I had some meetings in Jakarta today. As I was riding in a taxi on my way to the first one, I noticed how nearly all of the motorcyclists on the busy roads are now wearing helmets. The Indonesian authorities have apparently done a good job of educating riders about the benefits of wearing crash helmets – unlike many other Asian countries where the majority of riders still get around without any form of head protection.
It seems in Jakarta that motorcycle riders like helmets with lots of psychedelic designs and colours – in fact some were so gaudy they would be better named ‘clash helmets’. I only saw only one that I would have described as ‘plain’. It was a white helmet with three black words stencilled on it that read: “Fuck the USA” (he rode past too quickly for me to get a photo of it). I guess the guy wearing it isn’t a fan of George W. Bush.