The critical research that I conducted yesterday afternoon was directly related to the fact that one of my coauthors is at Ohio State and the other one has a PhD from there. That is, we had to find a way to watch the BCS Championship Game. A long time ago JM and I watched the Super Bowl here, but that was a lot easier. The bars here haven’t picked up on the fact that the BCS Championship Game is a big deal. I know this because I spent hours calling a range of bars, from the upscale (Cazbar) to the incongruous (Sportsman’s Bar and Grill) to the cheesy (Jaya Pub) to the sleazy (Aphrodite) to the soul-crushingly grubby (Bugil’s). Most are not open at 8 AM, and the ones that are don’t have the right channels. As far as we can tell, the game was not shown on any satellite TV sports network available here, which includes ESPN, Fox Sports World, and Astro SportsVision. My coauthor used some old connections to find out that the game was indeed on at the American Club, but that gets Armed Forces TV, which we do not, and you need to be directly affiliated with the Embassy to get invited.
So–and this seems just amazingly modern, when you think about it–we used the services of Jump TV. It was just like watching TV at home, but no commercials–we just got dead air and a picture of the stadium during that. I’m more interested in the experience than in the actual outcome of the game.
A random fact that I recently learned is that housing prices in the best areas of Jakarta are tremendously inflated, or so it seems to me. A big house in the Menteng area runs about US$1,000,000 If you were to adjust that by the fact that the real capita per capita GDP here ($3,900) is roughly a tenth of the US (about $40,000), that puts a big house at the equivalent of US$10,000,000. That’s a lot.