The first time I drove a motorbike in South East Asia I was robbed. I had just learned to drive a scooter during a holiday on the island of Lombok, next to Bali and one day I was scooting along one of the main roads, in the middle of a beautiful day, and boom–two local guys drove me off the road and threatened to stab me.
November 2011. The suspense was finally at an end. Team Jacob had lost. A fairy tale dance in the woods leaving him doe-eyed, worse for wear; wounds blistering beneath a statuesque surface. Bella and Edward, forever and for eternity. For better or for worse.
"Mile after mile after mile of malls after malls. Many, many malls. Major malls and mini malls. They put the mini malls in between the major malls, and in between the mini malls they put the mini marts."
- George Carlin
Two years is a good amount of time to become acquainted with a place. I won’t claim to “know” Indonesia any more than I know about the lunar cycle. My observation is that a full moon happens one day a month and every other day it appears quite randomly in the sky.
I read a book to my very young students regularly because it’s a favourite of theirs. It’s called “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt”. It’s about a family that, together, faces several challenges on their walk to find a bear, such as very tall grass, a river, thick gooey mud, a blizzard, and eventually, a bear.
I am a teacher. Not the title I want on my gravestone but a teacher nonetheless. It’s a job, a means to an end, my meager money-making profession of choice. To narrow it down farther, I’m an international quasi-ESL classroom teacher following the American Common Core curriculum, instructing in English, expected to assess ESL learners according to a rather rigorous Westernized standard.
I used to think that life was like skydiving without a parachute, you can only do it once. But as time tears on and I grow older and know less about everything I realise that a thousand lives can exist in the space of a lifetime. When my grandmother died a couple of years ago at the tender age of 96, I sat down to write her eulogy and counted up the number of days she’d been alive: 35,210.