Thursday, May 21, 1998
  Part 2

Sunday May 17th

A big calm and sunny day. Quieter than the quietest bank holiday. Phones ring. Big fat millionaire made it back to Australia. Did niece make it back to Medan? (She did, but with no thanks to him.) Many acquaintances are heading for the hills. Is anywhere safe?

Charlie taught a regular private class this morning. He saw Chinese electrical and electronics stores razed. The housing complex has a barbed wire reinforced barricade. Those under siege are petrified.

Gossip talks of a massive airlift - board now, pay later, but where can we go with rupiah? Am somewhat concerned that no family member has rung from the UK. Sister Sue works for British Airways, so she should know that they're charging dollars upfront for seats.

Monday May 18th

Prepare to go to the office, but get phone call to say it is shut all week. I go anyway because my bank is next door-ish. I take Our Kid for 'protection'. The front of our building has a banner saying Pribumi Milik (Owned by indigenous Indonesian.) I don't let on that the owner is ethnic Chinese from Kalimantan.

In the bank, full of colleagues on a similar quest, I'm near the back of the queue. I ask the cashier if they've got Rp.5 million. We check the needs of those behind and, thankfully, the bank has. Just, so I take it 'in case'.

At home there's a message from Son No.1 on the ansafone. He's worried about us, but I can't contact him as he's set off on a valedictory tour of the US having finished his studies there. Will he visit mutual friends who, I strongly suspect have cancelled their plans to visit us here? We expected a call from them last Wednesday, but didn't get one.

One very corrupt Cabinet minister - Abdul Lateif - has quit. As Minister of Tourism his potential income must have been drastically reduced. (Ha, still got a sense of heavy sarcasm ~ another shitty day in paradise.)

'Er Indoors says that a TV station reports that the army want to arrest Amien Rais (the de facto leader of the People's Forum). Do that and there's no way the people will allow it. He's really pushing and has scared off a few of his fellow forty People's Forum ~ like Soeharto's son-in-law*, who says he still seeks reform. The Jakarta Post has consistently, but wisely argued the case for reform. The students are taking to the streets and to the legislative bodies, both national and regional.

The pressure on Soeharto is immense. Will he conveniently die of a heart attack brought on by the stress? Or will he seek a wise, compromising but still publicly acceptable 'abdication' and peaceful succession? It will be good for the latter if he opts for the latter. And good if Indonesia wins the Thomas and Uber Cups in men's and women's badminton. How can those players concentrate so far from home (in Hong Kong). But they're still in there winning.

The men beat Malaysia 3 - 2 in the final and the women lost 4 - 1 to China in their final.)

Two female colleagues (who live a couple of streets away) ring to say they're heading to Lombok. Good luck, have a nice holiday, but I didn't tell them that I've heard that all flights to Bali have been cancelled. (But why??)

Some cause for optimism: journalists filming Harmoko, leader of the legislative yes-men, broke into spontaneous applause, no doubt breaking professional bounds of impartiality, when he announced that all factions, inc. the army, are asking Soehato to resign.

Phone call from Son No.1; distinct parochial bias in the US press. "Baton Rouge couple evacuated."

*Can anyone let me know who were the members of the People's Forum and, in particular, which son-in-law I was writing about?

Tuesday May 19th

Live, in front of ulemas (Muslim religious leaders), Soeharto says it's premature for him to 'abdicate'. Give me 20 months, i.e. to the false dawn of the millenium, to carry out reforms, even electoral ones. Will the people let him? Live comments from the ulemas weren't unanimous ~ one was 'censored' - i.e. the sound was cut off !

It's the waiting within a siege which is wearing. You can get excited, panicky and irrational as you watch smoke plumes, all black, and listen to gunshots which may not be because they don't sound like they do on TV in crime and cop stories, and you weren't really watching those reports from Beirut, Bosnia or wherever. But the silence may be worse.

Phone calls: Charlie, my 60 year old ex-Jesuit priest friend with a very witty line in dirty jokes is off to Bali - by executive class bus because it's comfortable and he likes the scenery. Our numbers decrease and our sense of isolation increases exponentially. An emotional balance is difficult to sustain.

Time for a SuperMie lunch.

Repeated showings before the news finally ~ believably? ~ sinks in. He's going. Elections will be held for the M.P.R. which will elect a new president and vice-president. He will not be a candidate. He's in favour of a constitutional succession, supervised by a Reformation Ctte. composed of various public figures - including ulemas, no doubt, and university rectors. So ... how long will it take? Much conjecture and TVRI (the state run TV station) shows ulemas saying "Don't take anything for granted" and "terus, terus" which rhymes with Bruce and translates roughly, as "keep on keeping on"

Common sense will out? The students are still camped out at the MPR building and tomorrow is the 20th ~ scheduled for a People's March to the Presidential Palace ~ and the 90th anniversary of National Re-awakening. Symbolic or what? Of what, we wait for tommorrow. Will the people believe it when he talks of anti-corruption, anti-monopoly? He's old, he can afford to give up a quest - if that's what it was - for temporal wealth. But can he give up his children?

And are they, the children, really in the UK as reported on the net and supposedly confirmed by BA (British Airways)? An interesting question for we Brits: what would you have done if you had found that they were on the same flight as fellow evacuees? Boo'd and hissed? Invited them to jump out the nearest emergency exit? Or asked them to get the drinks in?




3:00 pm
Alien Thoughts from Home

Home Thoughts from Abroad

Interactive World Time

Indonesian Dictionary

Indonesian Acronyms

Indonesian Slang

Learn Indonesian

Currency Converter

Email Me

The WeatherPixie

5 Day Forecast

Get Firefox!

  • West Sumatra Earthquake Aid Agencies
  • Sidoarjo Mud Volcano
  • Reports on Crashes and Sinkings

  • Living in Indonesia
  • Tempo
  • Bugils News
  • Jakarta Post
  • Jakarta Globe
  • Down To Earth
  • Loads of Advice
  • Inside Indonesia
  • Green Indonesia
  • Hobson's Choice
  • Gunung Bagging - New - clamber volcanoes
  • Indonesian Music
  • Indahnesia Online
  • Maps of Indonesia
  • Indonesia For Kids - blog
  • Green Group Links
  • Faces of Indonesia - blog
  • Photos of Indonesia
  • Indonesian Publications
  • International Crisis Group
  • Indonesian Engaged Travel - blog
  • Outside The Indonesian Box - blog
  • Indonesian Corruption Watch
  • News and Events Aggregators
  • Indonesia's Vegetarian Restaurants

  • Living in Jakarta
  • Culture Shock - Jakarta - 'my' book
  • Bataviase - loads of info in Indonesian
  • Rujak.org - for a sustainable Jakarta
  • Jakarta Kid - stories of street kids
  • Jakarta Events - as it says in the title
  • Map of Jakarta
  • Jakarta Nite Out
  • Jakarta Nite Out - for Francophiles
  • Jakarta 100 Bars - as it says in the title
  • Jakarta Java Kini - upmarket magazine
  • Jakarta Urban Blog- as it says in the title
  • Jakarta Green Map
  • Jakarta Daily Photo - as it says in the title
  • Jakarta? Been there!
  • Protecting Jakarta Bay
  • Nightlife - for single guys - check the forums
  • Jakarta Restaurant Reviews - as it says in the title

  • Living in Bali
  • Hector - at Bali Times
  • Bali Spirit
  • Bali Expat Forum
  • Nusa Lembongan News
  • I've Been To Bali Too Blog - defunct but still good stuff

  • Education Matters
  • Education 21
  • Performing Monkeys
  • Yayasan Goodwill International

  • Pre-Independence History
  • 1941-1942
  • A Family Tale

  • Del Boy - my multi-talented co-author
  • Hotel Rimbo - a mate
  • Ethos Travel - Son No.1
  • Indo Fair Traders
  • Organic Vanilla
  • Merdeka Coffee
  • Pekerti Nusantara

  • Indonesian Blogs in English
  • Top Blogs
  • Merdeka - aggregator
  • Elyani - good stuff
  • Therry - good stuff
  • Om'Bak - group thoughts
  • Yosef Ardi - business gossip
  • Treespotter - his serious blog
  • Milk Tea Girl - poems and stuff
  • Bitching Babe - another slice
  • Café Salemba - ekonomi +
  • Enda Nasution - The Guv'nor
  • Aroeng Binang - a neighbour
  • Harry Nizam H. - legal practitioner
  • Ethereal Shards - youthful ponderings
  • Muli's Commune - defunct but good links
  • Isman H. Suryaman - not a 'Fool'
  • Rasyad A. Parinduri - ekonomi
  • Tasa Nugraza Barley - returned from the USA
  • Indonesia Anonymus - infrequent but always good

  • Indonesian Expats
  • Naz - a "12.5% Indonesian" in Norway
  • Bleu - in Malaysia
  • Anita - in Scotland
  • Maya - in Antibes
  • The Writer - in Denmark
  • Spew-It-All - in Australia
  • Jennie Bev - in SF
  • Rima Fauzi - in Belgium
  • Nadia Febina - in Angola
  • Society of Spectacle - in Berlin
  • Overseas Think Tank - for Indonesia
  • Indonesians Living Abroad Forum - as it says in the title

  • Expat Bloggers in Indonesia
  • PJ Bali - oil worker
  • Mat Solo - Malaysian oil worker
  • Jenny Q - an expat wife
  • Dr Bruce - retired teacher in Bali
  • Spruiked - Brett's take on things
  • Indoprism - an expat family
  • Java Jive - original photoblog (now in the Phillipines)
  • Amor Fati - good links
  • Metro Mad - Jakarta Globe columnist
  • Rob Baiton - back in Oz
  • Jakarta Kid - about street kids
  • Green Stump - in Kalimantan
  • Most Curious - née Betty Loves Blogging
  • The Mad Rotter - Henk loves Indonesian music
  • Duncan Graham - journo archives
  • Hardship Posting - more wtf
  • Indonesia Matters - loads of stuff
  • The Opinionated Diner - and NZ music
  • Patrick Guntensperger - has opinions on current issues

  • Selected Aseanist Blogs
  • SARAwho? - Southeast Asia Aggregator
  • Pelf-ism is Contagious
  • Brommel - usually in Indonesia
  • Friskodude - SF travel writer
  • Klong Walking - an Addick in Bangkok
  • Agam's Gecko - musings from Thailand

  • London Blogs
  • Diamond Geezer
  • London Daily Nature Photo
  • London Bloggers Tube Map

  • Other Fave Blogs
  • Aangirfan - who is s/he?
  • Ad Busters - ecological economic sense
  • Samizdata.net
  • Strange Games
  • The J-Walk Blog
  • Environmental Graffiti

  • Charlton
  • Doctor Kish
  • Inspector Sands
  • Forever Charlton
  • Official Charlton site
  • Addickted to Blogs
  • Ex-Charlton forward in Belize

  • I'm an Aging Hippie
  • Man
  • XTC
  • World Changing
  • MoonJune Records
  • Canterbury Sounds

  • My Youth
  • Blackheath
  • Charlton Lido
  • Charlton House
  • Woolwich Ferry
  • Greenwich Park
  • Severndroog Castle
  • Overlapping Memories
  • More Overlapping Memories
  • Map of My Stomping Ground

  • Put Your Feet Up
  • Biscuit of the week
  • 50's British TV Nostalgia
  • Hello Children, Everywhere

  • Enter your Email

    Subscribe with Bloglines

    Locations of visitors to this page


    eXTReMe Tracker

    Listed on BlogShares

    Personal Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

  • May 1998
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • December 2013
  • Creative Commons Licence