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A Dissatisfied Tourist: Indonesia

From time to time I enjoy reading the letters section in any of the major newspapers and one letter in particular in the Jakarta Post was a good one albeit full of criticism for Indonesia.

Here’s the letter for you to read:

Tourism in Indonesia

Indonesia could be one of the most beautiful countries on this planet but unfortunately the Indonesian people are making it more dirty year by year by throwing all the rubbish they have on the streets, out of cars (dangerous), along the roads or anywhere there is some place.

For a tourist this means that before you reach an interesting place, building or any other attraction you have to climb first over a mountain of rubbish before arriving at the place you want to see.

Then there are the immigration procedures. Before I departed to Indonesia I had to visit the Indonesian Embassy to apply for a visa. The procedure took 14 days and I had to supply them with: A filled-in form with all the information regarding my person, a copy of my income, a copy of my insurance, a copy of my booking or flight ticket, an invitation letter from a sponsor, and a copy of their identity card (KTP) of the sponsor etc. Thus after I received my visa the authorities should be completely informed about everything concerning my person.

In the airplane I had to fill in another document with almost the same details. After 60 days I had to extend my visa by the emigration office in the city of my sponsor, which stopped me traveling around for longer than four weeks. Then I had to fill in the same information but on four different documents.

By the second extension I had to give them fingerprints from both hands two times and give them two passport pictures. When you hand over the necessary documents they tell you to come back after a few days. I thought they needed the time to do their work but my thinking was completely wrong. The moment I came to pick up my passport the officials started their work and I had to wait until they finished – normally about two or three hours.

After two extensions I do not only have to go to the immigration office but also to Bandung, which cost me another day.

In Bandung I had to give officials a letter which I had received from the immigration office. From them I got another letter that I had to give to the immigration office in the city I was staying in.
With the new ministry for eradicating unnecessary bureaucracy I expected less documentation in my application process. However, the opposite was the reality.

A. MULDERS
Helden, Holland

Some people just aren’t satisfied and it’s obvious this guy hasn’t heard of jam karet or the laid-back process of government departments in the country.