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Installing Democracy Is Never Bug-Free

June 17, 2012

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24 comments

  1. Ha ha ha.


  2. Very droll. You’re on a roll 🙂


  3. Absolutely brilliant. I might even try and put it on a T-shirt.


    • Thanks. Unfortunately, I built it too small, and at only 72 dpi resolution 😦


  4. onOnePhoto suite has a re-sizing utility which used to be known as Fractal Magic. I enlarged the jpeg by 150%, saved it as a tif – new dimensions 24 x 51 cm (file size 3.7 MB). Still looks pretty good.

    Don’t have time to put it on a T-shirt right now – but if I do, I’ll give you one. (What’s your size?) I’m off to Australia soon for a few weeks so it won’t be until around August.

    Repeating myself – pure genius!


  5. Creative, but totally juvenile.

    It’s funny Vyt, but searching your blog I can’t find one decent reason why you live here.

    You say you love Indonesia, and that’s why you’re so critical, but tell me…if there is a woman in your life, do you treat her the same way?


    • Now that, Roy, is definitely patronising … 😉


  6. No, it’s not patronizing at all. It’s to the point…my point being that there is little or no balance to be found here on your blog, rather more it’s a long read of complaints and belly aches about Indonesia, mostly targeted to Bali.

    Seriously Vyt, if we sat down for a couple of hours over drinks, I honestly can’t imagine ending the discussion without my reminding you that those same jets that brought you here can easily take you back to where you came.

    I constantly wonder why so many foreign expats move to Indonesia with full expectations that all things are going to be like they were at home. What kind of arrogance is that? Sure, there are a whole lot of things to improve on, but how about a little recognition now and then for those positive things already achieved?

    The vast majority of Indonesians are inherently too far polite to say something like this, but while I am now Indonesian, I was born where it’s often better to be frank and honest than it is to worry about politeness.

    No, my question wasn’t patronizing, rather, it was spot on.


  7. @Roy

    A “spot on” question?
    “…how about a little recognition now and then for those positive things already achieved? ”

    How about YOU spell out those things for the rest of us second-class expats, especially the relatively newcomers? A lot of Indonesians are maybe too polite for their own good and simply put up with shit around them and hope it’ll go away of its own accord.

    And since you’ve become an “Indonesian citizen”, you seem to have acquired a fairly common attitude that if a foreign visitor or expat doesn’t like something here, they should leave the country!

    “Patronizing” doesn’t even cover it. Close, but you are both that and didactic as well (in the sense of excessively “instructive”).

    I think the last thing anbody in their right mind would want to do is spend a couple of hours “over drinks” with yourself only to be told to piss-off at the end on the next available jet plane. Is that your version of hospitality?

    Sounds to me that if people agree with your version of Bali, that’s OK. If not, they better run. Pathetic.


    • So, Algis, tell me exactly what’s wrong with an Indonesian opinion expressed along the lines of “if you don’t like it here, then leave?” While you will find few Indonesians who would openly express that sentiment, you can be very sure that many are thinking along those lines.

      Foreigners don’t have the right to live here, rather they are given the privilege to live here. They are guests, and many of them need to learn to act like guests, put down their pith helmets and gin and tonics, and start acting more like guests who appreciate the opportunity and ease of living in Indonesia.

      If you want to make a tee shirt from Vyt’s art work, I only hope that the extent of your arrogance wouldn’t include the audacity of wearing it here in Indonesia.


      • Basically, I thought Indonesia is a “democracy”. Maybe I’m wrong.


      • Indonesia is a democracy, and in many ways it more democratic that the US, the UK or Australia.

        Citizens from any of those three countries (as well as many others) can easily move to Indonesia and take up resident status, i.e. become an expat here. Don’t think for one second that it is with anywhere near the same ease that Indonesians can do likewise in those countries.

        Some Indonesians (myself included) think that some changes are warranted in that regard.


  8. Wow, Roy finally blew. He’d been keeping it in for some time, but couldn’t hold on any longer!!!


    • All healthy discussion … 😉


      • So Roy it appears that you think if people only have criticisms and complaints about Indonesia they should not live here.
        So would we use the same logic for people who only have criticisms and complaints for a particular blog?
        I actually thought this blog was humorous and entertaining and for me humor has right of way over everything, including people’s sensitivities. But then I don’t have many friends.


  9. “While you will find few Indonesians who would openly express that sentiment, you can be very sure that many are thinking along those lines.”

    Does that make you a mind-reader?

    “Citizens from any of those three countries (as well as many others) can easily move to Indonesia and take up resident status, i.e. become an expat here.”

    I thought that “resident status” and being merely an “expat” are two different things here. I’ll also have to rethink what “easily” means.

    “Foreigners don’t have the right to live here, rather they are given the privilege to live here.”

    Does that mean that you, as a “new Indonesian citizen”, still don’t have the right to live here, or have I missed something?

    Becoming a “permanent resident” in Indonesia can take quite a while. A minimum of two years, IF you’ve been married to an Indonesian for at least that long (or more). And even then, the details can be sketchy, at best. Different regions seem to have different interpretations of the “law”.

    For an Indonesian to get “permanent residency” in Australia, for example, takes about the same time, (if he/she is married to an Australian), Once they get that, they are NOT “guests” there. They have all the rights of anybody else, apart from being able to vote in elections. That requires becoming an “Australian citizen”, which is optional. Further, all the requirements are clearly set out, for all to see. Unlike here in Indonesia.


    • “Does that make you a mind-reader?”

      No, but having a very large Balinese family and a large group of Indonesian friends you might appreciate that I know what’s on their minds, as my family and close friends are totally open with me about what their thoughts and feelings are on various issues. Hopefully that makes some sense to you. And, hopefully it would also make some sense to you that those same Indonesians (my family and friends) would out of courtesy to you as a tamu (guest) not be so readily open.

      “I thought that “resident status” and being merely an “expat” are two different things here.”

      Expatriate (expat for short) as a noun simply means a person who is living and working outside their country of citizenship. An expat is clearly a resident so what point is there in nitpicking about those terms?

      I wrote “foreigners don’t have the right to live here, rather they are given the privilege to live here” and I think the meaning of that is pretty clear. I can see no reason why you could possible be confused by those words.

      “Does that mean that you, as a “new Indonesian citizen”, still don’t have the right to live here, or have I missed something?”

      Of course it doesn’t mean that, and again, there should be no reason for your confusion. Obviously, any Indonesian citizen, either natural born or not has the right to live in Indonesia.

      “Becoming a “permanent resident” in Indonesia can take quite a while.”

      That’s a whole different topic than what I was discussing. I never used the term “permanent residence.”

      Even the process and visas necessary for an Indonesian to visit those prior mentioned countries are far more involved than for citizens of those prior mentioned countries to visit Indonesia…viz a 30 day visa on arrival and ease of renewing that here, in country, for another 30 days. Do you think an Indonesian can simply hop on a plane and visit OZ, the US or the UK?

      The points I was making are pretty clear, even if you don’t want to accept them as the truth. Perhaps your pith helmet is a bit too tight fitting? ;<)

      And please let me repeat a prior question to you that you haven’t answered yet…So, Algis, tell me exactly what’s wrong with an Indonesian opinion expressed along the lines of “if you don’t like it here, then leave?” Should Indonesia change in order to better suit expatriate guests?


      • And btw Algis, (since you brought up Australia in more detail), here’s …

        [Sorry Roy, I have removed this comment as off-topic]


      • “An expat is clearly a resident so what point is there in nitpicking about those terms?”

        That might be clear to you, but I’m afraid you’re mistaken.

        An expatriate is a person who is voluntarily absent from their home/country, for various reasons. Work, pleasure, personal choice, a combination of all three, but not necessarily. Might be fallen in love, for example.

        Not all expats want or have to work in Indonesia. Many stay on social/”business” visas, for years on end. Some enrol in courses where the the institution becomes their “sponsor”, if they don’t have another one.

        In case you don’t know already, there are various visas for foreigners staying in Indonesia, and they’re NOT all the same. Tourist/VOA, business, social, educational, KITAS, KITAP, retirement, diplomatic, research, etc, all with different conditions/requirements.

        Indonesian “permanent residency” status allows a foreigner to stay here for five years at a time, without having to leave the country on a regular basis to do the bullshit “visa runs”. Indonesian “citizenship” is different again, but you already know all about that, don’t you?

        Not really being one to profer “advice” when it’s not asked for, I’ll make an exception here.

        You ask me:
        “…tell me exactly what’s wrong with an Indonesian opinion expressed along the lines of “if you don’t like it here, then leave?” Should Indonesia change in order to better suit expatriate guests?”

        The answer to the first part is that it sounds like a veiled threat. And the second part – yes, why not?

        This is NOT a threat, by why don’t you live by your own “standards”, with respect to this blog? If you don’t like what you’re reading here, bugger off. Simple, eh? Better spend more time on your “I Own Ubud – My Home” website, and revel in the sycophantic adulation you get from it.

        I’m glad that Vyt removed your link to the Bali Discovery news item regarding pedophiles from Australia and the US. How that has anything to do with an Indonesian trying to get a residency visa in Australia escapes me.

        And BTW – have you actually learned to speak Bahasa Indonesia or Bahasa Bali after all your years here?


  10. Sorry you had to waste so much time and blog space explaining what I already know and what is obvious. Aside from those foreigners residing in Kerobokan, (specifically, the prison), virtually all expats are here by their own free will and choice.

    Veiled threats? LOL. You’re reading far more into what I wrote than what’s there. Perhaps a tight pith helmet AND paranoia? As for Indonesia putting in extra efforts to please expatriates, I wouldn’t hold my breath while waiting, but your thoughts on that surely don’t surprise me.

    Since you are clearly unwilling to carry on a discussion, I’ll pass on any further attempts and hope to maybe meet you personally one day where we can sit down and chat. I understand how written English can be especially challenging to some folks.

    Cheers, and have a lovely evening.


    • “..virtually all expats are here by their own free will and choice.”

      Well blow me down with a feather duster and thanks for reminding us all of that.

      “I understand how written English can be especially challenging to some folks.”

      Sounds like a typical patronizing comment from you, Roy. I understand how spoken Indonesian and Balinese can be challenging, too, for some folk.

      “Since you are clearly unwilling to carry on a discussion, I’ll pass on any further attempts and hope to maybe meet you personally one day where we can sit down and chat.”

      I thought I was having an online “discussion” with you. Wrong again, it seems.

      Re-checking the definition meaning of “clearly”, I found a phrase that doesn’t seem to apply to you…”mental discernment”, if you will.

      Thanks but no thanks for your kind offer of meeting in person. I have an aversion to bigots.

      By your last comment, I thank the gods that this topic, for you, is ended and hopefully, you’ll take your puerile erudition elsewhere.

      “Pith helmets” and “paranoia”? Give me a break – lay off the piss and write the book that’s inside you before it’s too late.


  11. “I have an aversion to bigots.”

    So do I, especially the bogan variety.


    • Algis, your comments are spot on.


  12. “How about YOU spell out those things for the rest of us second-class expats, especially the relatively newcomers?”

    Late in my reply, but here’s a short list of improvements that most of us long time expats will quickly and easily acknowledge over the past decade or more:

    -Roads and sidewalks…While there is no argument that roads and sidewalks can always be improved and better maintained, just a decade ago they were far, far worse. In those days here in Ubud there were virtually no sidewalks, rather, along each road in the Ubud area were open ditches with free flowing water that acted as much as a sewer system as it did a source of garbage collection. Those road side ditches are now for the most part replaced with pipes and layered over with sidewalks.

    -Traffic…The truth is that ten years ago one was far more likely to be stuck in traffic jams in central Ubud than today. Back then, large tourist buses had free access to all the roads in Ubud, and their presence on any of the smaller roads in Ubud and its environs would cause endless delays.

    -Garbage and garbage collection…The past ten years has seen the introduction of re-cycling on Bali and a new re-cycling plant. On and off road garbage is far less an issue today than 10 or more years ago.

    -Ecology and environmental awareness…Much greater use of solar power in Bali these days and the founding of the Bali Go Green NGO in 2009.

    -Internet access…From a speed (when lucky) of 10 bps to fast wi-fi.

    -Higher Quality Medical Care…More good quality clinics and the opening of the international wing at RS Sanglah.

    -Education/Schools…There are at least twice as many private schools today on Bali than in 1998 including the world class Green School.

    -Availability of Goods…When I first moved to Bali it was nearly impossible to even find processed American sliced cheese whereas these days one can find all sorts of imported food products and other products such as high quality tools, plumbing fixtures, electrical supplies, computers and computer related goods…the list of available goods today exceeds that of a decade ago by leaps and bounds.

    -Reliable electricity…There are far fewer power outages these days than in years past, and on those rare occasions that they do occur, their duration is far less.

    If I sat down and really thought about it, or polled some of my long time living in Bali friends, surely that would produce more results to help answer your question.



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