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A Smile at Prices of Hot Spices

04 Jan

Indonesia is a unique country, for I cannot say it is impossible to live in. I still have to use a positive sentence to start the year.  We are still celebrating new year, and we passed Idul Fitri and Idul Adha, two most sacred days for moslems. Over the two latter, prices of hot spices–you might call it chillis and we called it “cabe”–was hotter than mercurius. We usually cook special food to celebrate Idul Fitri (hot “ketupat rendang” or “ketupat opor” added with ground chillis and onions). We also cook “kare kambing” or “lamb curry” after we sacrifice the lamb in the morning. Curry, as we know it, needs spices mostly chillis.

So what happened when it’s Christmas time? Do we cook spicey food? Not too many. New year’s eve? We cook spaghetti with is tomato sauce, and chillis if required–not a must. We serve pudding and other sweeties to close the year. Why on earth the price of chillis per kilogram went from IDR 50,000 to IDR 100,000 overnight on the first week of  2011? This is amazingly outrageous or outrageously amazing…!

Blame it on the extreme weather? Awww, come on… the sun is still there at certain times of the day. We have reached the highest level of bioengineering for food production for the last decades. Why don’t we do something out of it? In Indonesia, again as a unique country, priority of doing the right things is upside down, inside out of whatsoever. Our president was best seen sitting graciously near a soccer field instead of chopping the grass in the middle of paddy field. Our local government is too busy doing knick-knacks instead of encouraging the people to produce and distribute more efficient farming or fishery goods. Public officers concern more on renovating their official houses and buying more expensive official sedans to suit their ranking of bureaucratic system. (click here for one of the news)

We, the Indonesians, are likely to face a very hotter year in the future if the prices of 9 staff and staple (“sembilan bahan pokok” or “sembako”) are crazily skyrocketting.  There were no significant government’s actions last year, and we are not hoping more this year. However, we are the still the kindest and the most forgiving species on earth. We Indonesians always handle things with smile, for better or worse.

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