Monday, April 19, 2010

Monkey Attack

I took these pictures while visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest temple in Ubud, Bali. The monkeys here have grown quite use to tourists, and as I learned the hard way, can be quite aggressive.

The story goes as follows. I had been in the park no more than 10 minutes when I spotted a Japanese girl being accosted by 5 or 6 monkeys. In a stupid moment of altruism and goodwill, I thought it would be good idea to help her. I peeled 3 or so of the monkeys off the girl and tossed them to the ground. Before a thank-you even left the girl's lips, I heard several loud squawks and noticed a large number of other of seemingly angry monkeys headed in my direction. The three I had already peeled off, line up in V formation, showing their sharp teeth and lunging like dogs on a chain, and after a few seconds I count 7, 8,9 monkeys. I backtracked slowly, but the further I move, the closer they get. I ran, They chased. I screamed, they howled. I escaped, they found a new victim.

After 10 minutes, I cooly walked back into the park, avoiding eye contact with anything living, passing my monkey attackers and entering the temple where I took most of the following pictures.

If you look closely, you can see this Monkey is holding a frog. With many spectators on hand, this monkey took the frog into the tree, peed on it, and ate it. Who woulda thunk?

Mangosteens: Best Fruit, hands down

Javanese wedding wigs.

Jenny Zhang, "Solo is the best city in Indonesia!".

Sunrise from my balcony in Ubud, Bali

My friend Fajar at his studio/gallery in Ubud.

Friday, April 16, 2010


After a number of gut turning emails, something very unexpected occured yesterday; I was able to defer my admission to UPenn until next fall. I don't really want to get into the details of it, but I must say that I feel somewhat relieved.

Grad School is not what this post is about!
This post is about adventures!
So as they say here. AYO!
This post is made up of pictures taken in reverse chronological order starting in Lombok, shifting to a few of my English Club, and finally some photos from Kraton in Solo.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not dead

Dear World,

Sorry I suck at being a consistent blogger. A lot of things have happened in the last month that have contributed to a lack of updates. As previously mentioned, the 6 year old macbook that I have here had a melt down, and prevented me from using the internet for a little while. I also went on some adventures to Lombok, Bali, and Jakarta. On top of that, i've been more focused on music / figuring out life after Indonesia than other things.

Here's a quick life after Indo update for anyone who cares. I applied to Masters programs for City and Regional Planning and was accepted at U Penn and Portland State. Unfortunately, neither school was able to offer much in the way of funding for the coming school year, so as it stands, I am too poor to go to grad school. A couple of years ago this likely wouldn't have happened, but with the economy as it is, most schools are facing major financial cut backs and looking for applicants that can stomach the $40,000 a year of tuition, or in my case the 40k of student loans. But as I have learned in Indonesia, my stomach isn't that strong, and I'd rather face a toothless job market for a year, than be under 80 additional g's of loans in a field that's rarely synonymous with high pay.

With all of this in mind, I feel like I learned a great deal from the application process, and that I'll be much better equipped next time around. One of my goals for the next year is to make myself a better applicant. This means re-taking my GRE's (even though it was hell), taking some classes, try to find an internship in the field, and apply for a lot of outside funding.

Aside from graduate school, I have a couple of other goals. I want to:
- record a full album of songs, in my opinion this means 10 or more of high quality.
- put together a photography show (in the works).
- live somewhere new.
- take better care of myself (both physically and emotionally).

My plan for the summer is to go back to Tamarack Farm Camp in Vermont. Its an amazing job working with people I love in the most beautiful place in the world. Its a good place to save money, eat healthy, be outside, and have fun while I figure out what's next.


Things in Semarang are same old same old. I get my kicks by going to the gym most days, the grocery store every 4 days, and the laundry lady once per week. English club Tuesday and Thursday, Futsol also on Thursday, the bar on Friday, plans of attending the Hash fall through on Saturdays, and new lesson plans on Sunday. I hang out with some Dutch friends every so often, and have been known to go see a bad movie from time to time. I say hello to my neighbors in the morning and the evening, and can be seen eating at a warung on the side of the road. I ride the bus so often that the attendance know my name and that i'll need 1,500 rupiah in change for the 5,000 that's stowed in my pocket. I like to eat at the Thai restaurant in the mall; They already know what i'll order and where I'm likely to sit. When I wake up, I forget my dream whilst I turn on my computer and make my coffee. I'm always running late, and lately I'm always counting days, even though everything is fine. I video skype with my father on most nights around around 7. We're closer now than we've ever been, despite being separated by more miles than ever before. When I see him on the video screen with my little picture next to his, I recognize the similarity in our smile and see that I am every bit as much a man of habit as he.

Blogging is something that I am making an effort to put back into my schedule during my last month and a half here. I plan on putting a ridiculous amount of picture up soon. Thanks for your patience and support. Much love wherever you are