From the Singapore Airport

I have a layover of approximately seven hours here in Singapore.  That’s enough time to see some of Singapore, but as I’ve already seen most of the stuff I’m really interested in, and it costs money to grab a cab.  So I just plugged in the laptop, bought some wireless access, and here I am.  It’s a bit annoying to note that ethernet access is free, but that only works if you remember to bring your ethernet cable.  I didn’t even think to do that.

Now, some follow-ups on Indonesian news.  Riots in Papua, regarding the Freeport-McMoRan gold mine and the recent elections.  So much for my earlier optimism.  In what I believe is an attempt to prove to non-Papuans that the Papuans are wild, the news stations televised some of the rioting, including four (apparently) Javanese soldiers being beaten to death.  They really did not need to show that.  They also showed some other footage of rioters vandalizing the Sheraton Hotel in Timika, a town near Freeport’s mines.  Listening to the sound I was able to hear what seemed to be traditional battle cries as they lobbed huge stones through car windows and shot arrows into tires.

On a bit of a brighter note, the newest versions of the anti-pornography bill apparently do not criminalize what had been called pornoaksi, or "pornographic behavior" in public.  I’m not sure what exactly this means, but it should protect the ability of Muslim girls to hold their boyfriends’ hands and of Balinese folks to bathe in rivers.

UPDATE:  Still here.  I decided to treat myself to a foot massage–known around here as "reflexology".  It was a nice option, and I’d recommend it to anyone stuck in Changi for a couple of hours.  I earned big brownie points by speaking Malay to the middle aged woman mashing my toe bones together, earning a free cup of tea.  I also have had fun noticing the big differences between Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, which I always forget about.  Just in the airport:

  • departure: BI keberangkatan, BM perlepasan
  • arrival: BI kedatangan, BM ketibaan
  • money: BI uang, BM wang