Archive | May 2008

The Main Hub Of International Transport… But Not Local

These points are ironically funny about Jakarta’s own Soekarno-Hatta International Airport:

  • there’s no way to get to it other than by road. No high-speed train access, nothing. Except if you fly in from other cities…
  • there’s only 2 ways to get in by road: through the freeway and through a back entrance, and they are very far from each other. So if one passage is blocked you have to take a 2-hour detour to get to the other.
  • the main freeway passes a a long swath of swamp. Yes, a swamp. Only recent flooding and global warming has caused the government to think about fixing or rising the road.
  • The bus service to and from the airport is irregular at best. What’s the point of riding the bus if you don’t know the schedule?
  • City check-in counters don’t get you squat if the roads are jammed all the way to the airport… which they most often are.
  • You’re in for the time of your life waiting for checked baggage. I don’t know why, every one tends to try to get the best position at the baggage conveyor belt, as though as they want to get the first bag out.
  • Fast food is bas as it is at any given mall, and at the airport it’s even worse at almost double the price.
  • For a place where people do a lot of waiting, there’s not an awful lot of seats. And the seats that are available, have nests of cockroaches inside.
  • For an international gateway to Indonesia, the lighting is like a beat-up off the track shopping centre. Lot’s of lights but bad illumination. But bright enough so you can see the cracks in the cement.
  • You can choose from a multitude of taxi brands, official or non-official, but you never know which one will rip you off or take you on the scenic route.
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Rising Price Of Life

There are a lot of arguments going on about the recently-raised price of gas.

One is, the global price of crude oil itself has risen, and as a processed-oil exporter (not importer), the price just went up for us as well. So if we want to remove a lot of pain from the country’s budget, the subsidies for gas must be partly lifted. So now we feel the pain.

The other is, raising the price of gas is not the problem in itself, but it is the perceived psychological impact on everything else – rising prices of everything, the less-to-dos doing worse because of it, and so on. The working wisdom is that if gas prices go up, everything else goes up, in a time where everyone wants everything cheap or free. An article indicated that the price of gas in Indonesia went up 37 times in the past 42 years. Yeah well… a lot happens in 42 years… not to mention that gas prices at other countries go up or down regularly, like any other commodity.

I agree that raising gas prices is a drastic measure for a country like ours, but it does not mean that we have to go off and burn tyres and make a general mess of things. Civil disobedience can only get you so far, and crosses lines to anarchy very easily. Why do the thousands of people protesting do not offer an alternative solution? If asked this they expect that the government should be the smarter one to figure things out. Well, aren’t they?

The new gas price hurts me and hurts us all but I do not find fault with it – the biggest mistake of the government is lack of foresight. Public transport is still a mess, there are no local developments whatsoever on alternative energy sources (despite all the noise about ‘blue energy’ in the press) and electric or hybrid cars – although very logical for Jakarta and other cities – aren’t even sold anywhere. Well you do hear ads here and there yet people still love their gas-guzzling cars and motorcycles and wouldn’t make a bold first step to an alternative.

We are all spoilt and corrupt, and it is time to change it; we can’t expect the government to change things for us. Stop protesting and start changing.

[Don’t Listen To This]

Kenapa sih?Mungkin karena sudah terlampau sering dan terbiasa mendengar bisingnya klakson, knalpot, suara orang berantem, suara orang ngomong di HP kenceng-kenceng, suara ringtone HP kenceng dan ganggu, suara musik kenceng dari kios-kios penjual CD dan DVD bajakan, teriakan kenek dan penjual minum, pengamen, pengumuman car call, suara proyek bangunan… orang Jakarta jadi tidak bisa menyimak.Simply put: people can hear but they can’t listen anymore.

BBM adalah…

Benar-benar MemusingkanBeha Bermotif MacanBilang-bilang ke MamaBongkar-bongkar MajalahBosan Berujung MengantukBeruang Buka MaduBlack Berry Menyebalkan …. memang iya!Bedak Berlapis MenawanBibir Berlipstik MerahBanting Bedil MainanBeringasan Bila MenyetirBandot Berbibir MonyongBimbang Berakibat MenyesalBinal, Buas, MenghanyutkanBapak Berbuat MemalukanBincang-bincang MalamBesok Bawa MakananBerbicara Bebas Makna … seperti blog ini mungkinBerburu ‘Binatang’ MalamBunyi Bergelegar Meminta …. makanBotol Berisi MautBakal Bikin MiskinBerpesiar ke Bali, Mari! (pengen)Bakso Bulat MengenyangkanBaca Blog Malu-maluin….

Mungkin Sedang Ada Semacam Lomba?

Kenapa sih?Jumat dan Sabtu malem suka ada sekelompok pengendara motor berkeliaran, rata-rata 10 motor dengan rata-rata jumlah penumpang 2-3 orang, ngebut, nggak pake helm (sepertinya pici putih yang dipakai sudah cukup melindungi), berselempangkan sarung, dengan bawa bendera besar?

Jakarta, The City Of The Pointless

Hey, I may be wrong, but what does doing anything of the below accomplish anything?

  • burning tyres
  • blocking up the roads and jamming up traffic
  • spray-painting random government-owned vehicles
  • spray-painting public facilities
  • stone throwing (any direction)
  • verbal harrasment
  • and so on… there are so many ways to enact anarchy

Maybe this is what they should do (‘they’ purposely vague in this sense):

  • instead of burning tyres, maybe burn fat?
  • instead of blocking roads, maybe block floods?
  • instead of spray-painting vehicles, maybe spray-paint your own and create a beauty contest?
  • instead of spray-painting public facilities, maybe spray-paint your own toilet? Those stains won’t remove themselves, why not just paint over them…
  • instead of throwing stones, why not throw… a party?
  • instead of verbal harassment, why not verbal poetry?
  • and instead of anarchy, why not stop being pointless and use your head? Yes, that thing inside the head too, called the brain – learn to use it.

Level 42’s Timeless Song

Odd Jakarta Fact #492:The announcement of a theatre opening before a movie at MPX Grande, Pasaraya, uses a large 2×3 screen stating ‘The movie blah blah blah is about to begin in Studio 1’, accompanied by the intro of Level 42’s “Love Games”. I think it’s been like that since the song was actually a hit.