President Barack Obama’s return to his childhood homeland of Indonesia is drawing the media’s attention to the time he spent there as “Barry” Soetoro. The New York Times scoured Obama’s old neighborhood looking for juicy nuggets of information to help shed light on what America’s 44th president was like as a child. Among them, the Times learned about his childhood nanny who described the young Obama as “chubby” and claimed he ran “like a duck.”
[Obama’s] nanny was an openly gay man who, in keeping with Indonesia’s relaxed attitudes toward homosexuality, carried on an affair with a local butcher, longtime residents said. The nanny later joined a group of transvestites called Fantastic Dolls, who, like the many transvestites who remain fixtures of Jakarta’s streetscape, entertained people by dancing and playing volleyball.
The Times also found some boyhood friends who revealed Obama’s childhood aspirations to become president:
Mr. Obama asked a group of boys whether they wanted to grow up to be president, a soldier or a businessman. A president would own nothing while a soldier would possess weapons and a businessmen would have money, the young Obama explained.
Mr. Januadi and his younger brother, both of whom later joined the Indonesian military, said they wanted to become soldiers. Another boy, a future banker, said he would become a businessman.
“Then Barry said he would become president and order the soldier to guard him and the businessman to use his money to build him something,” Mr. Januadi said. “We told him, ‘You cheated. You didn’t give us those details.’ “