Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I want to invite you all to experience something like Fear Factor. But this time you will see no video or camera.

Let us walk the street in Jakarta. Any street. You know, it wouldn't matter which you pick, you will meet them. Yes I am talking about ubiquitous motorcycles. With more than four million units are sold every year (the 2005 sales reached five million, for your information), you have already seen them roaring the street. And because of this, they deserve all unimaginable.

Let's start the excitement with the pavement. The pavement is supposed to be a haven for pedestrians, because, you know, it is the only road parts not allowed for wheeled vehicles. But, their excuse is that the roads are not big enough to contain them and these riders are in a hurry for somewhere. It is always your fault to stand in their way. I watched RCTI reporting one man, having scolded a man on a his motorcycle for his traffic reversing attitude, and he was beaten almost to death. I don't know what happened next to him.

Crossing the street too is another you can not miss. You see the traffic coming from your right when crossing the street. But to add the excitement, the riders are entitled to come from right and your left. You can not curse because here one curse leads to another bigger curse or even black and blue on your body. I know one man was hit by a police officer and this poor man was lectured by, well, that police officer that he should have looked his right and left before crossing the street. So, if you don't want to get run down in this street game, look both ways.

Eternity and danger seem so real when you wait for the traffic (the motorcycle traffic) to relent to allow you to cross the street. Simple, they know only two speed modes; Fast and Faster. They seem so humiliated to see the road they are on and just want to get past of it, as very, very fast as they could. On the streets near Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport, on Kuningan street, every morning, you would see them run at 160 km/hr or more. All of them. And I am talking hundreds. And this is the fun; crossing means declaring you are ready to be run into, at their will. Being on foot on the street here is like a pariah who can not claim any rights as a citizen.

Only when one dignitary or a politician's son gets hit (and run down by these bikes) will this game stop. In the meantime, enjoy.


I had been keeping some draft on those so called celebrities in my blogger. I had thought it was only I who made it too much. But what happened days ago really confirms the insanity.

One brawl at a nightclub here in Jakarta saw this woman much known for her scantily-dressed looking and cheap sensation not worth mentioning, who reported her case to the police and all of a sudden the WHOLE TV station here in Indonesia brought it to light. Who makes this one a celebrity??! You can not be one just because all you do draws a crowd with cameras and microphones, right?

When you come across the word celebrity, you know what it means and to whom it should address. You can not do it here. Here in Indonesia, a celebrity means anybody who has appeared, even only once as a supporting character, on one of Indonesia's sinetrons' ever-absurd series. So, somebody appeared once and she or he is entitled forever with the privilege of being one. That is it.

Anybody is a celebrity when people with camera, microphones and recorders come at her or him. And that is how our TVs choke us with; they approach someone and you must accept that that person is a celebrity. This swarming crowd determine who is a celebrity.

But all comes with a disturbing question; what have they done to deserve it? You would watch one man reporting live every detail of his divorce process (I am so embarrassed he was born male) and all the fight with his wife that comes along; one woman divorcing her third husband, etc and viewers have had no idea what made these fellows celebrities.

Having said all this, I want to say you are a celebrity in waiting. All you need now is a crowd to rave stupid things.