Author Archives: Katherine

About Katherine

Katherine lived on four different continents before settling in to Washington, D.C., to raise her family. She works at a global think tank during the day and raises twin boys the rest of the time. When she isn't working on a spreadsheet for work, she loves walking in the forest with her family, which invariably involves stomping in puddles and climbing on logs. Though she is less of a world traveler these days, she continues to seek out adventures, from exploring D.C.'s museums and playgrounds to taking road trips to national parks. When it's time to unwind, she can be found snuggling with her husband on the couch. Likes: adventures, sleeping past 7 a.m., being surrounded by forests, the sound of her boys laughing, and locally made ice cream. Dislikes: whining, the patriarchy, and people who judge parents/kids.

America is not a “banana republic”: A response to

In a recent article, “Look at the stats: America resembles a poor country,” writer CJ Werlemen likens America to a Third World nation. Having spent the last three-plus years in developing countries, I feel this deserves comment. I don’t … Continue reading

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Jakartans jockey carpool laws

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve read all about the trials of Jakarta traffic, but there are a few fascinating tidbits left to learn. The city has in fact made an attempt at limiting traffic on the most major … Continue reading

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Jakarta takes first steps for sidewalks

Yesterday the Jakarta Globe (one of two major English-language newspapers here) published an optimistic cover piece about a movement to improve Jakarta’s sidewalks. As I’ve said in previous posts, transport in this city is a problem almost beyond description, as … Continue reading

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Bangkok can provide lessons for Jakarta

When describing Indonesia, people often refer to its nearest neighbors as points of comparison. These include Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. Its two fellow middle-income countries, the Philippines and Thailand, make useful points of comparison because their respective capitals, … Continue reading

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Jakarta’s festive, grisly holiday

On Tuesday, Indonesian Muslims sacrificed animals to please Allah. In doing so they remembered the story of Abraham from the Quran, who was willing to sacrifice his own son for God, and they remembered God’s kindness for providing a sheep … Continue reading

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Streetside livestock bring redemption and risk

Once a year New York City sidewalks fill up with pine trees for sale. Once a year Jakarta sidewalks fill up with livestock for sale. As Muslims plan to sacrifice them in Allah’s name – as I wrote in our … Continue reading

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In Jakarta, surge in urban husbandry precedes day of sacrifice

As I’ve mentioned, Jakarta is a city of strange juxtapositions. Our lovely housing complex is surrounded by a wall; on the other side, just behind our house and slightly uphill, is a quarter-acre lot that until last week was vacant, … Continue reading

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Reckless bus drivers make headlines

As a follow-up to my previous post about transportation: Jakarta bus drivers made headlines this week. The Jakarta Globe reported that “almost half of Jakarta’s 28,000 public transport drivers are either not in possession of a motor vehicle license or … Continue reading

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In the absence of public works, Jakartans cope with a daily slog

Traffic is the unifying element in Jakarta life; it’s effect on the lives of all Jakartans cannot be overstated. Unless you have been in it, Jakarta traffic is difficult to understand. Each day, 28 million people go to work and … Continue reading

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Extremists’ moral muscle forces detour for female stars

Jakarta is no stranger to major international events and concerts, such as a recent Metallica concert and the Mixed Martial Arts (cage fighting) world championship. But many events planned for Jakarta are canceled on short notice for vague reasons; some … Continue reading

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