I'm not a cynic!
Well, not often. Whatever, I've just discovered a blogger similarly struggling with the perceived inanities of life in Indonesia.Indonesia Now
, contains articles written by Duncan Graham, a resident of Surabaya in East Java, and published in the Jakarta Post. Nothing has been posted since August 23rd but I hope he is still around because there aren't enough of us "improving inter-cultural relationships".
This is a sample of his writing.HAVE A NICE FRIGHT, SIRThis is going to be a high octane complaint about airports and airlines. But because I'm an expert don't send me your troubles; I've got enough thanks. Just fasten your seatbelt and put the tray table uptight; sorry, upright. And don't bother corresponding with the airlines; did you think the Lost Property Office is for baggage?Better rant at the cardboard cutouts of smiling staff which clutter the check-in aisles. Now that could be really effective.Top of my list is the bouncy M'bak Mandala who sold me a ticket to Manado, gave a receipt and then said the plane had been cancelled. The obvious question was: "Then why did you just issue the ticket?" Lots of laughter. The joke was like the flight: I didn't get either.Actually she failed Airline Standard UP/U. This requires passengers to be given notice of cancellation after they've arrived at the airport. Well-qualified staff (Star Air used to be tops) put your baggage on the conveyor belt and wait till it has vanished behind the frilly plastic curtain before announcing there's no plane.There's no value in asking: "Why didn't you call me before I checked out of the hotel and took a two-hour cab drive through the Valley of Death? You've got my HP number." At this point the giggle-meter goes off the scale. Stupid questions must come from a stupid questioner.They're right - the problem is the passenger. The sacred airline credo reads in letters of burnished aluminium: 'The customer is an idiot.' Staff recite this awesome oath daily to keep their jobs......................Are those warnings about not using mobile phones serious? I quit complaining on a Lion Air flight when the attendant ignored three users (including a bule) sitting close by her safety-feature presentation: "Use of mobile phones and other electronic devices is strictly prohibited." That's what she probably said. Who knows? Her voice was drowned out by ring tones - Greensleeves, the 1812 Overture and a few bars of Air Supply.Maybe such instructions are just to pass the time while they look for a pilot who remembers how the thing works because the right captain is still sitting in the wrong departure lounge. How can little Nokias upset the navigation systems of big Boeings? The idea is ridiculous. Who cares whether the cockpit dials say we're descending into Sukarno-Hatta when we're really circling Mt Bromo? Stop worrying. No-one has ever got out of this life alive.© Duncan Graham 2005
If you think Duncan is less than serious, then please note the following news item in yesterday's Jakarta Post
.Wings Air passengers were baffled on Monday when the aircraft that took them from Jakarta landed in a deserted airport after the cabin crew announced they were arriving in Padang, West Sumatra, just on schedule.Although the recent air disaster that killed 150 people in the neighboring Medan was still on the mind of the 130 passengers, they did not panic because the MD-82 aircraft touched down perfectly.Still, they were confused when informed they had just landed on the wrong airport, Tabing Airport, which was closed on July 21, following the opening of the new Minangkabau International Airport elsewhere in Padang outskirts.The aircraft soon took off again with the cabin crew assuring everybody on board that nothing was to worry about the aircraft.A passenger, Syahrial, said he heard the pilot tell the air traffic control tower of the Minangkabau airport that the runway was in perfect view and ready to touch down. And the tower controller told the pilot to go ahead.A Minangkabau Airport spokesman Youhanes Gaffar said the incident happened because of bad weather and disruption of the aircraft's navigational system."Apparently a passenger used his or her mobile phone when the aircraft was ready to land."