Any Harm or Real Danger?

Vanhelsing

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On the whole I've found Indonesia to be quite safe with any form of threat or harm to be rare, I guess perhaps the most dangerous situation I've found myself in on a regular basis being on the roads. Being in Jakarta during the 98 riots had the potential for harm but the armored personal carriers at each end of Jalan Jaksa would have dissuaded the angriest of mobs,I imagine. There was also an occasion being set up by the police that was a bit dodgy, an attempted break in to my house, a fishing boat breaking down off Komodo, a nightmarish bus ride traveling the Sumatran highway, but nothing where any real harm has come about to me.

Has anyone here been harmed or found themselves in danger in any way while living in Indonesia?
 

Puspawarna

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I avoided what would have been, for me, a real danger once: I went on a Java Lava trip to climb Halimun. The info said it would take 8 hours.

About an hour in - as I fell progressively more toward the back of the group, and struggled with the mud and steep incline - I realized that I would not be able to do 7 more hours of hiking at that intensity. So I turned around, walked down, and returned to the beach accommodations where we were staying.

About 1 am, a frantic knocking came on our door, wondering if I was there. It turned out that 8 hours was only the beginning - it took most people closer to 16, and they'd lost an uncertain number along the way (hence the checking to see if I was among the missing).

It eventually became clear that two people were lost on the mountain at night. They had stayed together at first, but ultimately separated when the older gentleman (a damn fine climber, I was told, but maybe he didn't realize that he'd lost some of his stamina with age) could no longer hike and resorted to crawling down. She was terrified of being on the mountain at night, so left him in order to hike faster.

A search party of locals was organized, and apparently they even heard some rustling at one point - but wouldn't investigate because of "hantu."

Well, all's well that ends well, and in the morning the lost hikers were found and everyone was accounted for. However, there were numerous minor casualties. We had invited a friend on the trip with us, and given a ride to someone else. The former broke his collarbone and the latter's hiking shoes were so badly destroyed that he couldn't do the next day's (much easier) hike. Those were just the people I was with, so I can imagine that there must have been many other similar stories.

In retrospect, I absolutely made the right decision to turn back. I had no idea what I was getting into (it was one of my first mountain hikes in Indonesia) and at best I would have ended up as one of the scared lost hikers on the mountain all night. At worst, I could have had a serious fall with who knows what consequences. I am much more fit now that I was then, and I still wouldn't have the endurance for a serious climb in Indonesia.

Other than that, I've been pretty safe here.
 

Puspawarna

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If I remember correctly, wasn't jogging a bit questionable at one time?
Other than a split second of fear when I didn't know that the guy was going to let go of me and speed off, I didn't find the boob-grabbing incident scary, just enraging and amusing, in equal parts. (I know I shouldn't be amused, because it could be genuinely traumatizing for some people. However, it is my good fortune to have the kind of temperament that lets me shrug it off.)
 

Anglian

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A chap had been fired from work, snuck back into the hangar and grabbed my shirt, I was about to give him a Glasgow kiss, when three of the boys jumped on him,wrestled him to the ground and sort of ruffed him up a bit and throw him off the property, two weeks later he was caught trying to sneak into the bosses office on Surdiman, he had a bag full of knives, handed over to the police, no more heard, a few months later I'm in Manga Dua shopping when low and behold there he is racing towards me, I prepare my self as you do, but to my surprise he greets me like a long lost brother, really strange, anywayhe goes off really happy, never seen him since, other than that never felt threatened or unsafe here
 

rugby

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I had finished my first 12 hours on a site in 2007 having flown in on an emergency to relive a guy down with botulism. My cross-shift here had been on the project since inception 5 months earlier and this was the final two weeks. He had been verbally "lighting fires" under some other sub-contractor's asses (all WNI) on location from the beginning regarding equipment cleanliness and taking shortcuts with procedures. An entire crew of 15 was staring at us through the window with arms crossed or on the hips during our first handover. He jumped up and kicked the door open yelling, "WHAT! WHAT! WHAT!" and walked hard towards the group. I went to the door not knowing what was happening (or the history) and watched in disbelief as they swarmed him, pushed him around and chased him running back towards our door. He made it back through pulling two guys who had latched on to him. The rugby forward in me instinctively shoved through, turned and blocked the doorway with my back facing the mob. Guys were trying to squirt past my legs, under my arms and that's when the rocks started flying past my head into our office. I was waiting for the first good hit to ring my bell while monitoring what was happening with the shoving match inside. Luckily the two that got in calmed down when separated from the mob and yelled to stop the rocks and by this time other contractors and management had arrived. We continued with no change in our personnel and wrapped up the project event free. I enjoyed the remainder of that first trip. I must say nothing like that has ever happened since and some of the folks involved have later become employees at one time or another and have proven to be the most diligent.
 

rabbit_39

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I'd say that for many Indonesians, in particular Jakarta, it's not safe. People have been beat up (to death) for wrongly accused of being a thief. Suspected thieves have been burned alive. I've witnessed a pick pocket in front of me the one time I tried to take the busway (okay, one of 4 attempts). I've witnessed a motorcycle thief grabbed someone's cell phone right off their hand. I've witnessed a motorcycle got hit by a car so hard the motorcycle stuck to the front grill of the car and the rider was thrown a few meters away (both at fault).
 

jstar

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Other than a split second of fear when I didn't know that the guy was going to let go of me and speed off, I didn't find the boob-grabbing incident scary, just enraging and amusing, in equal parts. (I know I shouldn't be amused, because it could be genuinely traumatizing for some people. However, it is my good fortune to have the kind of temperament that lets me shrug it off.)
Well, you really set a trend.

The phenomenom has gotten a name and is called begal payudara.


 

make_batik_great_again

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I have not felt threatened in Indonesia. But it has only been 8 months so far...so, let's see what the future brings :)

My wife who was born and raised in Indonesia before going abroad for a few years has experienced some bad stuff though. Few break-ins to her family's house for example. Has also been threatened with a knife in the bus. One time the thief who broke into her family's house came very close to her while she pretended to sleep to check if there might be some jewelry around her neck. She was still a young child at that time, but luckily is not traumatized by that incident.
 

jstar

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The bad thing is always that the people who you might have a conflict with, form a group. And then they feel superior and it can become risky.

Esp. with the taxi mafia on Bali you have to be careful. It starts with one guy, then suddenly you are surrounded by 10 people.
 

Euc-

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Esp. with the taxi mafia on Bali you have to be careful. It starts with one guy, then suddenly you are surrounded by 10 people.
I once hit a car parked on the side of the road in Sanur, my fault, belonging to one of these "taxi misterrrrr" guys.

If I would've been new to Indonesia I probably would've been very intimidated by how quick my car was surrounded by random people who started talking (read shouting) quite aggressively.

Got out, asked the group why they were reacting this way for a small accident with only some material damage which I am not running away from, nobody could answer. When I then added that I have my elderly parents in the car who were in Bali for the first time, is this really the impression that they want to give to tourists? All but the actual owner of the car left. Parked my car on the side, treated the guy to a bintang at the warung right next to us, negotiated to 300rb cash and everyone happy.

He still recognizes and greets me now, 5 years later, when I pass his spot in Sanur.
 

make_batik_great_again

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Anyone experienced or heard of organized crime like protection money? Is that a threat in this country or a very rare scenario so that people can start businesses without fearing that threat?
 

jstar

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^ Very common. See if you can find the video on the preman in Medan who 'protect' the Chinese. It's also in that movie with the Yusuf Kalla speech.
 

Euc-

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Anyone experienced or heard of organized crime like protection money? Is that a threat in this country or a very rare scenario so that people can start businesses without fearing that threat?
Happens all over, small and large business are requested for “donations”.

gets worse if you open a bar/club.
 

make_batik_great_again

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Oh, I did not hear about that in Indonesia yet. My (Indonesian) wife is considering to build a kos kosan or very small guesthouse (maybe 2 bungalows), considers also to offer language courses. So, this could lead to having to deal with criminals? :oops:
 

Vanuatu

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Oh, I did not hear about that in Indonesia yet. My (Indonesian) wife is considering to build a kos kosan or very small guesthouse (maybe 2 bungalows), considers also to offer language courses. So, this could lead to having to deal with criminals? :oops:

I sold a client a large plot of land with an older house on it, there plan was to demo the house and built 4 houses to sell. As soon as they demolished the house 4 separate youth / community organizations (mafia groups) had put their organizational flags at the gate and were all asking for 2 to 4 juta per month for protection fees so the new project wouldn't be vandalized or items stolen.
 

Euc-

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I sold a client a large plot of land with an older house on it, there plan was to demo the house and built 4 houses to sell. As soon as they demolished the house 4 separate youth / community organizations (mafia groups) had put their organizational flags at the gate and were all asking for 2 to 4 juta per month for protection fees so the new project wouldn't be vandalized or items stolen.
and if you don’t pay they’re the ones that vandalize it ?
 

make_batik_great_again

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I sold a client a large plot of land with an older house on it, there plan was to demo the house and built 4 houses to sell. As soon as they demolished the house 4 separate youth / community organizations (mafia groups) had put their organizational flags at the gate and were all asking for 2 to 4 juta per month for protection fees so the new project wouldn't be vandalized or items stolen.
Sounds like running a business in Indonesia is a bad idea, even a small kos kosan or language school/courses could be threatened? Or is this only a regional phenomenon and many other regions are safe(r)?
 

jstar

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I don’t think yayasan or so are really targeted, more commercial enterprises. But they even enter an Indomaret to ask money for Lebaran/Palestine/orphanage/etc. All in a rather threatening way.

Region dependency? Hmm. I haven’t seen it that much on SulUt or Bali, but even there...
 

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