The first night alone in my apartment was not a pleasurable one. The place was empty, I was feeling very alone. After 10 years of being a full-time businessman and a single dad, it was very quiet. I was used to doing the laundry, cleaning and cooking. Always running here and there with the kids. All those things were now replaced by my helper or maid named Anna.
Ironically, the person looking after me had the same name as my late mom. Anna did the grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking.
The first night, all the little plusses my new life and job had brought felt insignificant. I was able to talk to my family and keep in touch, but I was very alone. Now I never had an issue being alone. I was never one to feel lonely. I buried myself in writing, work and soon after I was able to join the boys at the apartment and play tennis and I enjoyed going to the gym.
The hole that was left by my son at that moment was a big one. I was not sure how to go on and it mostly bothered me at night. During the day work kept me busy enough and the late nights at MD Pictures didn’t bother me.
Being in opposite time zones worked out quite well and always gave me ample opportunity to chat with my friends and family. My mornings consisted of grabbing a coffee at the Starbucks in our building and chatting with whoever was available. Having been a regular and going to the office each day became fun.
All the security and staff in the lobby, Starbucks and BCA bank got to know me and I got to know them. Every morning I was greeted by smiling faces who knew me by name. I was never one to snub them or to be rude. It was great to see their smiling faces each morning.
Many foreigners or even locals tend to look down on the staff and not say hello back when they opened the door. Or looked down on them because they were the cleaning staff and so on.
I was used to working with all kinds of people with various cultures and I enjoyed getting to know them. Being a foreigner or a “bule” a white guy in Indonesia does not mean that others should be treated differently.
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