Friday, February 18, 2005

On Money, Time and Energy

On Money, Time and Energy

Spending a day in the office here in Jakarta clearing up e-mails and paperwork. Thanks to Internet banking, I'm able to handle my finances remotely. That saves me a great deal of time and hassle. I really look forward to a quiet weekend in Jakarta to reorganize my thoughts.

Whenever I tell people that I'll be spending the weekend in Jakarta, they always assume that I'm keeping a harem of girlfriends here. I can't blame them; the one consistent fact I've observed in every country that I've worked in is that expatriates are never short of female companionship. It is up to them whether they want to choose short or long-term ones.

Actually these relationships fall on a spectrum: At one end of the scale, you have the universally recognized "short time" and "long time" female services that you can always get "on-demand". At the other end, you have the relatively steady affairs--the lived-in girlfriends and "pseudo-wife" type of relationships.

There's always a price to pay for indulging in any of these relationships and the currrencies are money, time and energy. For the first category of relationships, you pay with money alone; and for the second category, you pay with a combination of all three.

Some native women find expatriates more desirable because they are supposed to be "rich" and offer them the promise of a better life. One can find these SPG archetypes in any Third World country.

Expatriates tend to find local women easy targets because they are usually friendly, loving and accomodating towards foreigners. But women are also instinctively smart (often without they themselves realizing it): they know how to manipulate men's affection to get what they want. But some long-term relationships between expatriates and locals do have happy endings. You do find many bules living happily in Indonesia with their native wives and kids.

When men get involved with women, money, time and energy will definitely be spent. What do you want to get out of your investment? Pure sexual pleasure? Emotional and intellectual companionship? Spiritual bonding? If you have more than enough money, how much time and energy are you willing to spend on one woman? You choose your own investment portfolio.

Just remember, time is definitely finite. Energy is not always replenishable--because it takes time to do so. If a relationship saps so much of your energy that you cannot even concentrate on your work anymore, then you will have to rethink your investment strategy.

If you think you can always pay for the woman you want, you only attract women who are forever after your money and risk living a life that is emotionally empty. The old adage is very true indeed: there's no such thing as a free lunch, especially when it comes to women. You always have to pay--with money, time and energy.

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