As is the case during every Ramadan that I have spent in Indonesia, entertainment venues go into reduced hours mode. Entertainment is not just your bars, clubs, and massage joints, but pool halls as well. Another oddity is that alcohol generally continues to be served with food and in coloured plastic cups or coffee mugs.
I went out last night and shot some pool with a good mate. We normally shoot pool in a place called "After Hours" and saw no need to change the habit, so that is where we went. Everything was pretty much as it always is, except for the drinks. The beer was not served in a beer mug, but rather it was served in a coffee mug. The beer was still ice-cold and apparently, according to the girl serving us those ice-cold beers, the coffee mug actually held slightly more beer than the regular beer mug. So, we were actually getting to drink more beer for the same price during Ramadan.
I did not take the camera [mental note -- take the camera with me everyday] so I do not have a picture. Maybe, I will shoot a few games next week and take the camera this time, get the photo of the beer-filled coffee mug, and add it to this post.
I have often wondered whether there are "entertainment venues" that continue to entertain unaffected by the holy month. I might have lived here and in Jakarta a long time but I am not knowledgeable on these things. Maybe some one will drop by who does know these things and enlighten me.
I find it interesting that the authorities clamp down on entertainment during the month of Ramadan. It is interesting because I have always understood the fasting month to be about resisting temptation, over-coming your urges, and through this struggle purifying yourself of the sins of the previous year, a cleaning of the slate if you will. The authorities seem to think that fasters need a helping hand by legislatively removing the temptation by closing places down.
Another fascinating aspect of the fasting month is that the law and order fellas ramp up the operations against prostitutes and others deemed undesirable, arrest them, and the send them off to some re-education camp to learn a trade like sewing. Surely, if prostitution is bad then it is bad all-year round, right?
For those of you that are fasting -- good luck!