Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ask Mr. Indonesian Man: Toilet Behavior

Yes, Indonesia is a source of culture shocks for our friends from Europe or North America. After arriving at the Cengkareng airport, it only takes a few kilometers[1] drive away to experience the free-for-all racing bloodbath that is our highway.

To explain some of the mysteries or enigmas of Indonesian cultures, Mr. Indonesian Man will grace us with his presence. Answering questions thrown by people just like you, who are interested in but puzzled by us Indonesians. The only difference is that these people are not real.

But why concern ourselves with serious details? Because if those are what you seek, you're definitely not in the right blog.

Q: Doesn't the name Mr. Indonesian Man sound a bit sexist?
A: Actually, the term "sexist Indonesian men" is redundant.

Q: Now you're not being politically correct.
A: Look, even our vice president suggested to attract Arabian tourists by alluring them with potential harem girls. So don't tell me to be politically correct, I'm Mr. Indonesian Man!

Q: Okay, forget it. I just wanted to ask what's with Indonesian men and their suspicious toilet behaviors?
A: If you ask me, "Indonesian Men and The Suspicious Toilet Behaviors" sounds like a great novel plot.

Q: No, it doesn't.
A: Okay, substitute "Indonesian Men" with "Harry Potter", then.

Q: Can we get back to the topic, please? Thank you. I noticed that after peeing in a urinal, an Indonesian guy doesn't just flush and go. Sometimes he flushes twice or thrice, doing something--I don't know what--before finally leaves the urinal. What is it? An Indonesian toilet ritual? Paying homage to the god of urinal? What?
A: Many--but not all--Indonesian men will, in average, flush three times when using an urinal.

When they flush, they try to scoop some water with their hands and use it to clean their, well, muzzles. And it usually takes two flushes to get it done.

Most of them are muslims and do it because of religious reasons. Muslims must be clean to pray. And let's face it, pee stains on your underwear are not exactly clean. Which is why some men who aren't muslims also do the same. Because even though you probably think Indonesia is a backwater country, apparently we value personal hygiene more than you think. (Or more than some of you practice in your country.)

Q: Yeah, yeah. Spare me the chauvinism. You've only explained two flushes. What's the other one for?
A: Another flush is usually conducted when a guy occupies a urinal, before even unzipping his pants.

Q: What the hell is that for?
A: To check whether there's water or not. It's Indonesia after all. Not everything works.

Imagine getting stuck in a urinal that you couldn't flush. What'll you do? Ask your neighbor? "Yo, can I scoop your water?"

Q: Why not just hop to the next urinal?
A: And you call us barbaric?


: How to tell whether someone comes from the North American continent: They'll ask, "What's a kilometer?"