About
In late 2011, epidemiologist, writer and adventurer Elizabeth Pisani granted herself a sabbatical from the day job and set off to rediscover Indonesia, a country she has wandered, loved and been baffled by for decades. She was on the road and the high seas for a year, covering dozens of islands in 27 provinces. This site records photos and musings from that journey and beyond. See more about the project


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Hair today, gone tomorrow

Elizabeth Pisani Indonesian Press Card 1989

There’s only so much of one’s time one can spend thinking about other people’s sex lives. I feel as though I’ve been doing it for a very long time — there’s more than you want to know about it over at The Wisdom. Now for something completely different.

For the next year or so, I’ll be rediscovering an old passion: Indonesia. I brushed against it 30 years ago, and fell properly in love in the late 1980s, when I worked here as a correspondent for Reuters news agency.

After a couple of years the Suharto regime and I had something of a tiff (it was a bit like squabbling with the in-laws) and I left in a huff. But I was seduced back again a decade later, this time to work for the government. More adoration, more frustration, more tiffs and huffs. In 2005 I left again.

Now I’m back, older and probably no wiser. I’ve been in Jakarta and Bali for a few days, doing the things one does before setting out on an epic journey. Trying to teach myself to use a camera, for example:

Startled self-portrait: learning to use a new camera

Then deciding that even my less startled, oh-that’s-what-happens-when-I-press-the-shutter-button moments, I’d probably be better off with less hair. So a visit to the incomparable Wim Soeitoe, who, in the 23 years he’s cut my hair, has never been allowed to take it all off before:

It works well with a crash helmet, if nothing else. Tomorrow, we hit the road.

5 comments to Hair today, gone tomorrow

  • cerissa nyen

    the new camera!

  • carole

    Alors là, je n’y crois pas…can’t say I like the new hair style, but I guess it will be back to normal when I see you next! ça doit correspondre au style de vie des prochains mois, mouai! maybe…
    En tout cas, bon courage, take good care of yourself, some people want to see you in good health and spirit in a few months…love C

  • Dennis

    I remember well the house you had in 1989, and dinner with the Dutch Ambassador on your front lawn!

  • NO! Not another short haircut! Happy trails, Elizabeth … I have camera envy if not hair envy. (And you look far too young in that ID to to be a Reuters correspondent)

  • Laurel

    Welcome back Eli! I am still in Jakarta if you come back through, would love to touch base and swap stories! Until then, happy journey in Eastern Indonesia – my favorite part of the country!

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