I've got mail
I received an e-mail the other day which wasn't a spam. This is it and my reply:
You asked: "What is it about Jakarta that lured you to design a blogspot?"
Answer? Because I've lived here for 16+ years and as a non-participant, because I'm a Brit, I can only observe.
And his reply.
East is east, West is west, the two shall never meet.
I stayed mere three months in the UK. I find the natives adopt fairness to survive whereas my countrymen chose humanity. Keep up the good work.
Thanks very much for writing, Sinar. Glad you like my blog so far. And thanks for giving me today's theme as it is from my perspective of both 'fairness' and 'humanity' that I pen these posts.
Firstly, there are many examples of East meeting West. My wife and I are but one example. Problems occur when one or the other seeks a dominant position. And salacious thinkers should instead consider McDonald's and Samsung. Art and music have both benefited from cross-fertilisation, a theme I intend to explore in later postings.
I'm not quite sure what Sinar means about Brits using fairness to survive. What's fair about Roman Abramovich's billions at Chelski or the proposed injection of funds into Liverpool FC
by the Thai Prime Minister? Both 'self-made' men have disregarded the rights of others to the rewards of their labours or to protection from abuse. Is being king of the castle what life is about? That's not a game I want to play.
So the British sense of 'fair play' is certainly one of my guiding principles.
This is reinforced, of course, by Charlton's nomination for a UEFA spot
through the Fair Play League. Incidentally, anyone reading this having linked from Forever Charlton
should note that I'm not Indonesian.
"... whereas my countrymen chose humanity."
It's the 'whereas' that bothers me. And there are too many unresolved mass killings in this country to justify the use of the word 'humanity'. Many go back to the New Order régime of Suharto, most recently the killing of students at Trisakti University 6 years ago which triggered his downfall and, more abhorrently, the mass slaughter of c. 1,000 Indonesian Chinese.
But does any country have clean hands?
More on Green Maps - Indonesia
I got in touch with Marco Kusumawijaya, a key figure in Indonesia's Green Maps movement, to tell him that I've given Green Maps a permanent link
. What I didn't mention in yesterday's posting was that there is a map about to be published of Bukittinggi.
I have a personal interest in Hotel Rimbo
, an eco-tourism project 2 hours north of Bukittinggi which is due to open at Idul Fitri ~ November 14/15th, so we are keen to network with the green movement in West Sumatra.
Marco wrote: On June 22nd we will actually launch it at The British Council's library, at 1930 pm, together with a book that compiles some 30 articles I wrote in the past four years. (The Green Map) is in English, with a lot of pictures and interesting discoveries. We will be selling them at 20,000 Rp/copy.
If you'd like to go to the launch, or want to get involved in Green Mapping, write to Marco
Incidentally, the green maps of Jakarta are sold at Aksara
bookstore in Kemang, not the QB.