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.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Noisy folks at the back

A colleague, needed to go to the airport very early in the morning, took the airport bus.
The bus was not full, but enough people to fill the seats. Still waiting for its schedule to leave, the bus stood idle, while some more passengers were trickling in.

It was really quiet. Still very early in the morning, the passengers probably did not get enough sleep to be able to catch the bus, and all they wanted to do was to be left alone in peace until they get to the airport.

And then two men got on the bus. They pretty much broke the silence by talking loudly to each other while going to their seat.
And they kept talking and talking and talking. Very loudly.

The bus finally started moving.

The folks at the back were still talking. Even louder now, competing with the sound of the bus engine ramming away.
Some passengers got very irritated they looked back to express their displeasure. But the two noisy folks -- either did not understand the civilized sign of 'shut up', or simply being ignorant -- kept on talking.

Interestingly enough, nobody would want to stand up and tell the noisy folks to shut up. Nobody. People just looked at each other, shaking their heads, looked back to show they were annoyed, but nobody stood up to speak their mind.

It's interesting to see how much we, the people, were willing to tolerate.

It's probably because we all just want to be left alone.
I don't bother you, you don't bother me, we all get to the airport, end of story.
We don't want any problems. Life is hard enough already, why add more.

Of course if we think of the bus as a democracy, the passengers could find a candidate among themselves: someone who they think can represent them and is best in handling the situation. That individual would then, on behalf of all passengers, stand up and give the noisy folks some perspective: 'Excuse me, but we all want you two to keep it down a bit...'

The two noisy folks would (hopefully) understand the message. And understand that the message -- although came from one individual -- reflected the will of all other passengers. They would turn their volume down, and everybody got their peace. Long live democracy.

But just like our country's democracy, the bus' democracy could also bring undesirable results:

Here's how:

The passengers elected a representative, the representative went to the back of the bus to tell the noisy folks to shut up. But instead of delivering the message, that person ended up joining in the conversation with the two folks and just as loud...
Now the passengers are stuck with three loud people instead of two !

Or this could also happen:

The passengers looked for a representative, but nobody wanted to risk it. No candidate.
In the end, the only people who were willing to be elected are the two noisy folks at the back !