At the back of the hill

Warning: May contain traces of soy, wheat, lecithin and tree nuts. That you are here
strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton.
And that you might like cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


When I woke up it was after a dream in which I was in a tropical country with exceptionally tall trees, frondy green things, and a dormant volcano dominating the landscape. Fittingly, it was night. I was reading the letters of a colonial official to his auntie; formal old-school Dutch (similar to 'State Bible Dutch', that being the language familiar to every literate person up till nearly the beginning of the twentieth century, and a formative influence at many levels), full of cumbersome orthography, dignified locutions, and very long sentences. Such as were common in written Dutch before the phrasings of Hemingway et autres made themselves felt.

Cursive schoolboy script, running in neat undulations across the page. And quite understandable, despite the terms borrowed from local tongues, often still alive in the modern language. Even Soendaneesch (Sundanese), which is NOT mutually intelligible to the speaker of colonial Malay (the dominant tongue used by many in that social environ) or Javanese (Javaansch) which the more important local dignitaries through out the eastern two-thirds of that island spoke, and still speak.

Beautiful. Evocative.

He was very senang there.

[From: Wikipedia, by SKsiddhartthan.]

Not sure where his auntie lived. In the hills near Bogor (Buitenzorg), quite probably. It always rains there, and during the wet season, little black bugs get on every surface, far too many for the lizards to eat.
Mildew is a fact of life.

Like any dream having to with Indonesia, food was a near-constant mouth-memory, but remarkably it did not dominate. Actually, most of my dreams will feature my taste buds at their most alert, or at least those are the most memorable and vivid.



All you other Americans mostly eat too much fried food and meat and sh*t. Not enough vegetables, almost no chilies, and hardly any fresh fish, fish sauce, shrimp paste, dried fish. No fishy exudates except Worcestershire!
It's very disturbing, how y'all afflict yourselves with acid and pimples.
But it explains two to four aisles at every local Walgreens.

You've finally discovered garlic. That's good.
Now please start exploring ginger.
And nutmeg.

Plus 箭葉橙 ('jin yip chaang'), the arrow leafed lime.
Available as djeroek peroet.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


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