Monday, September 8, 2008

What are Indonesians Good At?

We’re good at creating strange, silly, and incomprehensible rules with no apparent reasonable reasoning let alone huge benefits nor effectiveness at solving problems. So don’t even bother asking about in depth study of the pros and cons of that rules.

Just yesterday when I was about to leave Foreign Affairs Department I was stopped by a security guard about five meters from the gate and was told that I couldn’t go that way. I was genuinely bewildered for I could see no reason why I couldn’t go that way, so reasonably I asked ‘Why not?

Instead of answering my question he pointed out a picture of a mother and her kid that was forward slash, perhaps it means that no women and children are allowed to use that gate. For your information I was coming through that gate when I came in – sitting inside a cab.

However, as I was in a relatively charitable mood since I was fasting, I offered him an answer myself, ‘Ah, perhaps it’s difficult to stop a taxi from here,’ said I understandably. And then obediently walked away towards the second gate which was about 100 meters in the middle of the hot afternoon sun.

As I walked my charitable mood started to evaporate under the hot sun and my brain power which was rather limited started to stir especially after I arrived at the second gate and saw an enter sign instead of out sign as I expected. And to top it off it was just as difficult to stop a taxi in front of that gate.

I know that thinking is not my forte for trying as hard as I was, I couldn’t find a reasonable answer as to why pedestrians are not allowed to pass through that gate.

That’s the example of how good we are at creating incomprehensible rule. Or perhaps a good example of how stupid I was?

Anyway, we’re also good at not taking apparent step/initiative to solve problems.

If you’re a Jakartan you probably know Casablanca Street particularly the section in front of the Ambassador Mall and are one of the frustrating and helpless victims of its traffic.

I for one is definitely frustrated when I happened to have to use that street, however, with limited brain power I could see no solution for it, and therefore just gritted my teeth and bear it. That’s another thing that we Indonesians are good at. We’re very good at accepting uncomfortable situations and conditions.

Back to Casablanca Street, a taxi driver told me not long ago that unlike other traffics that plague Jakarta’s streets, the traffic in the Casablanca Street is actually very easy to solve. Just build a bridge and a fence, so that no body could cross that street hence there’s no reason for the securities of that Mall to stop passing cars and creating that terrible traffic.

Simple isn’t it? The question is why is it not implemented? Is it possible that everybody else has also had a limited brain power like me?

Or is it really like what I argue that we’re only good at creating useless rules and not good at all at solving problems?
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