Governor Anies Baswedan: It is NOT Another Brexit

It is really hard to make sense of how Anies won the gubernatorial race last week. Not that the reasoning behind his victory is not obvious enough. Nor that his capability is way below what it should be. It is just that, for me who have known Indonesia for the past 24 years; Jakarta’s decision to choose Anies and Sandi goes against everything i’ve learned about country.

Indonesia has been (sort of) famous for being a diverse, multi-cultural yet tolerant country. For anybody who lives in it long enough as a minority, they’ll know that it is just a bunch of lies. Indonesia being tolerant is like saying that the great wall of china can be seen from outer space. It sounded plausible, but it is not when you actually try and see it yourself.

And that has never been a problem for me. I kind of get used to (with some complaining to get me through by using this blog) living a life where I have to be disrupted by prayers call five times a day, or being judged for eating during the fasting period, or the minor inconvenience of not being able to find bacon in every supermarket. That has generally been okay with me. So when Ahok is being attacked for blasphemy against muslim even if it is obviously a political maneuver, I wasn’t even raising my eyebrow, because it is sort of expected..

It is politics. It is dirty. it is corrupt. it is opportunistic. So Anies’s victory, for me, is more than comprehensible.

What I could not understand, however, is the way people reacted to it. Understandably, Ahok’s supporters are frustrated and they took it to social media and start bullying everybody they know, while Anies’s supporter just go about their usual live as if nothing has happened.

But, there is this one group of people who started bullying every Anies’s supporter and blaming them for allowing him to be voted. Basically comparing the election to Brexit and the U.S. election. Arguing, that their country has been polarised and divided because of this very election.

Thing is, our country has always been polarised. Our country has always been separated.

I remember when I was growing up, every single day my mom would drove me to school; Back then, she would made sure that I understand I could never marry anyone outside my religion (especially muslim). I remember (being in a catholic school) hating muslims together with my friends without knowing why. I remember blaming all Muslims for the Bali bombing without even knowing the differences between radicalised terrorist and my muslim neighbours.

That level of hatred has always been there. Hatred that was manufactured by fear. You see, my mom was completely scared that I would marry a muslim and found out that our religious differences would lead me to an unhappy marriage. You see me and my friend hated every muslims we met because we are scared that they would punch us in the face for not behaving properly (even if there’s no reason why they would punch us at the first place). And that relationship is reciprocal.

We acted everyday as if everything is okay. We say hi to our neighbours, wish them good things when they’re struggling and send them congratulations when they achieve something; But deep inside, we wished they would’ve been more similar to us. We wished that they do not believe in the holy trinity, or that they do not believe a woman should cover every single inch of their body, or that they could not eat a cow.

Deep inside we created assumptions about somebody we do not even know and talk to, because they believe in different Gods than us.

Please do tell me if I’m the only one, but at least that’s how I was raised.

All that change when I met my friends in Melbourne who completely share the same fear and concerns as I was and ended up being less devoted to our Gods.

But my friends here. Those people reminds me of my middle school years.

And that is how I have always seen Indonesia. And sadly, socio, economics or even educational backgrounds has nothing to do with it. One can have good degrees but understanding requires more than just learned knowledge. It requires patience and a willingness to be wrong. And religion just simply does not let us to be wrong.

So when you say Anies’s voters has created a brexit-like condition in Indonesia, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, because it has always been like this. We have had these polarised, racist and divided society all along, even before this country was even born, we have the innate instinct to hate on different groups. We live kingdoms by kingdoms, and we have maintain different traits for living in different parts of Indonesia, governed by different kingdoms. And that differences will always be a source of fear for us. And that source of fear will always manufacture hatred for us. We are innately trained to fear (and later hate) anybody who has a different background than us.

We are not divided because we choose Anies, we choose Anies because we are divided. And minor issues like blasphemy would only highlight something that has always been there all along.

This is a really negative and pessimistic view of it, but it is (whether I like it or not) the way I see it.

Man, I hope I’m wrong.

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power. – J.S.

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Rethinking Tolerance: Blasphemy and Why Minorities Should Just Give Up

In about a month, I would’ve been here in Jakarta for 2 whole year. This strange, dingy, chaotic city is now my home. I’ll have to admit, the challenges of adjusting to life here, are humongous. The piercing and yet humid afternoon sun that never seem to help your skin decide whether you’re too hot or getting a cold because of the sweats. The long, long, long queues of cars along the street, waiting for a wealthier, taller black SUV’s cutting the proletarian’s road miles ahead creating bottle necks. The smell of clove cigarettes, combined with the smoke your everyday motorbikes produce. The mysterious figure you can’t see the first time you’re trying to park your car, but is always there to pickup that leftover coins of yours somehow.

This city, it is a place worthy to be called jungle. Hell jungle is worthy to be called this city. Bottom line is, this city is a tough place to adjust to.

Yet, those inconvenience hasn’t really lived up to its dark reputation for me. In fact, I think those things has made this city become more exotic somehow. It gives it identity that separates it, even from the most livable city in the world. It has a very, very unique identity. It’s the homeless guy that always smiles, sitting besides his dog just north of Swanston street every day. He has a rather charming character isn’t he?

What I find challenging here in the city, has instead been the tolerance of its people.

Let me explain.

It is indeed very moving and beautiful, the first time you step into this city, where a majority of Muslim can live side by side by side with each other without seemingly any problem with other race or religion. Nobody have ever asked for my religion, nobody threw a spoon at me when I pray for my food in front of them, and nobody ever make a big fuss when I eat my lunch during a fasting period at the office.

Until you pay attention a little bit more to the people.

You see, maybe I live in this city during the wrong period of time. Like it or not, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama’s (Ahok) blasphemy case has had its polarizing effects toward this society. His Alleged misappropriation of Al Maidah 51 has brought a lot of unintended consequences, not only for himself but more towards the fabric of our society and how it interacts with each other. Suddenly, race and religion becomes even more important. Suddenly, common sense is abandoned.

Until I thought back to the past 23 months I’ve been living in the city. During this period, I’ve lived in two different places, both of them very near a mosque (unless you live in an apartment, I don’t think there’s such a place far from a mosque in Jakarta these days). 5 times a day, light or dark, they will sound the speaker to remind everybody (that includes me) to pray. Of course I don’t pray the same way, but that’s fine by me I thought. As long as they don’t force me to do so.

And then you see the road you usually go through everyday is closed on Friday afternoon. People are praying on the street weekly, and it is not uncommon for them to close the road so that people don’t pass and disturb their rituals. But I guess my church back in Jogja also do that every weekend, so who am I to complain?

After all, people here think it’s okay to close the road for any personal reason anyway.

But those things, those are just minor everyday routine that I find and I don’t mind.

So why am I making a fuss then? Why can’t I just adjust to this place?

Truth be told, I was about to. I started to feel comfortable living here in the city, right until the moment that blasphemy case started.

Suddenly, I see my neighbor differently. Suddenly I see my colleagues differently.

There was one moment, where I saw somebody I knew, posted the 411 movement on her social media. On it, she posted the sea of people flooding Monumen Nasional for the blasphemy case. Asking the government to prosecute Ahok, using banners with unkind words such as kill him! Kafir! And Pigs! (what they usually call Indonesian born Chinese). On it, she wrote “how beautiful it was” or something along that line. I get that She was referring to the love people have to their religion. But her failure to understand the context was the thing that worries me the most.

Since then, this movement that supposedly ‘defend’ Islam continues on and changes its form along the way to ‘defend’ ulama and finally to “choose a Muslim leader”. It has turned itself from a religious movement into a political propaganda.

All this, to be honest, wouldn’t be a problem for me if I don’t know these people. I thought having an okay job at an okay office would guarantee me a reasonably educated friends. And that is what I got really. Yet, they can still ‘double think’ and thought that whatever the 411 and other movements was, it was justified.

They are willing to get behind, or at least to not condemn somebody who’s been hiding behind religion to spread hatred and ostracize the minority. They are angry at Ahok for citing Al Maidah 51- even though he was (in my opinion) justifiably worried that people won’t accept his program to help empower them because people are using that verse to black campaign against him- yet, they are willing to march on the street and campaign against him using that very verse. Justifying his worries.

All that made me realize. That me, as a minority, I don’t belong here. At least not if I want to stand up for myself. Because If I want to live here, I have to continue respecting the mosque speaker and the roadblocks. Because if I want to live here, I have to accept that tolerance in this country, means that the minority have to stay silent and pave ways to the majority. So they can do whatever they want to.

This sadly, has become or has always been (without us realizing it) the norm here. Here, in a city where most malls accept any kind of clothes as appropriate. Yet at the same time, just minutes behind that very mall, people find it okay to blame victims of sexual abuse for wearing a “sexy” clothes. Why wear a revealing sinful clothes at the first place? They said. It’s not my fault that she made me horny! They said.

 

Why Last Night’s Debate was Irrelevant

Yesterday marks the first public debate, for the seat of Jakarta’s governor and vice governor. The debate was broadcast all over our nation, giving us a chance to take a peek of each candidate’s quality. As appetizing as the debate was, there wasn’t much that we can take away from last night’s event. Especially for somebody who’ve read the news. Last night was pretty much about each candidate outlying their own program while at the same time, passive aggressively (while still being polite and subtle) attack other candidates (or at least two of them did). The way each candidates debated, it was as if they had nothing to lose. And considering this was the hottest political seat in the nation aside from the presidency, this got me thinking, do political debates between candidates even matter in this country?

The answer is pretty much straight forward, I don’t think so.

NO CHANGE OF HEARTS

If there’s anything we can be sure about Indonesian people in general is that they’re loyal with their community. That loyalty extends to religion, race, culture and political affiliation. While changing one’s preferences from one party to another for financial or any other reason is not uncommon, the average Indonesian (we must remember that we may not be an average Indonesian from educational background point of view, because by 2014 the average primary school enrollment was still below 60%) remain loyal to their affiliated party. We must understand, that at the end, many Indonesian will only consider a specific promises that for them are more probable to alleviate them from their struggles. That, and the community development program that some party have done to their community, may have already made their mind up. So when a candidate play this “group” thing, be it their party, religious background or race, it is harder for ideas to become a head turner.

COMPREHENDING WHAT MATTERS

Comprehension of issues that matters outside personal preference I think is a key aspect that many Indonesian lacks. If we look at a more mature democratic society with a better education in general, people traditionally have a more open mind regarding the candidate they’ll choose even if it means they have to vote against their own party. That’s because they are more attracted by ideas, and that is where campaigns holds an important role in winning any political race. Of course that is also true here in Jakarta, but if we look at the nature of the campaign here, it is quite different. If in, say, U.S. candidates generally hold an open event and talk for hours about their ideas, here in Indonesia, candidates need only to walk through villages and shake everybody’s hand. And that’s only recently thanks to Jokowi; before, candidates only need to erect a stage, invite a singer and say “vote me” at the end of a concert. Of course in any democratic society, there will always be a hardcore left supporters and hardcore right supporters, and the campaigns are usually to sway a more lenient supporters. But here in Indonesia, there are no such thing as hardcore left or right, because party ideology are quite blurred. Which brings me to the next point.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE FIGURE

From Jokowi to Prabowo, Megawati to SBY, while being loyal to party or a certain group can be a factor, the figures hold a more important role for Indonesian politics. Because there are such an abundance of political party in Indonesia, the POD’s for one party to another becomes increasingly indistinguishable. Parties has become increasingly less concerned about their ideology, basic values and fighting about what they believe to be the best for Indonesia and concentrate more on winning any political race in the name of power. So what they end up doing is choosing a candidate that are relate-able or attractive (cough candidate number one). And this becomes a good backup for my first point, hoping that if their party is not attractive enough, or their history is not convincing enough, the attractiveness of their candidate can win people over (cough candidate number one again).

(I think I’m getting the flu)

Those points are just three main things (among a lot of others that I won’t mention for the benefit of you cause I can go on for days) that I think made this debate an impotent tool to our democracy. Indonesian in general (and again, chances are we are not the average Indonesian or even Jakartans as a matter of fact) don’t elect their leaders from the ideas and what they might bring to the community. The Indonesian in general are basing their choices more on a very shallow personal or group interests rather than ideas that can develop societies, and most of them may have already made their mind up the day the candidates name was announce and has pledged, not to change their preferences whatever happens.

And that is a shame really, because some of the ideas discussed by the two candidates was really interesting. Oh there was three candidates? Lol (cough).

So there is no wonder that Anies has been seen as the winner, because his figures and his poetic tone is more attractive to the people, no matter how clearly impractical his ideas were. And you know what’s funny, he ran his campaign with this idea that he was “experienced”. As what?! An education minister who failed to lay a single useful program? Yet again, he is selling the election on education for God’s sake.

You See Those Newspapers? Well Read ’em!  

Politics is not something that everyone can understand.

Even when somebody does, they might not like it at the first place. As important as it can be, politics then, is not an easy subject to wrap your heads around.

So it is only understandable when somebody tries to relate politics to something that they like. After all, everybody at least understands the importance of everything related to it. Hence, it is only natural that people seek for something to root for. One of the easiest things to comprehend and root for then is a public figure.

People tend to choose or side with somebody that they can relate to. It is then easy to see why people like Bernie sanders, Joko Widodo, Trudeau or even Trump, who has a lot of supporters be it on the internet or in the actual world. Their policies, their speech, their actions and (in Trudeau’s case) their look, speaks to the needs of certain groups of people who have the same values. On the other hand, people who don’t agree with them could then easily oppose them.

ahok

Because politics are so complicated, what with the whole public policy, economics, law and bureaucracy involved in it, there may be a tendency where people choose not to try and understand it. This sort of started a habit where people tend to just agree with somebody that they support no matter what. Because those figures may be very admirable and relatable while a the same time, the issues in place are so complicated that reading just one article about it is not enough; It would then be simpler to just take the figure they supported for granted.

This is when things become tricky and quite interesting. Because like it or not, there is no such thing as a perfect human being. I mean even Obama, who’s arguably done a good job as the US president admits that he made a horrible mistake with his decision on Libya. And we all know that it wasn’t the only thing that he was wrong about.

This thing on Libya though is not something that is easily understandable. So does the refugee crisis, or the Panama papers scandal, or even the artificial island project in North Jakarta.

Nevertheless, because politics, as I said before, is a very complex matter, people are less able to comprehend policies when it was made, let alone when it is being argued about. More often than not, people would either just blindly trust the decision maker or the other way around.

So when an artificial land project that was initiated back in 1995 surfaced, people who support Ahok and thought that this was Ahok’s program would support it, and people who don’t support him will say whatever.

Sadly it doesn’t just stop there because it would then be turned into a net propaganda that translates into cyber bullying. And if you thought gossip (which is simply a rumor spread through word of mouths) was bad, wait till you see how word of mouths spread on the net. All of a sudden we have people who brand themselves as Ahok lovers or Ahok haters, ranting all over your timeline, without even understanding the substances of the very problem at the first place.

One case that was really apparent and for me exemplifies this argument best is the Sumber Waras hospital case. Amir

Amir Hamzah, reported governor Ahok to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for allegedly self-benefitting from the transaction of buying the hospital’s land using tax payer’s money, based on a report conducted by government’s supreme audit agency (BPK).

An argument later rebuffed by Ahok, Sumber Waras themselves and a report by Tempo magazine, which basically explained that BPK’s audit was based on a false data. Amir later, in a television interview, moves on and criticized the procedure of the transaction instead. A procedure regulated by the constitution, of which Ahok hasn’t been proven to violate.

Amir’s insistence of Ahok’s wrongdoings can then be seen as an act solely done against the figure, not the decision. Even when Ahok hasn’t been proven to do anything wrong, and even if he does violate a procedure, it surely doesn’t qualify as an act of corruption, Amir still stubbornly insisted that Ahok has done some sort of a crime.

Unfortunately, when Amir was asked to assess Ahok decision’s neutrally using appropriate data and theories, he (in my opinion) had rather shy away from it and persist on being stubborn by keep on insisting that Ahok is wrong (even if Amir’s argument has later turn out to be quite nonsensical).

I wouldn’t necessarily blame him, though, because he just simply represents Indonesia’s majority that isn’t able to comprehend complex aspects related to politics, and could only rely on snap judgments. Something that I myself would have done, if I don’t get paid to pay attention to this political nonsense (which is sadly still very important, and by any chances are the most relevant things to our life we can find out there).

All I can say is that those newspaper subscriptions your parents insist on keeping, even if you have no more space to store them in the attics anymore, read them. Because being adults does not only mean that you have to earn your own money and live for yourself. Being an adult these days also means that once in every few years, you get to decide the life of people around you by choosing one leader from the other. And the only way you can minimise the possibility of choosing the wrong leader, is by reading the news and being aware of what has been going on around you.

Our only real hope for democracy is that we get the money out of politics entirely and establish a system of publicly funded elections. – Noam Chomsky

Us as Democratic Police: From Jokowi to Ahok to Jaya Suprana

For the past few days, I stumbled upon quite a number of people ranting on their Facebook accounts defending President Joko Widodo’s for his presidency and his form so far. While I can scarcely find the content that is overly criticising him, the defending statuses paint a picture on how these supporters are more of a worshiper rather than a supporter.

I don’t want to accuse them of anything, nor do I want to criticise his presidency so far. He has done (so far) quite a reasonable run as a president and I am predicting a trend on which he will continually do so. He’s been okay so far, and until he can fully be free from his affiliation with Megawati and PDI-P or even his coalition supporters, he will continue to do so.

The biggest controversy so far is the retraction of his (recently) signed car-purchase allowance decision. Admitting that he did not read the paper on detail, he signed the paper and authorises the decision. His reason is the lack of warning by his ministries.

Now before I will be able to assess or even begin to discuss this issue, I will need to know his day-to-day activities, his hours, the standard procedure on the office and many other things, of which I do not have access to. As far as I’m concerned, this can be a case of either negligence or him being actually busy.

Jokowi Article

Despite of whatever that had happened, he actually (for me) did the right thing by retracting the decision. At least he dealt with the problem and not running from it to dodge humiliation that he is getting at the moment. But of course the problem won’t be there at the first place if Jokowi actually read the paper. This can lead to a never-ending argument to be quite frank.

What I want to highlight more, however, is the way that we are supporting (or not supporting) him. It has almost been a year since the election and our Indonesian society still seems to be separated into two sides, with some moved from Jokowi’s side to “the side that is not Jokowi’s”.

Sadly, this is also true in most of other “democratic” countries around the world. The U.S. has to live with the fact that their congress is divided into two and each side will do its utmost to (sort of) destroy the other side. The American Republican most important policy, for example, is doing everything against president Obama’s and the Democrat’s decisions.

Taking it back to the Indonesian context, our “people” seems to do the same thing by worshiping or hating Joko Widodo. Truth of the matter is, Jokowi did make mistakes and he also made some good decisions and actions. A reasonable person would criticise him for his mistakes and praise him for his achievements so that he is encouraged to get some more achievement. However, what we are doing is (when we hate him) to mock him when he has an achievement and to (when we worship him) blatantly defend him for his mistakes.

When we worshipped him, we tend to talk about his previous achievement when he made a mistake and talk about how smart he is and how transparent he is over and over and over again. On the contrary, when we hate him, we constantly talk about his affiliation with Megawati and PDI-P and how he is just being steered by the (so-called) “powerful-lady”.

While we live in a democratic country and is entitled to any opinion that we want, I feel that what we are doing is nothing good to the running of democracy in our society, other than highlighting the line that differentiate the two sides.

Instead, what we could ideally do is to strip ourselves out from whomever it is that we choose at the election or whomever it is that we are support or admire and start to critically engage with what they are doing. We should not let our admiration, support or affection to our public officer affect our critical view of them, because it is actually our job to judge their work, which would later lead to a decision on whether or not we are satisfied with them and whether we want to vote for them or not.

Just imagine the situation where we are judges, judging at a case in which our own son stole a chicken. Of course this would never happen in real life, but ideally if this does happen, we would want the kid to be punished according to the law despite of his relationship with the judge right?

So does Jokowi’s performance, we should judge it based on the fact specific to each issue that he is handling. If he gets some achievement then we should make sure he would do similar thing at other condition by thanking him. But if he made a mistake, we should remind him so that he will not do it again.

The last thing that we should do is to attack each other for endorsing or condemning what he did.

“The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose.” – Barrack Obama

A good example is Jaya Suprana’s letter to Ahok reminding him about the risk of doing what he is doing. In this case Ahok has more supporter than hatter, which is why after Jaya Suprana’s open letter was published, there are lots of letters that “attacks” Jaya Suprana’s opinion. While (again) everybody is entitled to have his or her own opinion, what some people is missing out is the fact that we are discussing a social issue here, not a figure. But what some of them instead did were discussing Ahok’s figure instead of what the Issue is and what he should do.

At the end we are the one who gets to decide on who will run the country, and this moment is the perfect time to make those judgements. Not at the campaign, not at the election. We should come to the election well prepared with the information that we get from the previous term of presidency (or in other government position as well).

Because after the election, it is not about being on the one or the other side anymore, it is about how we as a unit can make sure that the leader that we have chosen do the right thing and to learn as a unit what kind of leader we need for the next term.

“The sides are being divided now. It’s very obvious. So if you’re on the other side of the fence, you’re suddenly anti-American. Its breeding fear of being on the wrong side. Democracy’s a very fragile thing. You have to take care of democracy. As soon as you stop being responsible to it and allow it to turn into scare tactics, it’s no longer democracy, is it? It’s something else. It may be an inch away from totalitarianism.” – Sam Shepard

A mystical city called Jakarta

It was back in the year 1999 when I was just a chubby little kid who’s excited to eat his steak on the train. It wasn’t the same kind of Indonesia as it is now. The air was slightly better, the price was slightly cheaper, and there are no such things as choosing train over plane for cheap transport at that time. Everything was much simpler, the poor can mingle with the poor, and the rich doesn’t have to be such a bitch sharing their precious airport with a bunch of village people.

I never really come to Jakarta often, as a person who grew up in Yogyakarta; I rarely see the point of going there. Even then, the place was hotter, more crowded and even the traffic jam was already annoying back then. Jogja was more laid back, cooler and cheaper to live at.

CARTOON

It is 16 years after that day, today, that I have to finally consider Jakarta as an option. Being a recent university graduate, Jakarta is the only city in Indonesia that can promise decent pay-checks, stable income and career progressions.

There I was, innocent like a baby standing in the big city of Jakarta for the first time in years. The only thing that crosses my mind was that the city has their own societal order: an organised chaos. It is as if the law doesn’t really apply on the traffic and that everything that could go wrong does go wrong there, so much for not believing in Murphy’s Law. It was as if everything can simultaneously turn into chaos and that the law there overturns anything that the traffic law was trying to organise. Traffic lights were useless, one-way streets was somehow turned into a three-way, and a honk is more powerful than police sirens.

Oddly enough, with the really chaotic and crowded streets, some people decided to buy a Lamborghini Aventador. It’s like buying a bloody sports tank to move around London. Why? Because they effing can.

You can get a lot of public transport option there, with a range of price from Rp. 5000,- to Rp.75000,- depending on the distance and, oddly enough, weather. And if it’s flooding somewhere, you can’t even get one.

When you’re too sick of the streets chaos and decided to get a cold tea in some malls there, you get even more confused because of the many species of the mall. There are roughly about three kinds of it, the one for the poor community, the one for the “okay I’m not that rich but I’m getting there”, and the one for the rich. For most of the malls, oddly enough, you can see more than one similar shop. There are at least 2 Starbucks in every mall and some malls even have up to 3 or 5 of them. Another mall can have at least 2 or 3 A&W restaurants or KFC. How lazy are these people?

Some malls even have a bloody lake on its top floor, creating a sort of cosy/ outdoorsy environment. Sure, because it is a lot of effort to, you know, step outside. Some has an unnecessary mazy structure that you can somehow always get lost every time you walk inside it. Trust me, some of this malls are even bigger than Australia.

What’s even more puzzling are their luxury stores. They have a McLaren dealership and at least a Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Burberry store in every one of the malls. Some even have Hermes. These stores sell a mother effing handbag at the price of at least $1500. In a city with the mean income of Rp. 15.716.185,-, this becomes quite mind bending. Who the hell can afford such things? I mean a month worth of pay check for a handbag.

The social, economics and education gap in the city is so big, you can find a rich moron waving their money around in front of somebody who is million ways richer than him, but can’t even get an inch of his wealth. The people there are also confusing, some are really nice and are more willing to get heads over heels to help you. Most are arrogant bastards that don’t even want to look at you in the face when talking to you.

Nevertheless, the city is magic. I don’t know what, but there’s something about the city that will get you sucked in into its own vortex. You get drawn into all of these organised chaos, corruption and disgusting manners and actually fall in love with it. This city is like drugs, you know its bad for you, you know its expensive and you know you’ll live shorter if you’re using it, but you’ll still consume it anyway. I bloody hate this city and every single part of its social order, and yet, I can’t wait to be able to live there.

It presents to you a complicated showcase of Indonesian culture, it shows you human nature, it shows you the mean rule of the wild, it shows you love and most importantly, it doesn’t lie. If you want to know anything about Indonesia, its problem and how the country is in a big trouble, you can actually see it in Jakarta. It is perhaps the ultimate mirror of Indonesia.

Hate it or love it, Jakarta is an important piece of Indonesian culture. Its existence is Indonesia’s existence. It holds the most important government function, the backbone of Indonesian economy and promises a development for this ever-developing country. Granted that there are literally millions of problems to be fixed in Jakarta. Granted that we need to expand from the city. But Jakarta, will always be the hub of Indonesian culture.