1. I once wondered what could happen if there was no corruption in Indonesia, what kind of economic growth (assuming that we believe in GDP) we could enjoy instead of an already remarkable by the global standards growth of ca. 6.5% p.a. Today I see how vibrant the economy is in Indonesia (well, at least in Jakarta) nowadays. I wonder again, this time about the traffic. Imagine a Jakarta without less traffic, as currently we are losing more than $2 billion per year because of the traffic congestion. Will we make more money? Or, indeed, is the economy vibrant despite of the traffic or because of it? I wonder if corruption and traffic is our “thorn in the flesh”. For “three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'” (2 Cor 12.8-9)
2. I learnt from school that “kebersihan adalah sebagian dari iman” (cleanliness or hygiene is a part of faith). As I grew up, I learnt that the saying is inspired from a hadith, but I am fine with that. But I do have a problem with how Indonesians, who are largely Moslems, seem to ignore this proverb. I always assume that you could know the hygiene standard of a country from its toilets. I truly believe it. And our toilets are bad, really bad. Thus I wonder whether I should take this saying as an eschatological saying, where we could only find its realization in the world to come.
3. Speaking of the future, after Bangkok 2011 I hope there will not be Jakarta 2012. You know, Jakarta is heavily flooded every five years, and the previous ones were in 2002 and 2007. So we will have a huge flood coming next year. In 2002, the water only flooded the street in front of my house. (I still remembered how my father and I rode a bicycle from my school to my house, which is around 20 km away. I love you Dad. Oh and we saw a corpse during our journey.) Five years ago, some had actually entered the garage. Looking at the trend, I fear next year the water will finally enter my house.