Egypt held a competition to guess the age of a mummy. France, Germany and the U.S. sent archaeologists. Indonesia sent a military officer. The French team spent two hours with the mummy, then gave up. The Americans spent longer, but their guess was wrong. The German team estimated 3,200 years--also wrong. The Indonesian military officer asked if he could study the mummy in a closed room. Fifteen minutes later he emerged and said the mummy was 5,224 years, three months and seven days old. The jury was amazed--he was exactly right and won the prize. As he was leaving the Cairo airport, journalists asked him how he got the answer. "I hit him black and blue until he confessed."
When Wahid met Bill Clinton, he told him the following joke: Winston Churchill and Clement Atlee, Britain's Labour Prime Minister after World War II, were walking in a park when Churchill said he needed to relieve himself. Atlee stopped beside him, but Churchill asked him to walk a little way further down the path. "Why?" asked Atlee. "Because any time you see anything big, you want to nationalize it," replied Churchill.
One day Suharto was fishing when he was washed away by a sudden flood, and lost consciousness in the water. When he awoke he was lying on the bank, rescued by a farmer. "Do you know who I am?" he asked. The farmer said no. "I am Suharto, the President of Indonesia. Now, since you've helped me, ask what you want and I will give it to you." "I only want one thing, Mr. President," said the farmer. "What is it?" "Please don't tell anybody that I saved you."
An American, a Frenchman and an Indonesian are stranded on a desert island. They find a magic lamp, and when they rub it a genie emerges, promising to grant each of them a wish. The American says, "I am a businessman, and I need to get back to New York." He disappears in a puff of smoke. The Frenchman says, "I own a restaurant in Paris and would like to go back there." Another puff of smoke and he disappears. The genie then asks the Indonesian what he wants. "I feel kind of lonely. Can you bring my two friends back?" After Gus Dur was appointed President and Megawati Sukarnoputri Vice President last year, Wahid said in front of an open microphone: "This is an ideal team--the President can't see and the Vice President can't talk."
During a televised meeting with Saudi King Fahd last year, Gus Dur whispered a joke that suggested the King should not trust Indonesians visiting his country because they learn ancient, not modern, Arabic: Two kyai, or priests, are walking down a street in Riyadh when they are astonished to see a ONE WAY sign. In ancient Arabic the same words mean "sexual intercourse." The kyai return to Indonesia amazed that Saudis did it in the street.