Sane At Home Mom, The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

When Your Cooking Fails to Impress

It’s been raining cats, dogs and rhinos lately and somehow this has temporarily pulled my attention away from my crocheting to cooking.

I am not a particularly good cook. I didn’t even know how until 2015 when I moved to Batam & became a SAHM (thank God for Google). Now I’m decent enough but the fact remains that it is not an activity I’ll ever volunteer for.

So the rain made me want to exert a little more effort than usual in the kitchen last night. Nothing fancy, I just added soup when I already had the meat & vegetable viands ready (my maximum is 2).Β  But even though it was really nothing fancy, apparently I was expecting my “customers” to be pleased and satiated.

They were satiated alright but a wee little comment came from the husband about the soup having a “weird aftertaste”. I felt shot. And although my 11 year old responded that the soup tasted fine to her, my evening was ruined.

I’m such a drama-queen. It was just a ready mix of cream of mushroom soup that came from a packet. Yeah, the kind to which you add water and stir while boiling. 3 minutes is all it takes. Exactly! Not even my own recipe or something I slaved over.

And yet I obsessed about it in my head last night.

Which led me to thinking about life in general and about exploring and continuing to learn. I do it to please myself, to grow and to have fun. And, while certainly nice to have, the approval of others is purely optional (well, maybe a little when it comes to feeding others and only if it’s something that didn’t come from a packet).

Sometimes I forget.

 

 

(But there was really nothing wrong with the soup. I tasted it! 🀨)

 

 

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handmade business, The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

My Brain’s Abuzz With 2019

Blame it on the ambivalent & un-inspiring goals I set for myself in 2018 (though I can’t be too hard on myself, I had recently given birth you know 😊), but my brain’s been abuzz with goals for 2019.

My episode of painful gastritis really did help me clarify things, one of them was realizing that I can’t really do “loose weight” as a goal again. I mean, yes, I could do with some weight loss, but I want this to be a side-effect of something bigger (and healthier!). Like fasting, because weight-loss is just one of the many effects of it and it isn’t even the best or most noteworthy.

Anyhow, I realized that I am galvanized into action by level-up goals that are fun and exciting but are also a bit scary and outside my comfort zone. I mean, I guess all of us are like this, no? In my case the more thought I gave to it the more it started to look like this:

goal: make life in Batam fun & engaging <- learn Indonesian <- make local friends (I only have fellow expat wives as friends so far) <- use my craft as a springboard <- sell my creations for fun <- learn all about social & online selling

Now this is really starting to look like a decent party 🀩

Already, because these goals are that exciting to me, I’ve taken some relevant action. I got friendly with my next-door neighbor. Now at least I’m friendly with someone local and hopefully she knows of a church that has English service (next action item).

I also made good on something I’ve wanted for some time, a dedicated craft site (fifiandriri.com). I also opened an IG account to serve as a portfolio of my creations. I’m finishing up all my crochet/knitting WIP’s at the moment so that I can start clean asap, with an eye on social selling this time.

I’m reading up about the handmade business, and my brain is lit with ideas and more to-do’s like learning product photography and opening up an FB for biz account.

So exciting! πŸ€ͺ

bulletin-board

How is all this going to help me with learning Indonesian? Simple, language is best learned though interaction & immersion. I’ve tried cooping myself up indoors facing my computer, the results are minimal and I’m not having any fun at all while at it. So I need to be out there and talk!

And how is this gonna force me into loosing weight? Well, lemme tell ya: I love to crochet lacy pieces of clothing. Clothing need to be modeled by a real person. You do the rest of the math 😁 😁

Sane At Home Mom

Hunkering Down: Learning the Indonesian Language Week 2

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Let’s Start With A True Story

This week’s work commenced last Saturday when, while visiting a nearby mall, I told my husband “jangan bantu saya, mau berlatih bahasa indonesia saya” (do not help me, I want to practice my Indonesian).

I went in to a store selling women’s accessories and, as expected, was approached by the attendant. She was explaining something about an ongoing promotion, which I understood by just focusing on key words (and the promotional signs). I asked something in my broken Indonesian, she realized I didn’t speak the language and, as I have observed many times in the past, answered by speaking so very fast that all I understood was the language’s signature rolling “R” 😳

Good Lord, help me. Whenever this happens, I want to revert to English so that it’s them having the headache, not me! (That’s my frustrated reaction).

But I soldiered on.

I asked her to please speak slowly, that I was still learning the language – all this in perfect Indonesian because by now this phrase is burned into my brain. Her reaction was one I interpreted to be akin to mockery, complete with that side-smile and downcast eyes. She then removed herself from the scene/situation ☹️

Now, I am not saying they all react discouragingly like this (although I do remember another store attendant who also attended to me with an air of annoyance). I don’t know what that lady’s problem was or what she was thinking at the time. Although I managed to walk out that store with 2 sets of lovely earrings (and 2 bracelets for my eldest), I spent a good part of the weekend feeling disheartened.

Jeez, it sure feels like “arse” to feel incompetent like that.

πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’

Here’s how the rest of week 2 went:

Monday

Lesson 49. Done!

Tuesday

Lesson 50 & 51. Done!

The cleaning lady praises my efforts for learning the language. She calls me “pandai” (smart/clever). She goes as far as to compare me with other expat wives who go back to their home countries with nada an Indonesian word under their belts.

Finally some encouragement!

I feel like I’m Wonder Woman πŸ˜€

Image result for wonder woman she can do it

Wednesday

Lesson 52 & 53. Done!

Thursday

Something unpleasant happened the evening before. So today I just want to soak my brain in positivity and possibility.

And knit.

Friday

It took me all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to go back and tackle lesson 54 again.

Image result for minion tired

Week 2 Conclusion:

On speaking with the locals ~ Most of the time, my frustration is that they don’t speak slowly when they reply. They only try to choose other words to explain the same thing but this just confuses me even more. They appreciate the effort I make, but it’s as though they get self-conscious when they respond that they just want to get it over with by speaking very fast and leaving it at that. And if the person being spoken to happens to know a bit of English, he will respond in English so that I am no better off than when I started.

But, I am fortunate to have a cleaning lady who knows enough English for us to be able to communicate. She’ll be taking on a more active role in this process moving forward 😁

On studying:

It still feels like punishment.

 

… to week 3, and beyond!

Sane At Home Mom

Hunkering Down: Learning the Indonesian Language Week 1

IMG_E5940So after this realization, I decided to dedicate 1 month to each goal.

This doesn’t mean that everything must be wrapped up and neatly tied with a bow by the end of the month. This is just to make sure I give each about 20+ weekdays of undiluted attention during which I put all my other goals on hold.

If a goal resonates, and I decide I want to spend more time with it, I will for as long as I need to. If a goal doesn’t resonate, then I will feel no guilt putting it away by month’s end knowing that I gave it a fair shot.

Let’s do this! πŸ’ͺ

I decided to dedicate July to goal #1, learn the Indonesian language. Here’s an overview of how the 1st week went:

Day 1

After weeks of neglect, I resumed with lesson 46. Focusing is difficult because I have ideas about my other goals and I have to exert willpower to bring my mind back to the day’s lesson.

Day 2

Moved on to lesson 47. Started to ask myself how else I could reinforce my learning. Dusted off an old edition elementary school workbook that I found on bargain a long, long time ago and proceeded to werk.

After 2 pages, looked for and found a podcast about language learning on which I heard Benny Lewis say that he didn’t need to speak the new language perfectly, he just needed to be able to communicate in it (or something like that).

Perfect! That’s what I want too.

What is coach surfing?Β πŸ€”

Enrolled in Benny Lewis’ 1 week email course : “Speak in a Week”.

Day 3

Woke up at 6AM with the intention to do some reading in my target language while everyone else was still asleep.

I worked on my new diamond painting project instead, and I wasn’t even aware that I made the switch! 😫

Plodded through lesson 48, midway, I was typing in my credit card details with 4 items for check-out in my online shopping cart. 😫😫

Day 4

I decided that if something was driving me to shop online when I had no need to, then I needed to take a step back from this and re-group.

Found a local TV program about arts & crafts, enjoyed it so much, and wrote down some new vocabulary.Β  Finally. Score! πŸ˜ƒ

Day 5

I sat down for the day’s lesson but found myself watching a YouTube video about the 10 people who hate Megan Markle insteadΒ  😲😲

Good Lord, I have never sunk so low!

Decided to redeem my dignity by watching the local arts & crafts program again with notebook and pen in hand. Hmmm … decoupage looks like something I could get into. 🀩Noted!

😡😡😡

Week 1 Conclusion:

I’m really struggling with this. Maybe the language classes I bought is no longer engaging because at this level, I’m bombarded with words that are not common to everyday conversation. Then there’s grammar … 🀒

The local TV program helped because it was interesting and it’s training my ears to how Indonesian is actually spoken. I am happy when I am able to make out words, even those that I don’t know the meaning of πŸ˜€ I then write these down and note their meanings.

The old schoolbook also helps. Somewhat.

Image result for funny minions on studying

Here’s hoping week 2 will go much better.