Sunday, I decided to join the Batam Social Golf Society for its monthly golf tournament at Batam Hills Golf Resort. The golfing venue is one of several on the island, a fairly benign and relatively short course, made difficult by the heat and humidity – and by my own lack of ability after 20 years away from playing. Suffice it to say that I played sideways all afternoon. The good news was the company is picking up the tab, kind of like a PR venture for me.
My playing companions were good company, Bruce, Ian and Jamie, the latter two from
Scotland and Bruce either Aussie or Scottish. 21-year-old Jamie and I rode together, with our two female caddies riding on the back of the cart. I doubt having four attractive women watching every shot had much to do with my bad swing, but it does put a little pressure on each shot. The girls were very nice and very helpful, but mine, Reni, couldn’t swing the club for me, although she was happy to admonish me for throwing my sweaty towel on the ground instead of handing it to her. Is it polite to hand a sweaty towel to a pretty woman?
A word about Jamie to give you an idea of the types of Westerners on Batam. Jamie works for Texas-based McDermott, which has a major presence here. He’s been on the road for three years and currently does a two-months on-two-months-off work routine, for the most part. His last assignment had him on an oil rig, working 12-hour days, for 70 straight days. Then, he gets two months off, with pay. And they pay these people very well, with hefty food and housing allowances, as well. Jamie has been living at Smiling Hill for more than a year and has one of the very nice two-bedroom apartments across from Goodies and the pool. Even though he has a live-in girlfriend, Jamie likes to get into town, and on the way back from golf (I hitched a ride with him), he had his driver drop him off at Candy’s in the kampung bule (expat village) where all the bars are. He asked if I wanted to join him, but the old man was exhausted, dehydrated and soaked from head to toe. Aah, to be 21 again and full of so much energy.
As some of you know, I have had a lifelong attachment to cats, shattered when I had to leave Cool Hand Lucifer behind in Sarasota, but in a very good home. Moving around the past two years hasn’t been conducive to adopting another feline, so I have resisted the temptation, although I did semi-adopt one in Jaco for a short period. Now, I have a new friend.
When I started work here, there were two cats hanging around the office, an orange tabby male and a calico (of course, female, that’s the only way they make calicos). They had one tiny, scrawny calico kitten tagging along. These cats are feral, although more timid than wild. But they won’t let me get near them. I managed to pick up the kitten a couple of times but it never remembered me afterwards.
So I resorted to bribery, bringing small amounts of hamburg, raw and cooked, in the mornings. Now, she’s waiting on me every day, comes to me when I approach, and hangs around the front door of the office. Haven’t given her a name yet but I did buy some dry cat food today. Not sure if I want to take her into the apartment and don’t have cat litter yet, anyway. She’s just a tiny little thing, smaller than she should be because of poor nutrition (the neighborhood cats mostly forage in the trash for food here). I’ll take a picture soon and post it.
Back in sales again
We finally published our new rate card for the newsletter this past week and we already have three advertisers. If it had been this easy in Florida, I would still be there. I designed the rate card and set the prices. One advertiser has signed on for 52 weeks – a full page – and is paying in advance. I’m also designing some of the ads. Pretty straightforward stuff but a useful skill in a part of the world that has few people who can do it.
nuff for now.