Category: Observations

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Trash Talk

“Ours is a culture and a time as immensely rich in trash as it is in treasures.” – Ray Bradbury One of the main criticisms levelled at our work hard, shop hard,...

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What’s App-ening in Bandung?

Seeing Bandung by murderous GPS When growing kitchen herbs, I generally read the packet then enjoy acquiring new knowledge through trial and error. Some people, however,...

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Catching a Flick

I like movies that are either funny or true, meaning I don’t generally see the point of letting precious minutes of my life tick by while I learn nothing and/or get no...

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Medical Anomalies

When well-off people in Indonesia need medical treatment, they often head off to Singapore. Daniel Pope thinks he knows why. When several years of overexertion in the...

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Sulawesi – Don’t Wait

A dry look at what’s left on Sulawesi After 12 years working in Makassar and Manado, I came to view Sulawesi as home. The port city of Makassar was my first job abroad...

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Fun With Weapons

Daniel Pope contemplates whether a foreigner could get away with murder in Indonesia.  My local hangout in Jakarta in the mid-1990s – a shabby streetside cafe where...

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Booze Blues

The price of alcohol in Indonesia continues to soar into the stratosphere as new import duties are introduced.   I’ve been cajoled into penning a few tetchy...

West Papua topo by Stefan Faymer. Licensed under Wikimedia Commons

Development Vs Indigenous People and the Environment

Over the past 50 years, the name of the region of Papua has been changed several times from Netherlands New Guinea to Irian Barat (West Irian), Irian Jaya (Victorious or...

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Jakarta, Rattle and Roll

Not long ago, I watched Dawn of The Planet of the Apes in 4-D at a Blitzmegaplex cinema complex in Jakarta. Strapped into a seat that moved on pistons in approximate...

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Chain Reaction

Our intrepid reporter tackles the idyllic island of Sumba by bicycle. If you’re a wild-eyed bounder of adventure and boast a pair of those...

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Psychogeography for Beginners

Borneo is a terrific place to visit, however hiking there from Jakarta is perhaps not the best way of setting about things. Borneo’s mysterious heart of darkness...

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We’ll Be Right Back After These Messages

Forget Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. When advertisers take on viewers, the gloves come off… The recently televised boxing match of the century/millennium/all time (take...

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IndoJazzia: Indonesian Jazz is Going Places

With the news that 11-year-old Indonesian pianist Joey Alexander’s first album, My Favourite Things, topped the jazz charts in the first week of release, the...

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Nepal Earthquake April 25, 2015: A Survivor’s Report

I feel lucky to be writing this. Had the course of events only been slightly different, this would have never been written and my wife Yati and I would probably never be...