Lots of wrongdoings get a pass because it's "nggak enak"

fastpitch17

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
3,201
I will not drive a car here. I just can't imagine myself in traffic like there is behind a wheel of a car. I could see myself killing someone. I drove a motor and just used my driving defensively skills and added some Indonesian methods to it and all was good. I swore that if the time ever came when I was unable to see everything going on around me and from close to far in front of me and be able to anticipate the move of others, I would hang up evennthe motor driving. Sold the motor a few months ago and hung it up. Eyes are getting a bit blurry so now it is all grab car and go car.
 

harryopal

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,234
My "Top 5" grievances was culled from my experience in Jakarta, Bogor, Semarang, and Yogya. Of course there are exceptions, but it's widely practiced.

In the US, there's a generalization that Asians can't drive. As an Asian I can definitely see why this is a stereotype. It's not because we suck at driving, we simply don't give a crap. Imagine an Indonesian person driving in the States. They just might go in reverse if they miss their highway exit :ROFLMAO:
Well as with all generalizations there are happy exceptions. However, interesting recollections from the 70s when Chinese driven taxi pick ups from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and the drivers often had this fatalistic approach where they would overtake a line of trucks on a curving road where there was no way of seeing if something was coming from the opposite directions. Or they might go off the bitumen and storm up the left side of the road.

Am now comfortable driving here but take nothing for granted. At roundabouts motorcyclist seem amazed when, if they are on my right, I wave them through. And if overtaking a motorcyclist I give a little toot in case they were about to make a sudden, unsignalled right hand turn.
 

Dharma Police

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
232
My wife, a Jakarta native, does most of the driving when we are on a home visit in Jaktim. She is also quite comfortable driving in the Midwestern USA and has no problem at all with the norms and expectations in both setting. I certainly acknowledge that there are cultural differences that manifest themselves in driving etiquette, but to imply that Indonesians are culturally hidebound and unable or unwilling to adapt strikes me as a stereotypical generalization and a bit racist.
I grew up in one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and have lived here a total of 13 years. I guarantee you're more of a bigot than me. The biggest indicator is I'm not some white knight that speaks in absolutes.
 

ChrisTex

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
917
Based on the original topic, a friend and I were talking about this earlier. One of the issues he pointed out was pride and how often people won't admit they are wrong. It is almost as if there is something shameful about this,

On the driving topic: my wife does the driving in Indonesia and I do the driving in Texas.
 

Dharma Police

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
232
Based on the original topic, a friend and I were talking about this earlier. One of the issues he pointed out was pride and how often people won't admit they are wrong. It is almost as if there is something shameful about this,

On the driving topic: my wife does the driving in Indonesia and I do the driving in Texas.
Another example of 'saving face' being misinterpreted. If you scratch up someone's car door, inconveniencing the car's owner for a week while it gets repaired, I don't care who you are - you apologize. Enak aja get to keep your pride.
 

SamR

Active Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
36
Another example of 'saving face' being misinterpreted. If you scratch up someone's car door, inconveniencing the car's owner for a week while it gets repaired, I don't care who you are - you apologize. Enak aja get to keep your pride.
Had an angkot take a sharp turn and hit the front of my cars it changed into my lane. So much so that my front bumper shifted position. What was amazing was not the apology he gave me but that he could apologize AND gently make it clear that he was not going to pay for any damages. Right up there as far the “best” non-apologies I’ve experienced.

But to discuss the original topic:

-As far as domestic help goes, my wife and I have yet to experience domestic help that is both honest and competent. Previously we had one that was competent but would always pocket the change from the water gallon guy, the gas guy, or any change when we would ask her to go the mart (she would simply say she lost the receipt).

Currently we have one who is honest but was careless enough to forget turning off the stove one afternoon as she went to take a nap. Thankfully nothing happened. We’ve just learned to prioritize honesty over competence though at the same time, letting them know what’s “at stake” usually causes them to try upping their game.

-The one that I haven’t figured out is the stealing and taking. My wife let a friend borrow her dress once so this friend can wear it at a wedding and well...it was never returned. Why? I’m not sure. Though my wife now knows never to let this friend borrow anything.

When this friend became a DPR candidate, my wife and I silently prayed that she wouldn’t get elected (she didn’t). Because if the incident with the dress was anything to go by, this friend had a high chance of becoming one of those “politician x involved in corruption scandal y”. If she can’t be honest with the small things, it’ll be difficult for her to be honest with the big things right, right?

-And as far as “face” goes in the workplace. From my experience, “Mohon ditinjau kembali, Pak” (Please reconsider the decision) is as blunt as a subordinate is going to get as far as questioning a superior goes.

And it’s always the “You can always be upfront with me” superiors who are the most authoritarian/feudal/anti-criticism.
 

Dharma Police

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
232
@SamR $11 a day is the average low salary for Indonesian workers , so of course the angkot driver can't pay for the damages to your car. When I was hit by a truck I just asked that the driver pay for my insurance premium. 200 thousand was quite a lot for him I'm sure, but I needed at least a non-verbal "apology", an admission of guilt. Your guy actually said sorry. That to me is worth way more than 200K.

As far as domestic help, my wife told me about an agency that specializes in maids that are not live-in, plus they speak English. I might consider them. I'm done with drivers, forever. I drive 40 minutes each way for work and can use ride sharing apps. The savings from that alone will afford us a nice holiday every year.
 

Nimbus

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
1,632
Nggak enak goes both ways, you just need to constantly remind that to people.

You’d be surprised at the number of Indonesians who don’t tolerate bullshit, we just express it differently. I know of people who can remain utterly composed, polite, and friendly while basically tearing others apart with nice words.
 

Banana72

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
713
I'm sure I have plenty of 'nggak enak' stories, but maybe this one is considered one of them....

You drive your car to a store, park your car...while the abang parkir (whether 'formal' with blue shirt or not) just looks at you...AFTER you turn off your engine, and get out of the car, THEN he approaches, and say "Oh pak maaf, bisa maju/mundur/belok sedikit?" One of my pet peeves. Maybe they're too 'kind' not to interrupt you while you're parking....
 

Dharma Police

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
232
Nggak enak goes both ways, you just need to constantly remind that to people.

You’d be surprised at the number of Indonesians who don’t tolerate bullshit, we just express it differently. I know of people who can remain utterly composed, polite, and friendly while basically tearing others apart with nice words.
Yup, for work-related dialog I've learned to use technology to my advantage. Texting from a calm, collected script has been very useful. Apparently I'm not as as fluent as I think I am. Some missing words or a wrong phrase in Bahasa has resulted in more miscommunication.
 

nbailey

New Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Messages
16
I found this rather interesting. And I am glad I am not the only one with this opinion. I don't drive, had a driver for a year and it was horrible, never had a maid my wife does a rather good job. I have learned over the years to just let it go and now am very friendly with my local blue bird drivers and my stress has lowered. If I had a dollar for every meeting someone was an hour + late for I would probably be a millionaire.
 

HappyMan

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
891
I found this rather interesting. And I am glad I am not the only one with this opinion. I don't drive, had a driver for a year and it was horrible, never had a maid my wife does a rather good job. I have learned over the years to just let it go and now am very friendly with my local blue bird drivers and my stress has lowered. If I had a dollar for every meeting someone was an hour + late for I would probably be a millionaire
You should take less meetings. Kalau selalu sibuk, nggak enak. 😆
 

Dharma Police

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
232
I found this rather interesting. And I am glad I am not the only one with this opinion. I don't drive, had a driver for a year and it was horrible, never had a maid my wife does a rather good job. I have learned over the years to just let it go and now am very friendly with my local blue bird drivers and my stress has lowered. If I had a dollar for every meeting someone was an hour + late for I would probably be a millionaire.
For lack of a better word, I have "life hacks" to also live a more peaceful, stress-free existence. No driver, no maid. Although a nanny is something we'll need soon. Taking our young kids along to the market is proving to be a major hassle. Plus we need alone time!

As far as the common practice of being late, my OP was from an experience I had a couple of years ago. I just try to let it go now. We have since put in a system at our office that writes them up. Three strikes, and they're out (within reason). Ya udah.
 

Follow Us

Latest Expat Indo Articles

Latest Tweets by Expat Indo

Latest Activity

New posts Latest threads

Online Now

Newest Members

Forum Statistics

Threads
5,012
Messages
78,246
Members
2,268
Latest member
Lyndal
Top Bottom