08 August 2008

The Entrepreneurial Indonesian Spirit

One must tip their hat to the never say die Indonesian entrepreneurial spirit. The recent serial killings that have been uncovered in Jombang, East Java, have unleashed plenty of activity in the area. The increased number of journalists and spectators of the macabre have descended on the place. This has meant that a small service industry has sprung up to serve the needs of those in town.

The services have seen some enter into the merchandise trade. These entrepreneurs are selling pictures of the suspect, Verry Idam Henyansyah (aka Ryan) (pictured), for IDR 4,000 a piece. The happy snaps of the alleged serial killer are selling like hot cakes and most trades seem to have been able to sell a few hundred of them. Funnily enough, the picture is one that has been downloaded from the Internet.

The other big entrepreneurial gig is in food and drinks. A large crowd needs to be fed and watered. True to the Indonesian spirit of entrepreneurship these traders have arrived in force. This is something that I do not recall from other places that I have visited in the world. I am not sure that it is unique to Indonesia, perhaps I just have not been to the "right" places on my other travels.

Nevertheless, whenever there is an incident there will be enterprising Indonesians on the scene within minutes selling food and drinks. I recall an accident scene a few years ago where a car had overturned and caught on fire. No one was trapped inside but the burning car and possible explosion meant that a crowd gathered at a safe distance, me include. Within minutes there were people selling bottles of tea, peanuts, fried snacks, the whole works as a matter of fact.

Some people might be amazed or surprised to read about the traders that have emerged around the scene of a horrific series of crimes such as these must have been. For me it is just another example of the Indonesian ability to make a Rupiah no matter what the circumstances.

Long live the entrepreneurial spirit!

7 comments:

Brett said...

Come on John, this is no different than the souvenir vendors at "Ground Zero" in New York, or the Jack the Ripper tours in London.

Rob Baiton said...

I guess...

Dilligaf said...

Gay Serial Killer Fun Park

Funnily enough.....

Rob Baiton said...

Funnily enough indeed...

I had read your entry before I posted this I think.

Ground Zero and Jack the Ripper tours aside, I was really thinking about those micro traders; the teh botol (bottled tea) and gorengan (fried snacks) sellers that seem to come out of the woodwork whenever a crowd develops.

Somewhat in contrast to the organised trinket sellers and tour operators that develop over time.

A serial killer theme park would seem to have some potential :D

therry said...

Don't the Cambodians already done similar things like that? Making their ex-prisons and torture chambers as a theme park or something?

Rob Baiton said...

Therry...

I don't know that the Cambodians made the Killing Fields into a theme park. It is by most accounts a museum to remember the dead.

Visiting Cambodia is something that is on my bucket list.

apad 2 said...

No doubt, the chap is totally fair.