Tuesday, December 02, 2003

The Buccaneer's Lair

The Buccaneer's Lair

Very rarely do I blog from my hotel room in Jakarta but today my favourite cybercafe is full, so I decided to type my entry offline on my notebook PC and make a more expensive dialup connection to Telkomnet Instan from my room to post it.

It feels good to be back among my collection of Indonesian books here in my room and the familiar electronic jingle of the BBC channel playing in the background. BBC is my main source of international news in Jakarta. Throughout my entire two years in Jakarta, my typical morning here is to wake to news on the BBC of another suicide bomber blowing himself up in some cafe or bus-stop in Israel. Not a very healthy breakfast for me, I must say.

When I was in Singapore, I listened to the BBC on radio daily (because I didn't have a TV), sometimes leaving it on all night. There the BBC is broadcasted in FM. Ocassionally I would also watch Channel News Asia streamed live through my ultra-fast Singtel Magix ADSL connection.

My hotel in Jakarta is one of those patriotic hotels which heeded the government's advice to "boycott" the CNN because of their biased and negative reporting about Indonesia. They only provide BBC as the English news channel--which is alright with me as I prefer the BBC because they are less prone to sensationalism. Besides the BBC, I only watch the ocassional soccer match on ESPN. Unfortunately this has become quite a heartbreaking experience these days because the team I supported since I was a kid, Liverpool, has been losing very often lately.

So it looks like, I'm back to my familiar surrounding in Jakarta--in my buccaneer's lair. And I feel really good after a quick supper of Indomie at the warung outside. I also bought my usual supply of apples, oranges and red wine from Sarinah just now. So I am well-provisioned to tackle all the work that I have to slog through this month. To quote Longfellow, it is time to "singe the beard of the King of Spain, And capture another Dean of Jaen, And sell him in Algiers."

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