Thursday, January 05, 2006

Back to "office" (BtO)

What's up what's upp !
Happy (belated) new year for you all. I wish you a very smashing year ahead.

For no good reason I choose this title to imitate my office director's behaviour (at the end of his trip, he allways circulates his travel log for his staff to read and perhaps ponder). The content may not be a straigtforward economics but who cares, I'm your host anyway.
So let me begin.

Just got back from 2 weeks + 2 days of leave from a trip to Tokyo, Jakarta, and Surabaya. During the first leg of my trip, I had a chance to observe Japanese passionate on refining Western culture for local consumption. In Jakarta, as usual, I became a foreigner in my own town. I had a chance to attend a commercially sponsored celebrity wedding, talked with apartment developers and owners, observed interesting debates about our economy, experienced the "dividend" from Indonesia's domestic airline deregulation, talked with Aco (our cafe manager), read about the arrest of a "religious affair" officer of the President's office for a narc related crime (rumors that he was with a prostitute when he got arrested), talked with my antrhopologist friend Dave Lumenta, and watched bunch of local TV news with no positive outlook on Indonesia on whatsoever. In Surabaya I had chance to travel to Lawang, 120 km south of Surabaya. There I talked with local farmers which happened to be my relatives and experienced sort of contrasting culture compare to what I had in Japan. On the way back to Washington DC, I enjoyed benefit from accumulating air mileage but still puzzled by the real motive why people (including myself) enroll on a frequent mileage programs. At the end of the trip, I experienced degenerating and depressing service from a US domestc air carrier in their deregulated domestic market.

So hopefully my next postings will pretty much evolve around my last trip.

See all you again later.


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