Just for your information: if you ever make the trip from Africa to Europe in one of those ramshackle boats, then one of these is waiting for you.

Sam Kutesa, minister of foreign affairs for Uganda, defender of that ridiculous law there, became president of the general assembly of the UN. Chosen unanimously.

Nabeela Rehman from Pakistan, 9 years old, spoke in the VS congress. Not like Malala as a victim of Taliban violence but as the victim of an American drone. Her grandmother was killed by one of those in front of her eyes. Sorry Nabeela, not a welcome message, the congress has 345 members, 5 showed up.

Dear All,

In the house I see frogs all the time, most of them jump around in the bathroom. Incredibly small frogs (or is it toads?), when you thought that baby-fingers are small you haven’t seen the legs of those frogs. Almost microscopic but with everything to it, I’m glad that I’m enough of a child to see the miracle. Nevertheless, those frogs are lost in a house where there is nothing for them. And kiss them all is undoable and then, suppose there is a prince in one of them, what do I get? Have princes ever been what they used to be? If you kiss the wrong one, that can happen, you get one of those useless jet setters. So I let them jump and most of them find their way out again.

History repeats itself. Presidential elections are coming up and one of the two candidates reminded me a little of Obama, that little became a lot recently. Jokowi, his name is Joko Widodo but that’s how he’s called, is ‘accused’ of not being a muslim. Same problem reversed. I can not vote here of course and I carefully keep my opinion to myself here but silently I hope Jokowi will win. The other choice, Prabowo, ex son in law of Suharto, played a dubious role during the uproar in 1998, being associated with Suharto is not a positive thing. The support he gets from idiots that want everybody, voluntarily or forced, to share their views and join worshipping a caricature of a god, born from hate and fear, is frightening.

So it would be Jokowi if I could choose. On top of that, somewhere there must be a picture of me at a dinner with Jokowi when he was still mayor of Solo. If he becomes president I’ll have that picture enlarged and hang it on a prominent spot. Should be fun. When there is a problem I look at that picture and mutter that ‘It’s maybe best I’ll call my friend first…’ And a small contact in my wallet, for problems on the road?

I write as if there are a lot of problems and that isn’t so. Sure, a lot of things are different and sometimes hard to understand, also here not every day is party only, but it doesn’t take an extensive study to know that we are very well of. Just pay attention and be realistic and you know. Nothing bores me more than those total idiots that scream the Netherlands is like a banana republic, nothing so pathetic than those that everything in the world is there to please them. Reading “Borderline Times”, a book by de Wachter, it came to mind again. We don’t want to be bothered. “To be bothered is not for me and to bother, not me, not me.” And that’s not true of course – yes mam, I know now, diapers full of s..t from day one. De Wachter draws quite a few, I think justified, conclusions from it, basically saying that being human, something that only is possible in connection with the other, implies that now and then we bother each other. To know it goes both ways helps, love for each other – that’s what I think to it – makes it into a not even unpleasant routine. That, if things really go wrong, we have apart from a judge also mob justice, is a frightening development that goes against it. In the Netherlands I thank ‘de Telegraaf’, a pamphlet that calls itself a newspaper and manages to be on the wrong side since at least the thirties of the last century.

A minister in the Netherlands in the meantime gave the advice to start a vegetable garden as part of ones pension. So I’m busy to make a big switch here. Palm trees out because only a coconut once in a while.., bunga kertas, gembang sepatu, batavia and alamanda, all those exotic flowers cut, the grass becomes ricefield, maybe kangung (waterspinach) in the pool. With thanks to the minister for sharing, with pity for all the losers that live in an apartment, harsh times are coming boys and girls, make a plan.

About money; W., the help, is proud of herself. For years now they are building a small extension at home and now they needed paint. P., her husband sent her to a shop down the road but she thought it expensive. An hour shopping, four shops in the wide surroundings of Ubud and finally she found it 1,5 dollar cheaper. Happy; “Same brand Pak, even the same colour!”

At the silversmith, almost 70 K from here, it was very nice again. Great how those people developed themselves during the last twenty years into self thinking people, happy on top of it. I was there to talk about a project and the pleasant mix of openness, mutual respect and appreciation – without anything like being submissive, is certainly in Bali a relief. I see it more often by the way, discussing a wrong executed order for shell-work went the same way; what can we do to solve the problem, what can we do to improve. It’s something that often misses, ‘here only?’ I think when I write this.

I hear they want to grow tea in the north of Bali. Tea, long past it was one of the pillars of the richness of the kingdom, reason not to let go of ‘our colonies’, later is became a rather dull drink for in the morning. Usually from silly little bags, invented by a manufacturer whom didn’t know what to do else with all the broken leaves and the dust. Its image became even worse when the former mayor of Amsterdam used to go and drink a cup of tea together where there were problems. And problems there were… Not appreciated by most, no bs please, no understanding and trying to build bridges, hard action is what most wanted. Tea… But, panta rei… There was the tea party in the US. Rabid conservatives, in favour of weapons and all for capital punishment, against most involvement of the state, for a free market, opposed to humanity that costs money. Their wish list is a few items longer still. In the meantime they cherish their homemade Christian values – it’s a good thing the authors of the bible don’t live to see it. Tea became, also in the Netherlands, popular again. And the ladies in the Preanger, and in future maybe here in Bali, they work their but of for a lousy salary. But that’s something the tea party doesn’t bother about.

Love, Frank


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