that we forget those that maybe less fortunate than ouselves.It certainly put my problems into prospective like basically i havent got any in comparison.Thank you for this insight to another world.take care.see you in birmingham on the 18th,cant wait.love you .x

bitchtard said...

i like the photos you posted.LOVE it.I was at the singfest.awesome band and songs=) love u guys.COME BACK SOON!

+BRI said...

Your Madonna image is incredibly striking, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Its easy for us in the West to disassociate ourselves with poverty and become desensatised to the images that we see on the news, but seeing the familiar faces of you guys in stark contrast with the people you came into contact with really hits home. We're a thousand miles away from it all, living our materialistic lives and it makes me feel pretty guilty. Ive always planned on travelling, aid work after my degree, and seeing how much I can lend a hand to those less lucky than me. Still, the state of the world these days, you wonder how much difference one small person can make.
Im glad that you had such a memorable experiance in Jakarta, and hope you feel better soon.
Bri xxx

Raay Fonseca said...

JAAAAMIE *-* i love you :x rsrs.
big kisses :* (L)
/Raay Fonseca - Brazil

Raay Fonseca said...

hey, come to Brazil please (:
kisses from your biggest fan *-* (L)

fidy said...

Yeah jam, you could see people who lives like paris hilton and girl who got no shoes in jakarta. The gap between the haves and the have-not is just like from here to china.
I was totally excited when hearing that lost prophets are coming here.
Anyway I was not attending the show at jakarta, (actually I'm from jakarta) but I choose singapore to watch you, because there were more bands with slightly different price. your show at singapore was a dynamite, never thought people there could mosh harder than here. lol.

comeback one day! you know you should

Natersby said...

Wow, that's a pretty amazing experience. Reading that gave me a kick up the butt, too, since I moan alot about having no money; but I still have clothes and a roof over my head, not to mention prospects to earn. So I resolve to quit bitching about finances from now on!

I especially like the rabbit pic btw, maybe it's the colour contrast of it.

Ah, Crisis Core! I've done 25% of the missions thus far, but it didn't take me that long to realize they're all pretty much identical! Still, the rest of the game's good enough to make up for it! Oooh and all the FF7 music, very nostalgic! (Yes, I'm Queen of the geeks, I know.)

lezah said...

The part about Jakarta is really saddening.


Glad you enjoyed Singapore! I miss home so much.

Samuel Stevens said...

Hey Jamie, I just want to say thanks for meeting me earlier at the V Festival Chelmsford signing. I was the guy with your log tattooed on my back. There was a lot more that I wanted to say to you. Your songs have helped me through a lot and if it wasn't for Start Something I don't think I would have any hope for my future right now...I want to be a tattooist see. And if it wasn't for your music and playing I don't think I would of found my love for music and especially you guys. See you on Monday night and whenever in London. :D Thank you soooo much.

nvrgrwoldnvrdie said...

Get well soon hun!!!!

xxx

love n hugs

Soo

Liam Harris said...

Hello Jamie,
I read about your trip to Jakarta.
I think I would of felt like you did if I had been there, if your not expecting it then I suppose it can have a real effect of some of us.
The rainforest sounded nice.

I loved meeting you at V Festival 2008! You were really nice to allow me to have my photo taken with you and I thank you so much :)
In case you cant remember me I was wearing a 'Children Of Bodom' shirt :)
I have pictures on my myspace so if you have time please look i'll leave the link below..
www.myspace.com/losers_can_be_emo_too

All the best,
Liam

eilidh brian said...

hey jamie!
just wanted to say that you guys were amazing in edinburgh!
thanks for the banter after the show!

i'm the loser who said to you "i read your blog all the time by the way! i'm always the one saying (at this point i mimed typing) 'come to scotland, come to scotland!'" and then thanked you for coming... i'm still embarrassed XD

also want to apologise for my sister arguing with you about 30 seconds to mars, that was really embarrassing XD

cheers :]
xxxxx

nicki said...

Sorry, a bit irrelevant to the blog, but I just wanted to say thankyou for taking time out of your night off on Tuesday for a picture. Still a bit surprised we stumbled upon you in a city the size of Paris!

Not sure exactly what issues were going on with your set, but I hope you enjoyed Rage on Wednesday, IMO they were as brilliant as they were the first time I saw them.
xx

Anonymous said...

hi jamie, unfortunately this is the world of us deadly commune, god he has created the wealth, the beauty the joy, but as every thing is the reverse of the medal!!! this is the world this is the life: everyday combat!!

thanks to You for the strength that gives us with a song to follow!!!
pardon for the bad english ;)
by enrico from trashnaples
www.myspace.com/miniponi
peace

nomad/vagabond said...

My friend from Singapore says Singapore Airlines are the best. She gives you kudos for that, and also for taking yourself off and on the buses. Her other comment was, it's no wonder Singfest loses money every year if that's the accomodation they're putting their guests up in. Since I have no clue, I felt it best to just keep my mouth shut on the subject. The Far East is a different world where they go for tea at 2am. I mean, who wants to eat at 2am?! But it's A Thing in Singapore, apparently!

Anyway, that wasn't why I was commenting. I actually swung past to say thank you for the photograph you posed for in Paris for my friend and I. Or really, for her, since she was the one with the camera. It was your night off and you didn't have to, and we'd just like to make our appreciation known. So, sincerely, cheers for being so gracious. :) x

Anneka said...

like months later and i read all your blogs... bit slow on my lostprophets updates... been too preoccupied with the blackout (i will say that without a doubt i love em to pieces, so thanks to you guys for like introducing me to them)
Anyway, the reason i'm commenting here on everything rather than on each one is mainly cause i read your dream about mike chiplin and thought i'd pass on some much needed information.
go to www.myspace.com/theunsunguk
it's the band he's in... well sort of. They're having a few teething problems so to speak, but they are actually such an amazing band. Like seriously nice bunch of guys too!
You get out of Wales, I seem to be going there more and more... hence I found out about his new band.
But yeah in other stuff, I'm seriously a big fan of your artwork and look forward to getting to explore some of that when I get my butt onto flickr, so i'm glad you're back into that. As for your "rant" (or whatever you called it) about music and the new album, it actually gave me a swift kick up the butt to start to actually understand what i want from the new lostprophets album. And what i want is not a quick churned out album (although don't get me wrong fakesound barely leaves my stereo, only to be chucked back in only a few days later), i want something you guys are proud of and something i can love in the long run. Preferably more straight away, but that doesn't always happen, you can't please everyone. So providing you guys are happy, the world will come round eventually.
Anyway good luck with everything and I hope you enjoy reading the longest message I've posted to anyone in like forever.
Anneka
xXx
P.S. LOVE the new hair. Like seriously, bleach blonde is SO you!

nvrgrwoldnvrdie said...

hey there! hope your enjoying a well earned rest for a while :D

xxx

Chloe said...

When I was in New York a couple of years back I got collared by a representative from Children International, a humanitarian organistion that has it's focus on children in poverty, and provides help through the promotion of sponsorship. If you can get past the gimicky nature of it, you'll see they work in several countries where the rich/poor divide is most evident, and the help they provide is invaluable. I'm putting a link below to the benefits of sponsorship page. We can't all be Bono, but it's something.

http://www.children.org/benefitsofSponsorship.asp?sid=046A3AC8-7B0E-4E3A-BE9F-4274CA075B31

ruya said...

I'm Lostprophets' fan in Hong Kong.Glad that you wrote something about the show in Hong Kong!!!I've been there that day!!! It's awasome!!!!!!!I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!Please come and hold a show again!!!PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

cui ying said...

hey jamie! the show in singapore was awesome dude! want to throw a show here in malaysia? me and my friends are dying to watch you guys!

clarine valerie said...

hey jamie.. we all have been missing you.. loads! yea yea we all know that indonesia is not really a wealthy country. but you know,we are trying to stand up. but we know that it will be hard. but thankyou so much. for putting up the stories on blog.
anyways.... i love your platinum blonde hair. hahahaha! come back. oh yea wanted to tell. the crowd in jakarta was pretty bad. cos not much people here know your band. but since you came here. everybody is talking about your band.... loads. anyways see yaaa.

smooooch!
cla-r-ine

HB said...

I am an American and I grew up desperately poor. I was an orphan at four and lived in state homes and foster care where people were very cruel. When I see photos and blogs like this, it makes me thankful that at least I have a roof over my head, and it just spurs me on to work with disadvantaged people. Thanks for sharing that. :) HannahB

fi said...

hi jamie..

i live in jakarta,Indonesia.
i watched ur interview on tv.
the presenter said that you guys went to a local market named "tanah abang"..you know what???
u guys was sooooo luckyyy coz nothing happened to you..
that marked well knowned becoz thats the nest of the most dangerous criminal..
maybe u see some men with tattoos n strange face..

but dont worry.our government trying to clean criminals in jakarta..

i just wanna confirm that,its true some of the jakartans that you saw before are pityful.but dont get wrong,,they r actually not the real jakartans,,they come to this town coz they think that they can get a job here,,but without enough skill n education.they cant achieve it..
thats why they earn money from begging.

n the river that u saw,,it will always flood when rain comes,,
i mean,almost all of jakarta area were drowned from the river...

i hope u guys can back to jakarta..dont worry,we r friendly.
the next time u come,,it will be different.
^^V

fichan,,girl who cant come to you show