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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...

July 15, 2004  

posted by Brandon | 9:15 PM

Consumerism is such a rampant part of our culture. Everywhere I glance; people are parasitic when it comes to obtaining new “things”. I’m not saying that I am also not infected with the desire to pick up more items than I truly “need”. I’ll even use myself as an example:
I’ve only been here three weeks and I’ve already purchased:
an external hard drive, a chip of RAM, 3 pair of shoes, 8 new shirts, 2 pair of shorts, 9 pair of socks, sunglasses, 15 new books (hmm shipping weight?), and a partridge in a pear tree.
And I’ll still be here for another month!
I’ve also spent the past few days ripping 150 of my brother’s cds to my new hard drive – another example of “wanting”. When I’m in Indonesia, it’s not quite like this. I guess there are just more desirable things to buy here – just as Singapore and Hong Kong are the consumer’s heaven of Southeast Asia. You do more damage to your wallet if the stuff is around you, begging you to pick them up and take them home.
 So how does one live in this culture and not become caught up with this way of life? I tell myself, “just one more toy” as if I won’t want the new updated model in two years. I think I even rationalize purchases in my head, telling my id that there’s a damn good reason why I really do need the 40GB music player (cause now I have all this new music), and the books that are on sale just for one more day, and that new cologne that won’t be in Jakarta for another few months, the new low carb Coke cause Dr. Atkins says I’m getting a gut, or the new Gillette razor that vibrates like a dildo to get a closer shave .

posted by Brandon | 9:14 PM

July 14, 2004  

Well, this is the first time that I've been able to get online in over two weeks - and guess what I didn't see today? Umm - ALL OF MY PHOTOS. Yeah, that's right. My provider just decided to shut down my service despite the fact that the bill has been paid for a long time. What a great company! I think I'll sign on for another year with them.

I have some awesome photos to share, but until the service is reinstated, there's not much use in posting them huh? So writing is all you get.

I'm in Ashville, North Carolina at the moment. We're going to go up something called Chimney Rock tomorrow - I guess it's essentially an elevator built into the rock that takes you up 28 stories. If you've seen "The Last of the Mohicans" - it was filmed there. I'm also very close to where Cold Mountain is, and the "Biltmore Estate" (I think it's the largest home in America. It has something like 230 rooms. I'd call that a castle.

We spent a few days in Atlanta as well. More about that later. I'll be here for a few more days and then we're on to Charleston, South Carolina and perhaps Savannah, Georgia before heading back to Atlanta.

I'll return to Indonesia around August 9th and will be able to resume javajive after that time - I'll do what I can until then, but it's not easy when I'm on the road so much! I hope I don't lose too many visitors due to my travels!

Thanks to those of you who've sent me emails. Anyone can write me at bhoover@njis.or.id anytime. B.

posted by Brandon | 7:34 PM

July 04, 2004  

Well I've been on the road a bit and without Internet access. I may be sporatic for the next week or so as well.

It's been great to see some of my friends and family, but it does get a bit old to always be someone's "guest". I've caught up with some of my friends and the gossip that always seems to go around - funny how that works.

Our next destination is Nashville, Tennessee, where we'll meet up for a family reuninion (funny considering none of us are really from Tennessee). After that we'll be hitting Atlanta, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The plan after that point fades rather quickly.

John and Sarah - could you send me your email address again?

It's still great to be home, but I'm ready to get back on the road!

Finally I found a way to pay the bill for my site in Indonesia so I should be able to post pics again!

posted by Brandon | 12:30 PM
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