Archive | December 2008

Happy New Year!

So here’s what you can expect in a more or less generic New Year’s Eve in Jakarta:

  • afternoon to evening, the roads will be relatively empty, as many people will still be going to Puncak, or another out-of-town destination. I still don’t know why that after 20 years and almost no development, Puncak is still a destination.
  • sounds of fireworks will start as soon as it gets dark.
  • the people selling new year trumpets will have a rush of orders; they’ll need to unload their merchandise quickly, anyway.
  • the streets will get jammed 10 PM upwards, filled with people in the streets parking irregularly and blowing their new year trumpets in everybody’s ear.
  • bars will be packed with people wanting to countdown the seconds enchanced with various types of alcoholic drinks.
  • somebody, somewhere is having a DVD marathon at home and hating the noise outside.
  • don’t ever go to the Monas area because it will be packed even more.
  • pickpockets have the time of their life in the throng of new year crowds.
  • policemen are overwhelmed trying to organize the traffic and people, simply give up and go to the nearest coffee stall.
  • ‘anti-maksiat’ patrols will still make rounds in certain areas, waving their banner high.
  • but all over Jakarta, people will be forgetting their worries for the moment, as they celebrate the coming of a new year!

Happy New Year, Jakartans. Keep safe and good luck!

No Semoking Area


A small kiosk selling everything, to bottled gasoline (using old Coca-Cola bottles).

Gunning For Change?

The city council rejects an idea floated by the police to arm community heads in the effort to maintain law and order.Um… why would an idea like this come up in the first place? I can picture a Jakarta-style Mexican standoff, or one of those cowboy duels, but done in a small alleyway instead of the main road, to get rid of the ‘baddie’ of the neighborhood. “This housing complex isn’t big enough for the both of us,” says the community cheif (ketua RW).Bringing guns into the community will only increase proliferation, and that’s when we assume everybody entitled with these guns will follow the letter of  the law. Yeaaah. Let’s just keep the guns with the police and armed forces – not that it’s limited to them anymore either.

Maybe Said Officials Have Never Seen A City Bus

The city will be tougher on emissions from motor vehicles next year, they say, although they apparently do not know how to do it exactly. But they’re pretty sure of one thing – the emissions control will start with private vehicles.So next year, the millions of private vehicles will have low emissions (supposedly). And those hell-spewing buses will still bring black poison all over the city….

That’s Why The Kids Would Rather Watch Cartoons

Remember feeling stupid in SD? When you couldn’t understand a single sentence from those lousy hand-me-down textbooks? Seems that some researchers got together and made that official – to the extent of saying that the textbooks are not appropriate for class.Well, I don’t think they use those outdated Balai Pustaka textbooks anymore, but since then many schoolbook publishers have turned up, while not necessarily fulfilling the requirements and needs of kids in 1st and 2nd grade. Well, there is a national standarization board of some kind, but somehow they missed reviewing all the books invovled in this research. Why? No budget.Anyway, if you read the article it also states findings that in one instance, the writer mistakenly thought an issue to discuss about gender became an issue to discuss about sex, and goes on describing… I’ll stop there. And that’s not mentioning the level of language and usage of knowledge in the books are far too high for 1st and 2nd graders.And here I was under the impression that school textbooks should be written by somebody smart?

Bedanya Jauh Ya…

“Bebas Parkir” sama “Parkir Bebas”.
Jauh kan? Coba kata ‘parkir’ diisi kata benda lain…

Christmas, Jakarta Style

29,000 policemen are assigned to guard around 1,000 church locations, in fear of attacks.Some voices in the Islamic community are urging their fellow Muslims to not say “Merry Christmas” to Christians, because it would mean that they believe in Christmas and Jesus Christ too. Ironically, there are no religious edicts banning Muslims from congratulating Buddhists or Hindus on their religious celebrations, or Easter for that matter.Some of those on holiday and not celebrating Christmas decide to… go to the zoo.Pacific Place mall has scheduled fake snowfall every day, together with Christmas caroling.Malls outdo themselves with Christmas decorations and programs.Jakarta streets are relatively empty, because today is also the 1st day of a  5-day long weekend.However bad or good, absurd or funny Christmas can be in Jakarta, we at Plis Deh Jakarta hope those of you celebrating have a Merry Christmas!