15 August 2005


The boys at Lonely Planet certainly know how to sell a place. While looking for things to show everyone when they come to Jakarta today I stumbled across LP's invitation for us to "consider Jakarta the 'big durian' - the foul-smelling exotic fruit that some can't stomach and others can't resist".

This was the first but sadly not last strange metaphor that they made in their guide. Despite my objections to my home city being called a 'foul-smelling exotic fruit', I can at least see what they mean. This, however, is not the case with their description of our National Monument, the Monas (not a fancy name, just the merging together of the words Monumen Nasional). The Monas is, apparently, "a phallic symbol" of Indonesia's might. You what?

Firstly, Indonesia has very little might these days. Secondly, Monas is not phallic man! It's just a big tower with a chunk of heavy gold on the top. Sometimes you project your own imagination on to the world and, well, LP seem to have some imagination. When I spoke to Vid about our plans I told her about what I'd read. She'd never heard the word phallic before and I was loath to explain to her what it meant. We're taking everyone there anyway so they can have a look, take pictures and show their parents and friends that they've stood beneath Asia's largest willy.

You dirty dirty boy...


Post a Comment

<< Home