Suryadharma’s Naked Eye, ‘Work-Place Violence,’ and Party-Time!


First party of the Festive Season the other night, at the Dharmawangsa, a splendid place in South Jakarta. The wine was fine and the potatoes must have been prepared by angels.

Two more coming up soon, next week, mid-week, alas, which means one must moderate one’s intake of the gifts of Bacchus or suffer inordinately at work the next day. But veteran ‘socialites’ can take such challenges in their stride.


My poor students, however, have nothing but tests to look forward to next week. I’ve been trying to alleviate their imminent burden by intense revision work, interspersed with anecdotes from local news to stimulate their readiness to speak, and what better than that amazing report last week, of a pocong….         


…and a kuntilanak….

 ……spotted TOGETHER on top of a tree on Jalan Subur, Roxy district, North Jakarta.

My pictures, above, show what these spectres are meant to look like, so I find the snap taken at Roxy unconvincing.

I at first thought it might be a demo by denizens of the Otherworld, their own version of those awful LGBT whinge-merchants in the Australian news last week, beings never meant to be nuptially joined, demanding that their abnormal cravings be legalised by whomsoever frames rules for supernatural entities.

Whatever, it caused a major problem in Roxy, hundreds of citizens rushing to have a dekko at the ghostly sight. Usually, people here are scared by such eerie visions, but I guess the tree-top was a safe distance from the street, and it was during daylight hours, when pocongs and kuntilanaks don’t often show themselves, thus too torpid to do much damage!

You can see the enterprising little food-stall set up quickly for the crowds of watchers, who caused in turn a major traffic jam, with police summoned and inevitably a quote from that most peculiar man Suryadharma Ali, Minister of Religious Affairs.

 Ali of the Naked Eye!

I checked on the MUI comment on the event, which down-played the possibility that the manifestations were really ghosts, but Ali-Oop was much more obscure in his reasoning, viz.,“Because things like that can’t possibly seen with the naked eye. Especially at lunch time,” he added. 2/12

So they emerge for breakfast, then fade away?

The kids in class just laughed. Many have admitted they do believe in ghosts, like most Indonesians, but a day-time duet by two such diverse ‘hantu?’ – not likely!

Mind you, Ali’s bizarre statement hardly matches Obama’s, or at least his Deprtment of Defence, that shocked America this week by categorising the Fort Hood Islamist atrocity as ‘work-place violence!’ 

Most of us, if asked to define that phrase, would think of a couple of bureaucrats tussling over the coffee-machine, or maybe a cat-fight between two juniors jealous at the favouritism of the MD! 

But NOT a savage sectarian terrorist attack that left many dead.

But that’s Obama, who will leave no stone unturned to grovel to America’s enemies.

Where to spend Christmas? We’ve been considering Bali, and so far got quotes ranging from Rp.1.4 to 1.8 million, per person, return. Can’t find AirAsia prices – they used to have a shop near Blok M but it’s mysteriously closed, and their website requires registration and logging in, and I’m not going to book by credit card online. Too easy for me or them to hit a wrong number and find you’re on the wrong date.

Well, Saturday  has passed, and no work due to late arvo, then a wee party to ‘wet a baby’s head.’ Life is never dull. 
Went to Buaya Banana travel agency in Blok M Plaza yesterday, or Bayu Buana, as it is officially known ( I prefer my sound-alike version, which means Banana’s Crocodile!) and was pleased to see and hear the Christmas decos and background carols. All those cuties sporting Santa hats – and plenty of jilbab dames plainly enjoying showing their kids the infidel reindeer etc.

No worries on their part that their children will convert, but you can take bets on some goat-beard clown railing against us kaffirs making too much of mall jollity. 

I still find it pitiable that they ban Muslims from wishing us a ‘Merry Christmas,’ though many Muslims are grown-up enough to ignore the wind-bags’ strictures.

But never mind, Christmas is coming, and I’ve farmed out some of my blog chores, so if posting times get a tad erratic, bear with us.

Have a great weekend!

PS Got a better deal for January. Lion Air!