Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why I'm mad at all presidents

"That a famous [politician] has been cursed by a woman is a matter of complete indifference to a famous [politician]."
-Virginia Woolf, complete change in meaning by Katie Bostdorff

Ok, so I'm not really mad at all presidents. Really. But I’m not very happy with them right now...

1. Grr George Bush…


Apparently, when he visited Indonesia three years ago, the Indonesian government constructed a private landing pad for him. My friends say they stripped away acres of wildlife in Java. Then, they say, the propellers from his helicopter somehow tampered with the delicate balance of nature and thousands of rafflesia could no longer bloom.

Yeah, ok. This sounds unlikely. I scoured the internet for any corroboration of their story, but, well… I found absolutely nothing.

Even if the story is true, would it actually be Bush’s fault? No. But I’ve been blaming a good portion of my problems over the last nine years on him, and I see no compelling reason to stop now.

In conclusion, "George Bush don’t like black people” or smelly flowers.

2. Grr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono…

The President of Indonesia came to Palembang last week! A frenzy ensued. See this article. Or don't. You can get the point from the headline: "Police Detain Student Protestors and a Buffalo as Yudhoyono Arrives in Palembang." Oh, Palembang.

The Tuesday started like any other day. At 10 o’clock, though, my school’s headmistress got a call saying SBY would be stopping by IGM on his way out of town. Immediately, all classes were cancelled. Teachers threw themselves into a frenzy, handrolling hundreds of pieces of pempek and running from classroom to classroom with their jilbabs blowing in the air. Male students with longish hair (touching their ears) were given emergency haircuts behind the building. The school’s owners (the ominous “Foundation”) were called in.

We all lined the entrance to the school, ready to welcome our leader with open arms. 11 o’clock passed. We got another call saying that SBY couldn’t actually make it, but he was sending his son in his place.

12 o’clock passed.

1 o’clock passed. The pempek was starting to smell fishy.

We got another call saying that neither SBY or his son could make it, but they were sending a Representative.

Then we got another call. The President WAS going to come!

He didn’t come. The Representative came after all, and he said he only had time to pose for one picture in front of the school, and no, he could not shake any students’ hands. Three minutes later, he left.

“Oh, Miss Ketty,” one of the teachers said. “We are so disappointed.”

But don’t worry; pempek in Palembang does not go to waste. We devoured it all in a matter of minutes.

3. Grr Barack Obama…

Obama has officially announced that he’ll be visiting Jakarta in late March. And we got an email saying he doesn’t have time to visit with any Fulbright Scholars while he’s here. While this doesn’t exactly put the brakes on my initial plan of literally throwing my body in his path, that strategy was a long shot anyway and would probably have been met with unpleasant consequences.

As though the leader of the free world might have something better to do with his time than meet me.


  1. It's so disappointing that Obama doesn't want to meet with any of us. Sigh.

  2. I'll let him know what you're going through...and he'll just have this desire to meet you and make Palembang a little better place for you. However, you had better get the dirt moved around your floor to prepare for his visit!

  3. of course he has better things to do. you're just second on his list:
    1) see old friends and/or family.
    2) meet Katie.
    3) do free-world-leader stuff.


  4. DUDE, Obama's not meeting with the Fulbrighters?? Lame. and the Foundation is super ominous and super dumb in a "i got this job through nepotism" kinda way. And my friend Erin once had to get all dolled up and berjilbabed for the president's son (SBY's son that is) then it turns out he had showed up like 2 hours before.....