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Indonesians love their handphones.

From the rich who think nothing of splashing out a small fortune on the latest models, to elementary school kids and even maids and street-food vendors, handphones are much coveted in Indonesia. Nokia must be really raking in the money here.

And Indonesia really is the perfect market: there can be few nations where people like to gossip and chat as much as Indonesians do. Besides this, Indonesians also like to show off their latest gadgets.

So by just making a simple call on a trendy new handphone model, it’s possible for an Indonesian to get a double whammy of instant gratification. Because not only can these handphone owners fulfill the deep inward urge that Indonesians have to gossip, but, at the same time, they can also lap up the envy of their friends.

Now handphones can be very useful, I’ll agree. But they can also be intensely annoying.

Like when you are in the cinema deeply engrossed in a film, and then some twat’s handphone starts blaring out an annoying ring tone.

Also incredibly irritating is the obsession with text messaging. Why some people seem to get a perverted kick in taking ages to type out a text message on a ergonomically useless keypad when they could simply just phone the person instead is beyond me. I’ve never sent a text message and I never will do.

And what’s so cool about these new handphones anyway? Who wants to play an antiquated game from the 80s on a handphone when you can play Quake 4 on a high performance PC, or listen to an MP3 music file when you’ve got an iPod?

Perhaps the most useful function – other than the phone of course - is the camera. Not for the quality, but the possibilities.

Indeed, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that the Saudis have already banned handphones that have built-in cameras.

They took this course of action after a number of girls had been expelled from schools and universities for – shock horror - using the phones to photograph their classmates.

But here in Indonesia, some handphone users are taking things further. A lot further in fact. Because the big trend now in Indonesia is of handphone users taking uncompromising photos of girlfriends and then posting them up on the Web for everyone to see…

Wow!





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