Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
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Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Bajaj Unplugged

First of all, we would like to thank some of you who have left comments on our last blog which discussed bajaj drivers and how their profession may cause damage to their hearing. (If you don't know what we are talking about, maybe you'd want to click here first). There are some suggestions coming from Maya, Agus Set and Nad, while Jakartass has kindly dedicated one posting to offer a sensible solution to the problem. Thank you, folks!

(There seems to be a problem with the comment box. 2 comments did not appear although we could see them in our mailbox and we have published them. Strange. We should mention them here: thank you, Boywashington and Toyboy.)

We have summarized the suggestions as follows:

Agus Set seems to offer the most immediate and practical solution:
To avoid a permanent hearing ability risk, I think there is an easy solution for them: why don't used an "earplug" to reduce the intensity of the noise when they do their job?

Now why didn't we think of that. Agus Set, you're a genius. That's right folks. Earplugs. Those little things we use when our spouse snores...

Will it work? Yes! This is what NIDCD said [1]:
Can NIHL be prevented? NIHL is preventable. All individuals should understand the hazards of noise and how to practice good health in everyday life.
1. Know which noises can cause damage (those above 90 decibels).
2. Wear earplugs or other hearing protective devices when involved in a loud activity.

There you go.

How do we make bajaj drivers to use earplugs? Maya said:
...Maybe that could be a start...a conscious choice at least from the start for the bajaj drivers and being a responsible employer for bajaj recruiter to mention risks involved in the job s/he is offering...

Yes. Mention the risk and distribute earplugs. So the employer would tell the bajaj driver something like this:
"Here's the key to the bajaj, and here, some earplugs. Wear 'em if you still want to hear your little baby saying her first word and calling you Daddy..."

Boywashington is offering a similar yet more creative solution :
...just tell driver to put a headphone, better have musics on it. Spare some headphones for passenger as well...

Yes, we believe there is a risk to the passengers (although not as severe). Especially people like our colleague's maid who takes bajaj regularly.
Earplugs for the passengers? Or maybe just a sticker of warning and BYOE (Bring Your Own Earplugs)...

Any suggestions on how we can promote awareness among bajaj owners and drivers on the importance of earplugs? Is there some kind of organization out there that can help with this kind of thing? An NGO, or a charitable organization, or something?
Don't look at us, we are lucky enough to be able to blog once a week...
But if there is such organization that is willing to take on the challenge, we for sure will give some support. We (hopefully that includes you our beloved readers) can contribute either money, or earplugs.

In the meantime, we can work on Nad's and Jakartass' medium to long term solution, aiming at a less-noisy bajaj engine.

Nad said: we need to hold regular fun-competitions by which owners of bajaj with the least noise will be rewarded; or those who can come up with most effective yet affordable designs of mufflers for that matter.

While Jakartass suggested:
A bank of rechargeable batteries are the power source, so we have a vehicle that is quiet, doesn't pump out noxious fumes, is sturdy, quick (capable of c.80 kph) and comfortable for its drivers.

An electric-powered bajaj. That's just excellent. We have a name for it already: e-bajaj.

One final note, we should also mention a comment from Toyboy:
pantas supir bajaj enggak ada yang beli ipod...
Roughly translated: No wonder bajaj drivers don't buy ipod...

At first glance we thought it's one of those (not so) funny jokes. But then we saw this article on the inside page of the International Herald Tribune [2] (printed edition, sorry, no link) :
U.S lawsuit claims iPod use can cause hearing loss.

It is written that:
... The devices can produce sounds of more than 115 decibels, a volume that can damage the hearing of a person exposed to the sound for more than 28 seconds a day, according to the complaints. ...

If you remember, bajaj noise on average is 91 decibels [3].

Well Toyboy, at least now we know why bajaj drivers don't buy iPod...

[1] National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders - Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
[2] International Herald Tribune, Friday, February 3, 2006, Page 11
[3] Kompas - Kebisingan dan Getaran Bisa Akibatkan Kecelakaan Kerja


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You write:
Don't look at us, we are lucky enough to be able to blog once a week...

No Action, Talk Only.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from anonymous to anonymous above, on anonymus.

I dare to differ, you might say this blog has no action, but I would say at least someone (or a group of people) is/are reminding us of things that might be taken for granted by us and makes us think or give a little more attentions to this sort of matters.

On the other hand, you yourself could probably give some solutions toward some sort of an action probably ?

How about sending some letter about this matter to any of Jakarta's major newspaper ? Maybe to their 'Kontak Pembaca' ?

4:40 AM  
Blogger Jakartass said...

Earplugs? A good idea for the short term, but impractical for the rest of us in earshot.

That's why I proposed the 'milk floats'. I'd been considering that notion for some time, so thanks for giving me the peg for my post.

By-the-by, yesterday 'Er Indoors and Our Kid took a ride in a kancil for the first time. They were most impressed with its comfort.

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i beg to differ about using earplugs as the immediate solution. sure, it will block the engine noise, AND OTHER noises also, for example: that oncoming bus. if you can't listen to ongoing traffic, accidents will happen.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you 2nd Anonymous. Very nice of you.

Jakartass, yes, earplug is a short term solution, not the best solution.
They're uncomfortable and easy to get dirty.
In fact, our doctor told us that if we want to promote earplugs, we have to make sure we can distribute them regularly, to ensure bajaj drivers change to new ones once the old get dirty.
We don't want them to get ear infection...

The ultimate solution would be an electric bajaj. But will it ever happen?

Ryosaeba, very good point.
However, with the engine already really loud as it is, bajaj drivers can hardly hear anything anyway.
This guys practically sitting ON the engine!
Eventually, their hearing will go and they won't hear a thing.
So both way, it's a raw deal. At least with earplugs, they can minimize the risk of going deaf..

3:56 PM  

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