ISCI Hockey team in KL bar shock!!!

Details are only now emerging of an incident at the RSC 9-a side hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur a couple of weekends ago, with the matter going unreported in the Malaysian press and a wall of silence being established until last evening by the International Sporting Club of Indonesia‘s (ISCI) participants.

Fortunately, our indefatigable Blok-M stringer was on the spot late last night earning his per diem in Sportsmans Bar where a few of the ISCI boys were exuberantly celebrating a hard earned 3-2 victory at Senayan over a strong and determined University Al-Azhar HC.

According to what our semi-sloshed stringer thought he overheard, the problem started when the ISCI team tried to enter, en masse, one of the dodgy girly bars on Bukit Bintang. Several of the expats had already entered when two of the team’s Indonesian players were refused entry on the grounds that they were not expats.

Led by burly English central defender Martin “Black Ada” Bates, the expats informed the doormen that unless their Indonesian team mates were let in then they (the doormen) were about to wear a beer or two after which a number of blows were exchanged.

The arrival of the local Pak Polisi minutes later calmed things down somewhat and a triumphant ISCI team were eventually all granted entry by a rather nervous management shortly afterwards, when they partied until being thrown/carried out around 04:00 along with some newly acquired and rather fragrant local supporters.

Job (Sabun) Renkins, former playing hero of ISCI was quoted from his New York office as saying “Unbelievable, nothing has changed, we had the same fucking problem in Bangkok 20 years ago when they wouldn’t let Soy Rondakh in on the grounds that he was “too Asian”” adding, “well done, boys, for standing up for your rights!!”

Team President and one time speedy winger, Allan Kent, said, “it’s ironic that we only came away because the Pak Polisi in Jakarta seemed to be arresting expats on a near daily basis.”. Asked to explain the blanket of “omerta” that had been thrown around the incident, Allan explained that most of  their wives thought they were on a Temple viewing mission to Borobudur but that had all been cleared up now..

Posted in Expat Foibles, Sport | Leave a comment

Jakarta in Gaddafi shock!!!

The world’s media has been speculating for more than a month regarding the whereabouts of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi following the violent ejection of his despotic Libyan regime and its replacement by the democratically inclined National Transitional Council.

Mata Pribadi therefore has enormous pride in bringing you the world exclusive news that the Colonel has been tracked down by its own intrepid reporters – and to Jakarta of all places!!!

The Jakarta expatriate community was in absolute uproar last evening as news spread like wildfire following our discovery that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, recently deposed leader of Libya had been found living in a tent with a large entourage of followers in the grounds of the International Sporting Club of Indonesia (ISCI). On the left hand side of the swimming pool and to the right of the lake as you look out from the clubhouse if you are familiar with ISCI.

Hi Pak Gad!!!

This revelation follows several days of speculation that the Colonel had been seen, in mild disguise, in a number of the less salubrious Blok M bars on Saturday night last.

We met with several barmaids and patrons of My Darbar subsequently and it was clear that they were convinced it was indeed the Colonel. “It was definitely him” said Dewi, a hairdresser from Bekasi, “he didn’t have his funny head dress thingy on and had shaved his moustache off but there is no doubt it was him” adding that he went away hand in hand with Dewi from Clilegon and someone whom she only knew as Dwi but thought might have been a hairdresser too.

Regular My Darbar patron, Kark Milner, told us that “it was hilarious, the guys on the door crapped themselves and nearly dropped their newly delivered soto ayam when the Colonel arrived along with a dozen Arabic looking guys all kitted out in suits, sunglasses and suspicious bulges. They reminded me of Pak Karno’s lot in the old days; not that they owned a suit between them of course, however, they did like sunglasses and were invariably possessed of at least one suspicious bulge each”

Kark also shared with us that he had played a couple of frames with the Colonel and took him 2-0. “Not a bad player at all, we might invite him to join the Every Nighters, but he is going to have to learn the International Pool Rules that we use here; I thought I was going to be shot after I told him that it was a free ball for me when both his ball and the white failed to touch a cushion after a failed attempt to snooker me in the second frame”.

The owner of My Darbar was to comment that “their presence was a little intimidating, however, they paid their bill and tipped generously so they can come back any time” adding rather gushingly that, “the Colonel said he would welcome more choice of lamb and goat dishes next time he comes and I am very seriously looking into that, we don’t want him going to Top Gun instead”.

School teacher from JIS, Kohn Jinghorn (not his real name), who would speak only on grounds of anonymity because his girlfriend would kill him if she knew where he had been, told us that the Colonel sat at the bar for nearly an hour as he sipped slowly on his JD and coke while sizing up the talent and that a bodyguard had explained that, “the Colonel doesn’t dance, he considers it a vile Western affectation”

A visit to the ISCI grounds out near Sawangan earlier today by our intrepid reporter confirmed the presence of a significant number of strangers to the area, many of them wearing the traditional Arabic dish-dash and at least one very large tent, apparently made out of carpets. It was impossible to get closer than a couple of hundred meters; however, our man on the spot was able to secure this photo at what was clearly great risk to life and limb.

Regional political analyst, Joseph Georgeous of The Economist in Hong Kong, was to observe that “relations between the Suharto regime and Gaddafi had been particularly warm but there has been significant cooling since”, noting however that “there is no extradition treaty between Indonesia and Libya, hardly a surprise as Jakarta doesn’t even have one with their next door neighbour, Singapore, leading to the establishment in the island state of a huge colony of the corrupt and venal Indonesian elite escaping justice with seeming impunity.” A Golkar spokesman indicated that the party had not yet met to arrive at a position on the issue.

All attempts to contact the British Embassy in Jakarta to get their views on the development ended up in their irksome multi-layered automatic answering service menu, the one that was put in by the low bidder in 2008 and which hasn’t worked since installation.

As the British have spent several billions of their own increasingly scarce resources trying to put a bomb up Mr Ghadaffi’s bottom, their views would certainly have been interesting. They could perhaps save themselves a bunch by getting Dewi or Dwi to try on one of those body bomb thingies and bring about  what might be considered a singularly appropriate way for him to die and one which might even bring closure for the relatives and loved ones of the many who died over and in Lockerbie.

While at ISCI we were granted a World Exclusive if rather short interview in the tasteful though rather inadequately air conditioned clubhouse with spokesperson Muhammad al-Bubl Gum Rapper who described himself as the Colonel’s “Chief of Staff” and who, while somewhat taciturn, was to fill in a few of the gaps in this fast developing  story, not least being that the encampment at ISCI was short term in nature as a very large empty plot of 5,000 square meters had been identified from the very many of them available in Pondok Indah and that, just as soon as negotiations were complete, what he described as “The Caravan” would move to there. No need to build a house he explained, the Colonel prefers to live in a tent, so they could move right in.

Asked to explain how the Colonel and his entourage had travelled from Libya and effected entry into Indonesia, the “Chief of Staff” explained that they had used “the same Garuda Boeing 747 that “Pak Nazarrudin”, a personal friend of the Colonel, had used in his journey from Colombia” and that they “had landed at Halim” but would add no more.

We understood further from the interview that the Colonel was interested in taking over as Chairman of the Jakarta Pool League in order to sort out what has become a major issue in the expatriate community, the committee’s idiosyncratic and disturbingly mysterious and contentious “selection process” for the upcoming Inter-City series match with Bangkok.

The Colonel will “select himself and all his own sons that are still alive, with the rest of the places going to the highest bidder” explained the “Chief of Staff” adding that “this will make everything much clearer and indeed auditable and hence avoid further accusations that selection is on the basis of just picking your mates and the so called “qualifying competition” no more than a ruse to relieve 66 hard working expats of a hundred thousand roops and fill Kemang and Blok M bars on otherwise quiet midweek nights.

The “Chief of Staff” was unable to confirm whether the Colonel was interested in Hashing or Golf but did quote the Colonel as having said that “there is no way I am joining in Mata Pribadi’s Fill in the Bubble Competition unless and until there is at least one fucking camel in it – and I will make fucking sure that Ed T isn’t allowed more than one entry”

Requests for clarification by the Ministry of Boule Affairs, Foreign Stuff, Judicial Reviews, Lamppost Solar Power and Things that Go Bump in the Night went unanswered, though in fairness we understand that the Minister and his deputy are currently waiting anxiously to hear their fate in Cheeky-Ass in the latest reshuffling of the venal and incompetent.

Please be assured that Mata Pribadi will continue to dedicate the entirety of its resources to this important breaking story.

Posted in Expat Foibles, October 2011, Politics | 4 Comments

A message from the Publisher

Dear Readers,

First of all, and on behalf of the Owner and Publisher of Mata Pribadi, PT Kebohongan Pribadi Jaya Pratama Dalglish, I would, as President Commissioner, like to personally apologise to you all for the lack of a January edition of your favourite organ. Can I also share with you the background to this wholly regrettable development?

Following a blowout 4th Fiscal Quarter by Mata Pribadi  and a handsome royalty cheque from Google, I was rather reluctantly persuaded to reward the Editor and his entire staff for their great work by fully funding an 8 day cruise around Italian waters. Yes, you may have guessed already, the cruise was on the liner Costa Concordia mastered by the unfortunate Captain Francesco Schettino.

The Editor and Staff, I am pleased to be able to report, are all alive though two of them remain in hospital in Palermo but, thankfully, are now off the critical list.

We in the office were to receive no communication for more than a week after the liner’s sinking before finally getting a series of increasingly incoherent tweets from the Editor from which it appears that he and the rest of the team had shared at least a dozen bottles of rather fine Chianti with the Captain and First Officer of the vessel in the Captain’s Stateroom in the hours before the unfortunate incident. It is my own long and hard-earned personal experience that bottles with that funny raffia wrapping stuff around them should be approached with extreme caution and preferably not at all.

As responsible Global Citizens we have made a report of all this, had it translated into Sundanese and sent to the Italian Polizi. Apparently there is a paucity of Italian/Sundanese translators available in Palermo and no dictionary whatsoever, so our guys and gal should have a good chance of being able to get out before Pak Polizi can ever make any sense of it.

While we have an otherwise excellent staff on Mata Pribadi, it is becoming clear that they have a regrettable tendency to create news rather than report on it, and this is something the Board and myself are actively reviewing.

I had in fact tried earlier to bring you such little news as we had, however, my knowledge of WordPress is extremely limited and it is only now, and through the good offices of M’bak Dewi who remained behind in Jakarta due to a providential bout of “Masuk Angin”, that I am able to communicate with you at all.

I have had a look around the system for drafts that might be published, however, the only thing I could find was a half baked story about an alleged one-legged dwarf throwing contest in Highway to Elle very late one evening that seems to have gotten totally out of control sometime between Xmas and New Year and which has attracted the attention of a number of m’learned friends in The City that Really Never Sleeps. We are not going anywhere near that one while I am in charge.

I did think of bringing you an excellent Hashing story sent to me by a close friend currently resident in central Europe, however, I assess readers’ knowledge of the mating habits of the Moldovian Yak as being far too low to properly understand the nuances and have spiked it as we say in publishing circles – so no January edition but we will be back in February even if I have to sack the old lot and bring in new.

Apologies once again to all our readers.

For and on behalf of:
PT Kebohongan Pribadi Jaya Pratama Dalglish

Bapak Johannes Pakuprobono BSc (Hons) MBA

President Commissioner

Posted in Expat Foibles, January 2012 | 3 Comments

Jakarta Expat Monopoly

Mata Pribadi is thrilled to bring you a unique Investment Opportunity which it would entirely carry itself if only the Google Royalty check was not so late arriving every month.

Yes, this sort of opportunity is not going to be available every day, it is a sure fire winner and could make you rich even quicker than winning Mata Pribadi’s Fill in the Bubble Competition every month

At $1,000 a percentage point at basement terms, returns are forcast to be in the region of 50% in the first 3 months alone and are expected to continue at around 12.5% per month thereafter. Compare that with the yield on your miserable US Treasury bonds – and payment will be made to any bank account nominated by you anywhere in the world – and free of withholding tax!

The initial investment will cover taking the sensational new board game, Jakarta Expat Monopoly, from concept to final design, provide working capital, and manufacture of the first 10,000 units. The licensing of the Monopoly ™  trademark and an attractively low royalty rate has already been secured.

The basics of the game will be already be familiar to many if not all our readers, however, there are many special realistic touches which we believe will make it enormously popular with its target demographic.

Those special realistic touches include:

All your favourite activities and interests covered

Mainline stations changed to bus stations due to lack of the former

“Free Parking” has been removed entirely as being a ludicrous concept – and replaced with an extra Jail which we consider far more appropriate. Receiving a tax refund has been  excluded on the same grounds

As well as doubling rents when you own an entire asset class, the rules recognise a number of clear synergies, for example if you own the Bali Villa AND a budget airline then you may quadruple  rents on both, while the same applies if you own both all the bars in Kemang AND in Blok M

Ownership of ALL golf courses allows you to raise green fees to Bali levels and charge the same midweek as at weekends; except for Tee Set on both counts as it is a special case of course.

Community Chest has been rewritten entirely to reflect local conditions eg

The “Get out of Jail Free” card has been replaced with a rather more realistic “Get out of Jail for Rp100m” card. Pricey, but is does include a free airline ticket to Singapore and a doctor’s sworn and notarised statement that you have “extreme forgetfulness”.

Utilities are a particular concern, treasure and keep the “Electricity Supply Guarantee” card should you be lucky enough to pick it up, especially if you have or are considering developing hotels on any of your properties.

Likewise the “Presidential Decree” card is an excellent card to pick up, but is best kept up your sleeve until you have lots of assets and the need is dire; it can mitigate or even cancel any other card.

Chance has  likewise been completely rewritten to reflect local circumstances and risks and includes:

Falling asleep in a taxi on the way home from Blok M, late at night

Bribing a KPK official when you thought he was the guy issuing Work Permits

Overstaying your visa

Your RT liking you

Falling in love with a very attractive “Waria”

Drinking locally produced “Jim Beam

Investing in a bar with a local owner

While Oil and Gas assets offer extremely attractive “rents”, they can also take your every last dime, Chance includes a number of very severe cards regarding tax treatment, cost recovery audits and indeed the vagaries of geological uncertainty. International arbitration is specifically excluded.

A special “Fauzi Bear” card is introduced which leads to the confiscation without compensation of all Jakarta based real properties so that “National Assets”, such as more Malls, 7/11s and Jalan Tol , can be developed for the greater good of the city and the Nation.

Large bribes, both given and taken, are a feature of the entire board game; especially in relation to the game’s Banker. Unlike in the original board game, being the banker is a potentially lucrative position for which players bid beforehand and settle with American Express Travellers checks. Just like a Deputy Governorship of Bank Indonesia in fact.

Contact us at the usual address when, subject to the usual status and wealth check, we will let you have the full prospectus including the five year financial forecasts prior to your investing.

Best of luck! …. ED

PS The promise of a large Johnny Walker Black label next time you see the Editor secures you a JPEG of the whole board!!

Posted in Business, Corruption, December 2011, Expat Foibles | 19 Comments

A case for blind copies?

Those of you work in the American Embassy  in Kuningan, or perhaps have loved ones working there, will be relieved to learn of the seriousness with which the American Government takes your security.

As many of you learned in a recent Xmas greetings e-mail from the Force Protection Detachment,the catalogue of assets being deployed to defend the Rmbassy from ne’er do wells is impressive to say the least.

The photos and graphics you see on this page are taken from that e-mail sent to an enormous distribution list consisting largely of the Jakarta expatriate golfing fraternity as far as your corresspondent can tell.

It is a matter of some concern of course that the Force Protection Detachment should be so keen to inform the expat golfing community at this time of its strength, preparedness and assets, maybe they know something we don’t?

Have terrorists developed a new strategy for attacking the golfing community,  IEDs hidden inside lake balls perhaps, poison in the Pocari Sweat or, God forbid, the clubhouse Nasi Goreng Spesial? – one can feel the paranoia rising. In any event we would suggest that parking one of those battleships in the lake at the end of the 1st hole of the “River” course at Emerelda might be an appropriate action while a Chinook and appropriate squad of armed personnel would surely find a warm welcome and a home at a Jagorawi GC helipad all ready to receive them.

Dare one suggest that the Force Protection Detachment’s putting 500+ expatriate e-mail addresses out into the open as they did is likely to make the recipients rather more prone to spam, and worse, than was already the case, though Mata Pribadi thanks them for the 27 e-mail addresses that it did not already have.

A Safe and Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year to you guys (and gals) in the Force Protection Detachment too!

Posted in December 2011, Expat Foibles | 7 Comments

A cautionary tale

Dear All,

As we approach the season of celebrations, a cautionary tale if I may. It has to do with drinking and driving at this time of year as I know that some of you, like me, have had unfortunate brushes with the authorities in this respect over the years.

The other night I was out for dinner at a very posh central Jakarta hotel with a few mates to celebrate the true meaning of Xmas. After consuming ludicrous amounts of wine, with liqueurs and brandies to follow of course, and knowing full well that I was completely wasted, I did something I’ve never done before.

Believe it or not, I took a bus home. Yes, a bus.  I arrived home safely and without incident, something which came as a great surprise and relief to me. Mainly because I have never driven a bus before.

A kind reader was to send us a snap of the very bus I drove and, as you will see, I was very possibly not the first expat to have been on that particular vehicle.

On the way home I was to pick up a significant number of fare paying passengers and even got a very loud cheer and several Rp.1,000 tips when I chucked off a couple of guitar playing vagabonds. Sobered up enough on the way back to leave the bus in the next street rather than outside my own front door so, if you live on Jl. Adhiaksa and found a Metro Mini outside your door this morning, then at least you know where it came from.

Happy Xmas! ….. ED

Posted in December 2011, Expat Foibles, Roads and Traffic | 2 Comments

The Bar at the End of the Universe

In common with most of you we guess, your Food and Beverage correspondent gets an e-mail every week from the “Metro Sky Bar” in BSD, unashamedly extolling is own virtues in full glossy colour.  Given that BSD is clearly very close to the end of the Universe, these missives have hitherto been studiously deleted upon arrival.

With family in town and needing feeding – and with the Jakarta pre-XMAS Saturday evening traffic looking quite appalling, we decide to head down the Serpong Tol with its relatively light traffic to give the ”Tasty Spit Roasted Pork Leg” a whirl.

The web site instructions were simple and accurate and got us there more or less as advertised in just 32 minutes, rather less than it would have taken to one of our regular haunt in Blok M, far less traffic infested Kemang. The pleasure was only starting as we parked in safe and secure parking at the side of the German Centre, hopped into the lift to the seventh floor and entered the place to be greeted by Mein Host, Andreas Stokowsky, who informed us of our seating options, inside/outside, smoking/no-smoking, dining tables/bar seats. We chose to have a look around outside which was something of a revelation, good views to BSD and beyond and a lovely breeze, not to mention a nice outside bar, a cosy wood BBQ/oven thingy next to the open cooking area whose stainless steel glistened under the lights, and some comfortable elevated seating next to a water feature.

Despite the outdoor attractions, we moved inside and rather closer to the pool table in the bar dining area in order to choose the food. Extensive menu, with just about everything a Boule Boy (or Girl) might want, lots of pizzas, burgers, steaks and the signature pork dishes that had attracted our attention in the first place. We tried two pork dishes, a steak, a variety of sausages and a snaffled piece of pizza. All quite delicious it has to be said and it was particularly reassuring for your correspondent to see Robert, the chef, at the bar later in the evening, enthusiastically consuming the products of his own labours. The beef is all imported Ozzie stuff while the pork is from Bali and there is no compromise on quality which makes it rather more expensive than if you are happy to settle for Ayam Kampung and a bowl of rice. Booze is moderately priced and the draft beer well kept.

Family friendly, spotlessly clean, fully equipped, well stocked and possessed of great service and management it is hard to find too much wrong with the place, however, we will try by telling you that the fish tank had NO fish in it for God’s sake, much to the disappointment of your junior F&B correspondent who also told us that the French fries were dry. too crispy and not as good as his Mum’s. And he was right.

Don’t be put off by its location in the German Centre, it is a mixed crowd in there and, while the German manager’s polo shirt had the German eagle proudly emblazoned on the back, it bears the legend “Runners Up – 1945” underneath! It is all Teutonic efficiency with smiling Indonesian characteristics.

If you live near the Outer Ring Road then you would be daft not to give it a try, it is top class and it only took 25 minutes to get home. Mahltzeit!!

PS If you want to make some money while you are there then challenge Robert to a game of pool – he’s pretty crap :-)

Posted in December 2011, Food and beverage | 2 Comments