Wiser And Braver For It: A Post-Melbourne Update (Part 2)

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In part 1 of this story I shared a bit of our (short) job hunting experience in Melbourne, and how I felt somewhat guilty watching my husband go through the process.

But this wasn’t the only reason I agreed to come back to Indonesia.  I had my own realizations too that allowed me to let go of my “anywhere but here (Batam)” mindset.

Continue reading Wiser And Braver For It: A Post-Melbourne Update (Part 2)

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Share Your World 2016 #8

Indonesia Road

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?

This will definitely be cleaning toilets.  And what I like most are tidying up or organizing and washing the dishes 🙂

(Did you notice the quick shift? That is so the image of a toilet does not haunt my thoughts. LOL!)

What was the last URL that you bookmarked?

InterUnet.com’s instructions on how to crochet a slouchy hat 🙂 That’s going to be an upcoming project.

Close your eyes. Listen to your body. What part of your body is seeking attention? What is it telling you?

  1. I need to do my business in the toilet XD
  2. It’s time to sweat some toxins out (dance exercises!)

Would you rather have a two-bedroom apartment in a big city of your choosing or a mansion in the country side in the state or country where you currently live?

main street

Oh dear, I really want to be in a big city right now. I think I’ve had about enough of peace and quiet from this otherwise beautiful Indonesian ‘city’.  I know the hectic pace of a metropolis can get to you, get you all anxious and stressed and all that, but too much quiet and zen (and not a lot of options) can be trying too 🙄

(I’ve already given all 3 rats in the house names (Hercules, Li’l Mix and Peewee) and I’ve gotten to the point of scolding them when I see them scurry away.  I try to do it in Indonesian too as they likely don’t understand bahasa Inggris).

(Please beam me up now, Scotty!) XD

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week ~

I learned that my friend (who came to visit me a while ago) is extending her stay in Singapore so we’re planning for me to hop on over there and get excited over cacti & beads and other such stuff that only gurls get excited about XD

~ and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up.

I’m not sure but I plan on buying yarn … 🙄

~oOo~

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~oOo~

Mostly Sunny With A Chance of Fish Sauce

just keep looking upAh, it’s time for another monthly look-back. How time flies! Very soon I’m gonna have to start thinking about crocheting for the holidays 🙂

So how was June for all you beautiful people? Did you make the most of it? I hope so 🙂

For me, it was an about-face month. Let me tell you why.

Lethargy, lethargy go away! Paardje wants to play!

I was immensely homesick, as can be expected from someone who just moved to another country.  I seemed okay on the surface, but I was emotional-eating, wasn’t sleeping very well and just felt unhinged. Tears would come rushing out of nowhere especially at bedtime, I was irritable and could see no beauty in my surroundings.

Then by the 4th week of May, an angry voice in my head said “quit whining and smell the flowers!”. I ran out of patience for myself and sulking was no longer an option.

Exercise. Podcasts. Crochet. Repeat.

So I took on a fitness challenge for June, and I told you all about that here, here, and here. I am so happy I did that because it’s been really therapeutic. I love waking up early, enjoying nature sounds and seeing the sun come up. My spirits lifted a bit higher each day and it gave me something good to focus on.

yarn bingeI also threw myself into crochet.  I remember feeling really anxious to take on a project that I actually binged on expensive 100% cotton yarn – to the tune of 100 US dollars! – without having a particular crochet project in mind! I’m still suffering from this yarn binge but, lesson learned 🙂

Meantime, while my hands were busy I bombarded my brain with positivity in the form of podcasts. Hal Elrod, Tony Wrighton and a host of others became my constant companions. This prevented me from brooding and overall just fed my brain with practical ideas for living with more motivation and a better attitude.

Seeing my surroundings for the first time.at the supermarket

Much calmer now, knowing that happiness is something you [have to] engineer for yourself, I am finally able to appreciate the charm of my surroundings.

We go on mini adventures on most weekends – even a simple roadtrip is something to look forward to.  Recently we just found out where to buy tasty whole wheat bread that actually has a chance of being actual whole wheat bread! And it’s a fun discovery 🙂 I am able to laugh at stuff that used to irritate me, and I see smiling faces everywhere.  As a matter of fact, I’m starting to enjoy being a foreigner.  I can be crazy and say “haloooo!” loudly at anyone while waving like silly and it gives me a kick 😀 Nods and a curt “mornin'” just don’t do it for me anymore.

Feeling grateful.

The best part is I am beginning to genuinely feel grateful at this opportunity to be abroad.  When I get to be old, I can add “having lived in Indonesia” to my resume.  Now doesn’t that sound pretty awesome? 😉

let it go shake it off

Experiencing Indo Food the Local Way

good food (1)

So far we’ve always been eating out at the malls but each time we pass by these side-walk structures I’d always tell my husband I’d like to experience Indonesian street food someday.

So we finally did a couple of nights back 🙂 It was definitely a novel experience – everybody was al fresco, our table was a bit wobbly with the uneven ground and we were right outside the kitchen, separated only by a wall.

There was live entertainment right in front of us in the form of live crabs :

live crabs

There was also some action going on to my right as coconuts were being prepped for serving their juice (that yellow chair is my husband’s just to show you the proximity).

Thankfully the lady stopped her chopping as she caught me sneaking alarmed glances at her sharp implement (and imagining it flying out of her hands):

fresh coconuts

We were in lively company.  That table in front of us was just vacated, in case you’re now wanting us to move away from the coconuts:

lively company

And best of all, the food was absolutely delicious!  We had ayam goreng bawang, cap cai, and cah kangkung.

Indonesian food

I loved it!  We walked back to our car shamelessly burping and rubbing our bellies with satisfaction.  Well, it was already dark and nobody there knew me/us so … 😉

Counting Blessings

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Previously I used to do reviews at the end of each month. This one’s a bit late but it comes with a twist – I’m going to share with you the things I have come to see as blessings in my new environment instead.

Here they are ~

1.  Silence. I’ve always been one to appreciate friendly neighbors and the buzz of metropolitan life, so to be placed in my current environment has been nothing short of a shock:  a huge subdivision of large houses, a lot of them empty and decrepit.  The ones that seem to be lived-in are generally devoid of any sign of life: no children playing, no dogs running about, no music or the sound of TV. Only a few people traverse the streets at any given time that I am sometimes surprised to hear laughter or the sound of conversation.

An absolute test of my sanity.  And yet I’ve come to see it as an invitation to just be still and make space for what’s to come.

2.  Nature sounds.  In this blanket of silence I learned to hear a concert of bird sounds, some so mechanical that I initially mistook it for motorized equipment.  And of course, the crickets and bullfrogs in the evenings 🙂

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3.  So much green + fresh air.  Behind our house runs an expansive golf course and beyond that, beautiful hills. The subdivision roads are wide and tree-lined with minimal vehicles passing by.

4.  The weather.  I love the sudden, strong bouts of rain.  The immediate clear, blue skies that follow afterwards.  And the sporadic gusts of wind that rustle the leaves.

5.  This ghost-town subdivision.  Somewhat of a double-edged sword, I choose to look at it as some kind of feast for the eyes instead.  Except for the empty and neglected ones, there are some really amazing, beautiful, huge houses here.  It’s enough of a treat to drive around and gaze at them.

6.  The oval.  ‘Nuff said 🙂

7.  Our house.  It’s big and spacious but not hilariously so (thank God!). With balconies that look out into the golf course and out onto the main street.

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8.  Vegetables that wilt within the day.  Bane at first, but now I see them as perhaps having much less exposure to chemicals.  Most of them look normal with the occasional spots and bruises, not the flawless, up-sized versions of the ones I was used to.  Less chemicals, better for our health.

9.  Proximity to Singapore.  We are just an hour away from Singapore.  Thank goodness! 🙂 If I feel the need for a shot of metropolitan buzz, I know where to go.

10.  My family is together. After a couple of years being in a long distance relationship there’s some awkwardness and novelty at the moment, but we are whole and this is an opportunity for us to grow together.

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How about you? What are you thankful for? 🙂