Daggers keep dropping hints that I should give a Southeast Asian expat perspective on what’s happening in Egypt. By dropping hints, I mean that they keep emailing me and telling me to write a Southeast Asian expat perspective on what’s happening in Egypt. I’ll think about that some more and get back to you.
ArtAppraiser asked for my thoughts on a New York Times article about the relationships Indonesia is forging with the United States and China. I have to admit I haven't been paying that much attention to politics and economics over here. There isn't much in-depth analysis in the English-language press and my friends are mostly fellow teachers, so we talk more about grammar and culture than geopolitical manuevering. But, for what's it's worth, I do have some thoughts.
You'd think for the kind of money President Obama is spending on travel in Right-Wing Fantasy Land, there would be at least one public event during his time in Indonesia. I mean, it's not like there are occasional attacks of terrorism in a city that is beyond impossible to secure.
Except it is exactly like that. Oh, well. I know somebody who knows somebody who is invited to dinner with the President this evening. Him and a few hundred other more important expats. Not that I'm bitter. But for $200 million a day, you'd think anybody holding a U.S. passport would be invited.
I didn’t have internet service at my house this week. There was nothing wrong with the service. I paid the bill and magical signals were coming through the cables hanging high up above the street. I say magical because I don’t understand the ins and outs of how I can sit down on my couch in Jakarta and communicate with people all over the world through invisible electrical impulses. What’s more, I don’t really care how it works, just that it does. And when it fails, I get the tiniest bit cranky.
Lebaran is this weekend which means I have successfully completed my first Ramadan in a Muslim country. I wasn't affected much. My area of the city has almost as many Christians as Muslims, so the restaurants were still crowded at lunch time. I was more careful about eating, and drinking alcohol, outside during daylight hours and I didn't eat in front of my Muslim co-workers prior to sundown, but other than that, life went on normally.
Bukit Lawang is a village in North Sumatra, on the edge of the jungle. The Bohorok River plays a central role in village life, providing a place to wash bodies and clothes, to cool down during sweltering days, and to have a little fun, running smallish rapids on tubes and in rafts. The village exists almost entirely due to tourism.
There is a report in the Jakarta Post this morning announcing that the city will begin construction on a sewage system next year. The first phase of the project will take almost 10 years and only serve about 10 percent of the city, but it's a start. In 20 years, a projected expansion plan will reach a quarter of the population.
On my way to Jakarta, I had a nine hour layover in Seoul, Korea. As I was planning my trip, I considered spending that time sight-seeing or finding a restaurant with some excellent bi bim bop. But then I realized I would be tired and grimy, so then I decided to try to find out if there was any place at the Seoul airport where I could take a shower. I was explaining this idea to a friend who frequently travels to India and she made a suggestion that changed my entire trip. She said, “Why don’t you look for a day-rate hotel?” Whichever hotel maven thought up this idea was a genius.
March 23, 2017 | KIEV — In the plush, crimson-decked lobby bar of Kiev’s five-star Premier Palace Hotel, Denis Voronenkov, a Russian lawmaker who had defected to Ukraine, knew he was in danger. “For our personal safety, we can’t let them know where we are,” he said Monday evening as he sat with his wife for an interview with The Washington Post. Less than 72 hours later, he was dead, shot twice in the head in broad daylight outside the same lobby bar. It was a particularly brazen assassination that recalled the post-Soviet gangland violence of the 1990s.
Chuck Schumer is prepared to push the Senate into a nuclear confrontation over the Supreme Court.
In an extensive interview with POLITICO Thursday, the Senate minority leader made his most definitive statement to date that Democrats will deny Neil Gorsuch the 60 votes he needs to clear a Senate filibuster and ascend to the Supreme Court [....]
The article points out while that plenty are currently wavering, he seems supremely confident.
Back in December, as Russia and Turkey unveiled their surprise agreement on how to settle their Syria spat, I wrote a piece here suggesting that Trump would want in on the despots' deal, and that exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen would be his key bargaining chip. It turns out the Trump camp were way ahead of me. Michael Flynn, then a Trump adviser, had already floated the idea -- in September! -- of a non-judicial way to hand Gulen over to Erdogan. Was Flynn free-lancing or was he actually negotiating with the Turks on behalf of then-candidate Trump? Either way, ex-CIA director James Woolsey says the conversation he overheard struck him as potentially illegal. I agree.
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, on Friday morning announced that he would not vote for the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare... He cited one of the last-minute additions to the bill, a provision that would repeal Obamacare's requirement that insurers cover Essential Health Benefits. "it would place significant new costs and barriers to care on my constituents in New Jersey.."
Keep an eye on this one...Flynn is constitutionally incapable of choosing to disclose any truth that embarrasses him and his proven inability to internalize the likely scope of the potential scrutiny is a source of constant amazement.
On World Water Day, the United Nations children's agency (Unicef) has warned that some 600 million children – one out of every four worldwide – will live in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040.
Even though this article is not at all scientific or objective, consisting of reported anecdotals from "Trump country" in North Carolina, with a selection of photo illustrations that is suspiciously oriented towards "white trashville", I still found it very intriguing. It stuck in my mind, so much so that I went back to search for it in my browsing history in order to post it here.