Call me "Daddy"!

Jakarta Travel Blog

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What Jakarta lacks in sights, it makes up with surprises ...

The thing that struck me about Jakarta (beyond the obvious factors like heat, grime, crowd) ... was the friendliness of its people. For a city of 17 (or is it 9 ... depends on who you speak to) million people, I find that people have a lot of time to answer your questions, help with directions etc ... ranging from hotel staff, taxi drivers, shopkeepers and the general people you stop on the street. Some Asians would consider Indonesians to be their poor cousins but in this respect I think Indonesians (or at least Jakartans) are far richer than many others. Here's a salute to you Jakartans!

There was something that I found a bit hard to swallow ... people generally address others (of reasonable age) as Bapak / Pak (father; for men) and Ibu / Bu (mother; for women). Can you imagine me being called Bapak / Pak left, right and centre? Daddy, what would you like for breakfast? Daddy, will you be checking-out from our hotel today? Cringe, cringe, cringe.

Strangely for the world's largest Muslim country, there were lots of women wearing short skirts and had their heads uncovered ... more so than in Malaysia. And they have their local edition of Playboy ... Not even secular Singapore have that!!!


mbbloom says:
Bapak Ibu Oum strange isn'it but remember I was your sister one day
Posted on: Aug 07, 2008
siutiah says:
haha, i don't know if you wrote this after or before i replied to you about it.. but yeah, in indo it's not really considered "daddy", it's pretty formal, you're more likely to call your mum and dad "pa" and "mama", whereas "bu" and "pak" when used with non-relatives is more interpreted as "sir" and "maam". But of course this is Indonesia, where we use kinship terms for everyone - people call me adik/kakak even though i'm not related to them. Tante/Om are also used for non-relatives (usually for friends of parents though). so it's not really strange for an indonesian to call a stranger the same word they might use to call their mother, because it's a sign of respect, like an age signal.
Posted on: May 24, 2008
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