i've been working on getting all of my recent data compiled into a couple of maps and figures for the last few days, and was supposed to have a rough version today, but haven't quite made it to that point. getting sick hasn't helped me at all either, but it turns out one of the other students can't meet today so i get an extension by default.
i don't usually get sick more than once a year or so, and i've already been ill a few times this winter. it's what i refer to now as 'city-shpillchus', seeing as how i seem to have the exact same symptoms now as i did when i lived in the industrial city of pontevedra, in northern spain. the constant inhalation of everything from sewage fumes and carbon monoxide to diesel smoke and disc brake dust inevitably ends with my haucking up my lungs. i used to think the greyish stains on all the building here were just a sort of mildew from all the moisture, but i'm fairly convinced now that it's really just all the suspended particles in the air glomming onto the buildings when it rains. i have noticed that the air quality has been particularly crappy in the last couple of weeks, but i'm not totally sure why.
anyway, i've got data to plot and maps to pull together, which at this point should only take another day or two. this is very good news, since i'm leaving on saturday night for bali. yes, beautiful-island-in-the-pacific bali.
i'm excited to go, but i've also been reading up on the activities of jemaah islamiah, the terrorist organization that has been linked to al-qaeda and the 2005 suicide bombing of a popular restaurant in bali. the ideals they follow and the reasons they've given are all old-hat to those of us who took enough interest after 9-11 to read up on extremist islamic fundamentalism. in the most simple terms, indonesia is a muslim nation (88% of it's inhabitants anyway). if you show up to a muslim nation baring your flesh and imbibing alcohol you are performing acts of sacrilege and deserve to be punished. note the word 'extremist' in the previous sentence. of course not all muslims think this way... few would ever consider performing acts of heinous violence against someone who likes to wear a bikini or have a beer... the kicker is that most of the local people on bali are not even muslim, they are hindu. this would make bali a target even if there weren't hundreds of half naked drunken white people running around making fools of themselves. add to it the fact that bali is one of the most popular holiday vacation spots for australians in the world, you get an ideal location for fundamentalist focus... essentially a tiny hindu island in the midst of an expansive muslim archipelago acting as an influx point for thousands of infidels that wish only to defile everything muslims stand for (or something like that)... no wonder.
in the end though, it's no more dangerous to go to a place like bali then it is to visit london (i.r.a.), or madrid (e.t.a.), or any other place in the world where ideals clash and bombs go off.