Ahok who?

The Jakarta Post - JPlus - - Between The Lines - — Dun­can Gra­ham

DEAR AUN­TIE DWI, Thank you for ask­ing if I’m safe fol­low­ing the 212 Big Protest. That’s what they have been call­ing it after the date and they say the numbers are send­ing us a sign, but they don’t say what they mean. On our street, the trash col­lec­tor lives at num­ber 212 and his house has a sign. Maybe that’s it.

Did Mom warn you I was go­ing? I didn’t want to ’cause I had re­ally im­por­tant things to do, like buy­ing new nail var­nish. But they said ev­ery­one must go or our names would be given to the Po­lit­i­cal Ac­tors.

Any­way the bus was real good and I got to sleep a lot while Ah­mad was wag­ging his fin­ger and ser­mo­niz­ing, which never stopped dur­ing the 12-hour jour­ney. Then my friend Dwi, who gets mo­tion sick­ness, threw up all over him and he went wild.

He said she must be pos­sessed by a de­mon she’d swal­lowed. I told him she’d only eaten chocolate. “Must be Chi­nese,” he said. “Just like your smart­phone,” I replied.

Or maybe you saw me on TV? Check the pictures on Metro — I’m in the sev­enth row on the nine­teenth line on the left of Monas. Or maybe to the right — I can’t re­mem­ber. It was so much fun.

I was wear­ing white, which re­ally doesn’t suit my com­plex­ion.

For days I’ve eaten ab­so­lutely noth­ing — there was so much free food and all of it was too, too de­li­cious. Every 10 min­utes some­one was giv­ing me a lunch box or telling me to wave a poster. I don’t know what they said be­cause the writ­ing was all spooky and red with a picture of a prisoner shak­ing bars.

Some­one said his name was Pak Ahok and he’s a bad man, but the cartoon just made him look like a sad man.

They also said he’s Chi­nese, but I thought he was born here, so doesn’t that make him In­done­sian? He looks a bit like Un­cle Julius who I think goes to a church. Any­way, who cares?

The re­ally, re­ally ma­jor mo­ment was when we got to see the Pres­i­dent. Well, he was rather far away, but peo­ple who were closer took pictures of him car­ry­ing an um­brella, as we could see on What­sApp. I don’t know what he said — it might have been about a soc­cer game with Viet­nam.

Only this time around, he did not wear the cool jacket that made him look like Tom Cruise in that old Top Gun movie I saw on TV last week, although I couldn’t un­der­stand what he was say­ing be­cause the In­done­sian cap­tions made no sense.

”Oh, my God,” I said, but some gloomy guy said that was blas­phemy and I might go to prison. So I told him to go to hell. He said this world’s al­ready there, but I looked out and saw the sun was shin­ing. Lovely.

He was a freak — not like this to­tally yummy cop who came along and told us to keep mov­ing. “Polisi gan­teng!” screamed Dwi who was OK once off the bus, although Ah­mad was still try­ing to clean vomit off his clothes. It made me think he’d never washed any­thing in his life.

Any­way, back to the cop: so cute in his tight pants and mir­ror sun­glasses. Gor­geous. And he noticed lit­tle me, par­tic­u­larly when I ac­ci­den­tally dropped my poster.

“Here you are Mbak,” he said. “Please take more care.” His voice was warm honey. His name badge said An­to­nius. “I think he’s Catholic,” whis­pered Dwi, who noticed my red face. “No prob­lem,” I said as my knees turned to jelly. “I’ll con­vert. Where do I go?”

“Be se­ri­ous,” she snapped. “We’re here to protest.” “Why not?” I replied. “Aren’t we all one — like, you know, unity in di­ver­sity?”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.