Thursday, November 13, 2003

My Fugitive Mind

My Fugitive Mind

Where would I hide if I were a fugitive on the run from the law? This is one of many games which I play in my twisted mind to amuse myself sometimes. Indonesia is a good place to disappear; whenever I'm travelling domestically here, I'll try to "scout" for possible hideout locations. Sometimes I'll see a nice kampung house by the roadside, and think how "happy" I would be to spend quiet days there living anonymously away from the rest of the world.

Getting a new identity wouldn't be a problem in Indonesia, as KTP (pronounced "kah-tay-pay", Indonesian identity cards) can be easily bought. I wonder what Indonesian name I'll use. Probably "Chairil", as I am pretty fond of the poet Chairil Anwar. Surnames? Many Indonesians don't have one, so I'll just settle with a one word name--sounds pretty cool and will look good on my KTP too.

I'll have to work on my accent of course--right now it is neither Indonesian nor Malaysian. My appearance needs to be ruggedized: A good tan coupled with some long unkempt hair will go a long way towards preventing myself from being mistaken as a Jepang (Japanese) so often. And to blend nicely into the Indonesian street crowd, I'll need to dress in shabby jeans from Jalan Cihampelas together with matching cheap rubber sandals from Pasar Baroe.

I wasn't sure if I was amused the other day when I read the news about the police almost catching the Malaysian terrorist and expert bomb-maker, Dr Azahari at a rented house in Bandung. Bandung is a place which I am very fond of, and I have often thought that it would make a good hiding place for me if I were to run away from the world. Is this a case of criminal minds thinking alike?

Well, maybe Bandung is not such a good place after all--it's too close to Jakarta and many Jakartans visit the place during weekends. One could easily risk being spotted.

Lately I've been considering Manado, referred to by naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace as "the prettiest town in the East". Being located on the northern tip of Sulawesi island, it is remote enough. Will need to do some scouting there and hopefully, Dr Azahari is not also thinking along the same lines.

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