“You buy me ecstasy.” These four words are perhaps what the average foreign bloke will hear most often on a night out in Jakarta.
I have never really had that much against MDMA and E really. I always thought it overrated and the comedown the following day easily outweighed the frankly dull high moments. Still, in Indonesia my viewpoint changed on seeing the sheer depravity and desperation caused by this drug. The streets are lined with gurning chicks, faces distorted by pills, words exiting their mouths in long, drooling fashion.
It used to be the upper classes that indulged in this drug through till the late 1990s where mass production and a perceived ‘coolness’ factor made it the pill of choice for the masses too.
Inside a cavernous warehouse that doubled up as a nightclub, the green laser lights darted across the huge dance floor, with techno music at full body-quivering blast, and the 2,000 strong crowd heaved to and fro as if filmed by an old fashioned Cinecamera thanks to the powerful strobe lighting. We perched ourselves at the back to take in the view and preserve our eardrums. No sooner had we sat down than dozens of girls came up, each one in turn demanding we buy them ecstasy. This rife drug doesn’t cost much in the Indonesian capital – around US$9 – but it sure dictates lives.