Category: Observations

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...

What’s Up, Doc?

Bapaks in white coats continue to put the fear of God up Indonesia’s expats. “Doctor, Doctor, I’m at death’s door!” “Don’t worry,...

Health and Safety Indonesian-Style

A few years ago my father told me that he would like to come and visit me in Jakarta. Wonderful, I thought, he had never been to Jakarta before, or even Asia, so this...

Coincidental Christmas

  As I write this I am sitting on a Cebu Pacific flight back from Manila, Philippines, having just attended my first Christmas celebration of 2015. It actually...

Marching Orders

An army marches on its stomach and so does an English teacher, as Daniel Pope found out. Despite my earning a living from editing, writing and teaching English, I do not...

Damp Spirits

Praise the Lord, for the rains have finally arrived. And so we find ourselves moving and gathering momentum towards the festive period. Indeed, no less an authority than...

App Fap: App-Based Transport Solutions

New application-based transportation solutions are taking Indonesia’s jammed boulevards by storm. Last time out, I gnashed my teeth at the city’s various...

Burnin’ Rubber Time

Jakarta isn’t looking so hot at the moment, what with streets being torn up left, right and centre in a bid to ease its transportation woes. A friend of mine recently...