Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Papua Compo

Great post about Papua. Kinda Coasian (if I remember my economics correctly...).

Dumbing Down Doha

World trade talks have failed.

Basically lotsa countries get together and "try" to strike a deal which frees up free trade.

Thing is, getting so many countries to agree on such a deal is nigh on impossible -- especially when countries like France and Italy start meddling.

Multilateral trade agreements end up being one of two things, a stalemate where nothing is actually agreed, or a watered down waste of everyone's time. And they're done this way on purpose so the EU and the US can say they're open to free trade and inclusion on the one hand, but knowing that things will be too tough to disentangle.

Bilateral agreements are the way to go -- such as the one recently struck between Chile and Indonesia.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Jilbab Thing

OK, big confession here. I always wanted to date a girl that wears a Jilbab!!

Dunno why. Unfortunately they're real thin on the ground over here, other than some nerdy malay students that is...

Monday, July 21, 2008

White Wedding

Marriage is like starting a hard drug habit.

A friend of mine was bemoaning her marriage the other day. She said she didn't marry her "true love" cos of religion, now it sounds like she's in a loveless marriage. Maybe it'll get better, maybe worse, who knows. End of the day, I feel real sorry for her.

In the UK 40%+ of marriages end in divorce. What a number eh? Now some of you may say, that the UK is a real liberal country and that maybe people divorce too easy; but then I may say that there are still loadsa couples that stay in unhappy marriages cos of their kids etc etc. So I suspect 40% of unhappy marriages hits the mark just about right.

Somehow I don't think the unhappy marriage ratio in Indo would differ too much from the UK, it's just harder to measure cos I suspect divorce is kinda taboo.

Starting out, most of those 40% of couples probably feel they have a good a chance as any, relationships are complicated things, NO couple knows whether they'll be one of the 40% or not; and whether they'll open themselves up to some of the most harrowing experiences people can subject themselves to.

It's like trying hard drugs for the first time. Maybe you want to experiment just once (or twice) yada yada yada, but that's how terminal addicts started off too. I wonder what percentage of experimenters ruin their lives through drug use? 5%? 10%? 20%?

Marriage or experimenting with drugs is basically the same problem, you may have the best of intentions, but so did all those miserable couples and all those wretched junkies on the streets.

All I can say (as a hedge fund risk analyst) is bon chance!

Remixing Culture, Design & Technology

Interesting job for someone in Indonesia!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Australia's Role in Indonesia's Independence

[David's published this on his blog, go over there and check it out!]

[I'm republishing a blogging pal's post. Not sure why you deleted it D, but I read it, and thought it should be out there.

By the way, although some ppl probably find it uncomfortable, as far as I am aware it was the US who was THE big backer of Indonesian independence. Without the US things could've go on longer and been much bloodier -- having said that I am no expert.]


Back in 1999 at the height of the troubles in East Timor over its vote for independence, I posted a request on an Indonesian Studies mailing list for information about Australia's role in Indonesia's struggle for independence. I received the following reply from one Waruno Mahdi who was five years old at the time and communicated some of his memories -

there was both an official and an inofficial role of Australia, but I unfortunately do not have the literature sources, mostly fragmentary memmories....

Official: On July 39 1947, Australia and India brought the question of the situation in Indonesia before the UN Security Council. The Australian representative stated, that his country considered that "the hostilities in progress in Java and Sumatra constituted a breach of the peace under Article 39 of the Charter..." and proposed that "the Security Council should call upon the Governments of the Netherlands and the Republic of Indonesia to cease hostilities and to settle their dispute by arbitration in accordance with the Linggadjati Agreement" (UN Department of Public Information Research Section Background Paper No. 58 [ST/DPI/SER.A/58], Lake Success, New York; see there pp. 2-3).

Considering that hostilities had resumed as result of a renewed Dutch "police action", the Australian and Indian initiative in the UN had the effect of profiting the Indonesian side.

I have no concrete knowledge of Australian territory being directly used as base for outward communication from Yogya (provisional capital of the Republic), but seem to vaguely recall having heard something about a Catalina (an amphibean airplane) flying to-and-fro to Darwin (breaking the Dutch blockade). What I do know for sure is only that we had Dakotas (DC-2 cargo-and-passenger planes) flying likewise through the blockade to Manila over an eastern route, and to Bangkok in roundabout route over the Indian Ocean with stop-over in Medan in Sumatra. The pilots of the Dakotas were American volunteers. Those that got shot down (most were shot down, typically over Sumatra, where they were easy prey for Dutch Spitfires based in Palembang) contributed their lives for the cause of Indonesian independence. Who flew the Catalina, and what happenned with him I don't know.

Inofficial: Australian dockers (particularly, if I remember correctly, in Melbourne) boycotted Dutch ships. This must have been around 1948. I remember my father taking me on his lap - I was 5 years old then - and showing me a newspaper with a large photo of a freighter at a pier and telling me that people in many countries were helping us in our fight for independence. Later when I was older I saw that picture again in some publication, and it was a Dutch ship at an Australian pier, being boycotted - at 5 years my grasp of geography had been somewhat hazy...... (hence, when Aussy dockers boycotted Indonesian ships in solidarity with East Timor recently, that was in faithful continuation of a long and laudable tradition).

I gather, however, that your present interest is motivated by recent anti-Australian remonstrations in Jakarta in connection with developments in TimTim. That's very good of course, I mean both in being concerned about sustainment of Indonesian-Australian good relations, and in contributing to enlightening the remonstrators....., but essentially one needn't be too upset or worried about them.

The Army is kicking a tantrum for having been rapped on the knuckles, and in a frantic all-out campaign to save face, it is mobilising every trick it has up its sleeves. This includes spreading disinformation about Australia to impressible youth gangs, and particularly hiring demonstrators for money. But the period of Soeharto-style total censorship is thank goodness behind us for good. Indonesians are now exposed to a free press, and military propaganda lies sooner or later get exposed for what they are.

Indonesian relations to Australia have a much too deep footing, to be so easily disrupted. For people of my father's generation, who experienced World War 2 and took active part in the Perjuangan, our fight for independence, Australia is our back country, the last retreat. Even today still, my mother cannot listen to "Waltzing Matilda" without flutters in the heart. That had been the signal tune of Radio Australia during the period of Japanese occupation, when just listening to it could earn one the death sentence if one were caught.

To be frank, it very much hurt my feelings of propriety, when official Australia solidarised with Soeharto Indonesia's occupation of East Timor. So, you can imagine that I feel particularly gratified by your present engagement in helping keep the peace there. It's indeed more than just keeping the peace in East Timor, it's also contributing to the re-establishment of democracy in Indonesia itself. So we owe you our thanks for that.....

Monday, July 14, 2008

How to Look Good Naked

For all those average Indonesian women out there with low self esteem may I suggest checking out this show: How to Look Good Naked!

Weird show, I thought there was enough naked women with low self esteem on Playboy channel etc.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So Special

Indonesians think they're so special.

I suppose it's like lots of countries (it really irks me when an Irish starts say "we are a blah blah ppl" - gaaaahhhhhhh!) but Indonesians are really really good at thinking they're special.

Indonesians think Indonesians are real unfaithful - Indonesian guys and girls, man have I heard some stories!!

Indonesians, think Indonesia is reeeeeeeeal dangerous. Visit mean parts of any major European city (esp if you're not the right colour).

And what about food?? Let's face it, everyone that wasn't brainwashed by Masakan Padang from a young age, prefers Thai! :P And Rendang is MALAY! I have 5 bottles of Sharwoods MALAY Rendang sauce in my kitchen.

And onto Indonesian women again, why do Indonesian women seem to rate themselves so highly? They're average.

Also, what about the spooks? Indonesia is a special place that has all sorts of magic and spirits. But step off the plane and onto European soil and 99% of them vanish into thin air!

Oh yeh, and to all the hardcore Muslims and Christians out there, your religion is about as special as scientology or zoroastrianism take ur pick.

What about Pribumi? Many Pribumi think that they have God written deeds to the seas and lands of Indonesia. Well dudes, interestingly enough the term pribumi was first coined by the Dutch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pribumi). Your whole concept of fucking specialness was given to you by Belanda! Hahahahaha. How ironic is that!

You think you're so corrupt and dishonest. I've been lucky enough to have been put up by many Indonesian families, many I didn't know that well, all shown exceptional hospitality. I have buy stuff of street hawkers and get /exact/ change back, even when it's only a couple of hundred rups.

There's good and bad everywhere. Indonesia ain't so special. Gotta say I love the smell of kretek tho.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Transferring Money to Indonesia

How is it done, when transferring from Europe?

My bank needs IBAN and BIC of receiving bank -- but Indoensia only has Swifts.

Anyone have any ideas? (would love to avoid Western Union if poss!)


Church is the most segregated part of American life. Martin Luther King.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Maid Men

Aren't maids in Indo allowed boyfriends??

I've heard a few times now about altercations involving maids having boyfriends...

What a joke. Sounds like 19th century fsking Ireland!

Also, I remember when the Clinton administration left the white house, they removed ll the W keys from the keyboards. Hilarious :)

But that's sort like the average maid in the average expat's house I reckon. You are not providing steady employment, expats are here today and gone tomorrow like the drop of a hat.

Mayb making it clear that u'll go to some lengths to recommend and place employees with good families in the future might help all parties involved...

Ok, I have no experience with servants, but I thought I'd give my two rups FWIW, cos I see the same bloody things happening over and over...