Monday, January 31, 2005

Never Underestimate...

...the resourcefulness of a man in life-threatening crisis, when beers are involved.


A one-metre crocodile joined swimmers in a Darwin's public pool.

Worth quoting:

Mr Smith says swimmers were not in much danger.
(Insert "buaya darat"(1) joke here.)


(1): Buaya=crocodile, darat=land, combined being the Indonesian term for "lounge lizards".

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Barberian Rules

I think it's about time I talk about deeper and more profound topics. Namely, Indonesian men and haircut. This is a sensitive issue because a lot of hidden ethics are in play. And there's no written guide for the average Budi (Joe in English).

The first and foremost rule is: Never discuss another man's hairdo openly. Leave the "Hey, nice haircut. Where did you get it?" chit chat to women. Traditional men will only say such if it's an insult. "Nice haircut. Where did you get it? The woodshack?"

"What happened to you?" (with a mock-up expression) is acceptable. "Moonlighting as a scarecrow, Di?" is normal among friends. Other times you may get, "Lemme guess, your barber's a direct descendant of Picasso."

Second, never trade barbershop information. Don't ask, don't tell. Unless you have a problem with your barber. So, by asking, you're publicly admitting that you have a problem. Which is as challenging for traditional Indonesian men as gnawing their own legs off. Women are free from these restrictions. They can share their haircare safehavens to the whole world.

And third, when you enter a barbershop, NEVER chicken out. Not even when there are signs of trouble, such as:

  1. Showcasing hairdo samples from the days when Michael Jackson was black.
  2. Displaying pictures of Mr. T or Telly Savalas.
  3. You notice blood stains on the white cloth the barber covers you with.
  4. The next guy in line was praying. Hard.
  5. The barber wears a pair of sunglasses.
  6. And he searches his tools by feeling around the entire table.
  7. Especially if his tools include a medical kit.
Exit is only acceptable in cases of long queue or the presence of more important tasks, such as defending the world from alien attacks or attending the needs of your spouse.

If, and only if, you don't like the haircut, then you can complain. Because by then, you'll have a problem. You can choose to ask other men for advice. Or gnaw your own legs.

Those are the rules. Or should I say "were." Because along came metrosexual men. And chaos ensues.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Things You Won't Find On eBay

(Literally, "For Sale: Goddess")

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Do Men Always Oogle At Women's Breasts?

Of course not. Other times, we advocate them.

Worth quoting:

Johnsson - who wears a pink badge that reads, "I support breast equality"


There's been drought of updates because of my recent visit to good ol' Jakarta, who's been suffering from heavy rains. National newspapers've been featuring the flood for days as the government officially declared the Capital in Red Alert. However, on the same paper, a reporter interviewed a local, and he said, "No worries, [the flood is] not two-meter high yet."

My country, drought or flood.


A friend reminded me to look at the bright side: "At least no reporter's been asking questions like, 'Will this [flood] affect your New Year Celebration?'"

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Thursday, January 13, 2005

That Real, Huh?

A company named WowWee (no, I'm not kidding) displayed their prototype humanoid robot called "Robosapien V2." The creator, Art Janis, said that Robosapien is a "real robot" and it was designed to mimick human behavior.

Worth quoting:

"If you left a beer on the floor, with the camera in its hand, it would bend down and pick it up," said Mr Janis.
Human behavior all right.


"No problem. Just lemme see your writings."


...naming your baby according to where you first met your spouse like this couple, then stay the hell out of this city.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Monday, January 10, 2005

Die-Hard Advertising Case #1

I found this sign on the way to Ciamis, a small town on the eastern side of West Java Province.

Literal Translation Guide:
Ayam Bakar = roast chicken
Rumah makan taman = Garden restaurant
While "Pringsewu" is the name of the establishment.

So what's so special about the sign? Here's the complete snapshot.

(This roast chicken'd better be that good.)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Conclusion...

...of The Cool War!

Concerning vonEbenhaum and Lei's concern about the warning labels, yes... Indonesia wins a point in the Cool War.

Why? Because

  1. Indonesian companies don't try to protect their consumers with labels that underestimate their intelligence.
  2. As a matter of fact, these companies don't try to protect their consumers at all.
So come visit Indonesia! The land where you CAN use the toilet brush for personal hygiene. Plus the government that doesn't give a care in the world if you choke yourself to death while doing it.

So, the current standing is--drum rolls please (harmful if swallowed)--America 194, and Indonesia 194.

We have a TIE! And the deadline's up.

So be it. After a year of rigorous research, I officially conclude that neither country is cooler than the other. Which isn't a really good cause for celebration, either way. Because for all the points, we can replace the word "cool" with "stupid". But at least Indonesians and Americans won't fumble around finding out which one comes first: boiling the potatoes or mashing them?

Oh, no. We'll laugh at the silliness of the question and say, "You have to boil them first?"

Friday, January 07, 2005

Forget The Movies!

A friend of mine, whom I'd refer only with his initials: D.U.D.I S.U.M.A.R.Y.O.N.O., wrote this mail regarding the entry about Indonesian movies.

"...The idea that one's culture is reflected in its movies is hogwash! Preposterous! The only reliable source of culture is the same one that people turn to, in finding good ol' conventional wisdom: warning labels."
I can't argue with that.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The "What The Hell Is It?" Quiz #2

Below are instructions quoted from a certain site.

  1. Dress her up. Cheer or yell, do whatever you like to enjoy the moment with your family.

  2. After you are enough with your joy, take a photo! Take some poses and leave her some cute photos!

  3. Remove her clothes and give her a hub, say "Thank you!"
What do you think this site is about? The REAL answer will be on this weekend update.

  1. " '...give her a hub?' I have to say a geeky IT gadget stuff for the socially-challenged."
    --The Amazing Flyswatter

  2. "A futuristico-robotic blow up doll."

  3. "Spending Quality Time with The Osbournes"
    --Ads Addict


As insinuated by vonEbenhaum, it's a site about--and I quote--"Tailor for Cats," maintained by a (surprise!) Japanese-based company.

(Check out the previous quiz here.)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Anybody Ever Wondered...

...whatever happened to Vannila Ice?

(In this parody of the Matrix, Vannila Ice starred as "Rap superstar turned small time chemist and drug dealer." Should be natural for him.)


I wonder what these say about us.

(Thanks to Yudi.)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

It's 2005...

...And nothing sums it up better than this banner in Bandung.

Which is either a misprint or a New Year's resolution for the sight-impaired.


I decided to separate future posts about my book, "Bertanya atau Mati!" (BaM!) into a blog of their own. Since the humor book targets Indonesian readers while this blog is mostly read by international visitors, this separation is long overdue. I've also moved older posts related to BaM into the blog.

You can visit it at