Archive for April, 2009

From the Big Durian to the Australian Burbs

April 20, 2009

My brain wanders, looking for direction

Where ojeks once darted passed the Hello Misters of children,

The streets are silent and the pubs are full.

My lungs rejoice.

My liver braces.

My heart slumps.

Political Analysis

April 16, 2009

So it now appears that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Golden Bridge has come crashing down as the points of Golkar’s Golden Triangle get sharp with each other. 

In truth, the coalitions— the bridge of the Democratic Party/ the National Awakening Party, or PKS/ the National Mandate Party, or PAN; and the triangle of Golkar/ The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P/ the United Development Party, or PPP —were doomed to fail. 

Voters were always going to be overwhelmed by a number of considerations, the most pressing: that the bridge and the triangle were both golden. The use of the same metal by the two coalitions would have been problematic for voters, who have already expressed concern about being able to distinguish between candidates given the similarity of their policies, party colors and equal payment rates for rally attendance and voting. (more…)

My left pinky still has ink stain on it.

April 15, 2009

Disclaimer: This entry might be boring and too self-indulgent for your liking. Just giving an early notification. If you don’t mind that, carry on.

I voted last week. I almost didn’t because I was lazy. I had to go to my hometown, which was around an hour and a half long from the capital, to vote because I’m registered there. And that morning on April 9, the buses to that city were hard to find.



April 12, 2009

And so,

crackles of laughters all sound louder.

And so,

water runs down the dishes in the kitchen and

leftover food into the sink


like old nightmares






The Big Takeover

April 11, 2009

It’s over — we’re officially, royally fucked. No empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far.

I just read this. Recommended for those of you who consider understanding business talk a quest akin to learning Arabic or Mandarin. Or those curious as to how it is we find ourselves having the dreams of our youth interrupted for two years because the global economy is having a Britney Spears-type breakdown, getting out of cabs without underwear and shaving its head, etc.

Now, as always with a good piece of writing, I have stalked the author and fallen in love. Hmmm Russia! Insulting the religion of my birth! A freelance writer. Oh, living on the edge. So dangerous, so mysterious.

Back to this though. You should read it. It’s a modern-day Machievillian tale and it’s a good read.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Bowie knows his shit.

April 7, 2009

Fly!Torn stockings, my toes are peeking.
Worn mockings, my fists are clenching.
Used to see in monochrome,
Technicolor’s the epitome.
They told me I should be more sensitive.
But my brain-waves are far too talkative.
They told me to stop my running.
But my feet are way too cunning.
They said I have to be a girl.
But I want so much to conquer the world.
They want me to watch my mouth.
But I’m not from way down south.

A matter of interpretation

April 2, 2009

I just returned from four days in Banda Aceh, a place I had not visited before and  will see again.

Indonesia’s general elections are on April 9, and for Aceh, marks the first direct elections for the province. Much has been made of this. Violence has been predicted, intimidation by the military towards political parties, and political parties towards each other has been reported.

This very blog post is distracting me from all the official stories I’d like to write about my time there, so I’ll keep this sort of short.

What will stay in my mind most clearly are the discussions I had with various people in Aceh about Islam, about the way it’s interpreted and implemented. And the various opinions as to how much the religion is weaved in with democracy and the rights of women. (more…)

The Secret to Success?

April 1, 2009

Photo uploaded by DJ Lein 

After finishing work on Monday, having sat at my desk for eight hours straight, I climbed into a taxi, went home, jumped into bed and switched on the TV. Turn on, tune in, drop out.

The next night, I did it again. And the next night and the next. Every Sunday, I make grand plans for the upcoming week – Monday, study Indonesian; Tuesday, get a head start on writing a story; Wednesday, go to the gym – but after a day at the office, I can’t resist putting two things I love together: TV and bed. I have truly become a loser in the same vein as Homer Simpson.

My nightly viewing schedule usually involves some MTV and Channel V – which are bitter reminders of my unsuccessful attempts to make it as a singer in Sydney — and I always get my 11 p.m. hit of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Star World, on which Kimmel interviews celebrities who did make it. They are pleasing to the eye and speak in a soothing simplicity, putting me contentedly to sleep like a sweet lullaby.

But on Monday night, as my eyelids were drooping, something on the show caught my attention. I sat up in bed, alert and fascinated. Our revered glamorous types were being somewhat knocked from their pedestals by a goofy-looking, very un-Beverly Hills-like author.

It was Malcolm Gladwell, promoting his new book, “Outliers: The Story of Success.(more…)