Friday, April 22, 2016

One Day in Lalaland

It was 7.45am, the kids just left to school and I still had half-full cup of tea.
Maybe I can sit down, enjoy my tea for a bit while checking email?
Nah... I won't have time. Better run to the bathroom now to shower.
Shower it is.

But of course, my 'rituals' in the bathroom took more than ten minutes before I actually hit the shower.  Then when I stepped into the shower it's already 7.58. It should be ok, I thought. They never really are punctual. So I started, thinking it would only take me 5 minutes from start to finish.

Well, two minutes later, the water started to be less and less, until it was just a drip of water.
You know that feeling, when you're in the middle of your business and had to stop just like that?
The feeling of regret sort of thing, while wonder why they choose this time to be punctual out of hundreds of appointments that never be on time! That's how it felt when you're all wet and soapy, but you had to finish it off with cold water from a bucket instead of running water from shower head.

We've been having this water rationing since the beginning of the year. City wide, there is chart where you can see when are days that the water from the street won't come in to your building. And as a country that long ago has left the idea of well, when there's no water from the street you don't have water at all.

Basically on Thursday, Friday and Saturday we can't fill the tank in our building that has about 12 families live in it. In order to save whatever we have in the tank, the building management regulate the use of water during those days. For example from 6-8am on the weekdays, 12-1pm then 8-9pm. And as a consequences you have to adjust your schedule around it. Like when you have to shower, do laundry, cook and wash your dishes, etc, etc.

You'll actually get use to it. But somehow we need to draw the line between normal and ...not normal. It's good to be flexible and adapted to the situation. However if the root cause of this problem is the lack of capability to manage the resource, I think there's something that should and can be done. If this is caused by natural disaster or things beyond our control, of course we need to be grateful for whatever we have and work with it. Again, if human being is the cause, ignorance to be exact, then it is time for us to be human, to use our will, brain and heart to fix it!


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wobbly Woman Goes Traveling

We just arrived back home in Caracas after more than two weeks vacation in Spain. It's not our first time, but we had a different travel experience as a week before leaving I sprained my ankle. So I had to go with cast and crutches.


Never in my life I imagine this can happen. Although it said that 25,000 person per DAY has this injury, where one or more ligaments on the outer side of your ankle were stretched or torn. It's not a pretty situation especially when you imagine walking on cobblestone streets in Madrid, for example, during winter when most likely it's wet, with crutches. However, I think it would be a different story if it happened in Indonesia, where a masseuse can help and you'd walk again in no time. That how strong an Indonesian can be!

Anyway, it was quite a drama for me, not because of the situation, it's more of the way I handle it. Traveling that should be a relaxing time (this statement should be arguable and becomes one more topic to write next time) could turn to be very stressful. Especially when it didn’t go the way you expect it to be. Of course it's all about adjusting expectations, knowing the limit and most importantly keeping positive attitude in every situation! Which for me is the hardest part of the challenge.

But you know what, I learned a lot about having a disability friendly city. Thinking that we have to design our cities, big or small, to be more explorable for people with special needs independently. I do now have concern about it and think that I was quite selfish for never thinking about it before.


On the other side, reading an article in BBC Travel (http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150120-friends-want-life-advice-tell-them-to-travel-more) has made me realize that travel is not just for the sake of traveling or relaxing. It’s really more than that. Unfortunately we often forget the philosophy and idea behind it. 

In my case, I often take it for granted as if it’s something that I deserve to have. We were “easily” traveling to five countries in two months and think that’s normal, and I'm not even trying to humblebrag. Again, like a slap in the face I realized how selfish/arrogant I am to think that way.

At the end I learned that it’s totally a privilege, to be able to travel how near or far. And I should’ve be more grateful for the opportunity. But of course, it came after a series of drama and complaints from my mouth! I AM that bad.




The story continues ...
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” 
Mark Twain