Friday, September 24, 2010

3 P's in JKT

This is not THE 3 P's as in a definitive list.  For those of you know know, this is not 3P, an entirely different adventure. These are 3 different and unrelated P topics that have occurred to me in the last day.


courtesy of 
          As an American, I grew up assuming every person and every country was an ally of Israel.  I learn about the atrocities of the Jewish history not only in school, but in my house.  My family is Jewish, or partly so anyway.  Jewish history was something I took a particular interest in, even if I'm not a practicing Jew. After years of reading, classroom lectures and the nightly news, it was a logical assumption. I knew there were a few allies for the Palestinian cause, thinking namely of Iran or Saudi Arabia or some other Middle Eastern country.  For want of real information, I filled in the blank with other "enemy" countries.  If the US didn't support Palestine and we were at odds with Iran, then they must be in cahoots. 
         I hadn't thought much of it since my arrival in Jakarta until an incidents fairly recently when the Israelis broke through a "Gaza-bound aid flotilla", the BBC's term.  During the time that this was occurring, there were mass protests outside the US Embassy in Jakarta. These were massive protests in a city where the populous likes its protests. In my time watching the world from the back of a motorbike, I've seen lots of Palestine stickers on bikes, cars and helmets.
          It makes sense that the largest Islamic state in the world would support it's brethren. It had just never dawned on me that anyone in Indonesia would be particularly interested in Palestine, especially when most people here tend to barely see past their neighborhood.


Another issue I didn't think of in context to religion; dogs vs cats.
   the kitten is courtesy of,
   the puppy from

          Equally adorable right?  The difference is that in Islam if a dog licks a Muslim, he must immediately go and wash thoroughly.  This means that few people here have dogs. There are a few street dogs (though vastly outnumbered by cats, rats and automobiles). The street dogs are treated horribly.  People stop at them, yell and throw things.  The dogs live in general misery and fear.  Even for dog lovers like myself, the dogs will not approach. If they're lucky, they find other dogs to pack up with which increases the chance of survival and quality of life marginally.

           Cats on the other hand are absolutely freaking everywhere.  They are great protection against the rats, if they are bigger than the rats which isn't always. They're the best thing I've seen against cockroaches since the roaches are bigger than the lizards here. The cats are particularly friendly in general but are harmless.  They tend to scatter quickly and avoid people but will mill about if there's food.

            The cats and dogs will break your heart equally.  Neither species get spayed/neutered so babies abound.  There is a momma dog just outside my kost (boarding house). When I first moved in there were two puppies with her, about 6 months old.  I was told one had been hit an killed just two weeks prior and one had died at birth.  Of the remaining two, one must have been hit last week because it disappeared.  Then this week the other one has vanished.  I'm trying semi-successfully to convince myself that someone adopted them, or took them to their village.   I was convinced that momma dog was in mourning until yesterday.  As I walked out to catch my ojek to work, I saw a mass of about 5 little tiny puppies.  It's either this momma dog or one other that roams nearby.  I'm mustering all my will not to bring one home.  I had a disastrous incident with a kitten in my second month here that wrecked me emotionally.  As much as I've always been an adopter, I have to fight that urge here.

              I used the term pets, but so far I've really been talking about street animals.  From what I can tell in student surveys, most kids have hamsters, birds, fish or turtles.  Turtles seem to be neck and neck with the hamster as the favorite pet which surprised me since in the States people always talk says that turtles bring more disease than other pets ("Salmonella!!!")

              Upon examining this blog post in the preview, I've decided to move the third P to a separate post but leave the title of this as is.  As a request, I'd like some feedback now that I've put up a few posts.  Are more shorter posts better? Longer posts but less often?  Is anyone out there?


  1. I'm not convinced Indonesians (to generalise, but what the hell, it's the internet so I'm allowed to do that) really care about Palestine. I'm sure it's more about protesting against the USA. Your comment about Indonesians barely seeing past their neighbourhood is true. I can't help feeling that if the Indonesian masses had been a bit more nationally and internationally minded, the country could have shaken off the shackles of CONOCO and turned the country into something like the USA. Not that I should complain too much, if it weren't for CONOCO (they paid my dad well) and President Suharto's corrupt regime, I wouldn't be the champagne socialist I am today ;)

  2. Interesting post. It broke my heart to read about the pets there though.
    Looking forward to read about the 3rd P.


  3. I tend to take the Palestinian side on a purely present day outlook. Whenever Palestine kills 3 Israeli policemen, Israel kills 20 Palestinian civilians, usually including a couple of teenagers and a women or two. It's not exactly "an eye for an eye"... they take advantage of US protection and a nuclear deterrent and do what they want.
    Of course, I may be wrong, and I'm willing to argue it out...