I spent my preteens in Jakarta, Indonesia. My parents moved to Jakarta in 1979, lured by the promise of company-funded accomodation, cheap travel, and an exotic lifestyle. They took us three kids along for the ride. For my parents, life in a third world tropical metropolis and military dictatorship turned out to be harder than they’d imagined. For me, at the age of 11, Jakarta was an adventure ripped straight from the frames of a James Bond movie, with dapper diplomats, hair-raising traffic, and heroes and villains abound.
There are many stories I could tell about my time in Jakarta. Here I offer one: the story of Marcus McAdam and his mix-tapes.
One downside of living in Jakarta was that we were cut off from the culture machine that had dominated life in New Zealand. At home, I’d been cultivating a passion for Blondie and the Cars. At the bustling…
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