Yogyakarta and the Ramayana Ballet

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It has been awhile since I have been to the ballet. I think the last time was the San Francisco Ballet’s version of the Nutcracker, a lovely production Rebecca and I attended in an effort to relive her childhood Christmas tradition. I cannot say that I am usually a huge fan of the ballet; I’m not a dancer, so I usually just end up falling asleep to the music. But yesterday, in Yogyakarta on the island of Java, the Ramayana ballet we attended exceeded my expectations and rounded out nicely our mixed visit to Yogyakarta.
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“Hello, Mr., Can We Practice Our English With You?”

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Traveling as an English speaker is a luxury. English is essentially the universal language today, which means that wherever we go, someone speaks our language, with varying degrees of competency. Being able to speak English in the countries we have visited is a highly prized skill, one that everyone we have encountered in Southeast Asia has been eager to hone with us. But the strangest incident of English learning we have seen has been here in Indonesia, where for the past week, we have been physically stopped by kids looking to “practice English” at tourist sites.
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Marketing 3.0, The Museum

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I have written before about the proliferation of advertising and marketing in Asia. This is truly the land of marketing overstimulation. The ubiquity of ads, commercials, billboards, signs and posters first struck me in Bangkok, but it has been consistent across the entirety of the continent we have explored over the past four and a half months. Never before Bali, however, had I found a museum dedicated entirely to marketing — specifically Marketing 3.0, or “Marketing for Good.” Continue reading