“For your expenses, Sir. Please sign.”
The wad of twenty-eight million pastel-coloured Rupiah notes surprised me by their modesty.
I signed; locked most in my room-safe; attended my appointment.
“We’ll talk in the gardens created when Java was Dutch.”
We planned, reviewed, agreed all project details.
A screech, irate, blocked my exit from the restroom. The official hand demanded payment due. Uncertain, I selected a pretty note. A number followed by lots of zeros. The screech transformed into a prayer, hands pressed together in recognition of the divinity in me.
For whoever tips a year’s earnings indeed must be divine.
For much of his professional life, Ronald Mackay planned, managed and evaluated projects throughout the developing world. Slowly, he learned a great deal about how to live comfortably in very different cultures. Now he and his wife live a quiet life on the shores of Rice Lake in Ontario, Canada.