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Reflections on Indonesia

Today it was fly-back-to-Singapore day, as I had arranged some more business there before heading back home. As the last time, Ilham came to the airport to see me off, which is a real pleasure. You know you have a friend when he does that for you.

Didn’t do much work this time round, only a couple of meetings, but it was as interesting and as rewarding being in Indonesia and Jakarta the first time round.

I am beginning to get a real appreciation for the quiet pride and confidence the Indonesians have in themselves. Although not a nation in the formal way it is now, Indonesia always had a very high level of culture and society from very early times. Both its pre-Islamic and Islamic origins are obscured to the general world view by its many centuries of dominance by the Dutch (God knows how they managed that, if the island leaders had united earlier the Dutch could have been kicked out in very short order), to the point that the perception is that it is a young country. It is a young state, but it is an old civilization and ancient culture.

There is much to see and learn here. And the climate in the uplands is an absolute delight. It would be most rewarding to live here awhile. Bahasa Indonesia is no more difficult (or easier) than Tagalog. The market is greater, the process of facilitating it the same. Hmmmm…

Back in Singapore I was quickly through the controls (what a delight!). I had booked back in the same hotel as before, but a different room this time (it’s nice to be able to look out of a window).

Dinner was, yes, back at the street restaurant and then after walking around again to stretch my legs I went back to the same bar (I’m getting to be a local) where an English guy of part Italian origin introduced himself. There on a project, staying longer. Lucky guy – I’d love to live in Singapore for a while…

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