Here Thar Be Monsters!

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10.4.11

Bits And Pieces

On occasion, we like to put up an article called Bits and Pieces.  It's a collection of observations and events that haven't yet made themselves into full-length stories.  Enjoy!
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"Terima kasih untuk selalu menjaga kualitas dan kesegaran produk dengan selalu menutup kembali kaca lemari pendingin."

Now Indonesian readers will look at that and say, "So, what's so funny about that?"

The meaning is pretty straight-forward.  "Please keep product quality and freshness by closing the cooler doors."  The exact word-for-word in English is rather humorous, to us at any rate.  "Receive pity for always keeping quality and to-now-ishness product with always closing return glass cabinet self-cooling."

Just goes to show you why translating is not always an easy task.
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What could be more funny than politics.  The numbnuts take themselves SO seriously, but really the whole damn thing is a joke.  We know because we spend most of our time here at LFS World Headquarters, deep in the jungles of Borneo, lauging our fool head off.  Mostly at American politics, although the rest of the world provides good fodder, as well.  Take, for instance, recent events here in Indonesia...

A member of Parliament this week was photographed watching porn clips during a session of the House of Representatives.  OK, so what?  Judges in America do it all the time during trials.  Well, the best part is that this representative is a member of the PKS party, which loudly and vociferously promoted an anti-porn law last year that makes it illegal to produce, distribute or download internet porn.

The rep was using his new toy, a tablet computer, and a photographer in the gallery noticed him hiding it under his desk while the others MPs were having a big fight over a new government building they want.  Several parties (there are 40 of them here) walked out in protest.  We can only assume that this MP was too embarrassed to stand up.

Anyway, after the story broke, the rep jumped up and down and claimed that he had clicked on a link in his email that has inadvertently brought him some porn video.  However, the photog revealed that he had 60 photos showing that the rep had searched through several folders of porn on his tablet toy to find just the right video, and then played it while sitting in the House of Reps.

Oops!

Not only did he get caught red-handed committing an ethics violation while supposedly serving the public interest, he also broke the law that he and his party had so vocally championed.  Even if he really did click on a link in his email, the fact is that the law prohibits downloading porn, even if it is accidental.

Ah, justice...
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Java is being attacked by a swarm of white, fuzzy caterpillars.  It started in East Java, the side closest to Bali, but has spread West until it is on the door-step of Jakarta.  Seems the little boogers ain't fun, either.  Not only are they stripping the vegetation (they have a particular appetite for mango trees), but if they get on your skin, the little hairs cause severe itching and burning.

The worms are coming into houses and falling out of trees.  People are walking around with umbrellas to keep the little suckers from falling out of trees and landing on their heads.

We immediately ran out and found a copy of that rare and silly British film, 'Lair of the White Worm.'
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Indonesian police ar always good for a laugh or two.  Why, here's a couple of headlines just from today's paper...

Five cops have been thrown in jail for 21 days because they raided a house in east Jakarta known for being used by (gasp!) meth smokers, here called sabu-sabu.  That's not the best part.

Seems in the raid, they found a water pipe, a handful of people and nothing else.  Not satisfied going home empty-handed, the cops took the folks to a local hospital for piss testing.  Turns out they had all enjoyed some sabu-sabu in the recent past, but that wasn't admissible evidence in court.  So, the chief ordered the folks released, since there was no actual drugs found.

Since the cops had gone through so much effort to bag nothing, they decided to call the family of one of the hapless users and demand Rp. 100 million (about $11,000) to secure the release of their little Precious.  At that rate, why is anyone payng taxes for law enforcement?  They seem to be self-supporting.
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In a related story, a cop at one of the local jails was busted for selling drugs to the inmates.  Guess there's no harm in that.  The boys are already in jail, so there's no extra effort to bust 'em.  No word on whether the cop took bribes to keep his mouth closed about who he sold drugs to.
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All this fun and games with politicians and police brings us around to the case of SugarBumps and the Headcrackers show.  If you've been reading along, then you will recall we told you about the woman at CitiBank who had (allegedly) stolen a couple of million dollars from her well-heeled bank customers.  Word on the street is that she had used her 'ample,' surgically-enhanced assets to cajole folks out of some serious jack.  Enough that she had several Mercedes-Benz SUVs and a Ferrari.  Keep in mind, she is/was an HR clerk.

Now, one of the top dogs in one of the political parties comes into the bank.  He's hopping mad because his credit card bill, which should have been about $4,000, but was topping out at $10,000, is obviously being inflated by the bank.

SugarBumps had made an appointment to sit down and talk with him at one of the branches, but when he arrived, she was not there.  Instead, someone else met him and showed him to the fifth floor, where Guido, Bonehead and Knuckles, local 'debt collectors' contracted by the bank, proceeded to 'discuss' his account.  The poor guy was later found dead.

This event caused the central bank, Bank Indonesia, to call for reform of 'debt collection' practices.  HAHAHAHA!  Ya think?

It also caused BI to take a closer look at its member banks, where they found additional cases of extortion, money laundering, graft, and other savory practices, not just at CitiBank, but several others, too.

If anyone wonders why we affectionately call them 'banksters,' wonder no longer!  Of course, since many readers here are American, you have had ample proof of this fact at home for some time.  Only, in America it's not a scandal, it's business-as-usual.
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It gives us no end of entertainment when people say, "It's hot!"  To which we can only respond, "No shit!"

It's Indonesia.  It is hot 24/7/28-30-31/12/10/100/1000/eon/epoch.  It's been hot in Indonesia since God created dirt.  Why is everyone amazed that it's hot?  It's the equator.  It never gets cold.  It has never been cold.  It couldn't be cold here if it wanted to be cold.  And besides, if it got cold then everyone would complain because it's cold.

Saying it's hot in Indonesia is akin to saying rocks are hard.
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They just passed an overhaul of the immigration law here.  It used to be that the foreign spouse of an Indonesian could get permanent residence here pretty easily.  The trick was, you couldn't work.  That permit was a whole different process.

We were damn disappointed.  We were enjoying just sitting around the shack doing nothing all day while the wives were out gettin' it done.  Now there's no excuse, once the law takes effect.  We're going to have to get a job.

Oh, they also extended the expiration from five years to ten, but you have to check in every five years.  One thing governments can be depended on to do is create ways to take money.  Even if the permit lasts ten years now, you still have to stop by every five and pay a fee.  The government giveth, the government taketh away. All part of the fun, que no?
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When we first came here, it was a status symbol just to have a cell phone.  Now, you have to have a BlueBerry.  It's gotten so bad that no one introduces themselves with names anymore.  They just say, "Hi, my BBM PIN is blahblahblah.  What's yours?"

There's even some new phone/tablet thingy on the market.  It looks ridiculous.  It's huge and when you take a call, you have to hold this massive chuck of [expletive] to your head.  It looks like that scene from one of the Zucker brothers movies where the guy answers the phone, and it's huge.  It's a real two-fisted cell phone.

Sort of a case of reverse miniaturization.
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Well, that's enough for now.  We are missing some prime lazy time in the shade of a coconut tree with three of four wives ministering to our every need (wive number one is still being surly).  You should have a pretty good sample of how crazy life can be here on the Far Side.  We'd list everything, but then we'd be here all day.  Oh, we're going to be here all day anyway.  Well, we don't want to work, so there.

Honey #2, bring me some more of that Siomay, would ja?  Honey #4, rub a little harder on the shoulders, OK?

See y'all next week.  Maybe the world will be a little more serious then.

Sampai jumpa!

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