Thanks are due to Friskodude ~ who's currently in S.E. Asia but isn't coming here (why not, Dude?) ~ for pointing to this site which has generated the map below. Although I've now lived in Indonesia for 17½ years, and in the same house, I'm still travelling. Curiosity keeps this cat alive and there are enough 'what the f**k?' moments here to keep me interested.
Trivia fans of Jakartass may like to know that before coming here I've spent time in the following countries: Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Andorra, Spain, Morocco, the USA, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, New Zealand and Fiji. That means I've been out of Blighty for a total of 25 years, give or take a day or so.
Jakartass' travels over the past 40 years
Paul Theroux has probably been to more countries than me, but his reasons for travelling are a bit more complex than mine.
"I travel to find obstacles, to discover my limits, to ease the passage of time, to reassure myself that innocence and antiquity exist, to search for links to the past, to flee from the nastiness of urban life and the paranoia, if not outright dementia, of the technological world."
He also writes better than I do, which is why I have a whole shelf of his books and why I save to disk any of his writings I find online. His visit to the rainforests of Colombia in search of yage is worth a read.
Yage is yajé, Banisteriopsis caapi: vine of the soul, secret nectar of the Amazon, the shaman's holy drink, the ultimate poison, a miracle cure. More generally known as ayahuasca, a word I found bewitching, it was said to make its users prescient if not telepathic. Rocket fuel is another active ingredient: in an ayahuasca trance, many users have testified, you travel to distant planets, you meet extraterrestrials and moon goddesses. "Yage is space time travel," Burroughs said.
But Theroux didn't find it there.
Instead of eco-chic, ethnobotany, the rainforest experience, shamanism or visions, I had encountered child prostitutes, gun runners, blighted jungle, the place surrounded by guerrillas of the FARC; and the diminishing number of Secoyas seemed doomed. That village would soon be swallowed by the encroachment of oil people who were only a half-day's march through the forest. Perhaps this was meant to be my adventure, though I had not known it at the outset.
It seems that jungle trekking isn't what it used to be.
Back in February, I 'published' an account of a trek I made with Son no.1 through the forest of Siberut back in 1991. I also gave a link to The Selling of the Last Savage, an account of a trek, organised from Bali, in Papua in search of headhunters. I'd found this story on the Gadling - Engaged Travelblog which figured that Jakartass suffers from ADD, an accusation which still rankles, but once you settle into the rhythm of the blog, it's not half bad.
If you didn't read the article then, read it today in the Observer.
He was born 97 years ago today and died nine days ago. He was married to Jeannie, who died in 1991, for 70 years. If my arithmetic is correct, Joe and Jeannie got married when he was 12.
Interesting guy. But, I hear you cry, how come everyone knows of him?
Because his creative ideas often put a memorable, identifying stamp on Disney cartoon films. These included the studio's first full-length animated film, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Lady And The Tramp (1955). He then went freelance, as it were.
He returned to Disney for Beauty And The Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995) and others.
Making generations happy is a hell of an epitaph. Lucky Jeannie.
Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Ma'am.
H.M. Good Queen Bess is stressed out. This is confirmed by the news that she is going to have her portrait painted by Rolf Harris for her 80th birthday.
I didn't know that Rolfing®structural integration has an unequaled and unprecedented ability to dramatically alter a person's posture and structure. Professional athletes, dancers, children, business people, and people from all walks of life have benefited from Rolfing. People seek Rolfing as a way to ease pain and chronic stress, and improve performance in their professional and daily activities. It's estimated that more than 1 million people have received Rolfing work.
The Rolf I first saw on TV when I was a nipper is multi-talented. This self portrait shows him practising 'structural integration'.
Despite the joke reviews and the fact thatone other reviewer included them on her top 25 weirdest items these are no laughing matter. Yes I bought some out of curiousity and yes I ate them, as did my husband, and I have to say they make a tasty snack. Don't be put off by the jokes and comments about how nasty they look. If you are low carbing it and like pork rinds (I know a lot of people can't stand them) then you will love this snack. And the chocolate tastes wonderful.
You won't find them in Jakartass Towers. I'm a vegetarian.