Category: Observations

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Don’t Burn Our Future!

Aradhya Sharma, a 10th grader at Singapore School, Bona Vista reminds us of the hazards of burning rubbish and the importance of practicing the three Rs for the future...

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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Jakarta Traffic?

In Jakarta, there appears to be no discernible pattern for the traffic. One expat shares his observations about the city's congestion problem.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Healthcare

Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet. Who hasn’t heard and probably used this first line of Kipling’s Ballad of East and West....


Opinion: Saving Indonesia from the Mistakes of the West

Indonesia is a place that travellers speak of as a paradise. Advertisements for leisure travel depict pristine white sand beaches, palm trees swaying in cool tropical...


Lost In Bali

Daniel Pope recalls a new year that didn’t begin well I am a mobile technology geek. As well as carrying a five-inch Nokia phone, I keep in my shoulder bag an...

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Return of a Friend

Jakarta’s Jalan Jaksa was once a great place for making odd, surreal and semi-imaginary friends, as Daniel Pope recalls. When I heard that Bruce O’Flanagan (not his...


Coping in the Big Durian

Jakarta isn’t a city for everyone. Many of the problems aren’t unique to large cities in emerging economies: poor sanitation systems, pollution, and rampant...

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How Backstreet Bali Money Changers Cheat

Unseasoned visitors to Bali, relieved they’ve safely negotiated Ngurah Rai’s fickle Customs and Immigration, suddenly get hit by the cacophony that’s Indonesia....

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Writing the Indonesian Experience

When I first arrived in the early ‘90s, it was close to impossible to find any English language books about Indonesia. Things have changed. The Internet was not yet...


You Can Check Out Anytime, but You Can Never Leave

There comes a time when we all need a break from the carbon monoxide and burning plastic smoke that drifts across Jakarta’s 24/7 urban war zone. Well, this year’s...


The TV Set

Transgenderism has been hitting the global headlines of late, and Indonesia is a nation with its own cross-dressing traditions. Whilst returning home recently after a...

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Daniel Pope remembers some of his international comings and goings. In 1986, while the cold war was still going on, I entered East Berlin from the west side of the city...


Bali and the World – We Have a Problem!

I first came to this Island of the Gods on my honeymoon in 1988. The marriage did not last long, but my love for this Island was instant and ran deep. Oh, the natural...

© Conservation International photo by Julius Thonak

Are We the Maritime Axis Yet, Mr. President?

Amidst widespread problems of human rights, poverty, and rampant corruption facing Indonesians as witnessed on daily news reports, hope emerged as President Joko Widodo...

Education Guide 2017

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