I Wish This was Jakarta

Posted on: December 19, 2007


Last week I had the chance to visit Baltimore with a friend. I hadn’t been there since last summer and the memory of the beautiful harbor and the old buildings had been haunting my mind for months and I just couldn’t wait to go there again. This time I decided to spend my time not at the harbor but instead I chose to explore another part of the downtown which was just a few blocks away from the harbor where they have antique stores and old restaurants. My one-and-a-half-hour drive was so worth it.

When my friend and I finally arrived it was raining pretty hard and the weather was very cold. When I got off the car, my fingers started to shake as I could feel the freezing weather struck my very deepest bones. I quickly wore my gloves so that my fingers could feel a little bit warmer. The rain made it hard for us to explore the city, but then I realized that on the other hand the rain had made the old city more romantic and beautiful. I opened up the umbrella my friend had prepared and held it proudly with a big smile on my face. I could feel the breeze of the cold wind as I was walking on the sidewalk. I didn’t see many people that afternoon, probably because it was a weekday and it was raining but we were lucky because all stores were still open.

As I was enjoying the beautiful day, I kept observing the situation around. Everything seemed to be so peaceful. No one was yelling or talking loudly and there were just a few cars that could’ve interrupted the sense of peacefulness coming from the environment and the people. I couldn’t stop admiring how clean the streets and the sea water were, despite the fact that there were not many trash bins around.

I took some pictures with my borrowed camera, trying to look like a professional photographer. As I had developed a big interest in photography for such a long time but never had the chance to be involved within, I obviously couldn’t waste such a great moment to capture some beautiful pictures. The pictures I took are not the kind of pictures I could be proud of and they apparently are not the kind of pictures you will see on fancy travel magazines, but I hope you could still enjoy.


My friend and I decided to end our journey at a restaurant called Eat Bertha’s Mussel. It was a beautiful restaurant, I have to tell you. It was located right on the corner of Lancaster and Broadway streets. The food was not really special but the atmosphere was just so beautiful. It seemed to be an old and classic Irish restaurant, so of course they have a small bar full of beers and liquors. I ordered their special menu which was a large portion of mussels and a cup of hot coffee while my friend ordered some fish fillets and a hot apple cider. While I was enjoying my time and the food, the mussels were not bad, I could hear the sound of old jazz coming from the hidden speakers. It was just fantastic.

The time was late and I had to go back home. I decided to inhale the fresh air into my lungs and to enjoy the beautiful scenery a little bit more. Give me five more minutes, I said. The rain had stopped and I could walk on the sidewalk freely like a bird in the sky. When I was approaching the car and just a few yards away from it, I sighed and said to myself, “I wish this was Jakarta.”


54 Responses to "I Wish This was Jakarta"

kalo kata blog chika dan blog mas EM….PERTAMAXX (kasih koment pertama kali) :mrgreen:

I wish I stay in Baltimore :mrgreen:

keluhan dan prihatin lagi2 meski crita lama tapi emang ngenes ngebandingin keadaan tata kota di kota lain dibandingkan Jakarta yang onde mande parahnya.

yah kasiaann deh yang tinggal di Jakarta.

Tasa, although this tribute to American mediocrity is a good read, I can not believe you are serious this time. If only you would have praised New York…

Baltimore… it reminds me of Amal, Sweden. The movie set in that city ( by Lukas Moodysson) characteristically was called “Fucking Amal” ( 2006). Boring, boring….

Whatever one may say about Jakarta, for sure it is not boring. It’s exciting. That’s what’s great about it.

Moreover, It’s freezing, minus 2, here just now. Wish I was in Jakarta.

When it comes to the breeze cold windy, it always remind of how we ppl in Indonesia should be thankful of the warm tropical climate all year around.

Despite of the many confusing rules and so many not places are not well managed, Indonesia is beautiful place.

BALTI-MORE….It is equal distance to both of us..I hate that place bcos whenever I come down to Washiongton DC, I need to pay $5 toll to just pass the baltimore tunnel..I had been to Baltimore more than 5 times but that place never fasicnated me..I had visited only in summer time.. I agree with sakura lady, any place with minus degres is not for me..Jkt is paradise with great climate..How come u didnt taste Crab-cake in will taste like crap…Other side of Baltimore which Tasa has not specified…Downtown baltimore is known for crime,and avoid subway train after 9PM..The mall Tasya had specified is always noisy, may be I had gone on weekends and he on weekday..Only the 4 streets in downtown are clean and rest of the city roads dirty…On weekends there is trash cant control the tourist..Roads inside baltimore are worst I had seen in USa – and there is no proper sign board.It has a beautiful natural harbour but to hit the beach you need to go to Annapolis..People go to baltimore only to see the aquarium and nothing else..may be I agree with Tasa the drive from DC to Baltimore is beautiful…You want to see Jkt, vist Philadelphia…You must have taken pic facing the Hardrock cafe and ESPN zone from the aquraium that would look great…
@Yonna you still wanna stay in BAltimore…think again..

Weatherwise, Jakarta is one of the best in the world. All year spring-summertime. Baltimore harbor is great and we can see many ports/harbors around the United States that look like that or somewhat similar. I’ve been to Baltimore but not to that particular place. Tasa will you show me the way when I visit you someday? 🙂

western place? interesting one for holiday, not for living 😀

I’ve only been to the aquarium and its nice….every place has something that its enchanting about it and appreciating its the best…..

Nggak cuman kamu aja yang ingin Jakarta seperti itu, aku juga! 🙂

I agree with Yhedy: every place has something enchanting about it.

Yonna: Selamat jadi yang pertama, he-he. Seperti yang lain bilang, semua tempat pasti punya kelebihannya. Jakarta is not that bad, I will explore hidden places if I go back home.

Colson: Well, I love New York too. But at the same time I really love to go to an old place with not so much noise. The freezing weather is not something I really like though. Of course, Jakarta is really a great place to have fun. But it could be pretty hard to find an outdoor attraction that’s safe and comfortable. Maybe I just didn’ try hard enough when I was in Jakarta.

sakuralady: I agree. Winter and its snow are not fun at all. The snow is only fun for the first five minutes. Indonesians should be thankful for that.

Zulfi: Well, you definitely went to a different part of Baltimore. The crime rate in Baltimore is indeed pretty high as you said, that’s why I just go around the harbor. The drive from DC to Baltimore was not beautiful at all, you think seeing cars on the highway is beautiful? Well, it might be.

Jennie: I agree Mba, Jakarta is no doubt one of the best cities on earth. I left my heart there. I would love to take you there if you visit me Mba 🙂

hedi: Hehe, I know. Home sweet home bro.

Yheudy: You’re very right, every place has its uniqueness and it should be appreciated by its people.

evelyn: That’s the spirit. Let’s do small things in order to transform Jakarta into a better place then.

Nadia: You’re right. Thank you for commenting.


” Hard times in the city/ In a hard town by the sea/ Ain’t nowhere to run to/ There ain’t nothin’ here for free.

“Hooker on the corner/ Waitin’ for a train/ Drunk lyin’ on the sidewalk/ Sleepin’ in the rain.

“And they hide their faces/ And they hide their eyes/ ‘Cause the city is dyin’ / And they don’t know why.

“Oh, Baltimore/ Man it’s hard just to live/ Oh, Baltimore, it’s hard just to live”.


“Live out in the country/ Where the mountain’s high/ Never comin’ back here/ Til the day I die.”

Randy Newman: “Little Criminals”.

Quat erat demonstrandum.

Never use Latin if you are bound to make mistakes. I made a mistake. It should have been:

“Quad erat demonstrandum”.

Tasa,How was your Eid…Yes,Yhendy is rgt…every place has something enchanting..What I disagree with Tasa is…DC is great with fresh air and beautiful scenery.He seem to weigh baltimore more than his place of living DC..As a outsider who had seen both the cities suprises can he leave his heart in a place worth-less than DC…
Come on buddy there are only 2 places outsiders go to in is BWI airport another is Aquarium(down town).. so We both went to same part of baltimore downtown area…me in weekend and u in weekday..
Dc to Baltimore, the traffic is less..and the trees on both sides of road looked great..movement you enter Baltimore bumpy roads will start..again I95 to Philadelphia the roads are smooth..
Jennie:There are only 3 places to see in baltimore–aquarium,submarine and president washington standing in top of a pole…But there are soo many great places in DC…As you had said all harbours look alike….baltimore wont fascinate you..

yeah, I thought it should be New York…or London or Paris or Tokyo. Jakarta should be a city with historical aura in the day and modern aura in the night. Or mixing from those two aura. I’ve never been to Baltimore…but from the picture it seems…I don’t know…lack of spirit? And yeah…boring….Doesn’t suit Jakarta at all. Not to mention kinda impossible having a capitol city as calm as that.

and i bet people in Jakarta will be so happy to change place with you. people in 4 seasons wanna live in two seasons country with sunshine everyday. And the two seasons people envy the people who live in 4 seasons country because they can see the snow fall. grass is always greener on the other side…hehehe :mrgreen:

and what does “Quad erat demonstrandum” mean?

Mbak Yonna:
saya sebagai calon perencana merasa disinggung nih..hahaa…nggak deng…becanda…

you’re right…every place have it’s own good thing and we just have to appreciate it. and i guess (iwannasaybetbutimafraid) you must be a happy and easy going person.

I think you can use either bet or guess….I am also not sure lol…But, thank you! I would say I’ve learned to be easy and a happy person……I have the same thought You also seem to be happy and easy going and I must add very knowledgable of the topics discussed in this blog….
God Bless 😉

I wish Jakarta is Jakarta. I love ..and hate it just the way it is. 😀

akhirnya ngerasain pertamax jugak :mrgreen:

hey bro, i think i changed my mine hehe :mrgreen:

maap bu insinyur peace :mrgreen: Zahra…USA capital Dc is not crowded like jkt…so it is possible for capital to be calm..Dc has blend of old and modern…. NYC is the place I like the most…city that never sleeps… Only advantage I have staying in Philadelphia is, I can go to NY,DC,Baltimore and Pittsburg not to forget the beaituful beaches in NJ and Delaware and come back in same day…. am I not lucky…

@zahra: Quod Erat Demonstrandum. = That what had to be demonstrated.

Btw: how about exchanging residences every three months?

Colson: Where did you get all those stuffs, ha-ha. But that won’t change my plan to go there again next week.

Zulfi: I didn’t say I hate DC. Washington D.C. is great man, probably the greatest city in the whole world. It has the biggest museum complex in the world and I’m so much in love with musems, especially because they’re all FREE.

Zahra: If you’d be bored living in Baltimore indeed. But it has some great places to visit when you want to have a quiet moment. And since you’re a student of tata ruang (bener gak?), I really depend on you. Please make Jakarta a better place to live, pleaaaase. More parks baby.

Yheudy: Oh yes, Yheudy is one of the happiest people I’ve known. Lol. Btw, how was the food girl? I hope you liked it.

Marisa: Well, I don’t really like to use “apa adanya.” If it can be a lot better, why not?

Yonna: Andai saja ada hadiah buat pengisi komentar pertama. He-he.


Don’t you say I did not warn you.

Characteristically George Mitchell’s very recently published investigation on drugs abuse by professional baseball players, shows that the “Orioles” – yes, indeed, from Baltimore!!- are the worst users of steroids.

Oh, Baltimore, it’s hard just to live.

(I can think of only one excuse of going there now; you have to rescue the love of your life, who, by sheer bad luck happens to stay there involuntary.

Damn! Gw baru kali ini buka blog lo, gw langsung suka. I love all of your article…. gw baca semua artikel dan semuanya gw suka! ini semua kayak ngewakilin pikiran gw selama ini yg gak pernah bisa gw tuang ke tulisan, i cannot write, just thinking! Ingin rasanya bisa nulis kayak blognyaTasa, very good works!
We have the equal idealism… Thanks!

Salam. dari Mas tasa (saya kalau ingat tasa, suka ingat penyanyi cilik bernama tasya..heheheh), saya banyak belajar bagaimana cara menulis dengan penuh greget dan lincah. Mas Tasa, kok bisa menulis dengan lancar sih, bagi-bagi dong pengalamannya!! soalnya setelah punya data, gimana cara merancangnya dengan irama yang enak dan alur tulisannya bagus. Dari mas Tasa juga, saya ingin banyak belajar menulis dalam bahasa inggris. Wah saya senang sekali, ada orang Indo yang bisa bahasa inggris dan punya pengalaman banyak di luar negeri kemudian sangat terbuka dan bersahabat.
Saya pikir disitus ini, secara educational background, penuh warna warni, mungkin saja ada yang dari pesantren, dari ITB, TRISAKTI, IAIN, UIN, UGM, atau juga dari Cambridge, Oxpord dst tumplek blek sini untuk saling share dalam bingkai bagaimana membangun Indonesia to be better. Salam buat sahabat-sahabat semua.
Urang Bandung euy 🙂

Tasa, now U seem to agree Dc better then Baltimore… write about great places…yes the biggest museum area…my fav the NASA museum…I had been there many times still wanna see..Yes,everywhere is free not like NYC where they charge for everything.. …
@colson: Forget basball.. almost all the American football players in drugs…But none cares about them… But city wise Baltimore is better then Philadelphia..The streets of Philadelphia…—– From Drugs to booze…The problem is, America doenst care for the blacks…
Tasa,whom do u support Baltimore raverns or washington Redskins

Salam. Hi Mr Salsa, I am ahmad from Bandung. Here i want to try my skill in expressing my idea in English. Because I don’t have a strong background in English. Well, it seem to me that you enjoy living outside Indonesia. Just Like

Baltimore. I know from Mas Beni, good Indonesian blogger,
that there smoking in public place is banned. Waw, it is very good. They pay attention to the healthy environment. They are also good at law enforcing. And the people try to respect the law.

I just can imagine if our Jakarta, Bandung and other cities in Our country has the good awareness of healthy living, there is no more any pollution. and i just can imagine if the people in Indonesia try to respect the law, the life will be better. but, it’s only in my imagination. it seem that we need start from our selves, especially from my own self.

however, my awareness also happen because of the awareness of the people through socialization that value.
so any way, keep spreading a good idea for better indonesia.
please just give correction if there is any error in my English. i am only a learner of English
Saudi Arabia

I’m still trying to be a positive person….hahah. No, not knowledgeable…but pretend to…in bahasa is “sotoy”, ask guebukanmonyet because I don’t know what that is in english. Anyway, I just wanna share my opinion….hehehe 😀

mbakyu yonna:
amiiiinnnn (didoain jadi insinyur,,, :mrgreen: )

that’s a good idea…hahaha, maybe we can do that like ‘the holiday’ movie :mrgreen:

Yes…you are very lucky…I envy you…hahah
I know calm is the wrong word, but I can’t express what I mean in english. I know a capitol can be calm…but impossible if its “sepi krik-krik” (translator help needed) like Baltimore. At least from what I see from the pictures…and Jakarta doesn’t suit that and I don’t want Jakarta to suit that. Like I said, I want-I hope-I think Jakarta should be a cultural-modern city….

Right, Planologi. Tata Kota. Urban and Regional Planning.
me personally think Jakarta could have place like that in the beach. If we can manage it properly. I heard about Jakarta Bay City Project, I don’t know what was that but I guess Jakarta have a potential to be a bay city.

About the parks, don’t worry…already on the agenda 🙂 -and in every urban planning student agenda. but of course it’s nothing if the government still sucks. maybe you wanna help me in that part? :mrgreen:

and WHAT?? museums are free? as in no charge as in you don’t have to pay some money or anything??? really?? i mean, REALLY?? How could??? Now I envy you too.

so agree…we have to start from ourselves.

Colson: Thanks for the advice once again, I’ll think it over then.

Rendra: Thanks banget bro, I really appreciate it. Mari kita berdiskusi di lain waktu kalau begitu, saya sangat senang sekali mendapat teman diskusi.

Zulfi: Of course bro, D.C is still much better. The museums are amazing, Aerospace museum is indeed a great place to visit, it’s one of my favorites too. Have you been to the Native American Museum?

Zahra: I really really would love to help you if you really want to change Jakarta and Indonesia. From the very smallest things we can do! Lets’ meet when I go back 🙂 Yes it’s amazingly true, all the museums in Washington D.C. are FREE, no money needed to go inside. And lemme tell you, the museums are so nice, it’s like going to five-star hotels. I never stop thinking where the heck they got the money from to finance all the museums.

itsme231019: Hello urang Bandung, I really enjoy reading all your comments. I’d like to welcome you to my simple blog. I’m really happy that you like it. It’s always exciting to know a new person like you who has such a positive and progressive mind.

I think your English is good already, you just might want to improve a bit here and there. I’d be more than happy to share some stories of how I got involved in writing. I’m a new writer and I don’t think I’m that good, and I’m sure I could get a lot of insights from you.

Cheers everybody.

Haha iya ya coba pemberi komentar pertama dapat hadiah. Gak tau tuh kalo di blognya chika dan mas EM girang banget jadi pertamax. Ah tapi di foto, Baltimore keliatan dingin ya ampe beku gitu. Ya betul, Jakarta juga bagus, bagus buat diumpat2 maksudnya hehe.

I had not been to native american museum..I guess i missed that one,red-indian museum and Jewish museum..What to do, I was always in hurry to go back to philadelphia..Till I had not been top of Washington monument or inside the congress building…I really miss soo many places in DC..
@zahra: hold on…Tasa meeting u…I dont think so..Iam just 3hrs from here,,,and we had not met still..-hee… But museum in philadelphia charge $17…and even entry to independence hall also has a fee…U must know nothing in USA is freee…Museums in Dc are exception

Trying is a great star to where we wanna get…, you just know how to express you opinion very well. So continue sharing…

I don’t know how the food was…my grandma ate it all lol..but she told me it was good…anyways I hope you guys reached your goal with this activity…keep up the great job!

I do, that’s why I choose my major. But I just don’t know yet how EXACTLY am I gonna do that (change Jakarta and Indonesia).

and yeah, thats exactly my question. where the money come from?? especially when you said it all like five star hotels.

Is that so? Hmm…so I can’t put my hopes too high to meet him right? Hahaha…kidding GBM… :mrgreen:

Mbak Yonna:
Sebentar lagi saya mau ke Jakarta nih…harus siapin banyak hiburan nih kayanya biar nggak ngumpat-ngumpat… :mrgreen:

Hahaha…yeah, I’m trying hard…
thanks…, I will then…don’t blame me if you get bored or annoyed…hahaha..kidding :mrgreen:

Yonna: Bener, dingin abeees udah kayak di kulkas. Beruntung deh yang di Jakarta.

Yheudy: Merry Christmas for you and family. I hope you will buy our food next time, lol.

zahra: I can understand, but I’m sure you will figure it out someday, just keep up the energy and motivation.

Well the money comes from the taxes that the people are forced to pay. That’s because the system really works.

@guebukanmonyet: “…the system really works…”.

Okay, this is a the really serious subject.

Yes, I do agree public services depend very much on a certain amount of collectivism. Particularly on a system of taxation which is just and which is strictly enforced. In other words which “really works”.

Question: But do you really think the “system works? ” in the US. I doubt it.

Probably the enforcement does. But is is just as well? Remember: the US is the one and only super power, and represents 27% of the world economy on its own.

In the US The top 1% does pay (next to) nothing when it comes to income tax. It’s hardly a “just”system. The prevailing socio-economic philosophy is rather a well organized one of social darwinism; the winner takes all.

So, one may question whether or not the system works. Not by the looks of public transport (railways), public health, public utilities (Enron), public housing (New Orleans) in the US at least.

It may not work 100 percent right, but I’m sure it works much better than any other countries in the world. Well, that’s why millions of people want to live in America.

The word “system” can mean many other systems, of course. I was just trying to show how public services are so good in America. People are forced to pay taxes, I don’t really know about your 1 percent theory, and the money is used well to make public facilities.

Kenapa Baltimore dibanding sama Jakarta? Kyknya ngga bakal Jakarta kayak begitu. Sampai kapan pun, kalau ngga ada force-majeur. Mestinya dibanding sama kota2 di Kalimantan yang lagi mekar-mekarnya, atau di Indonesia timur. masih ada harapan, gitu.

Selamat buat artikelnya di Jakarta Post.

@Guebunkanmonyet: Great. At last an issue on which we really disagree. A pity, this difference of opinion is on the land of the brave and the free, but hardly relayed to Indonesia. But I prefer this one to Baltimore.

We start at the same point: the US society is in many ways admirable. The “systems” have worked – from colony to super power in two odd centuries. Flourishing economy, the first modern democracy ( according to Alexis de Tocqueville, who admired the young republic from the beginning), fascinating innovations and inventions, great art, critical independent journalistic minds like the late Irving Stone and the very much alive Hersh f.i. Yes, the rest of the world may learn one or two things from Uncle Sam. And personally I’m still very grateful to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for taking on the Nazi’s in 1941 – in may ’45 American GI’s liberated me.

However I think it is not wise to idolize US capitalism. Or turn a blind eye on the drawbacks. Because it’s harsh and has unfair consequences. The prevailing opinion in the States unfortunately is that collectivism equals communism – charity is okay, but interventions by government are not. So American health insurance is lousy. And the 37 million of really poor Americans have to solve their problems on their own. Most of them black people by the way. And quite a number them belongs to working poor. This is not a token of fairness I daresay.

I really do hope this will not be the example to follow by emerging countries in the 21st century.

As yardsticks of a civilized society, I think Scandinavian countries rank higher. Or, let’s say top. You think the tax system works better in the US than in any other country. Perhaps you forgot to take the Scandinavian ones into consideration. They are much fairer and strictly enforced as well. The distribution of wealth is more equal by far in these societies. (And the public services are working smoothly.)

In my next life I want to be born in Sweden and take my holidays in New York occasionally.

Colson, you are right and no offense to Tasa. I’m not sure whether Tasa pays American taxes or not as he lives within a diplomatic community (correct me if I’m wrong). I on the other hand pay tons of taxes till I drop. Personal income tax, corporate federal and state taxes, franchise tax, property tax, assessment tax (county tax for new city) and on top of that 8+% sales tax every time I shop. I also pay the highest income tax based on the brackets, thanks for not being Warren Buffett who pays only 17%!!

US capitalism isn’t the best system. Healthcare almost non existent. Welfare system sucks insufficient for basic living standards. Canada is much better with its socialist system, but what I like best with USA is its industriousness and advancement in R&D. This alone is enough an attraction to the best and brightest people of the world.

Colson+Jennie: I said the “system” works but it doesn’t mean it works perfectly. Of course there are so many weaknesses you can find within the system, nothing is perfect. In terms of the taxes, it may look unfair for people like Mba Jennie. But at the same time, I know there’s thing called tax deduction. A friend of mine could save thousands of dollars a year because the Government thinks he’s not capable to pay all the taxes he’s required to pay.

It’s true Scandinavian countries may have better condition, and I agree completely. They have the best education too. But you have to remember, Scandinavian countries are small countries. America on the other hand, is so large. It has more than 290 million people and the third largest area in the world. So, in my opinion, they are pretty good to be able to manage their huge size.

But, I’m not a big fan of USA, trust me. Indonesia is still much better in my heart.

Tasa, nice article. Good to see that you like Baltimore. There are also lots of other nice and quiet places throughout the US East Coast. Hope you can check out New England and Maine one of these days. Salam Kenal. [TH].

@Tasa, I take it as a compliment from Uncle Sam because apparently “he” thinks I’m capable of paying all of my taxes. 🙂 No dependent (no kids yet) and the properties are not for rent. Perhaps I should change how I invest. 😉

Btw, Hardjono is a great friend. He is based in SF Bay Area too.

I agree with Tasa,the system works in where any system can work 100%.The people pay the taxes and they know where the money is spent. Except the controversial earmarks..Tax!!!!28% of my salary is deducted as i dont know what for!!! plus 8% for shopping and 7% when I eat out.I too have no tax returns, as Iam not married …I was in dubai for 4 yrs, without knowing the meaning of the word-TAX…Only tax I paid was airport tax when I fly back home..I dont know why arabs say tax is haram????who knows they can change it…USa is capitalist with duopoly market the politicans are funded by rich and they are good to them..USa doesnt attract bright people alone they attract dumb like me too-hee…USa need to revamp their health care system..Those who make money are insurance and pharmacy companies. common man suffer..It will be better if health care is free for senior citizens just like in many countries.
@colson: No nation is Holy..Every country has a black hole..With Refugees pouring from African(somalia) countries and Iraq..Sweden will have same problem like the one in USa after 20yrs…Do the Monarch pay all the taxes????….In some yardstick your countries can be best,but not for me..I consider scandavians as scavagers..Why????Here I explain..Can we see the other side…My brother worked for one of the scandavians Shipping liners, and they dont route the money to their head office but to some tax free countries.They don’t want to pay the taxes in their country..Do you know in 1984 the swedish defence company BOFORS paid millions to Indian politicans, the bank accounts were opened for them in tax-holiday islands(San-Marino,Gilbrator) and in swiss banks..The money paid to Indian politicians were not shown in any records..Where did they get the money to pay as kickbags..Was any one punished???NO..Did the system work???
Yes, we Indians are greedy but who made us more greedy… .If corrupt person is a sinner the one who makes him corrupt is bigger sinner ..What are Denmark soliders doing in IRaq, to make sure their shipping company—Maersk– gets the contract for exporting all the crude oil from IRAQ..My friend tell me one big contract the Scandavian oil tankers(ship) has got with proper bidding and no bribing..My brother said your Government approves the companies to corrupt others and get the contract and protects them..There too big companies dont bring their money to their country and avoid taxs..Do you know what I like about Europeans they dont talk ill of their nation and act everything is perfect…yes it is true..but they don’t care what happens in other countries..Giving good houses to european(bosnian) refugges and bad to Africans is same as of New Orleans..If Enron had a Maersk liners CEO, it wont had become Bankrupt…Am I rgt.??? Yes,scandavian countries are small but deadly and smart…If Halliburton is Lion, then Maersk is cunning I right to say they are scavengers…..Colson, I love you and I admire you as person..But when you show ur nation is the best..The blog readers must see the other side too..There are some great Swedish companies who do bussiness in proper way like IKEA..The car had was VOLVO..I do admire them..
I wish you are born in sweden to one the somalia familes in your next birth and eurpoeans Fav place is Florida not NYC.
@Hardjon: Maine in this winter time..Oh no, do u have any venge on tasa..HE stays in one the best places in east cost..

oh enaknya yang tinggal di luar bisa bandingin kota lain dengan Jakarta. saya cuma bisa bandingin Jakarta dengan Jogja atau Solo atau Malang. itupun hanya membandingkan kalo di ketiga kota tersebut gak macet dan semrawut lalinnya….tapi gak ada gemerlap lampu di malam hari, itu doang gak enaknya :mrgreen:

tapi sementara ini saya jatuh hati ma jogja, well liat warganya yang keliatan menikmati hidup, gak terburu2 kayak warga Jakarta, asik kayanya. trus kotanya gak rame tapi tetep hidup.

well, dengar2 kota Paris juga enak ya?! mirip2 ma Jogja kalo tata kotanya. wah masa sih? iya deh percaya aja, mau ngebuktiin belum ada duitnya :mrgreen:

Yeah, I only have random or big ideas…I hope I will find a way while I prepare myself.

I don’t really get the whole U.S system…but from John Grisham books the tax system seems SO MEAN. Proved by mbak Jennie there…And from the movie and books, the system is so complicated and dangerous. But sometimes I admire their complicated and dangerous and mean system…since I’m urban planning student and their system is just good at lot of things in my study.

Mbak Yonna:
Nggak inget Jogja sih tapi yang pasti Paris keren banget.
Tata kotanya rapih banget….dan dari jaman kerajaan dulu udah kaya gitu. Hebat yah.

sekarang Kota Paris yang asli bangunannya gak boleh dirubah, cuma boleh dipugar kalo nggak salah. Jadi kalo ke mall, kantor, toko buku, bioskop, didalemnya suka banyak ornamen2 klasik kaya patung malaikat, ukiran2, tangga pualam segede-gede gaban. Terus bangunan modern dikumpulin dipojok kota…lucu de liatnya…

Paris banyak tamannya, dan orangnya keren-keren gayanya…ehehehe. Kalau sempet kesana harus sempetin jalan dan duduk2 di pinggir sungai Seine sambil makan crepes.

Keren deh pokoknya disana…saya jadi kangeenn…(dulu keluarga saya pernah tinggal disana 3 stengah tahun)

oh ya? moga2 suatu saat bisa maen ke Paris 🙂

@Mbak Jen, Tasa, Zahra, dll
pada ngomong pajak? yah kalo soal bayar pajak, pada prakteknya banyak yang nggerutu. di sini, WP seolah2 dikejar2 bagai maling. pun bagi WP yang kooperatif pun ikut susah karena petugas pajak yang gak profesional. tapi sekarang pelayanan pajak agak mending meski tetep rajin ngluarin peraturan baru. imagine, orang hukum aja kalah ma orang pajak kalo soal bikin peraturan hehe. sorry bagi orang pajak, no offense yak. sedikit banyak saya juga terlibat di bidang ini 🙂

cuma mgkn yach, kalo di Amrik meski sistem pajaknya sucking our money tapi fasum dan fasosnya terjamin dan rakyat bisa merasakan manfaatnya membayar pajak. nah kalo disini, udah bayar pajak mahal2 tetep aja aspal bergelombang jadi pas nyetir berasa surfing dan banyak lubang kayak orang malas sikat gigi aja, sigh…

@Jennie:I’m sorry for you. But look it from this side: I love to pay tons of taxes; it means I’m really prosperous. This is theory, wishful thinking of course…

@guebukanmonyet: The matter seems to be settled – we both agree on “nothing is perfect” and you still envy the American taxpayers and I the Scandinavian ones.

And yeah, right: small is beautiful; running the US of A in many ways is more difficult than running Norway, Finland, Sweden or Denmark (well, that’s not completely true of course. But I will not go into that now.)

@zulfi: I can not think of any reason why I should not love you as a person too. But please explain what you mean with “I wish you were born in Sweden (so far so good, c.) to one of the Somalia families (??????, c.) in your next birth and Europeans fav. place is Florida not NYC”(?????? – really I can’t stand alligators, other old farts and another Bush, c.).

I meant after 20 yrs, Sweden will have 10% as its population as non-whites as citizens..What will Swedish government do that time..Treat them(non-shites) as second class citizen just like America did in 50’s and 60’s…I had read in magazines that Swedish government doesnt know what to do with its pouring asuylum seekers from Somalia and they are put in camps which are in bad state…where as good houses to European refugges.. If u love to born in sweden again in next birth ..then u must be born to a somail family..and know how swedenish government treat them..
I meant most of the Shipping liners from sweden and Denmark cheat their Government by not paying the taxes and routing their companies money to tax-free island banks… Most of the ship have the flags of Bermuda and st.kittis..Nice way to cheat taxes ..
Scandavian countries can say they are transparant and have strict tax laws,but in reality it is same as other countries and no nation is holy.. America is capitalist, but the people are hypocrates..

I thought there was no big city as crowded as Jakarta 😛


Thank you for your reply.


Don’t you generalize your nasty experiences with some Scandinavian multinational corporations, to define the characteristics of a country? In my opinion your “Mearsk” example only illustrates what extreme worldwide capitalism is about.

I wonder: do you really know about Swedish immigration and integration policies and practices? Or don’t you agree with distinguishing between authentic refugees – sincere asylum seekers- (welcome) and adventurous migrants for economic reasons (only conditionally welcome); and distinguishing between migrants from other countries within the European Union and those from countries outside of the Union?

As for me, I’m living in a racially mixed society and looking forward to a future of a real melting pot culture. I might even say that, on a personal level, I’m ahead of the times – a Caucasian in a culturally and racially mixed family.


Oh..No brother.. I have nothing against u or your nation..I wanna say no country is holy..Scandinavian countries are known for transparancy and I can say they are not 100%..
I stay in a place where the Blacks are majority with 45% of population and never been felt racial abused being Indian.
I dont know anything about swedish policies..I say what I read in magazine..If I had hurted u..Iam sorry..No hard feelings.

@zulfi: Just for the record a detail you might have missed: I’m not Swedish by nationality. I just stated that I wished to be (in my next life).

And no, you did not hurt at all. Neither did I hurt you, I hope.
I only wondered about the depth of your analysis. Because I did not recognize the socio-political situation you seemed to assume is factual in the Scandinavian countries. That of course may be due to my ignorance. Or, perhaps, to the quality of the reports in the newspapers you got your information from.

Salam. Bang Tasa, thanks for your sharing about writing. I have read your email. anyway thanks for your sharing your experience in writing. I hope i can motivate my self to write more and more. thanks

Hardjono: I’m so sorry to reply your comment so late. I do like Baltimore, well not the whole part. The harbor side is very nice. I hope you can show me some great places in East Coast. Salam kenal juga Bung 🙂

Jen: That was indeed a compliment for you Mba 🙂

Yonna: Bareng apa kita ke Paris? hahaha.

Zahra: At least you’re thinking girl 🙂 That’s enough for you now, I think. We migth want to share some ideas next time I’m in Jakarta.

Colson: I’m with you that nothing is perfect.

ahmad: Salam. I’m glad I could share, I’m waiting for your articles. I bet they’ll be awesome.

mbak yonna:
yap yap yapppp…betul sekali, disini pemerintah kaya ga punya cara lain buat dapet pendapatan selain ningkatin pajak gila-gilaan, tapi ga kliatan hasilnya…capek deee…

i dont know…somehow i’m afraid thats not enough…hahah…
well, tell me when you’re in town then…

Lama ngga kasih comment ke blog-mu Mas Tasa…
Pa kabarnya ???

Gw juga pengeeeeennn banget Jakarta keliatan adem. Paling ngga dibilang seperti itu. Yah, semua pasti berharap demikian. Kenapa saya berkata demikian ?

Karena, berhubung saya bekerja di Jakarta, kota full polusi ini, saya jadi ikutan ngerasain betapa seseknya Jakarta ini. Berdesakan dengan sejumlah warga yang mau pergi kerja ke Jakarta hampir tiap pagi, apalagi kalo pulang, telat dikit aja kayaknya bikin hati gerah luar dalam !!!

Dan sepertinya di Kota kayak Jakarta ini tuh semuanya kan serba bayar yak ?? Segala urusan banyak yang mengandung pajak. Dari mulai makan di resto, sampai buang air kecil di tempat umum. Tapi kapan pajak itu mulai bermanfaat untuk kita?
Mulainya aja ngga tau tuh kapan?

Hupfff …. =C

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guebukanmonyet is Tasa Nugraza Barley. He's a free man with unique thoughts and dreams. He sees his life and this world differently from anyone else. That's because he knows what he wants; and for that reason he doesn't want to be the same. Read why he blogs, here.

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