The game is starting to slow down for me and I’m able to focus better on what is going on around me. My morning walks don’t seem so strange, I’m more comfortable with the office and restaurant staff. I’m beginning to create my personal space.
Today was a good day at work. I’m allowed to work on my own, probably because I require little direction and charge ahead using the knowledge and experience I possess. For that leeway, I am grateful to those responsible for bringing me here. Today, my tasks were varied. First, I designed a new ad for a business consultant for Indonesia, who speaks and writes Indonesian, even can read and write the older language. One small change on my original work was all that was necessary.
Next, I created a rate card for the newsletter. We’re going to have advertising, especially now that we have a writer, editor and pseudo-designer on board. Basic graphic skills, borrow design from an already-made rate card, and presto! Little more to it than that – but for someone who has created many rate cards, not so much difficulty.
Then, I designed two pages of photos I took at the Australia Day party yesterday. They go in next week’s newsletter. Then, I interviewed a Singapore native who provides heavy-duty lifting services to the shipbuilding industry here. Big cranes and such. He saw the article about me in the newsletter and the article about us writing profiles of local expat businesses, and he was right in front of the line. I’ll get that out this weekend. Pure boilerplate. Took some headshots, too, but there was a bit of a language problem on my part in the interview.
The wireless reception in my apartment is terrible, so tonight I brought my gear down to the pool – to check the news, watch Stewart and Colbert, have a drink and chill away from the crowd. And there was a crowd under the roof, as this is free beer happy hour night. Ordered dinner and then my laptop started running out of juice. The battery life on this HP is not good. (Note to self: Next time, pay more attention to battery life.) To make me feel better, i ordered a banana split.
So, I took my gear over to the office area, where the pool table is located above the office, hoping to find an outlet to plug my laptop in. There are probably outlets at Goodies but I haven’t looked for them yet, and, besides, I don’t want to be in the crowd while I’m surfing. Reception at the pool table was equal to that around the pool. I can’t watch video on the Internet or even have reasonable Skype calls with the bandwidth I get in the apartment, but out here it’s much better. And I am “out here.” as the table is under a roof but open air. There’s a nice breeze blowing through and I’ve got rock n roll in my ears, and a bourbon in my reach. Nice.
I don’t know if I mentioned about the neighborhood. This is a former gated community that is being developed as a gated community for Western expats, Meanwhile, however, many of the houses, all dilapidated, are occupied by locals, some of them squatting because no one knows who the owners are. So when I do my morning walk, I encounter a lot of inquiring eyes, but they’re getting used to the crazy white guy walking up the big hill.
There are chickens everywhere, roosters, hens and youngins. There are also lots of cats, very scrawny, and most missing their tails or with tails obviously broken or mangled. Is that some sort of Asian thing, to harm cats?
I haven’t ventured off the reservation by myself yet. I’m just now able to carve some time for myself as I get more immersed in the job. At some point, if I want the freedom to roam by myself, I will have to start taking taxis. They’re not expensive but I haven’t had a need as yet. I can ask for a ride into town but that’s kind of like asking dad if I can borrow the car. I need the freedom to come and go without anyone else being involved.
I will say, though, that my visits into town with Doug didn’t leave me confident I can navigate without a guide. Wonder how I managed in Costa Rica, Croatia and Sicily? Just dumb luck, I guess. At any rate, I need to get around if I am to actually “experience” the culture. Years ago, I went to Jamaica with a good friend. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort, made doubly nice because they were comping me, the editor of Business Atlanta magazine. The resort was great, but we never left the reservation. I still regret not getting out into the countryside. Nuff said.
A good day of work for my employer, some challenges for me, and time to call it a day.