So far, my stories on this blog haven’t been about trees at all. They’ve been about people, in the various forms I met them, and how they pleased or annoyed me. And the ones that annoyed me the most were always men. That’s not an opinion, it’s just a fact.
In Jakarta, I arrived into a real female environment for the very first time. I stayed with Nuri, an incredibly awesome – not to mention hilarious – lady, with a very interesting life, and an even more interesting brain. It was really nice. Even nicer was the fact that she had a bunch of other girlfriends, who were equally smart and awesome (and often hilarious too), making my stay in Jakarta really pleasant, despite the city being known for being… well, a shithole. I spent more than a week in Nuri’s house and presence, and I was never bored, insulted, harassed, insecure, or on guard. And during that week I had heaps of insightful conversations about life, politics, knowledge, development, the state of the world and the future it may hold for all of us.Now I am in Balikpapan, which is the most expensive and thus probably also the most boring city in all of Indonesia. I have nothing to do here besides spending my days trying to understand what is actually going wrong in Kalimantan’s forests. (I do this in an office every day from 9 to 5, in case you were wondering. And no, I don’t get paid to do that, in case you were wondering about that too).
It will probably not surprise you, but a lot goes wrong in the forests (Did I say forest? I meant ‘desert’). And a lot of those things going wrong are institutionalised and even ritualised in government systems and international economies. That’s not an opinion, it’s just a fact. Also, these systems are -almost entirely- run and controlled by
I wonder what the world would look like if the ladies I meet here were in charge… You know, those ladies that build micro hydro-power stations, observe the fairness of Afghan elections, plant trees or prevent the execution of a ridiculous, costly and destructive road construction.
But I’m afraid all of them are too busy getting actual shit done to be bothered with politics.