Here Thar Be Monsters!
Read in over 149 countries and 17 languages. Now at Augenguy.com! The original Indonesia Bureau brings you news and opinion with an IndoTex® flavor Monday thru Friday at 9a WIB (8p CST), from the other side of the argument to the other side of the planet. Be sure to check out Radio Far Side. Send comments_to email@example.com, and tell all your friends. Sampai jumpa, y'all!
Housekeeping Notes From The Far Side
Seven hundred articles.
Three hundred and fifty tweets.
Regular visitors from 149 countries who have translated the blog to 17 languages.
Cross-posts on Jeff Rense, Lew Rockwell, Henry Makow, David Icke, George Ure, and more.
And half a million page views, with the best day so far being 12,500 hits.
Not bad for a nutter squatting in the darkest jungles of Borneo banging out nonsense using monkeys on a treadmill to generate electricity and four wives to keep me fed and oiled, and occasionally groomed, I suppose.
And no, I still haven't seen King Kong, but I have seen 20-foot long lizards lying across the road sunning with no one willing to get out and argue about schedules and rushes and other unimportant things.
Life for an ex-pat on the Far Side is a lot of things, but boring ain't one of them.
I arrived in Jakarta on Valentine's Day 2008, with one suitcase, $600, and some wild ass dream of building a new life in the most remote and unusual place I could think of, outside of the Gobi desert. In these eight years, I've managed to buy a house, two apartments, some farm land, and a car. All paid in cash, something I never could achieve back home. I owned a few jalopies outright, but I never got further than renting houses from a bank. I'm not alone. I hear the same story from a lot of ex-pats in various parts of the world.
At 46, a lot of folks thought I was an idiot for doing this. I'm not sure they are wrong, but I sure am happy I did. Of course, a few of those folks who called me an idiot thought Indonesia was in Bali. Just shows to go ya. I wouldn't trade a moment of the experience, though.
The first year, I nearly starved to death, gave up beer and cheese (you can't imagine how much that hurt) because I didn't have the money for such luxuries, and saw some of the most amazing things I could imagine, from monster lizards to barbequed monkey to cobra blood drinks to one of the most amazing reefs I've never heard of. I've eaten dogs and bats, picked fresh fruit that looks like something out of scifi movie and stared into the craters of two massive volcanoes, and actually went inside a third one. I've been through my first earthquake (7.2) on the 23rd floor of my apartment building. I've tripped over snakes as big around as my thigh and long as a first down.
I lived more in the first year I was here than I did in the preceding 20.
I've gotten a little jaded now and many things don't surprise me as much as they used to, but Indonesia never fails - almost on a daily basis - to show me something that just makes me slap my head in stunned amazement.
Once I saw a motorcycle in front of my car that looked like it had streamers coming off the back of it, but the streamers looked strangely mechanical. When I finally caught up to it, I saw it was about a dozen geese strapped across the seat like saddle bags with their heads poking out the rear. In fact, I've seen just about anything you can imagine on a motorcycle here, including six people on one (7 if Mom was pregnant), a car windshield and a bundle of 20-foot long bamboo poles.
I'm learning four new languages (now 17 in all with 4 fluent) and a dozen new cultures. I've stood on monuments that pre-date recorded history. I've encountered ancient and mysterious religions, set foot on my seventh continent, and been in places I can almost imagine no other human have been.
I completed construction of the country's first international theater and brought the first-ever Broadway musical here. I've met artists and craftsmen whose work blows me away. I've watched women in village milking circles threshing rice (when you're old enough, I'll tell you about milking circles). I've seen folks haul fish the size of a pony out of the ocean and cook it for lunch on the beach.
And the next eight and a half years look to be just as much fun, with projects that include producing/promoting/touring shows around the country and creating a beer culture in a Muslim-dominated society.
No one has ever accused me of not taking a challenge.
Through it all, I've endeavored to bring my faithful readers on a ride of words, sharing thoughts and experiences along the way. I've met some great people through this project and have dozens more who regularly check in with a quick note. I now have 6,000 regular readers whose support makes it fun trying to come up with 1,000 words a day that are reasonably coherent, though some might argue I fail on a regular basis.
In any case, I want to thank everyone for their support and regular visits, most especially those who have donated to the cause. You've paid for software and gee-gaws to do Radio Far Side. I am very grateful to the folks who enjoy my efforts, and for those who don't, there are a million other (not so well-written) sites to choose from.
I hope y'all keep coming back and don't forget to pass a link along to other folks who might enjoy my weirdness. I'll keep plugging away for you.
PS - If you look at the map at the top, you'll notice that Bali is in Indonesia.