Tyler the hunter

I might have mentioned this before, but there are very little things as instantly gratifying as killing mosquitos. It is especially satisfying when I can take my anger out on them after they bite me.

There are 2 ways to kill these pests. Sometimes if they are too quick, I have to use the mosquito killing spray, which has a very nice, fruity scent. The most satisfying way, though, is snatching them out of the air.

This is my warning to all mosquitos out there:

I'm gonna snatch you right out of the air!

On a side note, students in the teacher office definitely saw me staring at my computer like this. I also growled while I did this, which I am pretty sure they heard also. Then they came up and asked me how I think you get to heaven…

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My attempt at a relaxing day

Yesterday was supposed to be relaxing. I had planned to get a massage, a haircut, some groceries, and just chill out. Instead, I had one of the most physically painful days I can remember.

A number of people have told us, (Brady and I), about the reflexology places here. The only thing I knew about them was that it involves getting your feet rubbed. When we arrived at the place, it was clean and the atmosphere was relaxing. We had our feet washed, and then we were led to a huge room with about 150 leather recliners in it, most filled with people getting massages/foot rubs.

I had heard from others that when they start rubbing your feet, it tickles at first, but then it hurts a little after a while. Okay, I can handle that.

There was no tickle. It went straight to pain. The only thing I can think of that was more painful than this was when I woke up one time and I thought my neck was broken and went to the ER. As I was laying there, the man’s fingers jabbing into the arches of my feet and my body twitching in pain, I recognized the instrumental music playing over the speakers. It was an instrumental version of the worship song “Above All”. Part of the chorus in that song says, “Crucified, laid behind a stone…” As I contemplated that verse in those moments of intense pain, I could appreciate much more the torture that Jesus went through as he was being crucified. I can only imagine how much more pain he felt. That may sound insensitive comparing it to a foot massage, but like I said earlier, this is one of the most painful events of my life.

At a certain point, I even thought that if I had been a captured spy and was being interrogated, I would have have already given the captors all the information they wanted.

After an hour and a half of that, I left feeling emotionally and physically scarred. Then I was off to my haircut.

I was feeling confident about my haircut, because I went to this guy last time and he did a great job. Once he began cutting my hair, 4 other people had come in and were waiting for him. I could tell he was feeling rushed, but I was confused when he wouldn’t stop using the thinning shears. For those that don’t know what thinning shears are, they are like scissors with big divots in one of the blades so that they only cut half of the hair, making it thinner and adding layers. Since my hair is so thick, it makes sense to thin it down a little, but he wouldn’t stop going at it. And since he was in a hurry, he was being reckless and so half the time he was pulling my hair out just as much as he was cutting it. After about 3 minutes with the shears, he finally moved onto the scissors. He left my hair longer than I wanted, but because of the communication barrier and the long line behind me, I let it go.

When I got home and washed my hair, I was shocked to see myself in the mirror. My hair was so thin it looked like I was losing my hair. The shorter hairs were so short that they were sticking straight up, and the longer hairs were still long enough to lay down flat, which produced a weird spikey look. My bangs were long and stringy looking. I immediately took scissors to the longer hairs, and with the help of Ruth this morning, its looking a lot better.

So as you have read, my day did not go as planned. The highlight of my day, though, was meeting the new addition to the family!

Me meeting the new dog!

Timely observations

1. I think I might be going crazy. For the last 4 years in school, I had roommates with whom I shared pretty close quarters. There was usually always a friend there to talk to, all the way up until bed time. Now that there’s no roommates to talk to, though, the conversation still happens. The other day I realized how much I talk to myself, objects/animals, or imaginary people. In different voices, too.

However, I am fairly confident that if someone observed this occurrence, they would be too entertained to want to put a stop to it.

2. Alfonso is depressed. Yes, ever since his little ones left to embark on their own Jakarta journey (or get hit by a car), he has been moping around the complex. As ferocious as the stay-at-pool-cat-dad was a few months ago, he is equally as lifeless and downtrodden now. I almost felt bad when I walked by him the other day and told him, “You’re disgusting” (refer to observation #1), and he just stared back at me with eyes that said, “Gee, thanks. Way to kick a man when he’s down.”

3. When someone stares at me, is it bad to stare back? Normally I avoid staring back at people because it is uncomfortable, but the other day I couldn’t help it. As I have alluded to in previous posts, us bules get stared at almost everywhere we go. So if I want to stare at someone, it’s really hard because they have beat me to the punch!

But the other day I couldn’t help it.

Many of the stores here love to play “Careless Whisper” by George Michael (see video below). While I was grocery shopping the other day, this song came on and during the first chorus, I could hear a lady going all out singing along with it in the aisle next to me. I had to investigate. Pretending I was interested in powdered milk, I sneaked over to the aisle and there she was. If I had to guess, I would say she was 32, and she and her husband were doing some mid-week shopping. By the time I got there, the chorus was over and her husband was talking to her. I stood there for a bit and the chorus started again. Her husband was mid-sentence and she couldn’t help herself, “I’m never gonna dance again…”

This was where I had to make my decision. It was finally obvious to them that there was a foreigner in their aisle, so they began throwing glances my way (that didn’t interrupt the singing, though). I decided that, because of the circumstances, staring was not only acceptable, but warranted. I held my ground and I don’t regret it at all.

After all, I got a free show.

It’s electric

This morning I talked to my grandparents about how it hasn’t rained here in a few weeks, despite the approaching wet season. BOOM. Well, the rains have been released tonight, along with thunder and lightning. It’s still as hot as it always is at this time (about 88 degrees at 7 pm),  BOOM but the rain is still refreshing. Maybe it’s the Oregonian in me. You may have noticed a couple “BOOMS” in this paragraph… since you can’t hear the thunder or see the lightning, I will write “BOOM” whenever lightning strikes.

Tomorrow is Monday, which means school. But before the weekend ends, I would like to share some of my weekend BOOM observations and happenings:

– I made chocolate chip muffins yesterday. They are a little dense… I think I will use 2 eggs next time.

– When college BOOM ended, I thought I would be done with homework for a while, and in turn, be done procrastinating with my homework. Well I was wrong. I intended to grade most of the 29 research reports I received on Friday. BOOM.  But BOOM it is now Sunday night and I have graded exactly 2 of them, and I am done for the weekend. My excuse is:

– I got a sore throat yesterday BOOM, and it is lingering into today. How am I BOOM supposed to grade papers with a sore throat BOOM? I can’t.

– Every Sunday is my cleaning day. I usually clean my kitchen counters, do laundry, and sweep my entire apartment. BOOM! I don’t know about you, but sweeping my entire apartment once a week seems a little much to me. I don’t do it because I am a clean freak, I do it out of necessity. I usually leave my door and window open to get a breeze in my apartment, but the polluted air leaves my floors and tables with a coat of dust. Now I live on the BOOM 3rd floor, so it’s not like it is just dirt blowing in from the street. It is literally BOOM the pollution in the air settling in my apartment. Each week, I am amazed at how much dirt I sweep up. I am a very clean person, but there is just no stopping it. BOOM. Here is a picture of how much dirt regularly comes from a 10’x10′ area in my living room:

Weekly dirt pile

BOOM x 23. Yes there BOOM were 23 lightning BOOM strikes during the 5 min it took that photo BOOM to upload. There is a lot of electricity in the sky right now.

So yes, by BOOM spending 20 min in my apartment without shoes on, you too can have BOOM black feet. BOOM. Please also note that this is only from one section of my apartment. By the time I am done sweeping, there are 5 of these piles. Every single week.

I think I BOOM had one more observation, but I will have to include that in another post, because I can’t remember it. BOOM. Time for bed. BOOM!

Photo update

Right now I am sitting at EMAX St. Moritz, which, for those of you not familiar with the St. Moritz Pavilion in West Jakarta, is a casual lounge/coffee shop with free wireless internet. It is also connected to an Apple store, which is kinda funky. I actually just found out another fact about this place: there is a fairly large, dusty-brown colored rat running around it.

But other than that it’s a really cool place.

I can’t think of anything else to write, but I just remembered I have never uploaded pictures of my school, so I will do that now:

At the end I included a picture of the swimming pool at our apartment complex. I’m very thankful for that pool.

And before I sign off, here is a picture of me while I sit here at EMAX writing this. I hope the rat doesn’t get me!

What just touched my foot?