Jakarta reminds me so much of home. The heavy traffic jams, the sticky heat, the smoke from reckless super fast cars and motorcycles and the people. We share the same face and we share some words. Not long ago, our ancestors probably came from the same tribe of nomads who have been ruling the South East Asian seas. In spite of the poverty all around, we share the same smile.
I look out to the city from my hotel window and wonder: will this country of 200 million people rise up from the rut and shine like the rest of its neighbors? I really don’t know. Like the Philippines, this place needs a major deluge – A big flood or a major catastrophe: a volcanic eruption, a tsunami or a meteor strike perhaps. Like home, this place needs to rid itself of a generation of corruption, crime and poverty. Out of the ashes, we can start again. Of course, this is assuming that all the people we love to hate die in the first wave. If they don’t, they may be able to bribe some rescue worker and survive. This is dangerous because the viscous cycle of corruptor and corruptee starts all over again.
One thing I really like is food. Indonesian food is interesting and worth eating – hehehe. I like their Nasi Padang. It’s basically rice with a ton of different dishes that is brough to your table. You pay only for what you eat. Each dish is different, from spicy to very spicy. hehehe… Of course, there is their national pride: Indonesian Barbeque Satay with Peanut Sauce.
“Terimah KASIH” – thank you! A word I find effective when connecting with the Indonesians. It is the magic word; a password that open doors (“Buka Pintu”). A smile and a thank you is all you need to belong.
“Belonging” – I cannot even measure how important this is for me, a travelling salesman.