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Archive for June, 2010

Great marketing job and I have to admit, the view was stunning indeed.

It’s all about predictability, regularity and consistency – with bowel movements that is. What might seem like a rather crude topic to those of you sitting behind your work PC, steaming morning coffee in hand, is a regular agenda item for backpackers. Especially when the predictability is affected, the stakes in the daily treasure hunt for the right toilet at the right time become immeasurably high.

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Weightless, we are propelled along by a forceful current, 18 meters below the water’s surface. Beneath us, the deep blue fades into an almost black, never-ending void. In front, the equivalent to a towering, vertical cliff is covered in a kaleidoscope of colorful coral and creatures of the sea. Above, below and behind and sometimes stuck together I see Caleb, Michele and Sabrina.

The idea of this ‘drift dive’ is to descend, maintain a depth of about 18m and allow the current to naturally and effortlessly guide us along like a conveyor belt. We ‘just’ recline and watch the production unfold. (more…)

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Psyched for the battle ahead, we march into the Mataram bus station. Our aim is clear, our strategy well rehearsed and the target, well…that’s generally us. It is a lesson I have learned the hard way: prices in the tourist areas of Southeast Asia are flexible – on good days; on bad days, they stretch like gum into infinity. Equally open for interpretation are the deliverables. You never quite know what you are going to get.

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 As a former military analyst and interested student in international politics and development, I have been conditioned to think about a country as a political and economic entity, as a developed or underdeveloped nation, as an ally or as a potential ‘threat’. My understandings of a place comes from T.V, books, articles and, often, biased or western-centric media analysis. As a result, I put greater emphasis on personal and national ‘threats’ than is deserving. Opening my eyes and mind to images and personalities beyond these parameters is challenging.

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