Category Archives: indonesia

MACAM KUMBANG by Peter Nolan Smith

In 1990 I got off the train from Surabaya a little past dawn and headed over to the port of Jakarta. An inter-island ship was departing to Sumatra at noon and I looked forward to a cruise through the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean. As I neared the dock, a man of indeterminable race […]

ERIN GO BALI by Peter Nolan Smith

My first trip to Bali was in 1990. Most tourists gravitated to Kuta Beach for sea, sun, and fun. Being a pseudo-intellectual I opted for Ubud, an idyllic village of Legong dancers, ornate temples, and quiet evenings, where I rented a small house overlooking an idyllic stream. My house servant served breakfast in the morning. […]

LOST AT NIGHT by Peter Nolan Smith

In the winter of 1990 I bought a round-the-world ticket from Pan Express in New York. The total cost was $1500 and the travel agency’s gaunt boss helped to arrange the path of my six-month circumnavigation of the globe. “Sir, you are going West.” John had a quaint Indian accent. He was about my age. […]

THE TASTE OF PIG by Peter Nolan Smith

My great-grandaunt Bert circumnavigated the world on her father’s whaling ship in the 1870s. In 1960 National Geographic published a story about her childhood travels and at her 101st birthday the old Yankee lady related tales of the black-toothed betel-nut chewers of Indonesia and tiger hunter in Java. The only two other family member to […]

The Downside of Heaven

A holy man from Bali died from old age. He arrived at the Pearly Gates to be greeted by St. Peter. “Welcome to Heaven.” St. Peter led the Balinese holy man inside the holy rest home of eternity. “I thought heaven was only for Christians.” “No, no, heaven is for everyone. Over there are the […]