Image source: http://www.brigfam.com/photo/2005/Picture%20042.jpg
There was an interesting note when I visited New York, USA, mid-late August 2013 then. There were two taxi drivers asked, did he know Indonesia?
Eddy, a driver from Beirut, Syria replied,
Do you know Jakarta?
So was Mohammed's conversation, a Syrian Arab American citizen, a taxi driver at the same company while driving the three of us (me and staff at IPB) from New York City to Nanuet. We start introductions and conversations;
Weare from Indonesia we introduce ourselves
Are you Moslem? asked Mohammed
Yes, we are.
Then one of us asked, did he know with Indonesia.
Yes, I want to go there. Mohammed replied
We laughed. Then the conversation went on with something else light and relaxed until we did not feel we had arrived at a place to stay at a hotel in Nanuet, New York.I am not surprised by the recognition of Eddy and Mohammed. Last year I once accompanied two Master Program students from Columbia University New York, USA. They held a 3 month internship at the Bogor Agricultural Institute and visited Central Kalimantan. They apparently already have a special agenda to visit Bali. Even one of the students first came to Bali before to Jakarta and Bogor. According to one of the USA college students, he has many friends in Bali. For those visiting Bali is mandatory when it comes to Indonesia before returning home to USA.
I am not surprised if some citizens of the USA do not really know Indonesia and Jakarta, but very know with Bali. Bali in addition to being known for its world-famous sights, it is now a well-liked place for numerous international events including conferences and meetings of world heads of state. Even more famous, Hollywood film producers have also been eyeing Bali to be a favorite place for shooting.
I still remember when visiting Bali late in 2011, where Bali is very busy with President Obama's presence in the ASEAN Summit. I still had time to see American warships hanging out in Nusa Dua waters that are very contrasting visible than other objects in the perairaran.
Yes, however Bali remains Indonesia. Indonesia needs to promote itself more vigorously other areas, especially the capital of his country, Jakarta, so as not to be covered with the popularity of Bali.
Warm greeting on a beautiful morning!