Category Archives: UrbanChat

Fire Sale: Muslim Voters and the Chinese Bogeyman

Jakarta’s politics never ceased to amaze me. Just when I thought the religion card couldn’t have been used more coarsely, Instagram delivered a surprise earlier this week. And to think I actually logged into Instagram to avoid the highly-political Twitter. … Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics, Religion, Society, UrbanChat | Leave a comment

New Year and the Surreal New Normal

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s word of last year was “surreal”, which perfectly sums up how 2016 was pretty much worldwide and, like it or not, prepares us for 2017 onward. I personally think Merriam-Webster was being kind, because I would have … Continue reading

Posted in Life Bites, Politics, Society, UrbanChat | Leave a comment

71 Years On: The Crossroads of Identity?

It started off years ago as Independence Day lunch with some diplomat friends; they’d just returned from State Palace for the ceremony, I’d just finished watching it on TV. Since they’d be in formalwear, I’d dress accordingly in variations of red-white … Continue reading

Posted in Art & Culture, Fashion, History, Life Bites, Religion, Society, UrbanChat | Leave a comment

A Small Window Into Stately Frames

The colorful state of Indonesia turns seventy-one this month. As countries go it’s not that old, yet thanks to the tragically poor teaching of history, the earlier decades are starting to fade. Many Indonesians don’t quite know their history and … Continue reading

Posted in Art & Culture, History, Learning & Education, UrbanChat | Leave a comment

Evening Out the Odd and Even Numbers

After ‘Brexit’ in the UK and another closer to home during the Eid holiday, it seems like the world hasn’t quite had enough. There was another ISIS attack on French National Day, with a third of victims found to be Muslims; Turkey … Continue reading

Posted in City Life, Transportation, UrbanChat | Leave a comment

A Festival of Fasting, Fear and Factions

A festival Ramadan has become. For the urbanites, it’s an endless series of retail sales, grocery hunts and iftar invitations, that an atheist friend of mine had busier Ramadan than I did. Add in the nightly firecrackers, once a merriment only in villages without … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion, Society, UrbanChat | Leave a comment

Roaring Asian Tigresses Are Coming

Yes, Ramadan has arrived. Guess who else has arrived? The new coterie of Asia’s top models. (What, we can’t talk about models while observing Ramadan? C’mon now.) Asia’s Next Top Model, one of the franchises spurned from America’s Next Top … Continue reading

Posted in Beauty Bee, Fashion, Marketing & Branding, UrbanChat | Leave a comment

Patriotically Going On A Spending Spree

A common conversation topic nowadays is how slow the economy has become. Friends in media and show businesses find it difficult to obtain advertisements and sponsorships, pals in fast-moving consumer goods and telecommunications (typically easy to shell out dough) confirm … Continue reading

Posted in Econ & Biz, Life Bites, UrbanChat | Leave a comment

From ‘Kafir’ to ‘Komunis’: The Bogeyman Lives On

A long while ago I read somewhere that the more diverse a group, the stronger the bond must be created to hold them together as a group. Logical. In the case of The Prince and the Pauper, or Beauty and the Beast, it … Continue reading

Posted in History, Learning & Education, Literary, Politics, Religion, UrbanChat | Leave a comment

Jakarta Socialites: Right Dress Code, Wrong Code of Conduct

I’ll start by saying that I don’t typically frown upon people just because they’re wealthy and well-connected or, for the sake of the argument, deprived and doomed. Yet sometimes, some people just keep behaving in certain ways that I can’t … Continue reading

Posted in City Life, Glitteratti, Society, UrbanChat | Leave a comment