The Indonesia Petroleum Association Convention

A couple weeks ago I went back up to Jakarta for work.  I went for some meetings at the beginning of the week but ended up going to the Indonesia Petroleum Association Convention while I was there.  There were a lot of booths from some of the big multi-national oil and gas companies as well as a mix of more local companies.  The booths all had one thing in common - booth girls.  They all hired 18 year old girls to wear tight outfits (with shoulders covered of course, you have to keep *some* level of modesty in Indonesia) and high heels and they passed out brochures and literature.  I'm used to industrial trade shows wear there are the token women in similar outfits, but I think the thing that set this apart was how young they all were, and how obvious was that they were they solely to pass out flyers (and look at I suppose).  The other thing that struck me is that is 2017.  Surely there's a better way to spend money?  

Epic Selfies from an Epic Trip

When Phil and I got back from New Zealand, the girls headed to the North Island to continue their trip.  My first day back at work was a struggle but every once in awhile I'd get a selfie from them that made me laugh and feel like I was still on the trip with them.  It was such a great trip - it's so rare that a group of five people - two having never met before - can get along for two weeks on a road trip in a foreign country.  
This post is mainly for the five of us - so we can think back on those moments surrounding the selfies and remember what an epic trip it was.

Rediscovering Christchurch

Phil and I went to Christchurch in January 2011, a few weeks after the first big earthquake that affected the town and a couple weeks before the second quake.  We had a picture in our minds of what the city looked like from that time, but we hardly recognised it when we went back there on this trip.  I chose a hotel right near Cathedral Square because that's where we stayed before and it was a great location, close to lots of restaurants, buildings, and interesting things to see.  As we drove into the heart of the city, it became clear that things weren't the same.  Entire blocks of buildings were missing - those lovely restaurants and the big library were gone.  The building right next to the hotel we had stayed in was gone.  The cathedral was half gone.  It was really hard to get oriented because none of the landmarks we remembered were there.  Some were new buildings, some were parking lots, and a few were still piles of rubble.  It was really eye opening. During the day, we…