I ran an import & export business besides an agency for foreign students. I sourced some of my products from Indonesia and used to travel there often to buy goods in the 90s. I have a few parents of my Indonesian students to thank for. I will never forget their support and help.
Although they are wealthy, they are ever ready to help me out. Sometimes they would get their drivers or staff to collect my goods and send them to me. They even paid for my airfeight. When I went over to Jakarta, they readily offered their homes for me to stay and their chauffeurs and cars to drive me around.
The corruption in Indonesia is horrible. Not only do you have to give money for information and registrations, you have to bribe to get things done. Even when I was travelling on the road with only two boxes of goods in the car, the traffic police would stop me for money. The airport was the worst place. Once you enter the departure lounge, the customs officers on duty would pounce on you.
The first few trips, I had to pay every customs officers who approached me. They were sharp-eyed and know you are a tourist. They would make things difficult for you when you carry more than two luggage. They made you open all the nicely sealed boxes, although from the x-ray machine, they could clearly see that it contained food or toys. And after that you have to think of a way to seal the boxes back yourself. As long as you give them money, everything would be fine.
You would need the help of a high-ranking officer to stem the blatant demand for money. I was lucky to find one. Whenever a customs officer approached me, I just had to give my Protector's name. If I have too many boxes of goods to carry, I could call the Protector and he would arrange for someone to pick up the goods from my place of accommodation.
There were great demands for branded goods in Jakarta then. I would receive orders from my Indonesians clients and then bring them in for them. A call to the Protector and he would be waiting for me at the Arrival gate, he helped to wheel the goods to my waiting car. No hustle, no one to stop you. No questions asked. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
And if you do not want to pass through the normal immigration stand, you can go to the first level, place some notes in your passport, hand it to the one and only officer and it will be stamped in a jiffy. Express Lane. No queues. haha.... amazing. Efficient and productive albeit with a little money.
Next time you encounter difficulties in Indonesia, try giving them Vitamin M. hehe.....