How I know I’m living in Indonesia:
Flying into Bali yesterday on Air Asia, I, as always, put on the iPod as soon as I sat down and pulled out my book. I don’t need to hear all the verbal warnings, advice and other garbage, and am firmly of the belief that the weather will be what it is at the other end regardless of what I’m told, and in Indonesia that’s always hot; I have no intention of making cellphone calls in flight or lighting up; and, in Indonesia the plane will never arrive on time. Oh, and if it goes down none of that shit they demonstrate will make the blindest bit of difference.
So on goes the iPod, and out comes the heavy and depressing historical tome that I always carry, and off it goes as the plane glides to a halt at the other end. On countless airlines, from the era of the walkman onwards, that’s been a philosophy without a problem. So, it was with some surprise when then lady in the bright red suit asked me to put away my iPod for landing. Apa? I asked, and she said I needed to put it away to land. Nonsense says I, I’ve never done so in the past and don’t see what difference it makes. Its Air Asia policy said she. It wasn’t when I flew with you before I said. It is now she said. Kenapa? said I. Because she said – wait for it – if you have your iPod on you might not notice if the plane crashes.
What could I say… how can you dispute logic like that.
Then, of course, we have this recent text message, received by Brigid from a supplier of artefacts for which we were waiting for payment for from an overseas customer. We had given the guy a deposit to hold the items when this SMS arrived:
Sorry Bos, we ar need money tuday because may famili is dead in hospital. Please give me two million before orready deposit two million
This, naturally, was a cause of some concern to us, especially since we were not in Indonesia at the time and there was little we could do. Fortunately, another text arrived a short time later and the family had made a miraculous and speedy recovery and now they needed the cash for a feast. Thank heavens for that …