Sometimes it’s the smallest things that give you perspective. A friend and myself were in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (a sort of theme park but stranger than that – more details in a later blog) and it was raining. We decided that the rain had eased enough to keep wandering if we could find an umbrella.
Amongst all the stalls selling Mr Bean nodding dolls, bubblegum-pink toy guns and plastic Stetson hats, not a single one had the foresight to sell an umbrella. Not one. In a country where for much of the year it rains every day, none of these enthusiastic and intelligent vendors had thought to stock a gamp for the benefit of foreign visitors.
Small children would hire you an umbrella and then walk behind you, drenched to the skin, but with your rupiahs stuffed into waterproof bags.
So why could they manage one entrepreneurial venture but not the other?