Sat, 29 Oct 1994

Crystal ware in Prague

We were dismayed to read the article entitled Ambassador Olsa finds it easy to study Bahasa which appeared in the "People" column of The Jakarta Post dated Sept. 25, 1994. We feel obliged to give some correction and factual response.

It is an undeniable truth that Prague enjoys sparkling fame for its fabulous Bohemian glass and crystal ware, the sale of which can be, among others, channeled through Tuzex. It can also be said, without exaggeration, that Indonesian women fancy the above-mentioned crystal ware.

It is, however, ludicrously misleading for Ambassador Olsa to say Indonesian women frequently stand in line, early in the morning, waiting for the opening of Tuzex.

This observation is undoubtedly groundless and is not justifiable because Indonesian people, the women in particular, are not accustomed to queuing. In addition, the Tuzex staff are so helpful they always render friendly and courteous service to Indonesian women. So, what is the use of exerting oneself in a queue? Had Ambassador Olsa watched more closely, he would seen that they were not Indonesian faces he saw.

Ambassador Olsa seems to be under the impression that what Indonesian women purchase has, in some way, contributed to the trade which he stated is admittedly substantial. Is he, perhaps, not fully conversant with the internal situation in his home country and so is projecting an unnecessarily bad image.