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Food for thought and a philosophical cappuccino 

February 12, 2017
tags: ,

It’s raining so much again that all I can do is drink cappuccino and blog.

Meanwhile I think a lot about the parallels between tourism and development finance: it’s so hard to ensure your money reaches the right people! Do I buy my meal at the food stall in the street for the 73rd time and overdose on white rice eventually? Do I go to the upscale western restaurant just to have a pizza after a long time? The hipster café seems locally owned but is equipped with Ikea – should I support them and the Indonesian coffee industry? Or should I just buy all my veggies at the local market and cook at the hostel, therefore leaving much less money in the country but in the hands of people who actually produced the food (if I’m lucky)?

In the end it’s a mix and I do think about these questions every day. As with development finance, it’s challenging to find the beneficiary who might need economic support most. I don’t see my travel as a development mission by the way, but while I’m here, I might as well have a positive influence as a side benefit, or at least not too much of a negative one.

An exhibition opening I attended in Prawirotaman, the artsy neighborhood of Yogya, beautifully summarized it for me yesterday. I don’t know how I found it, I think it was calling me. It was about local food culture and how it is changing, researched and processed into participatory art by four women artists.

As far as I could understand they asked very similar questions from the local point of view. Do we eat nasi goreng or pizza, drink lemon tea or beer, fruit juice or coke? And if we do, what is more cool? And if we don’t, who will remember traditional foods? Does it matter either way?

The above in green says it all much better in International English. Where I bring my money and its implications, especially in terms of nutrition and agriculture is my food for thought for now. Hope you enjoyed it.

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