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Friday, October 10, 2008

postmortem on second week of teaching

I'm back! As per my usual Batam-Singapore schedule, I spend Thursday night to Sunday at home in Singapore.

In Batam, I live in a house with my own room. Sparsely furnished with a mattress, a clothes stand, and a stool that makeshifts as a table. There are windows, and one ceiling light, and essentially needed air-conditioning. I have no internet, no TV, no refrigerator in the kitchen, and no hot water for showers. I live out of my backpack, with my things mostly on the floor (all over).

Spartan as it sounds, every time I reach my bed there on Monday night, I feel a peace and quiet as it were a sanatorium. There is nothing to do there in my room except read, work, drink coffee, smoke, write and sleep. It is all very peaceful.

Teaching in the school there is finally becoming easier. I am easing into their pace and standard. I pop some beta-blockers before I start my prep work and my teaching. The kids and the teachers are enjoying my lessons and my training respectively. Soon I will be teaching the Bible school students English too, and possibly pop by to the other centres on the other Indonesian islands for a visit some time soon, to see what else I can do.

The only thing hard about being there is being without J. I also fear that if I get a bout of serious depression or anxiety, no one there will know what to do. I am well and truly alone there. No internet means no Skype, and phone bills cost a bomb. SMS is cheaper on my Indonesian SIM card, but that means no J's voice, only his words. I am glad to come home to him every Thursday.

Today, I am going to do Singaporean things: shop, eat at nice cafes, drink coffee at Starbucks or similar, dress nicely (welcome home to sleeveless tops!), have dinner and drinks and nice restaurants and pubs with friends, and enjoy cool air-con wherever I go. Hurrah for Singapore! Now if only the streets would be less crowded...