Friday, November 04, 2005


I made another summer journey to the United Kingdom to see my parents. As proof that they were fit and well, my mum and dad took me on long walks in hilly Cumbria and showed me holiday videos of their treks in the Austrian Alps.

Prior to flying back to Indonesia, I spent a few days exploring London and there were two images of the metropolis that stuck in my memory.

In St John's Wood, I saw what looked like a fat-cat millionaire step from his million pound house into a big black Mercedes paid for no doubt with a more than adequate salary; and in the East End I saw a deathly pale anorexic little woman totter past a boarded-up shop with a child whose little face looked pinched and deeply lined with worry.

The British newspapers were full of stories of drugs and drug-related crime but had surprisingly little comment about US inactivity in preventing mass genocide in Rwanda or US activity in keeping an eye on Zaire's mineral wealth.