Posted in Rant

A Hotel Quarantine Adventure, Part One: Choices

At first, I thought I’d make a short story out of my self-isolation a.k.a. hotel quarantine experience. I planned on narrating it in a way that is both truthful to my actual experience and seemingly fanciful enough that it won’t be libel. To that end, I thought of doing some worldbuilding and tying it into the fictional universe I’m constructing right now. But that’s too much. And I figured that making up hotel names as proxy would suffice. So here goes…

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Posted in Rant

Not the Right Kind of Stiffy

I think that my writing is stiff. I feel my words don’t flow as well as I think they should. Sometimes I read the thing that I just wrote and am aghast at my choice of words.

Perhaps this is not a malady, but merely a case of first draft blues. If it is, “giving myself permission to suck” isn’t working for me. Frustration has been with me like an old friend, and I don’t think that my choice of language is why it stayed.

I suppose that one way to rid it is through sheer force of will. “Practice makes perfect,” seem to require the ten thousand hours I don’t seem to have or want to spend. Jotting down words has not been that fun for me. Either it has stopped being fun, or that I simply have little fuel in the absence of a nemesis. Perhaps I should make a nemesis of myself, of my doubts and my shortcomings. Perhaps I’m also cynical about making a foe of oneself as an effort to challenge for the better. Or simply, I just don’t have the gumption (which is a new favourite of mine).

Come to think of it, the energy that is required to write (and argue) on Twitter might come from the same place as writing opinion pieces for a publication. I suppose both are essentially airing pessimisms to an audience, and this here is no different.

At any rate, it should be quite obvious that this post is the product of a practice session. I should take advantage of the fact that almost nobody reads my blog as a carte blanche to write whatever for the sake of reaching that elusive ten-thousand hours mark.

Posted in Musing

Reverse Culture Shock

My wife told me that reverse culture shock is a thing and that it comes in increments instead of a single moment.

As with most things, I agree with her.

Being back is not without its challenges. And while America is far from being heaven on earth for the likes of me, I keep encountering little Indonesian things that made me appreciate the things I grew accustomed to in the States.

That being said, I won’t list them in this blog post. Not only do I not do lists, but listing them would be exhausting. I might name a couple of things off the top of my mind, but moments later, I’m sure the list would expand… again and again. So I’ll just let the idea sit.

I’ve also come to see that there are vast similarities between Indonesians and Americans. Both peoples can come to the same attitude, though for different reasons. For instance, a lack of concern for climate change can come from denialism, or from the simple notion of, “I’m too busy surviving to care about the environment.” Both arriving at a similar outlook, but coming from different needs and pressures.

Ah…

Perhaps one of these days I might do a list.

This blog post is a result of waiting in lines while not having mobile internet. As with my previous post (which I wrote while in the air and posted after landing in Japan), it’ll be quite apparent that I wrote this while being bored out of my mind waiting in line someplace.

I suspect that this will be my pattern for some time.

Posted in Musing

Coming Home

I’m writing this on a flight to Japan, the second of a three-flight series to reach home. By then, my (hopefully, first of many) American adventure would come to an end. While it could be argued that it ended after I departed D.C., I simply would like to take into account the experience of winding down the immediate nostalgia and sentimentality of being in the States.

A part of such a process is tempering my mind to the quirks of Indonesian life by catching up on news from back home over the past few weeks. As of now, somewhere over North America, it’s 50-50. That being said, any sense of displacement (feeling out of place due to some cultural leanings) or disappointment (amongst many things, by the general lack of orderliness) which usually accompanies my journey home is peculiarly absent.

Perhaps it’s because I simply want to get this journey over with. Maybe the full aura of Jakarta life will wash over me when I get to see its humdrum from my hotel room during quarantine.

Such things notwithstanding, I have plans. Oh boy, do I have plans. Those might not come to fruition. Some might just be parts of a complex pipe dream. But can always dream, eh?

Posted in Musing

Into the Fold

So recently joined another writing group. It’s a group that focuses on 5 less-popular literary genres in Indonesia: fantasy, action, mystery, thriller, and science-fiction (abbreviated as FAMTS). They mainly write on Wattpad, and they seem to have weekly activities such as games, reviews, and discussions. The thing is, it’s a closed group. I had to go through a week’s worth of activities to be admitted as a member. But I’m not complaining.

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Posted in Musing, Rant

I’ve Just Learned That There’s a Restaurant Named Ad Hoc

Watching a video of this girl who lives in her car makes me realise that we can adjust our personal notion of creature comforts. This is especially true after having a kid. Mind you, I feel guilty when I use my toddler as a crutch when it comes to my latest shortcomings. But having been the beneficiary of a wife who listens to many great self-improvement audiobooks, I reckon that I should be able to make do with the ad hoc arrangements in our home.

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