Indonesian Coffee

I get excited when I meet Indonesian people with Japanese connections in Jakarta



A girl from the Japanese department works at Starbucks.

I'm waiting at Starbucks on the 3rd floor of the East mall in Grand Indonesia for the 7am 3in1 (a traffic regulation that says major roads like Sudirman Street must have more than three people in one car at certain times) to open, and looking at the list of network names from the wifi router I catch here, I find five names of BOLT, the hassle of 4G LTE services in Indonesia.

(August 2019 postscript.)

  • The 3in1 has been abolished and we are moving to an "odd-even" system, a measure to restrict the entry of vehicles by the number at the end of the license plate.
  • "BOLT" ceased service in December 2018.

To change the name in this network name list, you have to connect a USB cable from your PC to a dedicated router and access the control panel with the private IP address "" (commonly used by Wifi routers), which is a very laborious process.

Therefore, it is assumed that many people who are not familiar with the settings around PC are using the default service name with the character of BOLT set up in the store when purchasing it.

In recent years, the number of people using dedicated pocket Wifi routers has decreased, but BOLT is still doing its best, but now that other major carriers have entered the era of 4G service, I wonder how they will differentiate themselves.

So, I just ordered an iced coffee as usual, and the waitress, whom I had never seen before, returned it in Japanese.

  • Please wait a moment.

Apparently, she graduated from the Department of Japanese. Because of the location, there are many Japanese people here, so I'm glad that I was assigned to a store where I can use the Japanese I majored in at school.

Because Starbucks staffs are rotated from one store to another, waitress who was in the basement shop of BII in Tamlin suddenly disappeared and I was feeling sad, but I met her at the Stiabdi store immediately, and waitress who was in the Rest area 19km until yesterday was reassigned to the 59km store from today.

  • Hi, I got assigned to this store today.

There were times when I didn't know for a second what I was talking about because I didn't feel at all uncomfortable when I was told this.

I live a life where I don't know whether I'm going to the office or Starbucks every morning, so the fact that I was assigned to a clerk who speaks fluent Japanese at Starbucks, which is the shortest distance from my office, has added another layer of fun.

Indonesians working in Japanese companies

I work in Jakarta while managing several Indonesian employees, and just as there is a chance to meet someone, there is a chance to say goodbye, they leave at some point.

What they do after quitting is a pattern of what they do: some work in IT at the customer's office, some work for a rival company in the same industry in Jakarta, some go out on their own and start their own business, but fail and return to the same industry.

Just today, a former employee of mine who works for a rival company in the same industry sent me a BBM (Blackberry Messenger) and told me that he used to work with me and now he works for the rival company.

(August 2019 postscript.)The Blackberry, which took the world by storm, is nowhere to be seen, and Indonesians are shifting to WhatsApp to communicate on their smartphones.

When I hear such a story, I feel the IT industry in Jakarta is very small, but people who have worked in Japanese companies once tend to change their jobs to Japanese companies that are "used to the atmosphere", unless they have very bad memories of Japanese people, so it is common to meet again in a new workplace.

In this case, if the previous project is going well, it is a positive thing, but if the system is not going well, it will lead to the later project.

What does it mean to be "accustomed to the atmosphere of a Japanese company"?

  1. Indonesian language peculiarities of the Japanese
    I can chew out and understand the intention of the Indonesian language to put nya (nya) or kah (kah) at the end of a word to convey it in a horn-free way.
  2. Japanese people create a sense of distance between them.
    I can understand trying to distance myself from the office staff, the driver, and the office boy by giving them the honorific "Mr." and human equality.
  3. I dare not specify where the responsibility lies.
    I can respect harmony and empathize with hating sin rather than blaming someone else.
  4. It takes time and process to make a decision.
    I can put up with a decision being made after more than enough has been discussed and the discussion has boiled down.

Indonesians who can understand the atmosphere of these Japanese companies will understand that there is a culture similar to the Musyawarah in Japan.

Therefore, it is quite understandable that there are very few Indonesians who have worked in Western companies who have changed their jobs to Japanese companies.