Tuesday, March 09, 2004

That Dangerous Place

That Dangerous Place

Most people have the impression that Indonesia is a dangerous place. But during my two years in Jakarta, the only danger I faced was being a bit too comfortable living there.

My job in Jakarta was relatively easy; my customers were a joy to work with; I got along very well with the locals and I never had to worry about money. Soon I was having visions of myself settling down permanently in Indonesia.

Those two years of self-imposed exile were an absolute bliss. But unfortunately it was premature for me to be contemplating retirement, seductive though the thought was. I had to yank myself away to pursue a brand new adventure elsewhere...

Let others flock to the promised lands of Australia or Canada, I know I'll return to Indonesia someday:

Yes, I'll find a quaint little place, a haunted old Dutch villa perhaps, nestled somewhere in the cool mountains of Parahyangan. And in that abode of the Gods, I'll lull myself with the poetry of Chairil Anwar and spend my waking hours deciphering the oracles of Ronggowarsito; I'll trace the wonderful journeys of Alfred Russel Wallace across those spice-scented islands, home to the elusive birds of paradise, and marvel at the fearsome glories of its slumbering volcanoes; I'll traverse the archipelago from Sabang to Merauke, that vast exalted realm that Sukarno dreamt of, and pay homage to the great man at his grave in Blitar; I'll rumble across Java on rail from Merak to Banyuwangi, stopping overnight at Brebes to seek out my dear old friend there, and listen all night to her tales of toil and hardship, in those blistering fields of onion.

Yes, Indonesia is indeed a dangerous place for me--I could end up there forever.

No comments: