|J a v a J i v e :: Paradise is not all that it seems
a boy leaves everything he knows for the tropical island of java, Indonesia - soon to find that paradise is not all that it seems...
June 23, 2004 Well I've made two pretty cool purchases in the past week. Geeky stuff I know, but why not? I bought another 512mb ram chip for my laptop - that should help with Photoshop and running other graphics programs. I don't really play games with it too much. Also, I ordered a 160GB Seagate external hard drive which arrived today. I have yet to try it out, but I'm guessing that I don't need to worry about hard drive space for a while.
Another day in Ann Arbor provided some much needed reinsertion to society. I'm still feeling a bit weird being around so many white people.
My dad has been kind enough to lend me his Corvette to cruise around in. It's great to have a sports car instead of a rental, but it does feel a bit like I'm one of those guys in the midst of a mid life crisis who need to retain their youth with a flashy ride. I'm still very appreciative of his generosity.
posted by Brandon | 6:09 PM
June 22, 2004 Ann Arbor is a great city - I dropped my brother off at the University of Michigan and we took some time to just stroll around. I'm not sure what the population is, but it's a very manageable size. With Jakarta being around 14 million people, I'm finding everything else dramatically more calm and relaxed. I love cities that are large enough to have culture and energy, but small enough that you don't feel so anonymous. Ann Arbor is one of those places. Having one of the largest universities in the country, it retains the academic feeling - bookstores, a youthful population, cafes, and that feeling of integration that only university towns can have.
I've been rather bad at alerting my friends to the fact that I'm home. Some have been a bit surprised to find me on their doorstep.
I love the fact that my most ambitious goal for the day was to find a pair of rollerblades, do some laundry, and weed wack my dad's yard. With the sun rising around 6am and setting after 9pm I feel like the days are much longer and more stretched out. That's one bummer about living on the equator - every single day has the same amount of daylight hours.
A few people have purchased prints from me since my return - I hope you guys enjoy them, I'll be happy to sell more! One of these days I'll actually get around to creating a real website with an actual gallery to select from.
It's pretty funny that I pay for web space and have my own domain name (thejavajive.com) and yet I still remain on blogspot.
Well, the warming of the morning sun is pulling me away from the computer. I have a date with the biking trail - ambitious eh? posted by Brandon | 5:25 AM
June 19, 2004 Back in the U.S. of A.
I can’t describe the feeling of release and elation that washed over me upon my homecoming. Even driving home I felt an incredible sense of relaxation from the sprawling green spaces rolling out before my eyes.
It’s been a few days now – I haven’t updated this only because I’ve been spending time with family and friends. I should be able to write regularly from now on.
My brother had a commissioned painting dedication today – his painting is absolutely stunning. It measures 64 square feet, almost 3 meters by 3 meters. The city I’m from was named after an American Indian chief – and this painting was a dedication to the spirit of the American Indians. There was a gathering of community members, family, and friends for the unveiling. I was immensely proud of him for the amazing work evident in the finished painting. I can honestly say that my brother is one of the most talented people I’ve ever known, and this work was yet another reminder of that.
I can’t believe the things I’m noticing now that I’ve returned. Weird details are standing out like never before; for example:
~ The cereal isle in the grocery store. Was it always so gigantic? I was overwhelmed with too many choices and finally settled on honey bunches of oats.
~ There are so many new cars on the road – being a designer I have a passion for cars. Indonesia isn’t exactly booming with fresh designs, so to see all these beautiful new models out is exhilarating as well as frustrating. (only cause I still can’t buy them).
~ The grass is so soft. I know it’s a stupid thing to say, but it’s true.
~ Americans are fat. I don’t mean that in a harsh way, but seriously I’ve been living around people who consider Beyonce to be a bit “thick” – what would the Indonesians think of the average American? It is out of control and I’m starting to feel like it’s a national epidemic.
~ The Internet is ridiculously fast. I can download a song in 10 seconds – my Indo connection takes half an hour.
~ Software is DAMN expensive. My $3 Photoshop CS is selling for like $700 here.
~ The clothes actually fit well.
~ Rice sucks here.
~ Everything is “Low Carb” – even Coke?!?
~ I don’t need air conditioning all night long – ahhhh.
~ Amazon and Ebay rock. I missed them like an old friend. Just bought a 512 MB ram chip for my laptop.
~ People mow their lawns every day of the week.
~ Fresh air is a valuable commodity. So is gasoline.
All of my pirated software arrived safe and sound. My family members are like kids in a candy store with all of the new stuff. I’m definitely a naughty boy.
I’m staying at my dad’s place for a while with my brother joining us soon – my mom will fly in from Cape Town in a week, and she’ll cruise up here with my sister. It’ll be nice to see everyone – it’s been too long.
I just received a bill for my website in Indonesia. Funny how that arrives one day after I leave. It’s going to be a struggle to get that taken care of – I have to wire money to a BCA account – and it’s only like $15. So if the photos on here one day just don’t show up – that’s why. I’ll do my best to find someone who’ll take care of it for me. Any offers? ;)
It’s good to be home. posted by Brandon | 9:23 AM
June 10, 2004 Have you noticed a lag in my posting this week? Yeah, sorry about that, but I'm taking care of business before leaving for the States on Monday. I really appreciate all of the great comments, emails, and guestbook messages!
It's been two years since I've been home.
Last night I picked up about $20,000 worth of pirated software for my dad and brother. I hope it doesn't get confiscated in the airport. I'm also going to bring about 50 dvds back with me (at $2 a pop). One reason I love Indonesia.
What will I miss in the next two months?
* my friends
* the ocean
* cheap sushi
* my fitness club
* having my maid help with everything for my lazy ass
* this incredibly slow internet
To those of you who have ordered photos from me - I'll be sending them upon my return. If anyone else would like to purchase prints from any of my work - please simply send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I can also send out larger format jpg examples if anyone is interested. posted by Brandon | 8:37 PM
June 08, 2004 So the other day I was watching the Miss Universe 2004 competition. I’m not a big fan of cheezy pageants but it was better than watching American Idol yet again.
I learned a lot in that hour of evening gowns and bleached teeth.
As each contestant sauntered across the screen, I was rapidly and superficially judging them in my head. “…. yeah, no, no, yeah, not bad, ok, damn!, yep, wow, no …”
By the end of the show I had narrowed the list down in my head from the 80 girls down to about 10. Like I said, I was pretty harsh.
Here was my final list:
Notice anything funny?
C’mon look closer… did you start to find a pattern? Yeah, me too. There wasn’t a single blonde, blue eyed girl on my list! In fact, they’re pretty much limited to Asia and South America (Switzerland looked like she was straight out of Brazil) – completely full of dark hair and dark eyes with similar features.
I suppose this experience I’ve had in Asia has only strengthened the attraction that I’ve always had to “exotic” girls. Even in high school my friends would joke about me always chasing the exchange student chicks who couldn’t speak any English!
Now, this has no bearing on what I deem as the qualities I look for – I’m strictly speaking on a physical level right now, but I absolutely love Asian girls. In fact, I think living in Asia has ruined me for life – kinda funny considering my family is full of blonde hair / blue eyes.
I guess I’ve always been into the “fresh passports” and this just reinforced it!
In the end, Miss Australia won – and was a blonde. Maybe I’m the silent minority after all. posted by Brandon | 2:39 AM
June 07, 2004
I often wonder if this country realizes how vibrantly colorful their daily lives can be. A mundane task can quickly appear artistic - this is especially true in Bali. Unfortunately whenever I'm there I just relax and rarely take photos. Actually I have a severe lack of photos from Bali, but the Hindu religion combined with the natural beauty of the island creates unforgettable images.
Even funerals are bathed in the colors of life. posted by Brandon | 8:47 PM
June 06, 2004 . . . p i n k . . p a n t h e r . . .
This guy REALLY wanted his picture taken, so I obliged. Then he wanted me to rent his jet ski for $50. The guy behind me rented one for only $7. Must've been the "bule" discount.
I told him I'd rent his jet ski if I could borrow his nifty pink sweatshirt - he didn't like that idea - which is why he couldn't even muster a smile for this photo. posted by Brandon | 11:36 PM
June 03, 2004
This was taken last night in Jakarta.
The sky has been unusually clear these past few days so I thought I'd capture the moon for the first time with my new camera and lens. I've been tremendously busy at work, so I've been short on posting - my apologies. posted by Brandon | 8:21 PM
| I stumbled down to the coffee maker this maker, ready to face the day fueled by caffeine and something resembling breakfast, when I turned to hear an odd occurrence in my fishbowl.
Upon investigation, I found that a small lizard had somehow climbed in with the Siamese fighting fish. This little guy was struggling with his whole being to escape the smooth glass of the bowl. Apparently lizards can walk upside down from the ceiling, yet cannot climb up glass. I grabbed a cup and scooped him out without imposing harm to the little thing and released him to the freedom of the front porch.
It’s funny how similar we are to this little lizard – always striving to reach a certain point and then never satisfied when we're there...
posted by Brandon | 6:21 AM
June 01, 2004 Here is my entry to the Photo Friday contest.
This week's theme is "black and white". Tell me what you think. posted by Brandon | 9:54 PM
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