Notes from the Undeclared War
There was so much to criticize him for, but was there one Indonesian to whom one could point who had attempted with more determination and passion to make of Indonesia the winning team in the global struggle of peoples?” Even considering the cost, could a fragmented post-revolutionary Indonesia, struggling to find its political base, have done without the clan of Sukarnoism, at least in the formative stages of its national political culture?
— Van der Kroef, Justus M. “Sukarno's Indonesia.” Pacific Affairs, vol. 46, no. 2, 1973, pp. 269–288. (#)
On assignment in Chinatown, KL

Spent a day with Angel Ng, co-founder of the speakeasy-style cocktail bar PS150, roaming around Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown to come up with a neighbourhood guide for an inflight magazine. In these photos, we're in Shuang Xi, a relatively new spot in town that rather defies easy definition. Suffice to say, you can buy flowers here, get a tattoo, and have a cocktail or two in vintage Coca-Cola glasses—just don't break them! Another recent addition is Jao Tim (it means "hotel" in Cantonese), which is a great place to drop in for coffee. Heavily furnished in bare wood with very high ceilings, it feels like an old-timey dance hall, and I love dance halls. The vinyl swing records that play all-day also help to complete the fantasy.

& Yes, I'm looking rather botanic in these photos. That was my "sun shirt" for the day—i.e. a long sleeve that will cover me but won't cook me in 30 degree celcius. I need to get more working shirts for the outdoors and the heat. Any recommendations?

( Photos by Andy Kho )

A working soundtrack to Northern Ireland

While working on a piece about Northern Ireland, I've been listening to music I picked up while I was there. The film Good Vibrations was my starting point, cobbled together with recommendations from a friendly music producer at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, a house party I crashed in Ormeau, gigs and sessions I dropped in off, and tip-offs scribbled down from anyone who cared to share. I hadn't realised that Snow Patrol and Two Door Cinema Club are from here, and have included them anyway in a playlist I put together, though you're surely familiar with them. There are three counts of Van Morrison and three counts of Irish trad because... well, just because. And I think you'll find Rory Nellis' "Friend of a Friend" particularly catchy.

Click here to listen >