How to Fight Fire in Jakarta: You have Security Guards

Can we just wait for the arrival of firefighters during an emergency or not? Brave heroes they are, but it’s infamous Jakarta. Who else expect them to save you when you need the most? Traffic jam might be blocking their way. Oh, wait… You already have the most reliable partner ever in 10 meters away: Security guards!

Firefighters know well what they lack: SPEED. One of their answers to fulfill the big weak point is to train security guards as fire masters, too.

This very morning, I found a fire fighting training in Kuningan. The trainees were working for SOS, a security company dealing with ITC Kuningan and Mall Ambassador. According to a person attended the event, there were guards who belonged to another company in charge of Carrefour there. I failed to identify the name of the company.



The most astonishing part for me was the way they extinguish fire. They tackle it. In this modern era, for them, fire extinguisher was just an additional. They use burlap. Wet gunny sacks, seriously! Master Fire was posing like a boxer, but he was saying “….hide ….. cover your hands….” Definitely it was not for karate. He was teaching how to use burlap as your shield and tackle fire.


What is the pose? Master Fire was teaching really reckless way to extinguish fire




It was the training how to seal the fire. Cutting chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and fuel, and goodbye disaster. It was not so easy. They needed to show endurance to heat and courage to against big flames.

For the first part of the training, trainees dealt with relatively small ones, one by one. Second part was larger, then two guards made a team to cover larger areas. One gunnysack, two, and if there were still flame between them, third was thrown on. Don’t you think it’s cool? With the minimum equipment, security guards can extinguish fire.


gunny sack, seriously?


cover and fire cannot eat oxygen anymore


Why do they carry on such a primitive way? The answer is its efficiency. It is possible for a mall managing company to equip developed fire extinguishing machines, but they need to lower costs. Indonesia’s minimum wage is still low, and it would take time for companies to spend money for expensive devices.

You would have noticed that there are so many security guards everywhere. low labor cost is a reason, and there are so many risks. It is becoming better, but the fear for terrorism is not yet diminished. Heavy tasks for security guards already, but also as disaster fighters, too. I heard that some did take great role to deal with massive flood in several factories.

ITC Kuningan and Mall Ambassador are doing the fire fighting training once in three months. Not only male guards but also females. There was a female security guard doing well in the training. Her male partner was afraid of fire and it took time for him to tackle fire, but she was fast. No hesitation.

Hypothetically if the fire was only on floor and not reaching walls, the primitive way can extinguish it. I imagined a day 10 or 20 security guards made a team and accomplish the mission. Their practice is really helpful for households, too. Don’t forget to prepare a gunny sack. Alternatively, you need a thick cloth or towel and find a water place. If your house has a fire extinguisher, please check where exactly it is and you understand how to use it. Unfortunately, I am not sure I would be able to find it in Jakarta when I need.


Angel smile, but aggressive


You think female is weak? Old-fashioned!



A Review of Killers (2014): A Great Mix of Funny Indonesia and Stone-Headed Japan




The plot of the movie is thoroughly dark and you cannot expect any happy ending. Killers (2014) is not my taste, however, I say “go” for anyone except children for three reasons—the beauty of linking two storylines, the mix of humor, extremely thrilling violence.

Firstly, the greatest part of the film is the success of linking totally different characters living in two countries—Japan and Indonesia. There is an ‘established’ serial killer in Tokyo, Shuhei Nomura (Kazuki Kitamura, 北村一輝), and he records his ‘masterpieces’ and post on internet. Bayu Aditya (Oka Antara), a cameraman in Jakarta, becomes attracted to it and that changes himself, gradually and gradually. You cannot turn your eyes away from the struggle of Bayu. The climax is when the two cross the path.

Secondly, the film does not forget funny factors. It should be the work of two Indonesian directors—Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto. It is not an easy task to tell in texts, then please check it at a theater. The actors will ease your tension several times.

Typically Japanese filmmakers are not good at adding humor in serious movies. They tend to stick to create one world in one color. The collaboration would have provided nice lessons to Japanese films, too.

Lastly, Killers has extremely crazy violence. Mostly scream and blood. Watching the movie with children is NOT recommended.

Oka Antara, an Indonesian actor

Oka Antara, an Indonesian actor



I got a chance to talk with Oka today and he said, “Bayu has a daughter and her afterlife will be nightmare.” As the movie’s title suggests, a killer makes another killer. I personally believed that the message of the film was how to overcome the dark side of humanity, but the hopelessness was a nice theme to discuss about. Killers depicts the reason of the birth of a killer and the chain results.

I would like to point out one more thing. According to Oka, Kitamura was not a good English speaker and they had to use a translator to communicate with (Oka is Indonesian-English bilingual). He said Kitamura is an awesome actor and can read what directors or counterparts want to him. It should be a great plus for Japanese actors to experience more in international fields.

Excited movie-lovers waiting for Killers

Excited movie-lovers waiting for Killers

General Strike in Jakarta


Nothing to do but to take pictures! Peace is good, really.
Ill write followup soon.

Jakarta’s Priority is Monkeys, Not Children

Little beggars are having tough lives with a monkey in Kuningan, Jakarta.

Little beggars are having tough lives with a monkey in Kuningan, Jakarta.

Today I am a little serious about what Jakarta is doing. According to an Indonesian English paper, The Governor Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is eager to protect monkeys, but shows less passion for helping street children. I would like to raise a question about the move.

Jakarta Globe’s article published on Oct 21st, City Set to Free Masked Monkeys, says that Jakarta is going to eliminate topeng monyet, or masked monkey performances, to save exploited monkeys by cruel tamer. That is a follow-up of Jakarta Ramps-Up Efforts to End Masked Monkey Performances on Oct 19th.

The greatest improvement of newer one is the clear perspective of the writer. Deti Mega Purnamasari questioned whether helping monkeys with putting struggling street children aside was correct or not. The article itself didn’t focus on the issue. I guess it was because of Jokowi’s ability to catch journalists’ hearts. He should be the hero and almost no one has said bad things at him.

I, personally, cannot stop saying “what are you doing, Jakarta!” My point is simple: Children before monkeys.

The monkey show is not actually a performance, but just a begging strategy. The lovely friend with a long tail is exploited and I also believe the current situation should be improved.

However, dozens times more children are also exploited by poor or bad adults. Rumor says there are syndicates forcing kids to get money from people and when I work around streets I often see guys hiding behind child beggars. It is possible that they are poor parents, too. Whatever, children are used as tools.

monas-venders 197

Time to leave..

The greatest concern of me is the possibility of worsening exploited kids’ life by just getting rid of monkeys. Who can say that the guys who used to have monkeys is not going to use alternatives? You know what, the most likely candidates are kids.

I would like to know the definition of topeng monyet for Jokowi. Some monkeys are trained well and can do several performances, but there are also lazy mascot-ish ones. The latter sometimes collaborate with street children to collect money. Does Jakarta literally mean monkeys wearing masks?

Monkeys with the creepy masks call pities and photographers love to take photos, including me. In my view, the concern of the governor is mainly on international image. According to Jakarta Globe, Jokowi said, “the exploitation of monkeys for performances has become an international issue and the city administration will act immediately to save them.”

I cannot clearly remember, but this year a pic showing a chained monkey wearing a mask got an award as one of the best journalistic photos. Is it the reason?

I believe it is far better to allocate the budget to help and educate street children. Jakarta is helping them with smart card, but does Jokowi know there are many children who do stop begging money although they can live properly without doing it?

If the disease of monkeys are the problem, the easiest way is to execute them. To buy monkeys from owners, preparing for havens for them and train former-owners to get new jobs—how much will you use for getting more popularity, Mr. Jakarta?


Kota Tua 078

Street Children in Jakarta

Jakartan Heart

Jakartan Heart

“Which song do you like?” A street musician trio asked me. I said “Laskar Pelangi,” the only Indonesian song I recalled at the moment.
Their performance was not fantastic. It was like high school student band which had started their activity several weeks ago.
Imperfect and unsophisticated, but the song echoed loud at the center of the capital city. It was really touchy.
I was thinking about the shape of Jakarta with listening the corny sound. There were many luxury hotels and malls there, but in Indonesia, the heartwarming archipelago, it looked like odd monuments.

Cattle Have No Mouth

Idul Adha 131

You feel intense smell of animals, and Idul Adha, Festival of the Sacrifice, is coming. It is a happy celebration day for Muslim friends, and it is not the best one for cattle.

Do cows know their fate? Who knows.

Idul Adha 065