Tag Archives: Crazy


Gagu’s optical leg done by Ade Itameda.



Jakarta has many people who the society considers as ‘orang gila’.

Which literary means: people who suffer any of various disorders in which a person’s thoughts, emotions, or behaviour are so abnormal as to cause suffering to himself, herself, or other people.

These people who are mostly homeless, walking on the streets, with dirty clothes, sometimes begging for money, sometimes just wandering around.

For example ‘Kancut’ (We call him Kancut, because he looks exactly like our friend) He’s an young man, I guess around 30 years old, who always walks around our tattooshop. Sometimes he’s walking around in the park close to the shop, sometimes he’s sleeping in the portal of the house, the cockroaches are his friends. He has dark, half long, curly hair and deep lying eyes, he’s always wearing the same dirty clothes. Always the same emotion on his face. That empty look. I never heard him say any word. I never saw him smile. He’s disconnected from this world. We don’t know much about him.

Then we have an middle aged lady who’s always picking up the trash with a wooden cart. She owns 3 dogs. Mostly her white dog is sleeping on the piles of trash on the wooden cart. I never saw a dog look so happy. She’s taking good care of them. She looks happy, she’s always busy.  Walking around on the crowded streets, collecting the trash people threw away. People told me she was a rich, wealthy lady in the past.

Next to the road, close to Ade’s home, you have an old man dressed like a hippie. He was always wearing the same clothes, but recently he is wearing a new combination. A brown, jacket, with a flower pattern. He looks almost fashionable. He’s always sitting on a pile of stones next to the road, watching people, mumbling. I see confusion in his eyes. Like he’s trying to understand the things around him, but like he can not grab it. Every time when we’re crossing him with the motorbike, I try to catch his eye. He’s never looking at me straight. It’s like he looks straight through me. Sometimes he’s writing sentences about politics, dates, and drawing random ornaments with chalk on the pavement. Letter combinations, numbers. It looks like a secret writing. Codes and prophecy’s. What they mean? Nobody knows, I think only he knows.

It fascinates me, those people. It’s hard to find out who these people are, because most people here ignore them. They are scared that they will attack them or steal from them. It’s almost like they are monsters. Day in day out I see them. And I wonder what they think? What do they believe? What are their dreams? What is their story? How did they end up on the streets? It looks like they are not bothered by anything around them. It almost looks like they are fine with this life, this life without future perspective. A life we’re everything is not sure. They look like they blocked everything around them. We consider them as mental, but maybe if we really think about it, can’t we understand it a little bit?

The constant flashing of motorcycles besides you, the noise, the dirt, the dust, the traffic. For those who ever been to Jakarta will understand. There’s never a moment that there’s no one around you. This city never sleeps. Day and night, there’s people on the street, selling food, meeting each other, etc. And then the thousands of advertisements on the side of the road, filling your head with useless information. The constant warmth. The big clouds of pollution above you, the big social pressure.

This city can drive people crazy.