Dear Newsbreak family,
How are you all? Hope everyone’s well. Congratulations on the Robin Padilla mag, I hope I could read it soon. 🙂 I’m sure it’s pretty busy right now at Newsbreak with all the projects and changes. Also, everyone’s probably excited to usher in a new decade.
I was hoping Purple and I could make it to the Christmas party this year, or just Christmas in the Philippines in general, but apparently we don’t get holiday breaks, unless it’s something like Muslim New Year, which was today. So I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’ll be spending Christmas in a foreign land for the first time, away from the family (huhuhu), and will also be editing copy on my birthday.
But my want for holiday cheer has at least partly been sated by the lovely boarding house management at my kost, who have erected a huge Christmas tree in our foyer and have taken to blasting Bahasa versions of Christmas classics every morning and evening. The staff have also taken to wearing red and green, and make like shrieking female elves.
It’s been an interesting past few months here, full of little adventures, the kind that make you thankful for being able to travel. I recently made a weekend trip (my first out-of-Jakarta-but-still-in-Indonesia trip!) with my co-workers A and D to Bogor, the city of rain, where we explored the massive botanical garden
There have also been a few other firsts, such as drinking cobra blood in Glodok, or Chinatown, one weekend. It’s supposed to be good for the skin and the sex drive. Also, I finally watched a football game at Bung Karno Stadium, where Indonesia slaughtered Laos 6-0 on a threadbare field. I was surprised by how badly the Indonesian audience behaved, booing Laos players loudly whenever they’d take possession of the ball and celebrating zealously over victory. (fireworks whenever Indonesia would score a goal!) I wished to console the Laos players, but it would be extremely forward of me to barge into their locker room.
Work-wise, it’s been pretty busy at the desk, what with all the people wanting to quit before the New Year. I can honestly say J has a worse turnover rate than a street drug gang. The reasons for this, and the frustrations I’ve come to feel with Indonesia’s press culture in general, is the stuff of a long rant I’d rather not bore you with. 🙂
Still, I’m pretty happy that my bosses are no longer giving me flak, and they’ve even started me doing business rewrites, which are complete train-wrecks. Most of the stories are like a series of notes that don’t quite cohere. We have a lot of postmodern writers, see, and I keep on thinking they’re doing something conceptual with the paper– like performance art– that’s way above my head. But seriously, this is such a shame because I feel Indonesia’s booming economy is what’s really so exciting to cover at the moment, and we’re not doing a great job.
Despite these hitches, I’m still having a blast in Indonesia and drinking in all I can (both in experience and alcohol). I’ve also resolved ahead of the New Year to make more time for my growth as a reporter, and to try to do more stories if there are opportunities to do so. To make the most of our weekends this December, Purple has suggested we go to Bali sometime, to partake of the Eat Pray Love experience. Maybe we’ll find enlightenment amidst the throng of middle-aged Caucasian women trying to essay Julia Roberts.
Hope to hear from you all! We miss you so much, especially in emotionally-charged, family-centric seasons. Enjoy the holidays!