Only in Indonesia… does your landlord decide he is going to seize nearly half of your (already rented and paid for) house so that he and his family can live there. Perhaps he promises that it will only be used once a month by him and his immediate family. However, this is Indonesia. The notion of family extends to brothers, sisters, parents, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, second-cousins, third-cousins, close friends, neighbors, work colleagues, the local religious leaders, friends-of-a-friend, a favorite ojek driver, random people you meet on the bus, the woman who sells you vegetables, etc. etc. etc. Thus Brenda and I were a bit apprehensive. The landlord didn’t even inform us. He just inserted a ply-wall divider. We could have pushed it over with one hand. Safety issues aside…. Will these people want to use our kamar kecil? What if they need water? What if we want to use the veranda? Will they be suspicious if we have visitors? Will they cook smelly foods? What about utility bills? Hey I’m all for sharing. But sometimes I want to be selfish… is that so wrong? We triumphantly stood our ground.
Only in Indonesia… does the pilot invite a passenger in the cockpit of a commercial flight. Isn’t there somekind of international rule about those doors being locked? Flores, Sumbawa, Lombok, Penida, Lembongan, Bali. The dashboard GPS guided the plane as the pilots joked and posed for photos. Don’t you guys need to be like holding a wheel or something?? They assured me it was easy. So easy they even let me do a bit of steering. Food for thought on your next trip to Bali… who is flying the plane today??
Only in Indonesia… will a police officer willing hand you his gun for a photo opt. During our recent visit to Bajawa to register with the police, Morris and I stopped to chat with a group of police. They all wanted photos with Morris. Jokingly (ok, only partially) I asked to hold the gun. No problemo!! They even opened it up into the ready-to-use position. Have these guys ever heard of crazy, trigger-happy gunmen/women?
Only in Indonesia… can an organization implement a program called ‘cuci otak’. Brenda proposed a much more optimistic translation… mind cleansing. I, however, couldn’t get past the idea that my partners where going to be undertaking a bit of brainwashing with the farmers. Maybe YMTM has thrown in the towel with participation… they’ll just ‘cuci otak’ the farmers instead. Will it all finish with a ‘magic serum’? A spaceship invasion? A major conspiracy by ‘the man’?
Only in Indonesia… do I help the ferry captain light his cigarette as he relinquishes the ‘controls’ of the boat (which looks barely able to stay afloat) to my steady hand. Hopefully this is not a three-hour tour Gilligan-style.
Only in Indonesia…