Weekend Coffee Share

Hi there, I’m glad you could make it! Come, sit down next to me and check out how the lady wrote my name on my cup just now – you may now call me Ms. Jeany! I wonder how she heard that when I even spelled my name out (twice). If we were having coffee, I’d first of all apologise that we’re having it at Starbucks, but it was the only place with decent coffee at the mall (which really says a lot about the mall here!). Thanks for meeting me despite the location though; I ended up spending way too much time at the optics store looking for new frames that I don’t even need! And before you ask, no I didn’t end up buying anything. On Thursday I got all of these “it’s your birthday so here are some discounts!” emails and text messages from various stores that I have bought from before. Talk about having to resist temptation to spend my money on things I don’t need! I’m proud that I managed to walk away empty handed from all the stores I visited today. … Well, okay, you got me. I didn’t walk away empty handed from the bookstore. You know me and books – I just can’t resist them!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that overall, this week has been relatively uneventful – yes, even with my birthday. I’m not much of a big celebrator of birthdays as it is but this time it was really just like any other day in this panda life. Although there was some cake involved! It was a bit of a bittersweet day and I did blog about it already so I’m trying to let go of the lingering melancholic feelings from “my special day”. I wish I could have celebrated it with my friends and family who are currently all spread out and far away. Although I did catch up with an old friend and her family today. It was the first time I met her little man, who just turned one on the same day as I turned 28! He is such a cutie pie and it was great to catch up with my friends again. It’s funny because he has the same birthday as me and my friend has the same birthday as my mum! It was definitely a nice way to round off my birthday weekend; in addition to this coffee, that is!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you not only about how this last week has been for you, but also about how your weekend was last week because I unfortunately missed our coffee catch-up. I ended up going to Lombok, an island that’s a 30-minute flight away from Bali to meet some old work colleagues/friends from Jakarta. It was my first time there and it was so beautiful! I think the best part of the trip was that, although there were plenty of local and foreign tourists, the town itself was not yet really “developed” in the sense with dozens of hotels, restaurants, shops etc. It was still mostly homestays and local eateries called “warungs” by the side of the road. There were some restaurants too, even a surprisingly good mediterranean restaurant, but all of it was still so … untouched. The beaches were endless stretches of white sand  and crystal clear blue water. It was such a relaxing getaway and it was refreshing to catch up with old friends as well.Just thinking about it now already makes me wish I were still there. Care to join me when I go back next time?


This post is part of the #WeekendCoffeeShare event hosted by Part-Time Monster. Check out my previous coffee shares here and coffee moments from around the world here. And hey, if you’re interested, why not join in the coffee sharing fun?

28

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Today marks 28 years of this Panda life. 28. As I lay in bed last night thinking about how tomorrow would be “my special day”, I felt a sense of anticipation, some sadness and also a little bit of fear.

Anticipation for all the birthday wishes that I would (hopefully) get from friends and family both near and far. Messages that I would respond to and that would reconnect us after weeks, months, years of not talking. The start of a conversation that allows us to be a part of each other’s lives again, even if only for a short number of exchanges; but it would be enough until the next time we speak again.

Sadness because I knew how quickly the day would go by and I knew, although I always still hoped otherwise, that it would pass by unextraordinarily. It would be just another day in the year that should be special and filled with more love, more laughter and more happiness but it won’t. That sounds pitiful and awfully pessimistic but it’s how birthdays have been for me the last few years away from close friends and family; so I’ve learned to stop expecting more. I’m not generally a big celebrator of birthdays anyway but there’s always a part of me that twists with indecision over whether to be excited or passive about this special day.

Fear because it’s another year of my life gone and I feel more restless and unsettled than ever before. With each year that I grow older (and hopefully wiser too!), I become more thankful for the things that I have in my life. I know that I have lived and still continue to live a privileged life. I have seen and experienced so much, I have travelled to many places, I have loving and caring parents and siblings, I know who my true friends are and I have a good and steady job that allows me to continue to see, experience and travel. I can spoil myself with material things, I can indulge in frivolous things when I wish to. I have a good life and I am so thankful.

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At the same time, I can’t help but feel that I’m being left behind somehow. I’m going through the motions, every day slogging through my job because it’s my job and not because I’m passionate about it. I have a routine that was so easy to develop because there’s nothing that would get in the way anyway. I feel stuck. I get glimpses of other people’s lives and it seems like they’re always moving forward in work, love, life in general. They’re exactly where they want to be doing what they’ve always wanted to do and when I look at them I become paralysed with fear.

I’m living in my own country, a place that should be home but after 01 year here and almost 03 years total on this island country, I still feel like a fish out of water – searching desperately, ironically, for water but can’t find a place where I just FIT. I never knew it could be so hard to find a space that feels safe, where I don’t have to question myself because I can’t seem to find anyone who will even give me a chance to be their friend. My insecurities have exploded and every day I work like a fiend to try to tamp them down with little to no effect. It makes me question everything about myself, where I am, who I am and makes me wonder what the hell am I doing? When am I ever going to be more than this?

I know that people only show the good stuff most of the time and of course I know that it’s not always roses for them either, but they seem to have it so… Together. They’re the same age as me (roughly) and they’ve already found the clearing to get to the path that they want to be on; I’m so scared that I’ll never get to where they are. Will I ever?

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Still, I manage to harbor a glimmer of hope that things will be different – soon. That I will find a job that I will feel passionate about, that I will find people who give me a chance and a space where I can finally feel safe and just be. I will learn to (slowly) let go of my insecurities and learn to love and believe in myself and things will be better; I will be happier. I still hold hope, no matter how small, that things will fall into place and that I will get to where I want to be. So, 28, shall we do this?

If we were having coffee…

It would be a much needed dose of caffeine for this caffeine addict. I’m planning to make myself a dose of the strong stuff in the biggest mug that I can find in my cupboard. Do you want one as well? No? Just a regular sized mug of brew then? Alright. You go and settle yourself down on any of the couches you like – I’ll come join you once I’ve got the drinks ready.

If we were having coffee, once I’ve sat down with our steaming drinks, I’d ask you how your week has been. Have you had a long weekend as we’ve had here in Indonesia? If you have, did you get up to anything interesting? Did you finally get to do something that’s been on your agenda for a while? Or did you just have a nice relaxing few days at home? Maybe spending time with family? Sorry for the barrage of questions. The last week has felt long and it feels like there’s a lot to catch up on!

Can you believe it’s already May? We’re into the first week of the fifth month of the year and it seems incredible how quickly the months have flown by. I’m so glad that we’ve just had a long weekend; I didn’t really realise how much I needed it until now. It has been great to push thoughts of work and not touch anything work related since Wednesday evening. I’m so proud of myself for not going near my email or caving in whenever I hear the *PING* of email notifications going off on my phone. Working on the weekends has become too much of a (bad) habit for me and I’m glad that I haven’t ruined this week with it! Yeah, I’ve become one of those work people.

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What have I been up to then? Well, my uncle and his family (aunt+cousin) arrived on Wednesday night (or more accurately, Thursday morning at 5AM after a 3 hour delay)! Everywhere we’ve been has just been swarming with people who are taking advantage of the holidays here and in their own countries. I’ve finally got to really enjoy the perks of living on a tropical holiday island by spending time at one of the more popular holiday resorts and basking by the beach and pool with my beloved books and getting a wee bit of a tan (or more like a slight burn)! The beach and resort was beautiful and it was so relaxing! I didn’t realise how tense and wound up I was before those two days in the sun but they made a world of difference. Listening to the crashing of the waves and the splashes of water from the fountains into the pool, inhaling the fresh smell of the sea, feeling the warm breeze wash over me to take away the heat, sliding into the pool to cool myself down. Now I’m feeling calm and refreshed. I’m not looking forward to the long weekend being over – and it’s winding down pretty quickly now – but I’d say that my break was well spent. I’m glad that I had some family come over from Jakarta because otherwise, I probably would have spent some of my time working, a lot of my time lounging in bed reading and basically, doing nothing different to what I usually do most other weekends. Sometimes, family time is just what’s needed, right?😉

I hope that you’ve had a great week too and even if you didn’t have a long weekend or any public holidays, I hope that you got some time to refresh yourself and that your weekend is fun and relaxing. Maybe next time we can have coffee at one of these holiday resorts and take in the sunset at the same time? Until next time, thanks for the coffee!


This post is part of the #WeekendCoffeeShare event hosted by Part-Time Monster. Check out my previous coffee shares here and coffee moments from around the world here. And hey, if you’re interested, why not join in the coffee sharing fun?

If we were having coffee…

20160430_134704I’d invite you back to one of my favorite cafes closer to home. You came here about two coffees ago; remember their iced coffee? So good! Isn’t it great that the cafe is empty today and we have the space to ourselves? The place is quiet save for the Tribe Called Quest record that’s spinning, the softly chattering voices of the staff downstairs and the noise of the aircon being pumped through the room. As much we both love company, it’s nice to have the place to ourselves; it’s like we own the space!

How has your week been? What have you been up to since we last spoke? Any news or updates about the activities/events/things that you were looking forward to or dreading last week?

The week was relatively quiet for me. My nan went to Bangkok with a group of retirees who she exercises with on a weekly basis. Work hasn’t been anything special – productive and busy as always – but nothing out of the ordinary happened. This week I’ve realised how much I get through every day on autopilot. I don’t think, I don’t question, I just do. Sometimes it’s easier to ignore that fact and just do but other times it’s startlingly apparent. Autopilot is easier because it helps me to forget the not-so-good parts of the “routine” that I have established here: Wake up-Eat-Work-Exercise (occasionally)-Home-Eat-Sleep and repeat. Thoughts of the other stuff that I don’t have in my life here, I usually just push aside to a corner of my cave where the light cannot reach.

Okay, so maybe it’s been a bit of a low week but it’s fine. Sometimes we have our off weeks, right? We just have to work through it. I’ve been thinking a lot about how easy it is to feel lonely here even when I’m surrounded by people (my colleagues) every day. A lot of events this week have led my thoughts to circle back to relationships and that kind of companionship. I don’t know why but the seed was planted in my brain last week and I can’t seem to shake it loose. I miss that kind of companionship. I miss obsessing over shows, movies, food, music and life (in general) with someone who feels the same way. I miss going out and sharing exciting adventures with someone. I miss being goofy and real with someone. I miss coming home to someone and knowing that they will take away everything shitty that happened and heighten every good thing and feeling. I miss having someone to just hold me because they can. I guess I just miss having someone…

What? Oh, I guess I really got sucked into my lonesome-romantic fantasies there, didn’t I? Sorry… It sucks to be a hopeless romantic and still be so cynical at the same time; I feel like these two parts of me are always constantly at war! Anyway, I’m just going to look forward to enjoying the rest of my weekend and hope that the lonely feeling goes away and the week ahead is better:)

Thanks for the coffee and listening to me babble. I’m really grateful for your company and I can’t wait until we have coffee again; next week, as usual?


This post is part of the #WeekendCoffeeShare event hosted by Part-Time Monster. Check out my previous coffee shares here, and other coffee moments from around the world here. And hey, if you’re interested, why not join in the coffee sharing fun?

Contemplation – Week 9

Welcome to Week 9 of Contemplation! I have to admit that I missed one post for this event but I have uploaded Week 8 here now, so if you want to see that or the other Contemplation posts that I’ve done, you can check ’em all out in one go.

Just little note for those of you who don’t know what this series is about, each week DJ over at musings of a frequent flying scientist will share a prompt from her Kikki.K A Sentence A Day Journal and invites us to share our answers with her.

What is your favorite topic of conversation?

When I first read this prompt, my mind drew a blank. Is there any one topic that I favor above all others? I don’t think I consciously steer conversations towards a particular topic, nor do I make sure that any particular topic is touched upon in conversations. For sure, there are those topics that I don’t contribute to as much in comparison to others – such as politics. It’s not that I’m uninterested in politics but I wouldn’t say it’s my forte.

Thinking back on talks with my friends though, I notice that we always, eventually, end up talking about people – in particular, human behaviour. Most of the time we get into discussing ourselves or the people that we meet throughout our week and we talk about situations with these people and how we acted. In general, I love people watching and learning more about others and trying to understand what makes people tick (and that’s probably why for my BA I majored in Behavioural Studies). We talk about what we think drives people to act the way they do? What factors affect their behaviour and how we react to their behaviour?

They’re not always serious conversations but we toss around reflections and ideas and see what the other thinks or what the other has to say. Reflecting on these talks, I realise that I really enjoy contributing to the discussions and it’s usually when I hesitate the least in contributing my thoughts.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t really answer the question (or maybe I did in a roundabout way?). But it’s nice to reflect and contemplate the answer for questions (such as this) that I never really thought about before. What’s your favorite topic of conversation? Do you have one?

Unloading Emotions

I need to get something off my chest. There’s a fire inside me that has been steadily burning since I spoke to my parents on Sunday evening and since this morning it has crescendoed into a raging inferno. I don’t think I’ve felt quite this angry in a while – at least, not on behalf of someone else.

My parents are currently traveling around Europe (Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Austria and Hungary). Now that my dad is retired and they’ve finished building their new home and settled in Indonesia, they’ve decided to do what almost everyone dreams about doing – travel around the world. They’ve been planning this Europe trip since last year and I know that overall they have been having a good time. They’ve met with friends who they haven’t seen since we lived in Bangladesh the first time in 1991-1995; they’ve visited famous landmarks that these countries are known for; they’ve tried lots of amazing food and dad has drunk a lot of great beer and wine. I know they’ve been enjoying themselves but they have also had their fair share of troubles, especially lately.

When I say troubles, I specifically mean that they’ve been cheated and they’ve also been targets of theft on more than one occasion. I guess people see them as easy targets, not only because they’re foreigners, but because they’re obviously not as “sprightly” as they used to be (they’re both in their 60s). As their daughter, it’s distressing to hear about these things happening to them. I know they’re completely capable of looking after themselves, but still, it makes me want to go out there and defend them from these slick hands! While it’s upsetting to hear about these incidents, that’s not really what makes my blood boil.

It’s not the fact that they were cheated or identified as easy prey. Apparently, this is quite a normal experience for many people who visit Europe [Side note: Judging from my parent’s friends who commented on their status update, at least 90% of them said that they either experienced the same or had been forewarned in the last few months about the deteriorating situation in Europe. Be warned, people who are traveling there!]. No, what makes my blood boil is the fact that, through all the troubles my parents faced, not one person came to their aid.

No one turned to help my dad when he caught the person who attempted to take his wallet from his pocket. He was standing in the middle of a crowded station platform in Vienna with people milling about and even the conductor, who was standing at the door of the next car over, didn’t bother to turn around. My dad was shouting at the top of his lungs for help, for the police and no one paid him any attention. Having been caught-in-the-act with no one to hold them to account, the perps casually sidled off and went up the escalators to freedom.

Last night, my dad’s backpack was stolen on the train from Vienna to Budapest. They said that they went to the police station on arrival and tried to report the incident and you know what the police said? “We’re busy today. Come back the day after tomorrow.” Um, excuse me… What? My parents just got robbed and you’re too busy to help?! You are in a position of authority and yet, this is not important enough to warrant any attention from you. You’re in a position where you are meant to make people feel safe – regardless of where they’re from or how “busy” you are. Newsflash: you’re meant to be helping people not sending them away!

Then there’s everyone else who stood around while my dad was shouting for help. Is this really what we’ve become? Our “global society” – turning away when we see other people in trouble? Turning a blind eye and pretending that you’re not aware of what’s happening? Or even worse, standing there and watching the commotion unfold, but doing nothing at all to help someone who’s crying out for it? Have we become so selfish that we care for no one but ourselves? Wouldn’t you want someone to help you if they saw you shouting for help or defending yourself from someone who is trying to take your personal belongings? It makes my blood boil and makes me want to shout at people to wake up! When did we become like this? Is this really the norm now for people to not care? It makes me so disheartened and so sad.

So… Breathe. I just really needed to get that off my chest.

Late Night Coffee Share

If we were having coffee this week, it would be a late night event. Coffee late at night, you ask? Yes. I’ve been feeling a bit restless and unable to sleep (and no, it’s not because I’ve been drinking coffee at night), so I thought there would be no harm in drinking the stuff when I already don’t feel tired! You can have tea though, if you don’t feel like having coffee.

I’d invite you over after dinner and we’d plop ourselves on the couch full of fluffy pillows. We’d sit in silence for a bit as we inhale the aromatic scents floating up from the steaming mugs in our hands and then I’d probably moan about how sad it is that the weekend is already half over when I feel like it’s only just begun. Sorry, that’s not a positive start, is it? I just wish that weekends felt as long as the weekdays often do. Although I admit last week wasn’t so bad. Even if it was as busy as it always is, it was a week full of (more) positive energy and accomplishments and that always feels good! After several long months of working on the marketing and acquisition plan for the office, it has finally been given the stamp of approval. Now there’s no need to wait for the bossman’s okay and all systems are on go: full speed ahead!

If we were having coffee I’d also tell you that I’ve finally pulled myself together and joined a gym close to home. The place has a pool as well so I’ve started swimming again. I was quite pleased with myself for getting up so early to head to the pool before work and getting a few laps in. I know it’s hard to imagine since it’s no secret that I’m so not a morning person but I did it! Although intuitively I knew, I’ve never really confronted how much I let myself go until I got into that pool and felt my muscles scream in protest at my lack of movement over the last year. Despite the protesting muscles, it felt really good and invigorating; it felt fresh. Sitting in a chair for 9+ hours a day, five days a week, without doing anything else active definitely isn’t healthy. It’s silly isn’t it, that I let myself go like that? It’s so easy to slip into that state but hopefully I will keep up with the fitness… This time!

If we were having coffee I’d also tell you that I didn’t hear back from that job after the interview. It’s okay… No, really, I’m fine. Sure, every day that I checked my email and saw that there wasn’t any news from them was disappointing and I did feel down for a while; but I’ve decided to look at it positively. Perhaps it means that my time here isn’t over just yet and I still have more to contribute, more to learn and more of an impact to make. Thinking back over the last year, it does feel good to know how far I’ve come, personally and professionally, so if I look at it in that light, I don’t feel so bad. This job has taught me a lot about myself and I’ve gained a lot of insight into my strengths and also my weaknesses and finding ways to address them. With these positive thoughts in my head, I’ve been able to turn around how I feel about work and in the past week I’ve really felt a tremendous difference. I’m feeling motivated again and I’m ready to face the challenges head on. There’s not such a heavy weight sitting on my shoulders anymore. (Or is that just the exercise?)

But enough about me – what about you? How has your week been? Are your family, friends and work doing alright? I hope that you got some positive energy from the last week and if not, I hope the week ahead is better, brighter and brings more positivity!


This post is part of the #WeekendCoffeeShare event hosted by Part-Time Monster. Check out my previous coffee shares here, other coffee moments from around the world here and if you’re interested, why not join in the fun?