Tag Archives: culture

Island Style

13 October, Dobo. Last time I was in Ambon, it had been something of a shock. Coming from Bali, the chaos and pollution stood out, and the attention that the locals paid to foreigners was almost alienating. Now, though, I … Continue reading

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Mister Tinggi

10 October, Ambon. Yesterday was all eating and talking—so much talking that I may have worn out my ability to put words together. Writing it all down as a straight narrative would be boring for everyone, so what should I … Continue reading

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Perilous Language

8 October I’m writing this in the air above western Java, on my flight from Jakarta to Ambon. I was a bit skeptical about dragging this little laptop halfway around the world, but it has already proven its usefulness in … Continue reading

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Life in Transit

7-8 October, Jakarta I have been in the air, or in airports, for almost exactly 24 hours. The trans-Pacific flight was, true to type for EVA Air, grimly efficient with a Hello Kitty twist. The announcements were curt and to … Continue reading

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Escape Velocity

Headed to Indonesia again. On these pages, I haven’t even returned to the States yet. In fact, my life in the US is sometimes worth writing about, but it tends to happen in a crowded multi-tasking sort of way that … Continue reading

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Memories from a Night in Old Java

A while ago I went to an unusual performance in Seattle, at the Cornish art school’s auditorium. An ensemble of baroque musicians and a local gamelan orchestra took turns playing pieces from their repertoires, to explore the similarities and differences … Continue reading

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Modern Life in Jogja

My last week in Indonesia was a testament to how diverse the country is. The ancient city of Yogyakarta, or Jogja for short, was a different planet from Maluku province. The language sounded different, even when people bothered to speak … Continue reading

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Another Ambon: Part III

Hengky’s family are Seventh Day Adventists, or just “Adven,” as they called themselves. Morning, evening, and every meal were accompanied by long, elaborate prayers, with Hengky’s mother in law usually leading the service. Like American Adventists, they did not smoke … Continue reading

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Another Ambon: Part II

Hengky offered to show me around the jungle in the hills above his house. He wasn’t very familiar with it–he said he preferred the coast to the interior–but he had heard there was a Japanese bunker left from the Second … Continue reading

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Another Ambon: Part I

When my plane landed at Pattimura airport, the first objective was to find a ticket to Yogyakarta. Normally this would be easy—there were airline offices right outside the terminal. The only problem was that I was out of cash. Even … Continue reading

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