First Full Day

After a hectic afternoon and evening yesterday, we finally started our first real day’s worth of work today. We both stayed at the Freedom Institute, with a brief interlude to find bed linens and money from an ATM that worked. However, things are good, and we’ve had no problems to speak of.

Except for the three mosques that woke us up at 4:15 this morning with their morning call to prayer. It’s not that we don’t like the mosques and the calls to prayer; in fact, we think that they are pretty. The problem is, there’s no standard call to prayer, so three at once quickly disintegrates into cacophony. We also had fun trying to work the washing machine this morning–when we return this afternoon, we will be able to tell if we have succeeded (or, alternatively, assess the damage).

The findings from today’s research: The Indonesian economy is one corrupt place. Bank Duta, for example, lost $419 million dollars in 1990, a fact made all the worse by the fact that its total asset portfolio was valued at a bit over $200 million dollars. Strangely, nothing happened, despite the fact that Bank Duta was Indonesia’s second biggest bank at the time. The major shareholders decided to float it a “grant,” and the stock market plugged along all hunky-dory. A totally unrelated side note is that Suharto owned three “charitable organizations” that each owned a third of the stock in the company.