Archive | September 2008

We Are So Proud!

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport gets 139 new toilets and 9 prayer rooms, as announced at a ceremony inaugurating the new facilities. The event itself was done in one of the new ladies’ washrooms.An official event held in a toilet? Really?

Watch Out For Those Oversize Lizards Roaming The Streets

As part of building a ‘better’ public transportation system for Jakarta, a Malaysian-controlled local company launched its series of buses to be used for the Transjakarta system. Never mind the irony that some Malaysian people actually want to make Jakarta a better place – or just make a buck from us Indonesians – the company, in a misdirected patriotic whim, named the bus ‘Komodo’. Why would you name a commercial product ‘Komodo’? Who’d want to buy something named after an oversize lizard? The Jakarta government, apparently.Komodo is an endangered carnivorous species of lizard indigenous to a few islands in Indonesia, which might translate to these points in the context of Transjakarta:

  • the buses gobble up passangers
  • the buses have a hard leathery feel with sand all around
  • they’re unusually big for its type [of bus]
  • they move pretty slowly – unless there’s prey to be caught
  • since they’re endangered, there must be very few of them – good luck waiting at the bus stop

And You Guard Our Country’s Very Safety

In a small but notable incident last week, a woman and her husband was harassed by a member of the military, although it was said military member who rammed into their car.This is not the first time a member of the military has acted above the law and mistreated common citizens – even I had an experience. I was with a friend in Bogor near a military base, and to turn back we used a small road that led to one of the entrances. When we were waiting for traffic to pass, a soldier came by the car and asked why the hell we were turning there. “This is not the place to turn, you cannot just use this road carelessly,” he said. To my defence, the road wasn’t even in the base’s area as the perimeter was clearly marked by a low wall. “Who are you? Where are you going? You better not be funny with me or I’ll beat you with my rifle butt,” he continued. I think the most violence-provoking act I did was the expression of disbelief on my face – what did I do?Isn’t it strange how these military guys treat us? I’m not saying all are like that – but too often than not, we here these cases time and again.No names were mentioned and thus I am not liable for a defamation suit 😀

Bon Appetit

You’d think a moderatly expensive buffet restaurant would know their dishes, by spelling, and not just by sound. Cheers to a valiant effort… but keep trying, guys.


Pornografi Apa?

[translated from the previous post, to help push an issue – I think we all should write our opinions on this issue.]

Kadang-kadang menarik untuk membaca artikel dari website berita asing yang membahas kejadiaj-kejadian di Indonesia – seperti disahkannya RUU Pornografi. Yang tersirat dari artikel tersebut adalah wartawan yang menulisnya sedang geleng-geleng kepala dan berkata, ‘ tujuannya apa sih?’


Gue harus agak setuju – pornografi memang tidak dimaksudkan untuk konsumsi masal, dan perlu ada usaha untuk menghindari materi tersebut diakses anak-anak di bawah umur. Untuk orang dewasa, ini lebih ke persoalan kontrol diri dan pendirikan – dan media yang bertanggung jawab. Bukannya sebuah undang-undang justru menjaga ini? Kita bahkan gak bisa mengatur motor-motor di jalanan, tapi masa kita mau mengatur baju yang dipakai orang, yang adalah pasal terabsurd dari undang-undang ini? Bukannya mencari cara untuk dapat mengayomi semua orang, malahan melarang semuanya; lebih tidak merepotkan. Gue nggak bilang pornografi itu bener – dan gue ga mau jadi orang munafik juga – tapi kan bisa diatur dengan lebih baik, ketimbang  dianggap seolah-olah usus buntu terinfeksi.


Itu kayak ngomong bahwa ‘karena gue nggak bisa mengendalikan nafsu gue, elu perlu berhenti berpakaian seksi atau berbuat yang membangkitkan nafsu’. Sama aja dengan spanduk-spanduk yang gue pernah liat yang mengatakan ‘untuk yang berpuasa, selamat berpuasa. Untuk yang tidak berpuasa, hargailah yang sedang berpuasa’ – yang menurut gue egois dan hanya berpikir dari satu sisi aja. Kapan dong kita sebagai Muslim menghargai orang lain? Konon katanya kita nggak bisa mengucapkan Selamat Natal. Gue nggak melihat alasan kenapa kita harus berpikir kita lebih baik dari orang lain – terutama karena kasus-kasus seperti ini justru menunjukkan sebaliknya.


Lagi-lagi orang-orang yang seharusnya lebih tahu dari kita, dan lebih pintar dari kita – seperti temen-temen di DPR/MPR – telah menunjukkan sebaliknya. Kancah politik malah memperbodoh bangsa – dan undang-undang pornografi adalah sebuah gerakan politis, dan bukan moral, yang membuatnya sesuatu yang bodoh – dan di saat moral harusnya mengenai pengertian, politik memaksa moral menjadi isu polisi pikiran.


Gimana caranya kita mau keluar dari lubang dan bergabung dengan masyarakat dunia, kalau politisi kita malah menarik kita makin dalam? 

Don’t Forget To Give Back The Change


Supermarket cashiers have it tough these days. Count the shopping items properly or you’ll get fired. Make sure you get all the item codes right or you’ll get fired. Smile at the customers and indulge their questions and nagging, or you’ll get fired. Offer phone credit reloads and an obscure green bag, or you’ll get fired. 

What Porn?

It’s sometimes interesting to read an article from a foreign news website commenting on current events in Indonesia – such as the so-called ‘porn law’ coming to effect. You can’t see it written, but I’m pretty sure the journalists writing this article are shaking their heads and saying, ‘what on earth do these guys want to accomplish?’

I must sort of agree – pornography by far is not suited for mass consumption, and there must be efforts to stop underage children to access that material. For adults, I think it’s a matter of self-control and education – and a responsible media, too. Shouldn’t a law be guaranteeing this? Hell, we can’t even regulate motorcycles, must we try to regulate what people wear, part of the most ridiculous clauses in the bill? Instead of finding ways to be all-inclusive, just ban everything, I guess; much, much simpler. I’m not saying pornography is right – and I don’t want to be a hypocrite either – but it can be managed better, rather than just treating it as an infected appendix.
It’s kind of like saying ‘since I can’t control my sexual urges, you have to stop wearing sexy clothes or do acts that might increase sexual desire’. It’s similar to banners I have seen saying ‘for those who fast, happy fasting! for those who don’t fast, respect the ones who do’ – which is a bit selfish and one-sided. When will be the time that us Muslims respect others, then? We can’t even say Merry Christmas, the rumor goes. I really don’t see why we should think we are better than other people because of our religion – especially when cases like these show that we definitely aren’t. 
Time and time again the people who are supposed to know better than us, and the people that are supposed to be smarter than us – like the good friends in the Parliament – have shown otherwise. Politics are dumbing us down – and this pornography bill is an inherently political move, not a moral one, which makes it stupid – and where morality is supposed to be about understanding, politics have ensured that morality is about the thought police.
How on earth are we going to get ourselves out of the hole and into world-class society if our aspiring politicians are dragging us in deeper?