Having already dragged myself, my husband and TechCrunch readers around the world, I’m now doing it with my unborn kid. We landed in Jakarta last Saturday and will spend two weeks traveling around Indonesia for the State Department, speaking and having conversations about how to encourage more entrepreneurship here — particularly among women.
According to the Embassy, a focus on entrepreneurship and ecology were the two big takeaways from President Barack Obama’s trip to Indonesia last fall– coincidentally the last time I was in Jakarta. We were checking out of the Shangri-La hotel just as Obama’s people were checking in.
The focus makes a lot of sense: Indonesia has a bad history of coral bombing, deforestation and other ecological sins. It is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases. And the gorgeous land, jungles and beaches are among the country’s biggest assets. As far as entrepreneurship goes, more than 50% of the country is under the age of 25– these people need something to do and entrepreneurship is best way to create large numbers of jobs and goose the average per capital GDP. And women in Southeast Asia generally need more options than falling into the sex trade.
It’s appropriate that this is the baby’s first trip, not only because Indonesia is one of our favorite countries in the world. Indonesia may have played a part in conception. Last time we were here we went to visit an old coffee roasting house in Bandung. This old man had been roasting beans there since before I was born, and his father had been there another thirty years before him. All the signage was still in old colonial Dutch. And they still make coffee the same way– aging the beans in burlap sacks for up to eight years and then roasting them in woodfire ovens. He was utterly dismissive of Starbucks and its modern procedures, and there was a line around the block to get his freshly roasted coffee.
It was indicative of what I love about Indonesia. The night before we dined with a table of young entrepreneurs who go to Institut Teknologi, the “MIT of Indonesia” for which Bandung is famous, and we talked about who was their favorite CEO. There were no starry-eyed Mark Zuckerberg cop-outs here– some of these guys gave articulate cases for admiring Larry Ellison or Elon Musk. But as much as the country is surging towards globalized modernity, there are pockets of stubborn resistance like this coffee house. I love those pockets, and Indonesians are fiercely defensive of them. The last thing we need is a world full of only luxury shops, high-rises, and KFCs.
But back to baby-making. This coffee guru told us they roasted two varieties: Arabica and Robusto, and that both had medicinal uses. We were informed that a “young man” like my husband should not play around with robusto under any circumstances, because it enhances potency. Mr. Lacy didn’t quite understand the man’s Bahasa-English combo and said, “Oh it’ll keep me awake?” To which the guy stretched out both arms gesturing to his crotch and yelled, “YOUR SPERM! YOUR SPERM!”
My husband doesn’t drink coffee. But we did bring several bags back to the US, and I was drinking it daily. We’d been off birth control for a while with no results, and about a week after we got home– BAM!– pregnant. Coincidence or Indonesian coffee?
Source : SarahLacy.com
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