Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spurs are Back!

"I thought I was David Pleat running up the touchline when Lennon scored," smiled Redknapp. "I don't usually do that. Mind you, I don't have a suit or shoes that colour. I just worked on the players' confidence."


Zero sum games occur when one person's gain is another's loss.

Certain pundits believe that harrowing losses in the finance industry mean that their ilk (socialist ideologues) and the poor (cos we all love the poor) will somehow gain.

This is wide of the mark.

Banks going under will directly hurt employees trying to support their families, and as a knock on effect, will probably reach into places like Indonesia and hurt the poor quite acutely.

Look at Indonesia's last monetary crisis in the 90s. Suharto's cronies were mainly hit in their pockets, while Indonesia's middle classes had to pull their kids out of college and its poor were left starving, many having to give their kids up for adoption, not a few dying in misery.

Few benefit from times like these, life will get very tough for many honest hard working people whether on Wall street or in the local kampung.

While some wring their hands in delight at the possibility of hand wavy new world orders, others are trying to put food on the tables for their families. Get real.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I haven't been following Indonesia much lately. But it i interesting to read in the Jakarta post that SBY is top of the polls again.

Interesting how a guy who hiked fuel prices is now back on top, huh? Not 100% sure what has happened in the intervening period, but the guy has guts. Think how powerful Suharto was for example. Hiking fuel prices were never a plausible option for him, cos he was scared shitless of the popular reaction (with good reason).

The Malaysian PM had a similar problem this year. SBY genuinely has a popular mandate however, and he's got real power - and now he's popular again too!


Fascinating article via Dilligaf.


After reading the latest of Brandon's musings on immigrating, I thought I'd jot down some of my own experiences and thoughts.

I've moved countries three times.

First time was ten years ago. After school I went to college in Germany. It was probably the best decision I have made. Ever.

At 18 I picked up so many experiences that I otherwise would never have done. Living in communist era dorms. Meeting up with people from all around the world.

A guy telling me about stories from his home Sierra Leone and his family in Freetown while rebels where at the gates. Spine chilling stuff.

Partying with Bulgarians all decked out with Matrix style sun glasses. Listening to old Russian folk songs played on guitar. Cooking up fake Indonesian dishes with cat food and passing them off as authentic at faculty culturual gatherings (there were v few Indoensians in my faculty, so we could get away with it :)).

Indonesian, Ethiopian, Indian, Ukrainian and Chinese pals sharing food with me. I'll be forever grateful for those meals and their friendship (not that I didn't cook myself) but sharing food is a deep thing. Maybe we fell out in the years since, and one or two in particular have good reason for falling out with me. But I will always be grateful for their kindness and their friendship especially in those early years in Germany.

Towards the end of college, I found myself getting bored of Germany. Nothing new. I was slightly bored, but also slightly worried. I would need to find a job. I taught English through that latter years of college. It paid well, I loved my colleagues (as I end up doing in all my jobs it seems) and things were comfortable. But I had no interest in pursuing teaching English long term.

I decided to leave Germany in 2005, and come back to a booming vibrant Ireland - a stark contrast to the situation in Germany. I found myself an OK job. Thing was I left my girlfriend behind. I met Tika on my second or third day in Germany all those years ago. We were great friends for years and later went out and lived together.

Well I never settled in Ireland. My girlfriend, my friends were all back in Germany. Soon Tika and I would break up acrimoniously, as sometimes these things work out. I never gave Ireland much of a chance. Things were tough. I was looking for a way out.

I had this idea that moving away from Ireland would change "stuff". It's weird. Cos when you think about it, moving geographically shouldn't really have an impact psychologically, but humans are weird things, and traveling to a new place can throw new challenges at you. Breaks you out of your fenced in thinking.

So one year, I told my boss I wanted to leave and work for a charity in Jakarta. He gave me a raise and I stayed. Next year I said I was leaving to work for some micro-finance research group in Jakarta. He offered me the possibility of a more interesting job and a move to New York.

And here I am. 10 years after my move to Germany. Living just off Wall Street. My colleagues and my two flatmates, other than that i know no one here.

First move was a good one. Second move at least in the short term may well have been a mistake. Third move, who knows, early days.

Just like my thoughts before the first move, I feel I have little to lose now - and who knows what I have to gain from my time in New York. I'll just have to wait and see I suppose. And if things don't work out here - despite my best intentions - maybe I'll get to live in Indonesia sometime soon.

Krismon II

Krismon II?

I reckon Indonesia is better placed than most to deal with this. It's learnt lessons from recent history -- which the US and Europe have yet to learn.

Mulia's Home

Mulia has been blogging on her travels, but now she's back it will be doubly interesting to hear how she copes in the Big Durian : )

Best of luck Mulia!! : )

Friday, October 17, 2008

New York 2

So last time people were astonished that I am in New York now. None more so than myself.

What am I doing? Working a hell of a lot. I am a financial risk analyst, so business is very good at the moment.

I am also eating too much take away food, in the office.... Not soul food, definitely not good for the soul...

Plus I am in the enviable position of having an apartment on 5th Avenue (soon to be given up, it's a corporate place) and a place off Wall Street at the moment. Still find it weird to be here...

I know so little about New York and the US in general, lots to learn and figure out!!

Hopefully I'll post up some pictures of last wknd's trip to San Francisco soon also, keep your eyes peeled! : )