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Taking a brief beak from the unfolding sadness of a Trump Presidency, I laughed gently at the following description of an Australian shopping in…well, it really could be anywhere in Southeast Asia.

I’ve stopped being surprised by Indonesia’s quest to turn simple tasks into complicated ones.

It now seems quite normal to stand at a sales desk while someone tallies up my items on a cash register, and passes the invoice to another worker who writes it all out again by hand, before directing me to another desk to hand over the cash and get a receipt so I can go back to the first desk to collect my three-pack of underpants.

It’s not just shops. At my local pool I hand my 50,000 rupiah to a man in a glass booth. He gives me a ticket, which I then must give to his colleague, who’s sitting at a card table right beside us. It would seem less silly if I wasn’t usually the pool’s only swimmer.

The rest of the charming story, which actually pokes fun at Australia for also presenting similar bureaucratic frustrations, can be found here.

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