#BoycottBali: Who Needs Who?

When deciding where to go for a vacation, you usually have to consider many things: visa, attractions, cost, security. But Australians are reminded to consider one more thing: whether there is capital punishment in the destination. This can be seen from a boycott movement which swiped Australian social media sphere and had been trending topic in last few days: #BoycottBali. This movement is related to Indonesia’s firmness to execute two Australian drug convicts, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran who were arrested in Bali April 17, 2005. They were the main actors of a group of nine Australians dubbed by the media as “Bali Nine”, which attempted to smuggle 8.3 kilograms heroin worth of A$ 4 million from Indonesia to Australia. Death Row Diaries of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (source: The clock is ticking, the execution date of the duo is yet unknown but believed to be very soon. Australian government is getting more and more persistent in asking for clemency from [read more]

February 23, 2015 // 9 Comments

Khorog – The Capital of GBAO

Driver is a respected job in Tajikistan, especially in GBAO where most people still struggle of unemployment “Thanks to God, thanks to Aga Khan, for their kindness to us” – Mamadrayonova Khurseda The provincial capital of GBAO, Khorog, is a little town set in a valley surrounded by vertical cliffs of high mountains. It is cool and lazy, and despite of its proximity with Afghanistan, it is quite laid back. The appearance of military still can be felt intensively in the town, thanks to the neighbouring Afghanistan, which is just across the river and notorious for opium export and illegal border crossing. Young soldiers have to patrol every morning along the misty and freezing river. The 1300 km long border with Afghanistan gives much headache to Tajikistan, and its patron – Russia. Russian guards were playing a big role in ‘saving’ the war torn Tajikistan from further deterioration. But as the situation of the country had been stabilized for almost ten years now, the [read more]

October 19, 2006 // 0 Comments

Kabul – Permit to Wakhan

I really dream to go to the Wakhan Corridor The trip must go on, despite of the incident with money in Bamiyan, which was enough to slow me down and cancelled all of the plans previously made. I was determined to go to explore the unexplored part of Afghanistan, that one if you see the map of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the odd shaped ‘tongue’ of the country on its northeast. That is Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan, which separates Pakistan from Tajikistan, which separated the British emporium from the Russian one. During my stay in embassy, I have read many books about Afghanistan, from about the women’s life until the travelling in Afghanistan, and those books have burnt my spirit of travelling and exploring Afghanistan again and again. Wakhan corridor is still a wild area, unexplored, and it’s the off beaten track in off beaten track country of Afghanistan. It’s also sensitive area, bordering Afghanistan with Tajikistan, Pakistan, and the giant [read more]

June 28, 2006 // 5 Comments

Karimabad – Another Night Talk

Tourism also brings cultural impact to far flung places January 17, 2005 At last the guys from the restaurant successfully moved the TV and VCD to my room. They played hide and seek with the old man, the owner, and it was indeed funny to see the games. The sound was mixed with other movie, Bunty and Babli, to distract the attention of the old man. And they successfully made the old man sleep earlier. One accident happened when they moved the TV, the man woke up. Haroun (not real name) told the old man that the Indonesian guy (me) need the TV and VCD to do his homework. Damn! The 2 CDs, both were painfully obtained, were all damaged. One of it, the funniest porn CD I have ever watched, from South India. The actresses were all old, grey haired, bathing in the river. Then came the raper, old, fat, black, ape-faced man. The open sex happened openly in the river side, but it was too ugly, and the Pakistani guys also thought so. Talking about the open sex, I mean sex in open field, Haroun [read more]

January 17, 2006 // 0 Comments