Dreams, Hopes, and Changing the WorldNavigation
History affects us perpetually. More so than we hope, or believe. San Diego is the southernmost city in the state of California. Below me is a border, drawn as a straight line cutting through the desert, until it meets another straight line in a slightly different angle. This...Read More
It’s only a few days to the European Champions League Final, May 25th, and though it will take place far way, in London, England, and will involve no players from Southeast Asia, let alone Indonesia, the drumbeat to the match will be clearly visible here.
As the date neared, we saw growing numbers of football fanatics in Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, or AC Milan jerseys in the malls of Jakarta. There are larger lines at already crowded Futsal centers. In fact, at bars, cafés, behind street vendors, anywhere where you saw a crowd of mostly (but not entirely) Indonesian men, it is likely they are watching one thing.
A football match from the other side of the world.Read More
You may not have even noticed it happened, but last week Couchsurfing officially hit six million members. To some, a milestone, to others, another sign of how mass media popularity is ruining a good idea. It should come as no surprise that there is widespread discontent about the direction the site is taking, and an active search for alternative platforms.
While I may have doubts about today’s Couchsurfing I also believe the potential is still there to embark on an even greater, more ambitious project.
Before we can envision that future, Couchsurfing needs to take concrete steps to rebuild trust, increase openness, and recapture the spirit that spurred the sites initial organic growth. Thus, in response to the huge response of my initial article, my plan to save Couchsurfing based on my experiences as longtime Couchsurfer, traveler and social activist.Read More
The distant, penetrating booms had never been heard before in mystical Mandalay. They were similar to thunder, yet didn’t seem to come from the sky. In fact, only one person in the royal city, a young Indian waiter-boy, knew what the sounds were. The blasting cannons of modern, British gunboats, coming to make history.Read More
Ubiquitous, cheap, filling, and, most importantly, delicious. Street food and Indonesia are often seen as one and the same. They are outside the shopping malls of Jakarta, providing a cheap alternative to western-priced fare inside for mall staff, tucked into alleys in Denpasar, in specially designated areas in Solo, always within a few minutes walk in any city, amazing for a country where nearly everything requires you to drive.
Street food is to Indonesia as boulangeries are to France. Unlike French bakeries, though, street food is relatively new to Indonesia’s culinary scene, and has been transformed into a national obsession. Its emergence coincides with rising diabetes, blood pressure and other health issues quickly turning into a crisis. Most tellingly, according to the World Health Organization, the adult obesity is now at 21%, one of the highest rates in Asia. The chief culprit? Unhealthy diets of greasy street food and sugary drinks.
To understand the effects of street food in Indonesia, we need to go back to the 1960′s in my own country, the United States, when a transformation altered the way people ate food and, created a health crisis that has, today, reached epic proportions.Read entire article
One day, when I was in high school, I returned home from school to find my grandma, Amama in Telugu, laying on the sofa, still.
I walked over, slowly. This was strange, I thought. She was usually out and about, or, would have woken upon hearing me enter. I looked at her chest. Was it moving? Was she breathing.
My fear slowly grew as I watched and couldn’t tell.
Instantaneously, her face burst into a smile, and out came a deep laugh. Immediately anger overtook me. Death wasn’t something to joke about. Silently, I walked upstairs.Read More
Last year, after finals, I decided to take a break and attend the weekly Couchsurfing meetup in New York City. Though I was an active traveler before, Couchsurfing in Europe and Asia and hosting and organizing events in San Francisco, here, in New York, school and roommates kept me less involved than before.
Before the event, I joined some surfers for dinner. Immediately, I noticed this was unlike any other Couchsurfing meetup I’d ever been to. One girl had never used the site as a guest or host, only to meet people to go drinking with. The guys had barely traveled, weren’t interested in talking with me, and didn’t actively host in New York. None of them seemed like real Couchsurfers.
At the meetup, it got even more strange. Upstairs, in the dark, loud, and unfriendly room, was a group of nearly two dozen guys, all American, and a single girl, surrounded by guys. No one came up to welcome us, and the atmosphere felt stifling.
“Man, where are all the girls?” said one of my dinner mates.
I left only 20 minutes later. That didn’t feel like the Couchsurfing spirit, not at all. Little did I realize that site which had changed my life, had itself changed for the worse.Read More