Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
Feedback: indonesia.anonymus at gmail dot com


Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


When we read about Obama being a rock-star president, we thought that was mostly in the US. But no. Mr O is coming and goodness gracious look at all the frenzy!

So let's get this straight: For those who think Obama would do things differrently from previous US presidents just because he grew up here, you may want to revisit that thought a little bit.

Yes, he lived here in Jakarta. But he was seven! And only for four years!

Here's what he remembered about his childhood in Jakarta:
"I remember those years as a joyous time, [...] days of chasing down chickens and running from water buffalo, nights of shadow puppets and ghost stories and street vendors... "[1]

About coming to Indonesia, he also wrote: "I am worried about what I will find there -- that the land of my childhood will no longer match my memories. [...] I fear it's becoming a land of strangers."

He probably would write the same thing if he grew up in Malaysia or Thailand or Vietnam.
So please. Enough about it already.

He is an American president, and he is coming to do whatever it is he has to do to benefit his country and the people who elected him. That's his job.
(This is no different from what we expect from OUR president when he travels abroad. We want him to work on things that will benefit us. After all, we elected him and pay him to work for us.)

This does not mean we dislike his visit, or dislike America. On the contrary. Indonesians love America. Oh yes.

Even the protesters who are against Obama coming.
If we scratch a little deeper we'll probably find some of them looking up Obama and America's policy in the middle east using Google (An American firm), arranging the protest via Twitter (again an American firm), get rid of their thirst after yelling 'Obama go home' by drinking Coca Cola (that's an American drink), and when finish with the protest they go home to watch American Idol on tv, or drop by at a cinema to see the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

Come on. Let's be honest.

Look at Indonesia now: We are a religious population in a secular society (similar to America), we pretty much accepted capitalism and free market (similar to America), the press and the media are free (similar to America), and we elect our president, governors etc directly (similar to America).

And we could argue, there is nothing wrong with all that. Things have been on the up and up for us lately. Even when America is in recession, Indonesia's economy is chugging along. Not as fast as China or India, but hey. It's still good news.

That means we must have done something right.

However, speaking of similarities, Obama also wrote in his book about America's politics:

"I find it hard to shake the feeling these days that our democracy has gone seriously awry. [...]
what's troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics [...]
we are distracted by the petty and the trivial [...]
our chronic avoidance of tough decisions [...]
our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem." [2]

If the sentences above remind you of how our government behave in the Bank Century debacle, then you know what we meant.

Oh yes. We are similar in that sense too. Money politics? Got that, and getting worse by the day. Politicians who make decisions not for the good of the country but for the sake of their party? Don't bother counting.

What America got, we got them too. And worse. Somehow, somewhere along the way, democracy is just not what it is cracked up to be.

So we ought to be careful, because we don't want to end up like America, described by Obama as:

"The country was divided, and so Washington was divided, more divided politically than at any time since before World War II" [3]

Obama is now struggling over a gridlock in America's political system.

That is NOT what we want from democracy. Democracy should bring out the best in us. To be the power that unites us. Empower us to make the right decision for our future.

Compared to America with its hundreds of years of democracy, we are a beginner. A novice, with a lot to learn. America's democracy has done a lot of great things, but just like everything else, it is not perfect. There are lessons to be learned here. Both from the successes and the failures. There are things that worked, and other things that did not.
For us to do the same mistake would be - well - a mistake.

So with Obama coming, we may want to also ask him: what is it that America did wrong, to reach that point? And how can we -- despite all the similarities -- avoid the same fate?

After all, as the saying goes:
"The best of friends are those who tell you not to make the same mistakes they made."


[1] Barack Obama - The Audacity of Hope, page 323-324
[2] same source as above, page 28.
[3] same source as above, page 20.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Lesson (not) learned

We regularly read the Jakarta Post and have been for a very long time. From time to time we criticized it, so it is only fair if we praise them when they wrote something nice.

It's about the Bank Century bailout scandal that now has turned into a circus.

Towards the end of the editorial, the paper wrote:

"If there is one valuable lesson from Century, it is the sad revelation that Indonesia is being led by a bunch of politicians who are opportunists at best and incompetent at worst."


Well said, Jakarta Post.

So now the next question is:
Who put this opportunists and incompetent bunch there?

Oh wait:
We have a democracy now. A free and fair election.
Oh no! We elected this people! It's our fault!

Note to self: Do not forget about this when voting next time. Do not forget. Do not.

Source: The Jakarta Post: Editorial: The fallout of the Century

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The journey of a broken heart 7 - The End

7. Life

(Note: this is part 7 of 'the journey' series. To read from the beginning, click here.)

I have been racking my brain trying to find things from my trip that I think is worth sharing, alas to no avail. Oh well. Too bad I did not keep notes along the way. So I guess this would be the last post of the series.

It would be nice, of course, if after I got back from the trip, and after all of my posts, my girlfriend took me back. Or if during my trip I met someone new. But no. This is not a tv drama. Life does not work that way.

But at least I learned a lot.

So, if you have never done this kind of trip, I would really recommend it to you. Trust me, it will worth your while.

I will use this post to share a few pointers that I learned, to hopefully help you have a better trip and better experience than I did.

1. The logistics

You all know this: Travel light, make sure the clothes you have are easy to clean and quick to dry (that means no jeans). Wear comfortable shoes, bring a raincoat (not umbrella) and bring enough cash. (Do not rely on ATM). Secure your cash in separate pockets. (I used a pouch that I hang on my chest under my shirt for my 'cash reserve', and put just enough for the day in separate pockets for easy access.)

2. Go alone

I am not sure I recommend this to the ladies because I am not sure if it is safe, but if you are a guy like me, do try to go alone. Of course it is more fun to go with your friends, but unfortunately, it won't be the same. If you are in a group, you will care more about your group and less about your surrounding. You will talk more among yourselves and less to the people you meet along the way. When you are alone, you have no choice but to listen to yourself and to the people you meet.

3. Set yourself free

I had my cellphone with me during my trip, and from time to time when I lost signal coverage on my phone, I got really anxious.What if someone called me? What if something happened at work that needed my attention? What if I received an important email? What if this and that and the other?
Every moment felt like my life is passing me by.

After a while, I realized that actually it is the opposite:
Actually, when I spend my time worrying about all the above, THAT's when my life is passing me by. Life is what you see, what you hear, what you feel. Life is what happen at this moment. Not the what ifs.

So don't be like me. Set yourself free. Turn your phone off.

In your deathbed, you will never wish to have a little bit more time to use your cellphone or to check your email. No. But you'll probably wish you had more time to go places, see more, hear more, taste more, know more, experience more. This is your chance.

4. Not too long, not too short

I went for about three weeks in total. To me it felt a bit too long. After a while, the experience became increasingly similar from one city to the next, and the vanity started to wear off. I began to feel tired and bored. When that happened, I failed to experience things. I failed to appreciate my surroundings. I lost focus.

In the future, I probably would go for two weeks max. Three weeks is a bit too long and one week is probably too short.

5. It is not a walk in the park

I am not going to lie to you. The trip will be tough. It's not easy, and at times, no fun at all. There were moments where I found myself eager to just drop everything and go home. (In fact, if I did not have all my friends betting against me, I probably would have given up).

My most favorite thing about my trip is this:
The people. They are nice. Beautiful wonderful amazing people.
And the least favorite thing is:
The people. Some of them are just plain annoying.

Sure, the nice people outnumber the annoying ones, but it just takes one annoying a-hole to really ruin your day. And unfortunately, They are not in short supply. Annoying people are everywhere, ready to draw your anger and make your day miserable.

To handle this, let me tell you a story:
When I was a kid, my neighbour had a monkey (The small grey type we commonly see in Bali). The monkey was chained by his waist at the front yard, by a tree. Obviously, he was one grumpy monkey. (I would be too if I were chained like that. Not sure why my neighbour would do such a thing).
So this monkey would throw stuff at people passing in front of the house. He'd throw his food, branches, anything. And the worst that happened to me was when he threw his feces at me.
Bad, bad monkey.

But even after all that, I was never angry at him. Never. He's a monkey. Monkey does not think like us. I understand that. I understand him.

So that's what I do when I meet annoying people.
I picture them as my neighbour's monkey.
That way I can prevent myself from getting angry and ruin my day.
(And now that I am back at work, I started to see more and more monkeys at work too...)

The point is, you are the one in control. Not them. Do not let anybody or anything ruin your day.
Your trip can be fun, or it can be miserable. It's (mostly) up to you.

Well, that's it from me. Feel free to add more if you think you have some pointers that would be useful for me and other readers.

Before I go, I would like to thank all of you who set aside some time to leave comments on this series. Among them are: Felicia, Piqs, nCy.vLa, Ronzak, Colson, Hendro, John Orford, Hilmy, Silverlines, Kamil, Michael, Oscar Guo, B4nch4, YuGho, Kutubusuk, Roi, Nancy Indrawati, Nena, and others I may have missed.
When I started this series, it felt like I was talking to myself when I wrote it. But after a few posts and receiving your comments, everytime I started a new post, it felt like I was talking to you. As if I was telling you my story. Suddenly writing is not a solitary activity anymore.You guys are great and I thank you all.

I also would like to thank Jakartass, who has been very kind in giving me a few pointers to correct the grammatical errors in this series, as well as a generous plug.

Lastly, thank you to my Indonesia Anonymus (IA) colleagues, who lend me this space and showed me the joy of writing. I shall seriously consider your advice to start my own blog someday. I never thought writing can be so much fun.

Thank you. To all of you.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The journey of a broken heart 6

6. The Big Sister

(Note: this is part 6 of 'the journey' series. To read from the beginning, click here.)

One day I was on a bus, on my way to the next city. At one point, we passed a market, and the bus slowed down into a crawl. It was a hot day and the bus of course had no air conditioning. So while struggling to overcome the heat, I looked outside and tried to find fresh air through the gap in the window.

And then I saw this:
A girl, probably not older than fifteen years old (I am not good at guessing kid's age), walking on the side of the street, moving forward skillfully avoiding the crowds. On her back, she was carrying... a younger boy. Probably her brother. They looked alike. Both were wearing school uniform.

My mind started to wonder.
"Why is she carrying him?"

My eyes automatically went down to the boy's legs, and then I got it: the boy's legs were small as if they were only skin and bones.

I am guessing it's because of polio. (I could be wrong, but if it were polio, it is such a shame, since polio is a preventable desease).

My mind started to make up a story about the two kids: Maybe they're going back from school. the brother cannot walk, so the big sister everyday has to take him to school and pick him up afterwards. What a sweet big sister.

But sooner or later the brother will grow heavier, and probably bigger than the sister. What would they do then?

Why don't they use a wheelchair?

A few seconds after I asked that question, I realized how stupid that was.
Really: is this the kind of place where you can get around on a wheelchair? No.

Long time ago, my parents took me on a trip to Europe, and as we travel in some cities in Germany, from time to time I noticed people on wheelchairs, going about their business. I was a kid then, and that was a sight I almost never saw in the street of Jakarta.

So I asked my father: "How come there are more people on wheelchairs here? I don't see many of them in Jakarta..."

My dad was of course too busy with something else to care, so I did not have the answer then.
That time I foolishly thought, there must be a lot less number of disabled-people in Jakarta....

Oh how stupid.

You don't see them in Jakarta because THEY CANNOT GET AROUND.
They cannot go anywhere without help. That's why you don't see much of them.

This boy that I saw, could not go to school if he had no big sister to carry him.

I started to think about my world when I was a kid. What would happen if I were on a wheelchair? I thought about the neighbourhood where I lived: Would I be able to go to school by myself?
Could I go to the bookstore to buy my comic books by myself?
Could I go visit my friends and play?
On my own, I would not be able to go further than the front yard. Further than that, I would need help.

I thought about my school. There was no lift in my school. No ramp. Just stairs. How could I go to the classroom without any help? Impossible.
Elementary school, Junior high, High school, all stairs, stairs, stairs.

If I were that little boy, where would I be now?

As a saying goes, "A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members".
So what does this say about us, I wonder. We build our world without thinking about them much.

So whose fault is it? The government's fault, for not paying attention to the disabled?
Or is it our fault, for not giving enough pressure to the government to pay attention to our less-fortunate fellow-citizen?

I recalled one time when I was a student, walking with my mother, on the street near my father's office. There were people repairing the sidewalks on both side of the street at the time. I remember my mom once asked one of the people there:

"How come you did not make the sidewalk with ramps on both ends so it is easier for mothers with baby-strollers to use the sidewalk?"

And their answer was:
"Because then motorcyclists will ride on the sidewalks when the traffic is bad..."

That time I thought it was a sensible answer. Now not anymore.

(So, if you are a motorcyclist and you ride on the sidewalk to avoid the traffic, you may have contributed in making the life of people with disabilities more difficult.
Talk about the chaos theory's "the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas" ! )

For us, a sidewalk with no curb ramp is a minor annoyance. For people on wheelchairs, it's everything.

As I watched the boy bouncing about on his sister's back, I asked myself:
What kind of future will this boy have? Would he be able to go to college? Find a job? I really hope so.

And as I watched the girl carrying her little brother, I cannot help thinking on a more personal note. I am an only child. I never know how it feels to have a sibling. And after I saw this girl, I could only think of one thing:

I wish I had a big sister.

Friday, February 05, 2010

The journey of a broken heart 5

(Note: this is part 5 of 'the journey' series. To read from the beginning, click here.)

5. Breakfast at Sutini's

Somehow, when it comes to food, it was not the lunches or the dinners that I remember most from my trip. It was the breakfasts. Lunch was always hectic because I was always running around. And dinner, well, most of the time I was just too exhausted to even enjoy anything.

But breakfasts were always magical.

And no, I did not mean the hotel's freebie breakfast. I am not an early person and hotel's breakfast is always a turn-off when you are late. I always went out to the street to find my breakfast. The more traditional the better. It's part of the 'immersing myself' thing.

It was great. Even now, after I got back for a while, I can still remember the nice smell of fresh cooking emanating from the food stalls'. Just the image makes me hungry.

In one of those days during the trip, my daily search of breakfast led me to Ibu Sutini's food stall. Well, ok, I confess: I don't really know her name because I never asked. I just put Sutini because it sounds better than calling her 'Mrs. X' or something. And yes, because I want it to rhyme with the title of Audrey Hepburn's movie.

Ibu Sutini's stall was one among a few along the street near a market. It was small, with three benches forming a U shape surrounding a counter with food behind a small glass shelf. When I got there two men were already eating on the other side.

I sat and Ibu Sutini automatically served me hot tea. She then prepared the food I ordered silently.

Then when she brought the plate she asked: "So, where are you from?"

I got that a lot. I don't understand why because I thought I did not dress that different from the rest of the population. Maybe it's the bulging backpack. Or the language. Obviously I don't speak the local language.

Since I was frequently asked the same question over and over everywhere, I did not really take it seriously. I just said I came from Jakarta and wanted to go to Surabaya. This would save me from answering the usual next question of "where are you going?"

"You're not working?" she asked. I was struggling to drink the hot tea (when this folks boil water, they really BOIL it. It was almost always insanely hot), so I just shook my head.

Nope. Not at the moment.

And then as I was eating, there was some distant yelling from the back, not sure from where. I could not see. Something about a thing that would not turn on. Ibu Sutini yelled back and turned around.

"I'll be right back," she said to me and to the two other guys.

"No, wait," said one of the two men. "We're pretty much done. Can we just pay so we can go?" He stood up to reach his wallet. "We're in a rush and we can't wait until you..."

But Ibu Sutini was already halfway visible. "Give the money to him." she said pointing at me and then took off.

I choked.´ "Whoa, no, no, no, no. Wait.."
But by then she was gone. I could hear her voice yelling "Yes, I am comiiiing..." fading away.

"Don't worry," said one of the men calmly. "Just give this to her when she gets back." They put some money next to my plate and left.

This is crazy, I thought. Ibu Sutini is out of her mind. I could just walk off right now and got myself some free money and a free breakfast. What was she going to do? Chase me? Either she is a really good judge of character (that she somehow knew that I would not run with her money), or she is just careless (and someday someone will rob her blind because of it). I would think the latter is more likely.

A while later Ibu Sutini came back. I was glad nobody came when she was gone. What was I supposed to do then? Start serving food?

I gave her the money that the two men gave me. I did not know what the amount was, but Ibu Sutini did not seem to care. She just said thank you, took the cash and put them in a tin without counting. My God. I could have run away with that tin too. She would have lost even more money.

So I told her: "You souldn't do that, you know. I could have run away with your money."

She looked at me puzzled.
"But you didn't. I know you won't. So what's the problem?"

Whatever. If she said so. I took that as a compliment.

When I was done, I paid for my meal and got up to leave. As I was stepping out from her stall, I heard her say to me:

"Mudah-mudahan cepat dapat kerja ya!" (
I hope you find a job soon!

What? So all those time she thought I was unemployed? Oh well. Whatever. After all, she asked whether I was working or not, and I shook my head. It's not her fault if she made the conclusion.

I just said thank you nicely and left.

While walking, I looked down to see myself. Well of course. My clothes were not exactly clean, my shoes were dirty from the dust of hot dry days on the road. Top it up with a bulging disheveled backback, it is no wonder if she thought I was a poor unemployed bum.

And yet she still trusted me with her stall? and her money? What's all that about? If it were me, I wouldn't keep my eyes off this stinky bum.

I did not think much about it until later, at night when I was about to go to sleep.

Up to that day, I had been absent from the office for almost two weeks. Someone else was doing my job while I was gone. And that someone probably would do the job just as good, if not better. I could just disappear right now and everything at the office will go business as usual.

They don't need me.
My job does not need me.

It's me who needs my job. I need it to define who I am.
When I see myself in the mirror, I do not see ME. I see a job description. I see a person working at bla, with a bla title and a bla position with a bla salary. Bla bla bla. When I ask myself who I am, I cannot answer without invoking something related to my job.

Without all that, who AM I? I can't say.

In the meantime, here in this city, Ibu Sutini, a lady I have never met before in my life, see a poor unemployed bum, went way past that and managed to see ME. She did not let my bum-look affect the way she thinks about me.

I let my job define who I am. Oh, what a big mistake it was.

My girlfriend -- well, ex girlfriend -- dumped me. And she dumped me because she said I never got my priorities straight. Her classic example was this:

One day, she was at work, rushing in the hallway when someone opened a door really fast from the other side and somehow hit her face and broke her nose. At the time I was busy in the middle of something "important" and did not go to see her until she was released from the hospital.

Looking back, that was just insensitive and stupid.
That work-thing that I said was important? The one that kept me from going to the hospital? I honestly cannot even remember what it was. (If it was really THAT important, I would have remembered. So clearly, whatever it was, I could just drop everything and go).

I was a jerk.

And aparrently, there were many other occassions where I just failed to be with her, because I had something 'more important' at work.

I was a frequent-flyer jerk.

"It's just a job!" she said always when she was angry. And she was right. No wonder she dumped me. It's the logical thing to do. After all, what can she expect would happen in the future? Anniversaries forgotten, kid's birthday missed, sick families ignored? What kind of life would that be?

I can't believe it took me a breakfast hundreds of miles from home just to open my eyes.
I felt really really stupid.

(If there is anything, I surely hope she reads this. Did I mention I called myself 'jerk' twice in this post? That should count for something, right?)

note: my apology to the rest of my IA colleagues, for turning this blog into a sad attempt to apologize to a girl. But hey. You guys did told me I can write anything I want. So there.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The journey of a broken heart 4

(Note: this is part 4 of 'the journey' series. To read from the beginning, click here.)

4. The Baggage

As expected, being a first timer in this public-transport trip along Java, I lost a bag.

I brought two bags for this trip: a backpack and a sport-bag (the one with a shoulder strap). My reason at the time was, in case I wanted to spend more than one day in a city, then I can just use my backpack and leave my other bag in my hotel. This way I don't have to carry all my clothes with me when I go around town. Both were quite small in size. I was determined to travel light.

Mind you I had been quite careful. In a bus, I always sit with my backpack on my lap, and my sport-bag between my legs, with the strap all around my ankle, so it is not easy to snatch. Or so I thought.

It went well for the first few days, until one day I was on a bus, on my way to the next city. It was in the middle of the day, hot as hell. As always, backpack on my lap, sport bag between my legs, strapped around my ankle. After a while, I fell asleep hugging my backpack.

When I woke up, the backpack was still there, the sport-bag's strap was still around my ankle, but the bag was gone.

I felt so stupid. Why didn't I think of that. It's a removable strap. Of course.

The next two days I was so upset I could not really enjoy my trip. I lost most of my clothes, and more importantly, I lost my camera, with pictures of the cities I had visited so far.
I was so angry. Along the way cursing the bag thief. And myself.

But then I realized something. I felt lighter. I felt free. There was nothing to worry about anymore. Less bag to watch. No valuables to guard. It's just me and my backpack, and I felt great.

And losing my camera made me pay more attention to what I see. No more of that busy grabbing the camera to take a snap. No more acting like a tourist taking this and that wherever I go.
Now I realized what a waste my previous days were. It was not a trip. It was a photo-taking exercise. I did not immerse myself with the surrounding. I was a mere spectator.

And for the first time in my life, I actually thought that my life can be simpler.
That in life, I don't need much at all.

When I was preparing for the trip, picking the light-and-easy-to-dry clothes that I needed to bring, I realized how overflowing my drawers were. Clothes everywhere. And socks. Socks everywhere and always not in pair. So I made a mental note: get another drawer for all my socks.

When I got back, I realized how absurd that is.
Yes, my drawers were full of stuff, but how many of those I actually wear? When I sort all my clothes, I ended up with a third that I actually would wear. The rest were the 'no way on earth I am wearing those' type, and the 'do not fit my waist anymore' type.

So I donated them. And I did it quick because I knew if I waited another day, more and more would be pulled back and kept. I have a habit to hoard and I am not proud of it.
Now my drawers are half empty.

And the note? To get another drawer? Just for socks? for SOCKS?
That's just insane.

I couldn't believe I thought of that in the first place.
Whoever thought of that, I was not that person anymore.

That sport-bag I lost liberated me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The journey of a broken heart 3

3. Feel like a fool

(Note: this is part 3 of 'the journey' series. To read from the beginning, click here.)

I started my trip at the inter-city bus station. So there I was, standing there, looking around when suddenly it hit me: I have never done this before. (I do travel, but mostly by flying, and a couple of times by train. But never by inter-city bus).

That means, I did not know which bus I should take, I did not know where I should go to buy the ticket and I did not know how much the ticket would be.
And the worst part is, it seems I was the only fool in town. Everybody else seem to know where to go and what to do.

Unfortunately, it did not happen just once, because as I travel from one city to another, almost in every city I was back to being clueless: I did not know which one to take to go to where I wanted to go, and when I knew, I had no clue how much it would cost me.

(Sure, there was one time when I could see the price posted on a local angkot. But then when I paid exactly that price, the driver got mad. Apparently the price had changed and they did not bother to change the sticker.)

And the story did not end after I managed all that and got on. Because I still needed to know where to get off, to go to where I was going. Along the way, I ended up asking a lot of questions to a lot of people.

In short, I am a foreigner in my own country. I can't imagine how foreigners who visit Indonesia would feel when they had to take public transportation to get around. How do you ask question when you don't even speak the language?

You don't feel good when you are clueless. And you feel worse when you think you are the only one who had no clue.

Before this, I always thought a good public transportation would mean something that is efficient, on time, fast and comfortable. Now I realize, there is one thing that is more important.

A public transport is good when you can get from point A to point B, without having to ask a single question.

Sure, efficient, on time, fast and comfortable are all good. But if the system is confusing, a first timer like me would still find it annoying.

I know I should stop comparing what we have with what other country has, but bear with me for a moment. The first time I visited Japan, I had no experience in taking its public transport. But I could find out easily which one I should take, how much it will cost and where I should buy the ticket. Bear in mind that I do not speak or read Japanese, and outside Tokyo not all stations post the sign in english. But the signs are equipped with pictures and symbols that even I can understand it right away.

A system is good when even an illiterate first-timer fool like me can understand it.

So maybe, this is why people said good things about public transport in some developed countries. Sure, they may be fast and comfortable, but above all, the system don't make you feel like a fool.

We all want better public transport in this country, and we started with the busway, people talk about having a subway system, even dreaming about high speed train. They are all nice, but they are also a departure from what we have now. As if we want to ditch whatever we have because they are bad, and just start with something completely new.

Sure, why not. But creating an efficient, on time, fast and comfortable takes time. And money.
In the meantime, we still have to live with what we have, and actually we can make it better by simply posting clear signs at bus stations and bus stops, displaying the route and the ticket price clearly on buses and angkot - And be consistent with it.

Design it for a foreign illiterate first-timer fool such as I am.

When everything is clear, taking a local public transport in a small town actually has its charm.
More than any subway or high speed train can offer.