Risky business in Jakarta

There’s a time for playing it safe…

… and a time for risky business!

There is a lot of talk why there are so many accidents in Indonesia, and noone points out the obvious: an addiction to high-risk behavior, Tom Cruise style.

Live life on the edge and never mind the consequences. You’re going to die some day, and it’s all preordained anyway. Condoms, lifejackets, clean needles and seatbelts are for pansies and non-filter super strength kreteks are for breakfast. Chemical packed street foods brighter than a rainbow. Overtaking at 150kms on the inside emergency lane going to Bandung. Motorcycles as precariously balanced as a tightrope walker and construction workers one wrong foot away from a messy ending.

overloaded (back)

And the reason for the high-risk behavior in Indonesia?

Well poverty could be to blame. Because if you haven’t got much, then, well, you don’t actually have much to lose. So the experts reason, and judging by the way the bus drivers here tend to disregard the value of human life I’d say they were probably right.

But some things are much more dangerous than others, of course. So I wouldn’t get too worried – not unless you’ve got one of those cancer sticks hanging out of your mouth while you’re driving home. After all, risks must be seen in proportion.

Probabilities of dying from a certain cause in a one-year period (in the States). Source: Harvard

Bathtub drowning (1 in 840,000)
Cancer (1 in 510)
Playing high school or college football (1 in 59 million)
Homicide (1 in 18,000)
Hornet, wasp, or bee sting (1 in 6.1 million)
Lightning (1 in 3 million)
Motor vehicle accident (1 in 6,700)


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