I have looked forward to this weekend for a long while – not that I have anything planned but it’s just so nice to take a breather after such a mentally-taxing week. So at this moment, I’m sitting on the small table in my yet-to-be formed European corner, behind the garage, listening to my old Windham Hill CD that I haven’t played in years. A cup of Lapsang Souchong tea is also accompanying me on this relaxing Saturday – I normally drink green tea or Rooibos tea thesedays but I still like the smokey taste of lapsang souchong.
It’s really a pleasant afternoon here in Adelaide, the breeze comes and goes shyly, tinkling the windchimes that I put on the trees – whilst the rhythmic kachunk, kachunk sound of the washing machine adds to the domestic theme of the day. So far, I have washed all of the dishes on the sink (sometimes I let them sit for a week before I get motivated to wash them … hahahah. Yeah, disgusting, eh?) :P, I have done my first batch of laundry, and I have also uprooted the dead shrub in the front yard. The shrub was planted by the previous owner of the house, but the strong wind in winter toplled it over and it hasn’t recovered ever since. It was a blessing in disguise in a way because I haven’t done a good job in pruning the tree – it was growing way too quickly and way out of shape. In place of the dead tree, I have planted the choisya ternata (Mexican orange blossom) tree that I bought a while back.
So now, I’m waiting for my second batch of laundry to finish (my bedsheet et al), and I thought I could relax for a bit with my MacBook, my cuppa, and Windham Hill.
Thinking about my love of gardening, again, it made me think of my mother. I shouldn’t’ve laughed at her when I was younger, thinking that it was so ridiculous of her to love the plants that she put on the roof of our shophouse in Bandung. Come to think about it, she really loves the connection to the land. I suppose her being the daughter of a landowner, farmer, merchant has given her the love of the land. I can also remember the big argument that she had with dad because she wanted to buy a little plot of land behind the shophouse so she could have her garden … They have moved out of the shophouse now, and mum does have her garden now in front of the house. It is full of her signatures and love, the plants that she knows by heart. I suppose it also provides an escape for her, away from the need and dare I say, burden?, of caring for my demanding father. In a way, I have inherited her love for the plants now. It is relaxing and therapeutic to see the plants respond to my treatment and care. It is rewarding also to see that the plants have decided to give me another go – to be awake after a long winter sleep and grow their little burgundish-green leave buds.
From my Dad, I inherit his insecurity and also the fear of losing face – I suppose it is one of the reasons why I haven’t really started to learn how to drive properly. I’m still pretty scared of making mistakes, of looking stupid. Whilst, I don’t really believe in horoscopes, I suppose I do fit the profile of a Virgo – a perfectionist. Haha.
I also inherit the restlessness and the adventurous nature of my grandfather, who I have never met. He must have been adventurous and daring to escape from his homeland and sail down to Indonesia. I suppose that sense of adventure and the need to be on-the-go are the reasons why I moved to Singapore and on to Australia. I suppose God does plan everything down to the ‘t’ – the catalyst was when my sister sent me down here to Australia to study. Beforehand, I had been interested in cultures and people all over the world – I had penfriends in many countries, and I loved sleeping next to the Cambridge English Dictionary that my sister had. I loved looking and reading the words and fell asleep when I couldn’t handle the wealth of the words anymore. So, here I am, still restless, still wanting to travel and see the world … however, I believe that what my mother has given me through her genes and cares, has also tempered my need to be on the go. On one hand, I want to constantly travel and see different parts of the world, to experience new places, the heights and the lows … but I also want to settle down, see the seedlings grow into mighty trees, and have my own family. It’s interesting to realise that everybody is unique in that respect, that one’s character is determined by the mix of genes given by one’s parents, and the environment in which one grows …
So, talking about my grandfather again, it got me thinking, a lot of us seem to think that those who leave their homecountries, are brave, daring, adventurous, and so forth. However, does that mean that my grandfather’s siblings and friends who chose to stay put in Xiamen, are timid and ‘loser’s? Are those who choose to grin and bear it and beat all odds, less brave than those who go away and escape? Perhaps not. So I still find it funny when my colleagues commented on my bravery for moving down to Australia alone without any of my siblings or relatives here … brave, perhaps, but braver than those who stay put in Indonesia? I’m not so sure …
Well, I suppose I need to hang my sheets now and I have ranted enough now – I think this is the longest blog entry that I have ever written so far. It’s nice to be able to put my thoughts into writing again – in the past few months, I tend to stick to my activities and facts, without sharing my thoughts and ‘experience’.
Lastly, work is going well – as mentioned there’s still a high degree of uncertainty but people seem to appreciate my work so that’s all that matters. I am going to obtain one more staff, transferred from a different department. I know her and she’s known for being quite finicky so I hope I’ll do okay. I suppose I tend to give my staff the benefit of a doubt, to treat them as mature personnels rather, and to be consultative rather than being directive and a bitch. Haha. I just hate it when people take my kindness for gullibility though and abuse it. One of my staff brought her puppy in on Friday and expect me to babysit him for an hour – whilst I really didn’t mind because I love animals – it was wrong for her to expect me to take care of him. On a different front, it was also very disappointing when another staff of mine refused to grow and provide a mature judgment to manage his time wisely. A good challenge to develop my leadership skills, I suppose. So I suppose the rest of this year is going to be interesting!