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Living the Life.

It has just come across my mind that I am now finally living the life I have wished for so many times to happen.

I remember the crazy days when I would get stuck in traffic that never seemed to move, surrounded by cars, buses, container trucks – the iron monstrosity. And then I thought to myself, “Someday – someday I’d get the f*ck out of here.”

In my previous – somewhat seemed distant life – I’d wake up at six in the morning – or half past five on Fridays – to get ready for work which starts at 8. I’d rush to shower, dry my hair, put on some skincare and by half past six or quarter to seven, I’d be out of the house to beat the traffic.

If I could get to work around quarter to eight, that’s out of pure luck.

There are days when you just couldn’t predict the traffic – I’ve had my share of being stuck in traffic for three hours, five hours, even six. I’ve experienced leaving home at 6:30 am and finally arriving at work at twelve noon. I’ve experienced leaving work at  five pm and arriving home at ten.

So now you know – the traffic is undoubtedly, incredibly insane.

As for the job itself – I’m sure you’ve read how I felt about it from my previous posts. Don’t get me wrong – I love my job and my passion is there, but it has lost its meaning ever since I found out more students were cheating. I just couldn’t bear to be a part of that whole system anymore. If I had more authority and chance to fix the whole training system, I’d definitely start by character development. But this wasn’t needed on my part. I was beating myself too hard trying to achieve something that wasn’t even asked of me, even though I knew it was crucial. That and the fact that I didn’t get any appreciation for all the extra miles I was willing to give.

Until himself told me about a job opening in Bali – the island where we’ve been planning to settle in – at a resort in Nusa Dua. The job is in line to what I did before. At first I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, but we’re both always in the habit of “if you want to do something, plan it right and do it right and no matter what the outcome is, you know you’ve tried your best.”

I am not sure whether it was meant to be or whatever you call it. But it’s funny how things happen, isn’t it? When I sent my application, I went on a third and long overdue honeymoon with himself to Bali. I even informed the person whom I sent my application to that I would be in Bali if he wanted to meet. There were no phone calls or emails from him whatsoever so I assumed I didn’t get it. I continued enjoying my holiday with peace – until I absentmindedly check my email on our last evening as we were lazying about the beach lounge at The Legian. The human resource director sent me an email saying he had problem calling me and that he wanted to meet. I decided to call his office – it was six in the evening but thankfully he was still there – and we ended up talking for quite a while. He eventually said that because we didn’t get the chance to meet I would be interviewed at the head office in Jakarta instead.

At exactly a week after, I did get an interview at the head office in Jakarta. I turned up very, very early – the appointment was at two in the afternoon and I got there at eleven in the morning. Hey – with the traffic in Jakarta, would anyone want to risk it?

The interview went alright; I had a man from Human Resource and the Vice President interviewing me – I was well over-prepared for it but I got the feeling the vice president was not impressed with me. I even told himself on my way home in the taxi that I didn’t think I’d get it. I wasn’t overly disappointed or anything – just exhausted and somewhat relieved. The anxiety of being interviewed for the position was taking up all my energy for the past two weeks since I came back from Bali.

Then a week later, an email from the human resource director in Bali came in to congratulate me.

So here I am now – working in a resort in a position that will allow me to learn more, as well as giving me more freedom to realize my passion – teaching, training, and improving people’s lives.

I no longer deal with traffic  - something I’m hugely grateful of! I get up at seven in the morning, walk – yes, walk! – leisurely to work and get to see the beach everyday if I want to. My skin is getting tanned already, but I don’t mind at all. There are shops nearby selling affordable bottles of wines, good food – cheap, expensive, everything is here – and fragrant smells of incense everywhere I go.

Everything is here – except himself.

So, mother universe, not that I’m ungrateful or anything but I’ve a new wish – I wish for himself to be with me. Sooner, not later, preferably. Please? Thank you.

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You will never see the uglier side of the people around you until you start doing better than they do.

What they don’t see is that things don’t just happen.

You don’t just sit around and wait for miracles to appear. You actually get up and do something. And you fail. Many, many times. But yet you keep trying. Many, many times.

They don’t see the struggles, the anxiety, the sacrifices you have made to come this far. They don’t see the endless conversations you’ve had with your spouses when deciding whether this big step is worth it.

And most importantly, they don’t see that this is what we want.

It gets even uglier when these same people start feeling insecure and make reckless decisions to “upgrade their lives”. Not because they want to change, but because they want to prove it to you that they can also make improvements on their lives – regardless of the reason it is done.

Yes, some people are so ugly. And sadly, they are everywhere.

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The Universe

… is toying with me.

It’s not supposed to be this easy.

It’s as if it is saying, “Okay kiddo, you asked for it. So I’m gonna grant your wishes. What are you gonna do about it?”

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Bali Withdrawal Syndrome

Today I feel very sad for no reason. It’s been a week since we got back from our Bali holiday and the daily routine has started to sink back in. And I can’t take it anymore.

The noise bothers me.

It never used to be this noisy, but now I can hear everything; trucks, motorcycles, public announcement from the mall next door, the prayers from nearby mosques in unison, the neighbors playing loud music or movie and the bass thumping in, not to mention that a new mall is building on the other side of the neighborhood. So our complex is going to be wedged between two giant shopping malls, in addition to the existing 2 malls across the main road.

You know what I really, really want? A good night sleep with nothing but the sound of crickets. Or bats. Or owls. Or whatever nocturnal animals that you can name of. Anything, but this.

During our holiday, not once did I wake up after 8. I woke up between 6 – 7 am and feeling very refreshed and well rested. Knowing me, I love sleeping – precisely because I find it hard to fall asleep, so once I do, I’d sleep for 8-13 hours if I could, which is what I’d do on the weekends. But in Bali, despite being on vacation, I could sleep easily, and it didn’t matter whether I’d lacked sleep the previous days, I’d wake up before 8 am, feeling good and refreshed.

Here, all I feel is grumpiness. Waking up – no matter on weekdays or weekends when I get to sleep in – is difficult and need mustering a lot of energy just to get my feet off the bed and on the floor.

And then there are the people.

Rude, obnoxious, assholes that I have to deal with everyday. On the road, at work, in public. If looks could kill, they’d all be dead, and I’m sure the world would be such a better place without them.

And I have to deal with it every – single – day.

More often than it should, I often wish I could just leave everything behind and live in the jungle – like Tarzan. Just leave all this madness and never look back.

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The Right To Not Be Stupid

Kartini – who fought for women’s rights for education in the 1800s once wrote, “I have a right to not be stupid.”

I have a right to not be stupid.

Just the other day I berated a whole class for cheating when they were doing their computer based training and assessment.

They did not understand why I was livid – it wasn’t the cheating that disappointed me to no end – it was the stubbornness on their side to remain stupid; to not have enough belief in themselves that they could achieve things with their own effort.

Instead, they chose to do the things that were the opposite of what our heroes and people like Kartini had fought for; the right for education, the right to learn and improve their intelligence.

The right not to be stupid.

But it seems that it’s all today’s generation about – stupid yet arrogant, stubborn, ignorant, always looking for shortcuts, and lacking beliefs and integrity within themselves.

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Are You a Pack Leader?

No, this isn’t an endorsed post for the famous dog whisperer. This about human beings acting like dogs. Well, actually – there’s nothing wrong with dogs; they’re the cutest animals I’ve known, and frankly they have more common sense and morals than some humans living in this world. But after watching so many episodes of the Dog Whisperer, it occurs to me how some humans actually behave the same way with their friends.
Any pack of friends I know always have a Pack Leader; the one with the final decision, the one who decides who can join their pack and who should be cast away, the one who controls the pack, and even so often, the one who pays for their pack as a way to control their friends. Basically, they are The Alpha Male or The Alpha Bitch, so to speak. Seeing as the Pack Leader pays for stuff, the betas feel obligated to follow whatever the Alpha tells them to do.
Some people don’t have problems being the betas – in fact, some seem to enjoy spending money on the Pack Leader’s expense, as well as not having the burden to make decisions which affect the pack. It’s not that these people are bad people, it’s just that they are more like sheeps – they don’t have a mind of their own and they follow wherever the herd goes.

The other day I was watching an episode on BBC Knowledge about the Primates, and even their species have pack leaders. So I conclude that despite the advancements humans make, they are still no different than animals. Humans always want to assert dominance and power over their own peers, and they take great joy in knowing that they have the upper hand. Kind of like Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl – being the richest girl in school, she is undoubtedly the Queen Bee – she reigns over her friends, and in return provides perks for being her betas.

The thing is, I don’t believe friendships work that way. I don’t believe that friendship that can be bought is anything close to the real thing. And how sad is it that some people have such low confidence in themselves to make friends that they have to resolve to using money to win and influence them?

Because strip away the money and what are they? Nothing. No character and not enough personality to make people want to stay and get to know them as real people – instead of the ones who pay for everything because they don’t believe that being themselves is enough to make people like them.

So if you happen to be in a pack of friends who treat each other equally with respect, you should cherish it – because that might be as good as friendship can get nowadays.

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Faith in humanity restored.

My car broke down this morning.
I should have suspected that it would happen, after the recent difficulties of failures to start the engine. But I didn’t make a big deal out of it. Not until what happened today, when it wouldn’t start no matter how many times I tried. And I tried lots.
What made it all worse was that I was right in the middle of a busy road coming out of the tollway at peak hours – luckily I managed to steer the car to the side even though I still made it difficult for other cars to go through. It was mildly embarrassing as it is – being the one who caused traffic and getting angry horns from random cars and trucks – there are lots of them in the morning – as they drove past.
I could only call people at work as I wasn’t far from it. But there was pretty much nothing I could do, really. I could only tried and tried many times to start the engine and failed and failed again.
I called a colleague who was still on her way but she would come out of the same road.
While I was stuck there trying to call people – and realizing I didn’t have much credit left on my phone, dammit! – this hawker who sold bottled water, tissues and lilies (they are pretty common here, and they carry their goods in a box strapped in front of their chests) – knocked on the window and I wound it down. He asked whether I needed help to push the car to a safe spot. I agreed, although other part of me – the suspicious one – was feeling alert. But I was desperate for any solution; I even gullibly asked him what was wrong with my car and what did those symbols on the panels meant. Obviously he had less clue than I would be.
The guy indicated to his fellow hawkers to come and lend him a hand, and they pushed my car to a safe spot. And I waited again while trying to call for help. Then one of them tried to get my attention the something across the road.
It turned out that a fellow colleague who was being driven to work by her husband drove past and they noticed me; her husband honked and asked if I needed help and I told them that I called for help already, seeing as they were on the opposite of the road and my colleague was five months pregnant, I wouldn’t want to burden them with my silly stupid car problem.
The hawkers disappeared out of nowhere, perhaps continuing onto doing their job, and I didn’t even realize it because I was busy scrutinizing the car manual I found on the back of my seat.

Something that you must understand is that in my country, it is quite typical for people to take advantage of other people’s misfortunes – especially when they know they can get some money out of it. So I was prepared for it to happen and I was surprised when it didn’t. Especially in that busy road where it was common for people to get aggravated and tensed. It is also very common to be suspicious of getting helped by strangers as there have been reports of people’s cars broken down and getting helped by random strangers who then managed to steal their belongings from their cars.

Fifteen minutes later, I saw my colleauge’s car approaching and out of reflex I started the engine again and – voila! it started as if nothing happened at all.
Five minutes later I got the car garage to pick it up and have it serviced.

I am now home, safe and sound. But I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling of being helped by total strangers and knowing that there are still good people in this world.

Faith in humanity restored.

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thumbnail Worth Every Rupiah article post

Living the Life.

It has just come across my mind that I am now finally living the life I have wished for...
article post


You will never see the uglier side of the people around you until you start doing better...
article post

The Universe

… is toying with me. It’s not supposed to be this easy. It’s as if it...
article post

Bali Withdrawal Syndrome

Today I feel very sad for no reason. It’s been a week since we got back from our...
article post

The Right To Not Be Stupid

Kartini – who fought for women’s rights for education in the 1800s once...
article post

Are You a Pack Leader?

No, this isn’t an endorsed post for the famous dog whisperer. This about human...
article post

Faith in humanity restored.

My car broke down this morning. I should have suspected that it would happen, after the...
article post