Aburizal for President – but which country??

We have had some fun recently at the expense of Aburizal Bakrie, however, it occurred to us that maybe we should measure him up against the Republican party’s current front runner in the US’s seemingly interminable process to decide who will occupy the White House from January 2013.

Well, we have a clear winner in our view, and we are equally sure that there is probably a message in there somewhere, actually several messages; readers are invited to have fun finding them.

Posted in Business, December 2011, Politics | 1 Comment

Mata Pribadi’s “Fill in the Bubble” Competition #3

First of all thanks to the many who participated in November’s record breaking Fill in the Bubble competition and from which it became clear that there is a politically aware niche to our demographic.

Once again the three man panel responsible for making the decision took a number of hours before landing on a winner; the panel this month taking place in the members bar of D’s Place in a very late night session.

No matter, the winner is Just Kidding NOT, which given the composition of the judging panel, mid-fifties Brits, the use of the old Helen Shapiro classic (for US readers, who is Lesley Gore?) combined with the clever reference to Golkar, should have been a shoo-in and why they had to stay in D’s until 4 in the morning at Mata Pribadi expense quite inexplicable.

So, congratulations to Just Kidding NOT, just send us an e-mail from the address you mentioned on your entry and we will advise the where and when of the award ceremony we have planned – enjoy your fully kitted iPad 2, though we do have to advise that there is a reasonably large dent on the back due to it being dropped during a particularly exciting part of the selection panel.

This being the Bumper Xmas edition, we had little hesitation in deciding on Father Christmas himself to be this month’s subject. though we have to say that working out just who is behind the beard will make this month’s competition rather more challenging than usual so we will give you a clue, he is from Central Java, was once a General – and no, it is neither Bung Karno nor Pak Harto!!

All that remains now is to tell you that this month’s prize, kindly sponsored by PT Bakrie Mud Products Mega Jaya, is a very sexy, dark pink, 150cc Suzuki Bebek (C’mon Rich Wyme, this could make up for previous disappointments) – and to wish you good luck!!

*** Remember to add your entry below – don’t click Susilo Santa Yudhoyono first!! ***

Posted in December 2011, Fill in the Bubble Competition | 17 Comments

Inbound golf tourism – Mata Pribadi says no!!

You may have seen in today’s Jakarta Post, Golf Promo Indonesia’s Mr. Dennis G. Kloeth’s open letter to the newly appointed Minister  of Tourism, Lampposts and Things that go Bump in the Night.

Mr Kloeth is lobbying the Minister, Mari Pangestu, to actually talk to him after three weeks of fruitlessly trying to get past the Ministry’s excellent electronic telephone operator, and this in order to get him (her?) to listen to his ideas on how to enormously grow the “inbound golf tourism” industry.

The potential is fantastic, says Mr Kloeth, for filling Indonesia’s wonderful golf courses with happy, high spending, big tipping tourists and thereby boosting Indonesia’s foreign currency earnings.

It appears the Minister is rather unwilling to listen to him. This is an absolute disgrace of course and something really has to be done about it.

Yes, the last bloody thing we want here in Jakarta are hordes of foreign tourists clogging up our wonderful courses, driving up green fees and overpaying and shagging our caddies for heaven’s sake.

So, send an e-mail or post something in Facebook or whatever TODAY, telling anybody who might listen that all the courses here are shite and that, despite Mr. Kloeth’s description of Indonesia’s infrastructure as “perfect”, the traffic is just about the worst in the world and that any visitor will spend more time in traffic jams than on the golf course.

And if you are unfortunate enough to actually get a visitor who plays golf then be sure to take them for twice round the park at Fatmawati GC; that should help convince them to stay away.

In the interim we will have to rely on the Minister remaining indifferent to pesky foreigners trying to get his attention while he is trying to avoid becoming the next Nazarrudin  – and of course his Ministry’s “electronic telephone operator”.

Posted in Business, December 2011, Sport | 13 Comments

From the Editor on e-mail subscriptions

Dear e-mail subscriber, you may have noticed that notifications of what look like finished articles are currently finding their way into your inbox.

We chose from the beginning not to repeatedly e-mail people with notifications of many individual articles, preferring instead to release them all at the same time as a monthly “magazine” and this is our continuing approach, however, the effort involved in keeping them from going live was all too much and, as you know, we occasionally failed and managed to press the publish button anyway when you, as an e-mail subscriber, would receive an automatically generated e-mail notification.

So, from now on, we publish as soon as an article is ready but only send out our mass e-mail when the whole collection, or magazine is ready. We reckoned that if you had subscribed then your were interested enough in our stuff not to get too upset if you got notification every time an individual article was published. If, however, you would rather not get then it is simplicity itself to hit the “Unfollow” button you will find at the top of every Mata Pribadi page; you will still continue to receive the monthly “mass e-mail“.

We hope the above has clarified rather than further obfuscated, but we have our doubts.

Thanks once again for your support, it really is appreciated, ED

Posted in December 2011, Reader Dialogue | Leave a comment

Welcome to the November Edition!

Welcome back to Mata Pribadi, we hope you have had a great month since our last edition, there has certainly been lots going on in The City that really never sleeps™.

Before anything else, perhaps a few words of explanation on the 13 October Special Issue regarding the discovery of Muammar Gadaffi in Jakarta.

Our discovery and exposure of the tyrant led of course to his and his followers’ immediate expulsion from the country and return to the deserts of Southern Libya where, two days later, he was to die at the hands of Liberation fighters in Sirte, the city of his birth.

The curse of Mata Pribadi strikes once again and we can only be proud of our part in the despot’s downfall.

A less welcome development, and the cause of our withdrawal of the Gadaffi piece as written, was the Colonel’s spokesman’s words that indicated rather more than confusion and rather less than transparency over the selection process for the players for the Jakarta All Stars Team to play Bangkok in the All Asia Series later in the month. A full explanation is still noticeable only by its absence though words along the lines that learnings are being taken on board have been expressed.

No matter, MP’s own words in the original article were over the top and in particular caused hurt and embarrassment to a mate who had worked tirelessly and without reward to make the All Stars Event a success. It is for this reason and NO other that MP made its acknowledgment and apology. MP would like to thank the many who sent e-mails of support and would take this opportunity to confirm to them, and all other readers, that there will be no ducking of issues around here; but we will always put our hand up when we are wrong. The article has been adjusted to reflect what should have been written in the first place and can be found here.

I’d like to close the matter with the news that the Jakarta All Stars “kicked Bangkok ass”, however, in a long and close struggle, the boyz from “oop North” ended 61-53 winners in a match of high drama at a marvellous event with some quite outstanding pool staged at the excellent venue of, if rather less than punchily named, Arlon Swiss-Belhotel in Kemang on October 29th; congratulations to all involved, especially Mark of course. Who’s next??

Finally let’s turn to the current edition where we hope we have a great line up of articles for you which of course includes the results of Mata Pribadi’s first great Fill in the Bubble Competition and a new one to keep Ed T busy again this month! Either select what you fancy off the photo links below – or to get them all (including this one again, unfortunately) click on November 2011 in the black menu box above.

Martin ZacharyAn amazing development at the Grand Hyatt Ballroom last Saturday night as long term US Expat Zartin McHary wins the finals of the second ASEAN Strictly Come Dancing championship!!

Baby RobbieThe 7 Billionth occupant of the planet was born last week – in Bintaro for heaven’s sake and not just one but two of them, how improbable is that!!!

The Senior Managing DirectorHave you ever worried that the stuff you read in the Jakarta Post may not be the most independent reporting you have ever seen? The same thing has crossed Mata Pribadi’s mind.

Fill in the bubble #2Mata Pribadi’s “Fill in the Bubble” Competition #2 brings you more prizes to die for.

SLB Entrance in TechnoOur Food and Beverage Correspondent pays a visit to the South Jakarta home of the Satu Lagi Bar and asks “is it still up to snuff?”.

Gadaffi at ISCIJakarta’s – and Mata Pribadi’s – amazing part in the downfall of the Libyan Tyrant.

jumpin-jim1Readers favourite Expat Old Timer and former Schlumberger wireline hand, “Jumpin” Jim Le Fevre gets tied up in a disgraceful incident when entering an invisible “Presidential no-go area” – judge the rights and wrongs for yourself.

Jakarta ExpatYou must have seen it around in the bars, hotels and golf clubs of Jakarta. It’s free – but is it worth the cover price?

A message for subscribers via the WordPress “e-mail Subscription”

Hope you will enjoy at least some of them. See you next month when we will be bringing you a fun packed bumper Xmas themed edition guaranteed to cheer you up and get you into the mood for the sobriety challenges.

Sampai jumpah lagi, ED

PS apols for the longer than bearable intro page – it won’t happen again

PPS No space or time for either Bahasa Corner or Ibu Pribadi’s Agony Aunt column this month. Your Guru says to practice lesson 1 and 2 as there will be an exam next month!!

Posted in November 2011, Reader Dialogue | 2 Comments

US Expat in Strictly Come Dancing Shock!!!

In a night of huge entertainment and high drama that captivated a capacity audience at the 2nd Annual ASEAN Strictly Come Dancing final held in the Grand Hyatt Ballroom, long time US expat Zartin McHary took the coveted championship title with professional partner Aliona Vilani in a stunning display of such virtuosity in their chosen discipline of Salsa that it had the audience on its feet throughout and baying for more at the end – and the massive TV audience across Asia agreed!

Zartin with his professional dancing partner

Making the achievement even more remarkable is that the couple survived an early round Dance Off against popular local celebrity Dewi Persik partnered with Matthew Cutler when their extraordinary Paso Doble attracted 71% of the more than 3 million votes cast by SMS.

Considered “over tall” for ball room dancing by the experts, Zartin puts down his sense of balance to his long involvement in directional drilling with Weatherford, “when you spend your life trying to keep up to fifteen thousand feet of pipe moving in the right direction then you get a feeling for it and my six feet eight is a cake walk in comparison” adding that “I really have to give a lot of credit to Jaclyn Spencer who really got my feet talking together and was 100% responsible for the Salsa routine that we used in the final”

McHary is a long time fan of dance and, together with wife Jean, holds numerous trophies from around the world in the many countries where he has worked. He shared with us that while his first love is mis-hitting golf balls, he was ever a “Dancer after Dark” and when he wasn’t doing either then he liked nothing better than to hear Jean sing Mississippi Delta Blues to remind him of home and his childhood, especially “any stuff by Mississippi John Hurt

Last word from Rich Whyme, President of PDI-Tee Set and long time mate of the new champ, “we are all so amazed and pleased at Zartin’s win, he worked so hard and no one deserves it more, if he can just get that grace and power into his golf swing then he is a future low net category winner for sure”, adding that “Zartin and his wife leave Indonesia again this week and have had another farewell, their second this year which is about average, we look forward to welcoming them back from the Philippines next year so that they can have more farewells in 2013”.

Posted in Expat Characters, Expat Foibles, November 2011, Sport | 4 Comments

7 billionth human being born in Bintaro shock!!

Actually two of them, both born at precisely 12:44 on October the 31st, though in somewhat differing circumstances.

Baby Robbie, an 8 pounds 14 ounces (4.034091 Kilos) bundle of joy was born to a joyful Sandy and Janine Wallace of Renfrewshire, Scotland in Bintaro Jaya Hospital.

We spoke to Janine shortly after her baby had been declared the joint winner of the 7 billionth human being race by Mata Pribadi’s recently appointed official demographer, Alex McLeish.

Janine, though still slightly under the weather from the the injections, was clearly happy with the historic development, though was to ask, “isn’t that the Alex McLeish who was jailed for flogging hooky Callaway drivers?” when your correspondent was able to reassure her unequivocally that it wasn’t; something he was able to do with a clear conscience as Alex was of course actually jailed for flogging dodgy TaylorMade™ R11 drivers.

We asked Sandy what he saw in young Robbie’s future to which he replied,  “well, most importantly, just as soon as he is old enough we will take him to see his Grandmas and Grandads, they cannae wait to see him and when he is 4 he will go to BIS pre-school and onwards, staying there until he is 18 when we plan that he will take Petroleum Engineering at the Heriot Watt University in Aberdeen”. So, Robbie’s future is all mapped out for him and, while there will undoubtedly be bumps along the way, one imagines that actuality will pan out pretty close to plan.

So, what does the future hold in store for young Dewi with a birth weight of exactly 2.34 kilos as she was delivered in the back of her mother’s rubbish cart by a local traditional midwife for 50,000 Rupiah?

For Dewi, the daughter of Wati who works as a scavenger on the Bintaro rubbish tip, and who was born at exactly the same time as young Robbie with a future. things are not so rosy as, having been born both asthmatic and anaemic, and with Dewi’s aspirations for her daughter no higher than “a nice hand phone and marrying a good boy” the road ahead is tough.

Each year, but in a long term programme, the children and teachers of the British International School in Bintaro help many kids like Dewi, giving them more hope for the future than a nice handphone and marrying a good boy or girl. Read about what they do here, you may even want to help and become, or have your company become, a “Community Partner”.

Go on, put something back, and into something where your hard earned money won’t be nicked by some thieving bastard either but instead benefit the kids 100%.

Posted in Environment, Expat Foibles, November 2011 | Leave a comment