Category: Observations

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...

Crossings

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...

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...

Property: Nightmare or Sound Investment?

Will Rogers (the actor, writer and real-life cowboy) said it best: “Don’t wait to buy land. Buy land and wait.” It was true for him at the turn of the...

An Appeal for Neil and Ferdinant

The phrase “this is a nightmare” is so often tossed around for events and occurrences that often have minimal impact in our lives. On June 5, 2014, Neil...

Indonesian Critters

You don’t need to watch a scary movie to make your flesh crawl, as Daniel Pope explains. A fellow English language teacher in Jakarta had an unusual way of...

Education is Life

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey (1859 – 1952) Psychologists will tell you that the first three years...

The Straight and Narrow

The neologistic acronym LGBT has been hitting Indonesian headlines this month, as the nation continues its ill-advised trudge towards good-time, thigh-slapping,...

Swipe All My Tears Away

Internet dating has seemingly got the whole world by the proverbial short and curlies, and Indonesia is no exception. Sites such as Tinder, Badoo, OK Cupid and Grindr...

The Imposter

Daniel Pope muses on how sometimes it’s better to tell fibs when you want to fit in with the culture. When I came to Indonesia I was surprised by the number of...

Almost the Last Laugh

Three British expats share a near-death experience on a trip to Kuala Lumpur… A few years ago I was hosting comedy shows in Kuala Lumpur with superb British...