The Choice Is Not Yours.
Jakarta looks more like a tramp on the morning after than usual with tattered banners draped from bridges, advertising hoardings and between trees and poles. There are a myriad stickers, mostly orange surrounding a couple of dark blobs, plastered over everything that doesn't move and a lot that does - buses, trains and motorbikes. There are none on my front wall, although there are on the freshly painted ones of my neighbours, no doubt to their annoyance.
I have been pissed off at the traffic chaos engendered by the rallies on behalf of the smug gits who profess that they have the answers to Jakarta's woes - traffic jams being one of them.
However, although trying to get from A to B in this city is stressful even at the best of times, I couldn't help but feel some sympathy for all the supposed supporters parading through the main thoroughfares. That they had the time to take to the streets is an indication that they were mostly the disenfranchised, the poor and underemployed. Being given a bright orange T-shirt, Rp.25,000 (c.$3), a snack and drink, and asked to wave a flag supporting one side or t'other whilst on the way to a concert by a sexy dangdut singer sure beats sitting in a stifling hot warung, busking on the buses or doing whatever it takes to earn a crust.
I hope that none of the motorcyclists trundling around with the missus and kids, all without crash helmets, got themselves wiped out for the cause. I trust too that none of the youths dancing around on the tops of hired (hijacked?) buses fell off. After all, it's not that often that the masses are given parties by the political parties which are usually too busy organising good times for themselves. The general impression is that they couldn't give a shit for the electorate which, ultimately, they're going to have to depend on.
I don't have the vote, which is probably fortunate as it means that I can't protest at these shenanigans by not voting. But 'Er Indoors can and she, along with a couple of million others, was somewhat inconvenienced on Friday upon discovering that the campaign teams had seemingly commandeered most of the buses and she couldn't get home.
The campaigns have got bugger all to do with understanding issues or making the city a better place to live and (find) work in. In fact, they have only disfigured an already ugly mess and the main beneficiaries of the campaign seem to have been the scavengers who've had a field day or ten cleaning up the discarded litter trailed through the city's streets.
Somewhere in this organised chaos there is possibly a message of some import. Perhaps it's a simple question.
What choice do any of us have?