Welcome to Setarbak

Not sure who to credit for this one. Let me know if it’s you. 

Not sure where this originates, but it’s doing the rounds. A terrible example of Indonesia’s rampant property rights abuse, or a reflection of Indonesian-ness? (For non-Bahasa speakers, just say the first word quickly. The second means coffee, not, in this case, copy. Although that would have been more apt.)

(This guy has a picture of the same stall, which he says is in Malaysia.)

Actually Starbucks has branches elsewhere. Like this one in Aceh from a couple of years ago:

Radio 68h

Bring your own Internet. The WiFi’s lousy.

One Kid, A Tsunami, Nineteen Days At Sea, And A Soccer Match

This is nothing to do with technology, but it’s such a wonderful story I have to share it. Here’s how AP reported it:

Portugal welcomes a special fan: Indonesian tsunami survivor

LISBON, Portugal (AP): When Portugal walks onto the field Saturday to play Slovakia in a World Cup qualifying match, its captain will be holding the hand of a special guest – an 8-year- old Indonesian boy who survived alone for 19 days after the December tsunami.

Martunis, whose second name was not provided, was found on a beach in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, wearing a Portugal soccer shirt – prompting Portuguese soccer officials to invite him to Lisbon. Martunis survived by drinking puddle water and eating dried noodles after his parents were swept away by the tsunami. He was later reunited with his father and grandfather at a hospital.

Martunis, who names Manchester United’s Portuguese winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, as his favorite player, met with local schoolchildren Wednesday. Portugal’s Brazilian coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, bought Martunis and family a house in Indonesia last year on behalf of the team.

Now, the Portugal soccer federation is giving them euro40,000 (US$49,000) . Martunis will hold the Portugal captain’s hand – likely to be Luis Figo if selected – when the two teams enter the 65,000-seat Stadium of Light arena for the Group 3 match.

He’s an amazing little kid. My friend Tessa related recently how

I had the pleasure of meeting the young lad at the recent launching of a book that [Radio] 68H has published – Lolos dari Maut Tsunami – containing his and other stories from people who survived the tsunami.

68H invited Martunis and his father (his mother and two sisters died in the tsunami) to Jakarta for the book launch. Like every other seven year old boy I have ever met, after about five minutes he was predictably fidgeting in his chair and looking around for better entertainment, all the while sporting his favourite shirt, a Portuguese number 10 football shirt, that of his hero, Rui Costa, the same shirt he was wearing when he was swept away.

If anyone’s interested, I have an English translation of his story from the book. It makes for an extraordinary read, even for those of us who have heard every kind of tsunami escape story.

Footnote: Here’s a picture of him. I haven’t cropped it cos I love the expensive sofa he’s sitting on:


(Thanks Tessa)

Starbucks Comes To Tsunami-hit Aceh

Indonesians don’t have much time for trademarks, copyright and all that kind of thing, but they do have a great sense of humour and a resilience that inspires. Here’s a new cafe that has just opened for business near the airport in Aceh’s Meulaboh, one of the worst hit areas:


(picture courtesy of Radio68H. The full-sized picture is here. )

Warkop is Indonesian short-speak for warung kopi, or coffee stall. I love the scene, the plastic containers of kerupuk (thanks, Wicak!) and donuts, the expression on the face of the guy hanging out on the right, the ears on the little fella sitting at the back on the left, and I just hope that Starbucks, which is contributing to tsunami relief, doesn’t take umbrage. I calculate the nearest Starbucks to Meulaboh is in Medan, about 350 km away, so I don’t think they’re going to be attracting away custom. Still, as one wag pointed out to a friend who spotted the picture: ‘This Starbucks has wireless too. Absolutely no wires.’

Anyone For Banda Aceh?

Tourism to South and Southeast Asia may have taken a hit in the aftermath of the tsunami, but clearly not every travel agent thinks it’s a no-no — even to the capital of the hardest hit region, Indonesia’s Aceh. This contextual ad appeared on Google doing a search for Banda Aceh. The blurb is unsurprising, given the situation:


Good luck. I’m sure the Acehnese will be very pleased to see you, but you might have to bring your own stuff.

Indonesian Tsunami Relief Effort

I’m not in Indonesia at the moment, but my thoughts are with those tens of thousands of people in Aceh and the rest of Sumatra island, coping with the aftereffects of the tsunami. For those of you wishing to make contributions to the relief effort, one organisation is worth considering: Radio 68H, a network of independent radio stations throughout Indonesia with a strong presence in Aceh.

They have set up a fund (Indonesian only; English language page to be available soon) to help (as far as I know it’s in rupiah):

Name: PT Media Lintas Inti Nusantara
Bank: BCA
Branch: Utan Kayu, Jakarta
Number: 5800091090

I feel confident they will use the money frugally and wisely.