The Elusive Flute Player

Where’s a pied piper when you need one, we’re up to our eyeballs in kaki limas, ice cream sellers, backso rollers, satay wafters, tattooists and taxis endlessly blowing their bleeding horns at us but where on earth do you find a good Pied Piper? Why do I want a pied piper I hear you think? […]

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Parang Diplomacy

It is a little known fact that the unofficial constitution of West Sumba states that all men and boys have the right to bear arms and so it is that the menfolk of that forthright island all walk around with a parang (a local version of a machete, rather like a small sword). On seeing […]

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As Long As It’s Brown

“I say old chap, I’d like to buy a camel.” “One hump or two?” Buying a camel is like buying a new car I suppose. “You can have any colour you like – as long as it’s brown.” From a salesman’s point of view camels do not have a good image. They look daggy, have […]

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May Your Bebek Go With You

She was wobbling as she rode down the street on the bebek. No helmet, overloaded with shopping and struggling to hold the baby and the handlebar with one arm while sending her very important sms to say she would be late for tonight’s toastmakers meeting with the other, her progress was somewhat haphazard to say […]

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A Cheap Lunch

“Transport, Transport” “How much to go up to the market” “Five thousand rupiah” “Five thousand, I only paid three yesterday?” “Fixed price, fixed price.” “Get stuffed, I’m not paying that much.” “OK boss.” “That was smart you stupid piece of malleable gorilla snot, now how do we get there?” “I don’t care, we’ll walk.” “It’s […]

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Toothpaste Theory

Did you know that the world’s most common reason for divorce is leaving the toilet seat up. The Indonesians realise this of course and so they use squat toilets – no seats, happier marriages and much lower divorce rates, it does tend to prove the point now doesn’t it? The second most common cause of […]

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Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink

It is said that in parts of Africa tribesmen have a clever way of trapping baboons. They take a coconut and cut a small hole in it large enough for a baboon to insert its hand. Inside the coconut they place a walnut and they fasten the coconut to a tree. A baboon comes along […]

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Bull’s Scrotum

As the old adage goes: “you can’t make a silk purse out of a bull’s scrotum”. It’s the wrinkles you know. You just can’t get them out. Oh sure down through the ages many people have tried; ironing, curling tongs, grandma’s mangle, they have even tried feeding the bulls with a starch rich diet to […]

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Driftwood

We have all had the experience. You are sitting in a restaurant and someone comes and sits down and starts to tell you about his recent meeting with the president to discuss his plans to breed hippopotami and export the meat to the finest restaurants all across the world. What a great idea, a sure […]

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The Confusion of the Bipolar Bear

Our hamster died last week. Funny really ‘cause Aunty fanny’s canary fell off it’s mortal coil to say nothing of Grandad’s dog getting run over by a tram (that’s seems strange – there aren’t any trams anymore and no one can remember seeing a dog in his dementia ward). Have you ever noticed that things […]

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