Category: Other

Dreaming of my Home Near Ubud

It’s 11:30 pm on a Tuesday night and we’ve just finished installing some final touches on our emerging eco café in the far south of Jakarta, on Jl. Fatmawati. The...

Winning and Losing on the Slots

  When I was 15 years old I used to work on weekends as a glass washer at a country club. One night after all the bars were closed and only the landlord’s 30 year-old...

Ibu Meut: The Fish Selling lady

Ibu Meut has a charming smile, which belies the fact she works extremely hard selling her dried fish to the passers by underneath an overpass at Pasar Kebayoran Lama. In...

The Golden Arches

Several publications, including The New York Times, ran pieces recently detailing the Jakarta phenomenon of young people congregating in local 7-Eleven’s. They cite...

The Legend of Kebo Iwa

If you frequently travel between Sanur and Ubud, there’s a fat chance you’ve seen the big baby statue sitting in the Sakah intersection. It depicts baby Kebo Wanara,...

Selamat Datang di Indonesia

In Soekarno-Hatta Airport (Jakarta) you may have had an unpleasant experience to share. By the end of this article, I hope that you are able to pick up some pointers,...

A Little Perspective Please…

Sitting in the Bali domestic airport it can be easy to forget the reasons why I call Indonesia home, no doubt it’s needless to remind you of the challenges to make...

Akasayapudin: The Shoe Repair Man

If you happen to be at home in Kemang and you hear the gentle, lyrical call of “Solbatu” there is a reasonably good chance it belongs to Akasayapudin, the shoe...

Bed and Breakfast and a Bogus Baby

In the 1980s I was working as an agency truck driver in Oxford on my days off from the fire service. Early one morning I received a call asking me to drive a truckload...

Sutejo : The Recycling Man

Name: Sutejo Age: 62 Sutejo floats around the rivers of South Jakarta on a blue foam mattress which enables him to collect materials, mostly plastic and discarded items...

A Bottle of Wine and a Playroom

In Eastern Promise (EP) we now have a playroom for kids. During recent trips to New Zealand and Australia I noticed a lot of pubs and restaurant that have this facility,...

Pocket Guide to How to be a Bureaucrat

Follow these simple rules to being a good Bureaucrat and enjoy countless benefits for you, your friends and your family. – Don’t set deadlines. These only cause...

The French Spirit of Wine

Wine is the only subject that I can’t handle as the “Grumpy French Man”. Wine is not only alcohol for me. It contains alcohol, nobody can deny this point, but it...

Humorous Educational Experiences: Raising Children

If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide. ~ Mahatma Gandhi ~  Is there any real correlation between higher acquired intelligence (through...