Thursday, July 08, 2004

Catching Up

Catching Up

I haven't had the opportunity to eat my Indomie breakfast at the canteen yet because I had to go to the customer site early in the morning. Wati at the canteen makes the best Indomie rebus--lightly cooked, with a sprinkling of freshly cut cabe (chili padi); together with a steaming cup of kopi tubruk, it is one of those simple pleasures of Indonesia that I miss so very much. It's also the only kind of breakfast that I bother to take here in Jakarta.

Tomorrow I won't need to go to the customer's place at Lippo-Karawaci. Time for me to spend a day at the office consolidating all my facts and start charting possible solutions. Maybe I'll even be able to indulge in the luxury of having an Indomie breakfast.

I haven't been listening to any songs by Chrisye for months; and today I suddenly remembered what I've been missing when Eric played Cinta Kita on his car stereo. Chrisye's duet with Sophia Latjuba, Kangen, is also one of my favourite songs. Read somewhere in the papers that Sophia Latjuba is going to marry her new bule boyfriend. She was formerly married to the musician Indra Lesmana.

I think I need to catch up with what's happening with the other Indonesian artistes too. I'm not a big fan of Inul but I remember reading about her buying a big new house in poshy Pondok Indah. There's still no news on Dewa's new album. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

An Honest Day's Work

An Honest Day's Work

Finally, I am able to find some time to blog from this free wireless hotspot in McCafe (McDonalds) beside Sarinah. I have been allocating all CPU resources to my work for the past week that I've been here in Jakarta; leaving me with no time and energy to think of anything else.

It is good to be able to work with my ex-colleagues again; for some reason I form a good partnership with them--which is one of the reasons why I produce some of my best works with customers in Indonesia. My present assignment will take me a least another week-and-a-half and it looks like I'll have to work over the weekends too. But that's OK. I enjoy being productive.

A friend of mine who runs an IT school here asked me if I am interested to do some teaching for him. I told him that if I am here in Jakarta permanently I'd certainly be interested for I see teaching as a community service, which I am even willing to do for free.

Unfortunately I am no longer a resident of this marvellous city. If I had made the decision end of last year to stay for another year, I would have continued teaching part-time at the university, written more articles for Jakarta Kini and continued pursuing my interest in Indonesian culture and history (besides pretending to do my regular IT job).

I'm glad that my current freelance work still allows me to take up the occasional assignment in Jakarta. I supposed I'm also lucky that I don't exactly have to go out to woo for business--people call me to seek my services. Which is why I've always believed--rather naively, one might say--that good work will always be rewarded. I just need to concentrate on doing a good job and the rest of the things will take care of itself.

I'm not a religious person but if I were one, I would honour God through work. Do what you do best; work selflessly, tirelessly for the greater good of your community. To me no amount of ritualistic worship can gain more merits from the Almighty than an honest day's work.

Monday, July 05, 2004

That Divine Fountain

That Divine Fountain

I am relieved that tomorrow is a public holiday--which means that I will be able to catch the final of Euro 2004 tonight. Because of work, I had missed most of the quarterfinal and semifinal matches; so tonight, I'm going to reward myself by watching the entire match from beginning to end.

Did some work this morning at the McCafe in McDonalds, using their free wireless Internet service. Since the Marriot bombing last year, the 24-hour McDonalds at Sarinah has imposed very tight security--all bags are scanned before one could enter its premise. Still it remains one of the most crowded places in downtown Jakarta--which makes it not a very conducive place for work.

Like a ghost, I have been haunting all my favourite places around the Thamrin-Sabang-Menteng area as if I have never left this place. I haven't called any of my friends yet because I am afraid I won't have the time to meet up with them during the coming week. I want to overcome most of my work hurdles first before I start indulging in any social activities.

Maybe I'll have to learn how to alternate effortlessly between work and play. For some reason, it's not something that I can do easily. When I'm deep in work, I become a bit of a hermit. Solitude can help to heighten one's state of mind; and in the fertility of its silence, thoughts at their most sublime would spring forth.

Once they rush in, how ceaselessly they would flow! And in such sparkling showers too--like some divine fountain that draws from the inner depths of our cosmic soul.