A Tale of Two Consular Offices, with a Bonus

One of my favorite streets in Jakarta seems to have other fans in Manhattan too:New York, USA, Indonesian Consulate - Car Seat (Jalan Kursi Mobil)Ironically, it was at the Consulate of Indonesia where I was able to test out the latest in household minivanization.  On unpredictable Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year, you can attend free Indonesian and gamelan lessons right at the consulate.

I went today for the first time as a student, and one of the senior officials greeted me, offered me tea and put the tv on while I waited for the rest of the class to get there.  Terima kasih (thank you) for the welcome, bapak (mister)!

Other unexpected greetings at consular offices worldwide include sipping tea with the Pakistani gentry at their embassy in Jakarta and…ok, you’re right.  These are microcosms of bureaucracy, not known for their hospitality.

Though, in all my years of traveling, which one country has had the least inviting offices?

Dhaka, Bangladesh - US EmbassyLet’s go with the US.  That’s the US embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Doesn’t it just scream to both foreigners and citizens alike “please come visit?”  Did they have the TSA design it?

Bonus: Since Indonesia seems to be a theme here, let’s throw in the Embassy of Russia in Jakarta as a nominee for “most unusual diplomatic architecture:”

Jakarta, Indonesia - Embassy of Russia

Whether you’re an expat or lost – or both – what’s your opinion of consulates/embassies and those that dwell within?


This entry was posted in Human Nature, Indonesia, Languages, New York City, South Asia and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


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