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Jakarta Post

Retno L.P. Marsudi: Going Dutch

  • Willy Wilson

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 11 2012   /  09:47 am

Courtesy of Retno L.P. MarsudiThe scent of shredded pandanus leaves was in the air and the soothing sounds of gamelan were playing on her desktop. That rainy Monday afternoon, Retno L.P. Marsudi sat down in her cozy office on the second floor of the Foreign Affairs Ministry building on Jl. Pejambon in Central Jakarta.

“I’m a real Javanese woman — hence the pandanus fragrance and the music,” said Retno, who will leave for The Hague on Thursday to assume the position of Indonesian Ambassador to the Netherlands.

“I’ve packed up all the paintings that used to decorate this office. That’s why the office is looking rather dull now. I’m going to bring them with me to The Hague,” she said.

It is hard not to be in awe of Retno. At 50, she has a thriving diplomatic career, a loving family and a healthy routine that involves praying, swimming and jogging. Sh...