‘Rubber Time’ Is Not Only Native to These Parts

By Richard Boughton America has been called the melting pot of the world, at least in olden times, for its invitation to people all over the globe to immigrate to its happy shores. But for me, it can never hold a candle to the variety and variance of cultures and tongues one finds in the […]

Much Ado About Gaga

By Richard Boughton First off, and at the risk of appearing hopelessly out of it, I will admit that up until the recent brouhaha over Lady Gaga’s performance (or non-performance) in Jakarta, I didn’t even know who the woman was. I had perhaps some vague idea that she was a singer, or a dancer, or […]

The Celebrity of the Bali Bule

By Richard Boughton There are not many white people in my neck of the woods, being as it is rather off the beaten tourist track, and as a result of being rare in this sense, I often find that I’m a bit of a celebrity. Not like, say, Brad Pitt or Lady Gaga, given that people […]

Me-a Culpable

By Richard Boughton Sorry, didn’t do it. This is something we will be hearing a lot about in the next few weeks – the so-called “apology” of Bali mastermind bomber, Umar Patek, followed by a court verdict for that act in late June. You will read about it dozens of times – perhaps dozens upon dozens, […]

A Horsefly in the Ointment

By Richard Boughton One of the best things about Bali is that there are no horseflies. Not as far as I’ve seen anyway. It strikes me that this may also be the case in locales other than Bali, and so I should preface any further remarks with a description of the horsefly and why its general […]

Indonesia’s Amazing Rootless Tree

By Richard Boughton I was reading something on the Indonesian government and the ideology of Pancasila. I was skimming it, really. Skimming is something I learned to do at university about a hundred years ago, an acquisition of the intellect necessitated by the assignment of War and Peace, Anna Karenina and the Brothers Karamazov as the […]

Untying the Balinese Knot

By Richard Boughton “Divorce,” as Felix Unger said in the 1960s movie The Odd Couple, “is a terrible thing.” “Oh! It can be,” was the punch line rejoinder, “if you haven’t the right solicitor.” There is always a punch line. From Robin Williams we have: “Ah yes, divorce … from the Latin word meaning to rip […]

Islands in the Stream

By Richard Boughton My wife tends to get restless at weekends. It’s a spill-over from the restlessness that besets her on weekdays, a rising of energy that is usually expended at work but now suddenly finds itself with nowhere to go, like water at a boil or un-slurped foam on a newly poured beer. She […]