Indonesia’s school flag ceremonies

Any Indonesian school event is incomplete without the requisite speech at the beginning. You need an upacara (oo-pa-cha-ra) — a flag ceremony – and it is an ordeal. Some schools do it every week but mine seems to think they take long enough to be reserved for special occasions. The police conducted one during my second week,…

A burning car and vigilante justice in Medan

There was a traffic jam at the wrong time of day in Medan on Jalan Dr. Mansyur. Before things had gotten really tight, a police officer on a motorbike pulled up alongside me and gently gestured to me to move into the left lane. Behind him were four other officers in green PolResta jackets. A…

Solving a motorcycle accident in Indonesia

One of the most dangerous things one can do in Indonesia is also an essential part of daily life for most people. That dangerous activity is riding a motorcycle. I do it every day. This is the story of my motorcycle accident. It was 7:45 a.m.on a Monday morning and I was driving down Jalan…