What would Lottie think?


In einem Artikel der “Manado Post” reflektierte Christiania Febryana über das Verhalten von Touristen, die sie auf dem Markt in Tomohon beobachtet hatte, wo u.a. Hunde, Wildschweine und Pythons zum Essen angeboten werden. Sie glaubt, daß man diese Märkte als „objek wisata“ (Touristen-Ziel) ausbauen und nutzen sollte, hat aber offensichtlich keine Ahnung, was jene Touristen vermutlich dachten. Man fragt auch nicht, und die indonesische Art, nicht direkt zu sagen, was man denkt, verhindert kommunikativen Fortschritt. Oft begrüßen die Minahasa begeistert, daß ich ihre Märkte und religiösen Monstrositäten fotographiere – ohne zu ahnen, wie ich die Szenerie empfinde. Daß im Jahr, als Manado Welt-Tourismus-Stadt war, die Besucherzahl sogar zurückging, hat aber wohl eher seinen Grund in der weltweiten Wirtschaftskrise.
Tatsächlich sind diese Märkte – in dem dürftigen kulturellen Gesamtangebot Nordsulawesis – auf ihre Weise interessant: Sie stellen das Ekelhafteste dar, was man hier überhaupt besichtigen kann. Nicht nur daß die meist dunkel-engen, sehr niedrig mit Plastik-Planen und Wellblech überdachten Gänge ständig die Kopfhaut des unpassend großen Touristen bedrohen, man watet auch – je nach Angebot – in meist grauer Gülle, die sich nur wenig unterhalb der Warenauslagen befindet. Bei permanenten Märkten werden die Buden gleich als Übernachtungsplätze benutzt. Dreck, Gestank und die ganze unhygienische Anlage sind so abstoßend, daß mir regelmäßig der Appetit vergeht. Dabei ist das Chaos aber fotographisch SEHR attraktiv. Lottie hatte nach dem Erlebnis von in Gitter-Käfigen eng eingepferchten Schweinen schon keine Neigung mehr, weiterhin indonesisches Schweinefleisch zu konsumieren. Das Zeitungsfoto zeigt Hunde, die zum Schlachten bestimmt sind. Noch dekorativer sind ihre abgetrennten Köpfe, aufgereiht auf dem Tisch des Schlachters, der mein Nachbar ist. Das tagelange Jaulen und Weinen neu gelieferter, angeketteter junger Hunde ist Teil der mich umgebenden absurden Symphonie. Manchmal läßt sich das Heulen der Muezzine, der christlichen Prediger, der besoffenen Party-Sänger und der gequälten Hunde akustisch nicht mehr eindeutig unterscheiden.

5 Gedanken zu „What would Lottie think?

  1. Lottie has had to rely on Google translate and we both know how that can lead to problems!
    Nice post Tom, and if my understanding of what you have written is correct

  2. Lottie has had to rely on Google translate for this so I hope that nothing has been lost in my understanding of your post. As an artist myself, I understand you being drawn to the darker side of things. I think I could deal with everything that you describe as I regularly visit areas of Jakarta which are not dissimilair to this place. The stench, the shit, the caged animals are all part of the experience whether one likes it or not. I would find the dogs in cages, ready to be slaughtered very hard to stomach (I hate to see any animal in a cage) but I have seen so many things in the past 6 months that I think are shocking and cruel that I am no longer surprised. I watched a film about Bali the other day and the work of a doctor who is helping to release mental patients back into the community. These poor, tortured souls have been caged or chained, their muscle wasted legs clamped into stocks, some for as long as 30 yrs. All this because their families are frightened and did not understand their condition. With the right medication and help, their lives can be turned around. (I can send you the link to the film if you are interested and have not already seen it.)

    So what does Lottie think? I think living in Indonesia has opened up my eyes to many things, good, bad and ugly. I would find moving back to the UK very dull now after living here. I doubt any of the meat that I eat here has had a good life and I hate to even think about the abbatoirs. I feel blessed to be able to live in this extraordinary part of the World and although there are many things here that make me very angry, sick to my stomach, and I wish that I could change, there are many more things that gladden my heart, fill me with hope and help teach me about life.

  3. Reblogged this on Lottie Nevin und kommentierte:
    Tom is a loyal and supportive follower of my blog. He lives on Sulawesi, is a rice farmer and an artist. His experiences of living and working in Indonesia sometimes differ from mine, but then he has been here a long time and I am just a ’newly wed‘. I always appreciate his comments as they add some balance to my often rose-tinted view of life. I struggle with the German so have to resort to Google translate to understand his posts. ‚What would Lottie think?‘ demanded a reply! Thank you Tom.

  4. Right! Nothing to complete.
    I wouldn’t say that I’m drawn to the darker side. I wish it wouldn’t exist. There are so many tourist-blogs from authors, who are full of illusions about Indonesia – like I was – so I think, as someone who has the chance to look every day deep inside society, I should report about that TOO. For example, I had to immigrate to Indonesia to experience standing before a extremely corrupt judge, being accused of having photographed someone who disturbed society with his son’s private mega-soundsystem (I came free, the son had to pay). So if someone really has to interact with the people here, he will have to take care about not to de drowned in the mud. I simply could describe the 2 Mafia-guys some hours ago, who will get some money back from a female official who betrayed us in an real estate transaction. And these happenings never were single events. They appeared in permanence during 12 years – to a person who is used to fight back but hasn’t even basic civil rights.

  5. Tom, I didn’t mean ‚drawn to the darker side‘ as a bad thing. I believe as artists that we seek out the truth, that the flaws and the cracks are as much about the beauty as anything else. Your blog and writing about your experiences in Indonesia are very valuable and I am sure much appreciated. Only time will tell how we fare here and I’m under no illusions as to the dangers and pitfalls of which you describe. Your last line ‚-to a person who is used to fight back but hasn’t even basic civil rights‘ is a sobering reminder to us all of what we sign up to when we chose to live in Indonesia.

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