Sunday, March 7, 2010

Live and Learn

One might say that Indonesia is one of the last unspoiled countries--as far as cigarette smoking goes anyway. One smokes on the street, smokes in the barung (small local cafe), smokes in the restaurant, smokes inside the Duncan Donut shop, the McDonalds, the KFC, smokes in the mall, smokes in the barber shop--and most importantly, most indispensably, smokes at the bar.

The weird thing here is to be a nonsmoker. It is unusual. It is presumed that something must be wrong with the person who does not smoke. And certainly any objection to those who do smoke would not be well received.

God I love this country.

And here's the kicker: Indonesia has one of the lowest rates of lung cancer in the world, along with Greece,, and Turkey, and Japan, and Morocco, and other Countries with high smoking populations.

Go figure. Well, I've addressed this before, no point in doing so again.

Got my first traffic ticket here today, having failed to understand that both red and green mean Go. Fifty thousand rupiah, the equivalent of 11 dollars or so. Damn!

Here the policemen must pay 25 million rupiah just to be policemen. This money needs to be replaced over time, and this is most easily accomplished by skipping the ticket and pocketing the fine, which itself is pretty much open to negotiation. They start out at 100,000, you see, hoping to receive at least 20,000 when all is said and done.

You learn as you live, you live as you learn.

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