I Want To Believe It Is Not Coincidence

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I got into a pensive mode last night as I was preparing to sleep.

I was asking myself a question which I am not sure if it is worth asking.

How do we end up with these pool of people in our lives?

With family we can go on a lengthy religious, spiritual, philosophical and what-have-yous discussion but I don’t want to argue much. I just want to believe they are the givens.

But with friends, acquaintances, colleagues and other people who at one point in our lives we had contact with, how did they end up in ours?

How does it happen that one person becomes more valuable than the other?

What is the dynamics? Who orchestrates it? Is it fate?

I am just amazed.

As I was saying my night prayers and is beginning to enter Stage 1 and 2 of my sleep cycle, I can’t help but thank God for beautifully arranging every little event of my life, for putting all these characters in the story of my life.

In a world of more than 7 billion people, I want to believe there is a reason why we are part of each others life story.

I want to believe it is just not coincidence.

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Dining in Medan

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You go to Medan not for anything else but for eating, to satisfy your gustatory cravings.

I don’t have a very nice impression of the city. It is crowded, chaotic, dirty in some areas, always jammed with traffic, bustling. Typical of any Asian city that was caught unprepared in the burgeoning commercialism that is its future. Just like Manila.

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Nevertheless, Medan is coping. Indonesians, I believe like Filipinos, are made from the same stuff. Resilient and adaptable.

So there, I haven’t really stayed long enough to explore the city save for the rare rendezvous I have here and there.

All I remember is that when I am in Medan, I always eat good food.

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Medan is usually just a short stopover for people who want to explore North Sumatra. I haven’t really been around much as my work takes most of my time but the nice wildlife and scenery this part of Indonesia can offer is just amazing. One of these days I will just grab my backpack and see as much as I can on what this island can offer.

Going back to the food, they say Medan is such a delight to dine in because different people melded together here and brought with them their own culture particularly their way of cooking.

Malays, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Western, they have it. You got one rocking city full of food.

From cheap to expensive, from roadside to fine dining, from halal to haram (haha… yikes), Medan got it covered.

Last week, colleagues brought me to Cambridge, a hang out place for those who wants to be seen. I cannot be bothered with that stuff actually but the restos in the place are just amazing. Floors and floors for diners, I got confused which one to try.

After a while, I chose Chatterbox. The interior beckons. It looks so pretty. Plus the colleagues told me the food is not that bad too.

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Chatterbox serves various cuisine. We ordered Chinese, Indonesian and Western food altogether. The food tastes good and fresh.

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But what I like most about the place are the drinks!

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They are so cute!!! They are such eye candies! And they taste so good too.

We were meaning to try a nice dessert place after dinner. Agenda canceled. No space for additional food. That one has to wait for my next visit, it seems.

For the moment, I am back to my everyday organic dining up here in the hills where I live. I am not complaining.juice

A Scary Buggy Drive

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I drove the buggy back alone.

I had a late dinner. The afternoon was too tiring for me. I went on a trek under the rain in a challenging terrain. Ok. So maybe it was not too challenging as the others who joined me looked scat-free afterwards save for being wet. But I was a mess. I slid, had mud on my legs, scratched myself, bled a little, the works of a person who is not into these kind of things. I fell asleep the moment I got back to my room. It was 9 PM when the stomach grumbled and woke me up.

Anyway, I digress. So I usually have dinner around 7 to 8 PM in a nearby resto. Somebody drives me there. But today, I just stole one buggy from the security office and drove myself around work the whole day which extended until dinner time.

I was meaning to leave the buggy near the resto where the charger for this machine is located but I cannot find another driver and a car to bring me home. They were out patrolling, they said.

I have no choice. I have to drive myself back.

The place I live in is a 200-hectare property on top of a hill. It is mainly a forest area with buildings popping here and there. This is my home now.

I have no problem with that. I actually like it here. But recently, I have been hearing lots of scary stories from colleagues which I am trying to dismiss and forget. I don’t want to burden myself with those stuff especially since I am alone here and have to fend and take care of myself.

There was a story where the wife of a colleague came here for a visit. They were playing cards together with their other friends in a room when suddenly she got “possessed”. They said she suddenly became so strong. They were trying to restrain and calm her. They were trying to bring her back to the present, her normal self. Then she started to mention names. My name. I have never met the wife. So they concluded it was the ghost who knows me. What the F.

Then at lunch, another story was told. I was trying to forget the others.

Animism is big in Indonesia. They believe in these things. Maybe I do too. But I don’t want to think about it.

Tonight, it got into me. The drive from the resto, where I had my dinner, and my home is about a kilometer of winding uphill road with lights here and there. It was raining and everything was damp. The trees were looming and releasing their smell. There is no one in sight. I got scared.

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You know that feeling when you think you are not alone? That was what I felt. The buggy I am driving is a two-seater with an area at the back where you can put the golf clubs. Sometimes, people can also stand there to hang on when there’s no more space left to seat in front.

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There is no rearview or side mirrors in the buggy. And I always say it is so stupid when people check out mirrors or looks back to see if there is “anything” there with them. Well, that’s what I did. I repeatedly looked back to check if I am still alone in the buggy. I don’t know what good it will do to me if I learn I am not. I would probably have screamed the lungs out of me and drove myself off the hill.

The buggy I am driving can only speed up to 30 kph, I believe, on a flat road. I was doing an uphill climb, winding at that, on a wet road. Good luck to me. I was also silently praying that the battery will not die on me as it often happens to another expat colleague who drives a similar machine.

I have to sing Christian songs along the way hoping it will save me and scare whatever it is that is supposed to be scared.

That was the longest 1 km drive of my life. I think I will never do that again. Actually, I’ve decided. I will never do that again. If I have to wait till forever for a driver to appear and drive me back to my place, I will. If I have to ask one waiter to drive with me back to my place, I will. If I have to sleep in the resto till morning comes, I will. But I will never drive myself back alone at night here ever again. Never.

And my imagination is running wild now. Every little sound makes me jump out of my skin. Good luck to sleeping properly tonight. And my muscles are screaming for a good night rest at that because of the challenging trek.

Good luck. Really.

My Accidental Snoopy Lunch Date

Guess what I found today? 🙂

I am down in Medan for a couple of days.

Medan is the capital of North Sumatra and is the third largest city in Indonesia.

The boss asked me to check out some shops and have my much needed R&R as well.

Lunch time.

We went to Hermes, a lifestyle mall in the city. We were looking for Buffalo, a resto where a friend of my colleague works. As we were searching for the place, I saw the elevator. My heart skipped a beat. OMG.

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I followed the trail and look what I found?

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Charlie Brown Cafe!!!

I went gaga.

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I am not a big fan of the characters. My encounter with Charlie Brown were limited to the cartoons I watched when I was a kid and the coloring books back in elementary days.

But I know somebody who is gaga with Snoopy. And it kind of rubbed into me.

I started clicking away. It was crazy. My colleague wondered what the hell happened to me. I became a kid.

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There were just so many interesting things. It looks like a mini museum. I love it.

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I managed to convince her to drop the Buffalo resto plan and instead eat in the cafe.

Oh my. The inside of the cafe is prettier. Too many kid’s stuff. Too many Snoopy stuff.

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Even their Chinese New Year decor has Snoopy in it!

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It was just a disappointment that the food sucks. It was bland. Or maybe it was just what I ordered.

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Nevertheless, the cafe was the highlight of my day.

I want to come back and try the Snoopy cake and coffee!

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Happiness on the Job

Never had I worked so much in my life. Seriously.

Last month, I only had 1 day off and it is funny that I am not complaining. Even if the body feels tired at night, it still wakes up in the morning ready to face a new day.

It must be the job. It must be the people. It must be the activities. It must be the mixture of everything.

In the next few weeks, I have to make sure everything is in the running:

1. Make sure the Chinese New Year decors are up and follows the agreed theme.
2. Coordinate the Chinese New Year program and make sure that everybody is accountable to their tasks.
3. Set up a Kids Zone.
4. Test run the Green Fingers program.
5. Start an Agro Trek Tour.
6. Revive the golf program but first make sure that I know how to play golf.
7. Test run the new mountain bike trek.
8. Set up the Fun Tours.
9. Assist a group of professional tour guides.
10. Coordinate the activities of web designers who will set up the new website.

Am I excited? Oh yes.

I just hope I won’t get exhausted.