check out a map of the island of Java. My school is in depok, just south of the capitol city of Jakarta. Map
another quake, UGGGHHH…
As a student in Malaysia, I was always struck by the apathy that seems to charactize so much of the people that I meet. Part of this, of course, is the pledge that University students are forced to sign, promising they will stay out of politics. This seems endemic of a broader cultural trend, however; it has been easy for me to get the impression that most are more worried about simply obtaining the basic necessities, or, on the other end of the spectrum, in self-gratification.
This observation seems even more important when I look at news headlines and see that in Indonesia, the country just to the South, with the same basic religion and ethnic makeup, thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest of Israeli action in the Middle East. This is a complicated web just begging to be examined an over-confident American exchange student sure of his ability to comprehend a complex world.
I’ve been on a mission here in Malaysia, trying to get a bit of a sampling of what my generational counterparts, be they Muslims, Christians, Buddhists or other, are thinking about what’s happening in other parts of the world. And I’m excited about getting to Indonesia, to discover if and how my peers there are different.
I wanted to run to the CC this morning, quickly before I meet Fiza for lunch over in Gelugor. Amazing how the world gets smaller and smaller, every day it seems. I was in Southeast Asia not 4 hours before running into someone that I knew from a previous life in Penang, without even leaving Bangkok International. My time here in Penang has been one encounter after another with folks that recognized my face, with places that I felt I have traversed and lingered in many many times. Hi-class dining at the best Malay street restoran with friends is a daily occurance. My friend Pourchesta, an Iranian doing her Masters degree at USM, saw this tall thin orang putih and recognized him instantly. She treated me to tea at a kedai kopi, and we discussed the political and cultural currents in our respective countries, and how it all comes together in some weird way through our shared Malaysian experiences.
thank you those of you that have sent emails after hearing about the
earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Java. if you haven’t heard about
it, check out the news, it’s really sad.
i am still visiting my friends here in malaysia, enjoying myself a bit
before hopping on the plane in a few days down to java. i’m having a
great time, though i cannot help but be struck by that “peculiarly American
guilt- that I should be up and doing something constructive,” as journalist
Tracey Dahlby so aptly puts it. i am definitely looking forward to going down
back to indonesia, and am by no measure frightened by the place, but the
frequency of unfortunate events (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes etc)
is enough to at least perk the ears up. the thrill of adventure and the
maintenence of a healthy naivete are imortant, but a complete disregard
for caution is another thing altogether. i don’t believe there is anywhere
near that kind of danger in java, and am pretty quick to tell anyone who
thinks so paranoid.
anyway, thank you all for caring about me, and i hope all is well on
your side. missing you from malaysia.
Â For any brave souls willing to dare this outlet for curiosities of the mind of Ted… this is a website that i had done before – on my own, which explains its aesthetic blasphemies. Old Web Page
Well. All right then. I guess this is it. One last cup of coffee here on Lyndale Ave, one last afternoon in old Minneapolis. Did you know my mom got a pair of kittens the other day? Any suggestions for names?