When Fifi Said Yes

Fifi walked down the stretch of benches which felt like a mile long. She’s in Indonesia, not really sure how long a mile was but it felt forever. Her hands she held out to greet the “seniors”, some of which greeted her with a warm welcome, most lukewarm, and there were a couple who shook her hand with obvious dismay in their eyes.

She didn’t want to think about it. Before she got there she heard many tales about vicious seniors spitting venom to cripple you but let you live enough to tell the tale. It was Scouts Day – everyone dressed in brown and she made it a point to dress in white. Why would she want to dress like everyone else? Fifi scanned the row of males to look for any comforting familiar faces. Males were always nicer to her than females were, and she had become acquainted with four of them months before her arrival.

A seated tall, smart-looking stranger caught her eye as hers caught his. He gave her a broad pleasant smile and she sat at the only empty seat in front of him. She heard him nudge the man next to her and then she knew, he was under this witch’s spell.

Washing My Toilet

I was invited to go to Indonesia for a month. At first I was hesitant, despite it being an all-expenses paid trip. I didn’t really want to be apart from my new bed and I didn’t want to be away from my cats!

“What does it take for you to come here? The principal requested you to come.”

Now, this is going to sound like I’m a super spoilt person, but….maybe I am.

“Pillows. Comfort,” I replied.

What About Other People

In a discussion with a client, I felt the atmosphere change. She wanted our prices down while that was the best price we could give. I was the one sourcing information and costs, therefore I know that the price they wanted to pay was not necessarily the price of what they want to get.

I wasn’t stressed or anything, just a bit irked. Can’t she see that she was being unreasonable? I wanted to even tell her that she should try to go to other places to see if she could get the same price. Of course I didn’t, but I wanted to. I just kept shaking my head, a “No”, and she kept on trying and trying to get me to agree with her price (30% off my already slashed prices).

Then her boss came into the meeting and she brought it up to the boss. I shook my head again at the boss. He agreed with me that my price was already okay and the lady did not bring up the matter of lowering costs again. All done. I knew I didn’t need to worry about prices anymore.

What happened next was when I met a colleague, I started to rant about this lady. I told her about how people are just being unreasonable blah blah blah. That colleague told me “This is why I don’t want to work with them.” And I sighed and agreed, as if the situation wasn’t favourable to me at all.

Back at home I started feel terrible about myself. Did I need to rant about that lady? You see, in the end, because I was “right”, “justice” had “prevailed” because the boss agreed with me. Which means I really didn’t have any more problems. But WHY was I still carrying the thought about our little subtle argument all the way to my friend? Now, this wouldn’t be about that lady anymore. It is about me.

What I should have done was instead to focus on a solution. In my situation, there was none because things already went “my way”. So, why the need to still talk about the initial problem?

I think what happened was I just needed to feed my ego that wants to be acknowledged to be right. I wanted to feel that that woman was wrong and I was right so I needed validation to tell everyone about that. Which is not at all necessary.

And today it’s two weeks since I wrote the words above. I don’t remember anything anymore. I forgot to post it actually. We’re doing okay. Thanks for asking. (Published: 2 Sept 2017. Written: 18 Aug 2017)

 

What Better Story Than Love Story

Recently I posted on Facebook about some guy I met in KL. It has a sarcastic humour in it and I’m not sure who “got” it, but for sure I don’t post things that are meant to be romantic. Anyway since I am not popular in the first place, I only got about 45 likes which is nine times more than my average. That’s cool, it means that all these while my posts have access to these people in the first place (I unfollow people whose posts I don’t care about).

Then when I started posting my ideas/sharing my ideas, my posts go back to less than five likes. Now, I’m not posting for the likes. I am simply trying to monitor what kind of content people are interested in, what appeals to people.

So I concluded that: people like to read stories about other people, so I need to find a way to link my ideas to real life occurrences.

And what better story than my ‘love’ story? People are always interested in romance, especially about other people. I think I’m going to update my Facebook status about that guy and watch the responses. I’m going to end it.

Common People

A new grocery store is opening in my neighbourhood and from the looks of it, I know I’m going to love it. Its exterior is like a western organic store and I think I’m looking forward to less driving to Tesco for fish and AEON for chicken. And I hope they keep up with their appearances, no flies et cetera.

I hadn’t been writing anything at all these days. One project I’ve abandoned because I just don’t feel like writing it anymore. I don’t see enough message in it, or my message (in me) through that story is not strong enough, …and I had forgotten what the story was about anyway. Ah, now I remember. It was about revenge, but never mind.

So I thought to myself: maybe I should get a job at that grocery store! Many years ago I wanted to try to be a public cleaner but that didn’t work out, maybe this would be great! I thought of me going for a job interview, being one with no paper qualification, but play a girl who speaks no English and has never gone anywhere but here. I would be occasionally mopping the floors and weighing taugeh and if they trust me maybe I’ll be a cashier.

Yes! I was excited over this thought and I wanted to make it happen. I contacted the HQ of the grocery store and asked whom I should contact for job openings. They responded with a number. BRACE YO’SELF FOR A KAMPUNG GIRL EXPERIENCE, FIFI!

Telling The Truth

In my book A Nobody’s Observations I wrote about how Telling The Truth can set me free. So for a while, I’ve been trying to be as truthful as possible. I believe that truth can be delivered with compassion no matter how painful it seems.

But what happens when I’m not being told the truth? When someone was not being honest to me?

I understand that everybody has their own version of the truth, but to take the truth and to sugarcoat it, then dip it in honey, wrap it in shiny paper and wear it on your sleeves feels not quite right. Being only human, I felt betrayed because the person felt I was unworthy of the truth, and that his level of respect for me was close to nothing in the first place. When you respect someone, you strive to be as honest as you can. When you don’t respect, you try to find ways to make yourself look good, or you don’t want me to feel bad, when it would have been more compassionate to just tell me the truth.

So I took these feelings

Miss Fifi in Jakarta

Taking a break from my random experimental writing in Malay (because seriously, kepala sakit) and I came across some pictures of me in Jakarta.

I don’t like to sugarcoat things because people seem to think that travel = fun = happiness, but to me it’s travel = work = tired. That’s why I rarely share about where I am; don’t want people to misunderstand anything. I also get messages telling me “You travel so much!” and “You probably spent thousands a year on plane tickets.” and I shake my head.

Let’s clear the misunderstandings, shall we?

1) I only go to Indonesia “a lot” but then again it’s never for a holiday. I long to wake up to an ocean view and room service a masseuse and bathe in flower water too. Also I’ve yet to discover Europe but I think the place I’d like to visit is Jordan.

2) No, my boss paid for my flight.

So, why do I go to Jakarta fairly often?

It’s because I lead a semi-secret life called the