Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Temporary Base Camp.

In order to discover new lands, one must be willing to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
-- Andre Gide (1869-­1951), French Writer

Hooray for warmer weather and longer hours of sunshine!

Now when I wake up in the mornings, I feel merely uncomfortably cold instead of painfully frozen. And the longer hours of sunshine (and declining number of rainy evenings) make pizza delivery an almost-pleasant activity. With the higher visibility where you can actually read the street signs and house numbers in the twilight, the difficulty of finding an unknown address in a short time reduces significantly.

So why am I still delivering pizza when I have a full time job? It may be hard to believe for those reading these blog entries, but those who know me in person would vouch that I am probably one of the laziest person they know.. so it is extremely out-of-character for me to be working two jobs. Especially as the weather is warming up and sunsets are getting later in the day, calling out to my innermost soul to just skive off work, revert to my miscreant ways and spending all my evenings and weekends on a quiet beach staring at the calm horizon fronted by a restless ocean lit by the last rays of the dying sun.

The day job involving figuring out inventory systems, documenting purchasing procedures, reading about retail management best practices, creating invoices, setting up purchase orders, issuing return-to-supplier paperwork and attending early morning Dilbert-like meetings on "mission statements" and "corporate goals" (all in the first 3 days of work!) is hardly stable at this point. I still have yet to demonstrate that I can do the job, to steer clear of political minefields and hopefully entrench myself in a semi-secure position. That would realistically take months to accomplish. And at this point I am not prepared to put all my eggs in one basket and place myself at the mercy of an unknown employer. And any extra money would come in very useful to keep the credit card wolves at bay back across the Indian Ocean - to guarantee my safe passage through that very central air hub in the future. Bed. Made. Lie.

Much as I dislike long hours of exhausting hard work, I abhor starving and being homeless even more. And the fear of having to return permanently to that place downright terrifies me. Not to mention that I seem to have misplaced my return airticket stub. And now that the danger of running out of food money has been put to rest (at least for a little while), the spectre of being homeless has arisen. In less than six weeks I will be required to leave this place where I have using as a base camp. The room is required for friends of the primary tenant arriving from overseas. In short I am getting evicted - but in a nice way with lots of notice.

So I am househunting. In whatever spare time I have left over. From working the two jobs. Which almost became three jobs. An agency called me on the day after I accepted the office-bound day job with an offer for long-term casual
fork work. I would have been tempted to work the fork instead - since it pays about the same, if not for the fact that this office job has full-time permanent benefits when/if I get past the probation hurdle of three months.

Which sort of explains my lack of blog entries recently. I have been sort of busy working. Horrors of horrors! Have I turned my butt from the depths of sloth I de-spire to sink to? (It is too tiredly unslothlike to aspire to reach even ankle-level heights.) I assure you that this is but a temporary situation - parents, teachers, mentors, peers, and the entire Singapore government propaganda system have tried to instill the Protestant work ethic in me, but all have failed. As proof, I offer D.'s observation over the phone when I called her from a nearby public phone during lunch: that I seem very relaxed to the point that I was even drawling a little. (I normally speak in a fast, clipped, short bursts and run sentences together.)

Dulce est desipere in loco and all that.

Spent the weekend at the cozy (and well-heated!) place of the kind folks who own The Patrol. I think they are rather amused at how I take every opportunity to curl up in front of their big gas heater. The same folks who I may end up being housemates with. We are exploring the possibility of sharing a house together. Ideally they will get the extra yard space - available in a larger house but not in a smaller townhouse apartment - to work on The Patrol without having to pay for too much unused interior space. And in return, I get decent housemates and pay less rent than I would have to for a single studio setup. That and we would all save on utilities, appliance rentals and broadband internet access. I suppose the human company would also do me good to remind me to keep sociable. (I was living a very solitary life in that apartment setup in Sydney and my social skills ended up mildly atrophied after about months of minimal social contact outside of the formal business settings.)

After viewing at least 50 places (in total on our multiple expeditions), we have yet to find anywhere available that is suitable at a reasonable price point. Guess we have keep looking. I do not plan to be looking for a studio until we have given up on the search for suitable long-term shared accommodations. Worst case I have to move back to a backpacker-type hostel until I can find somewhere else to stay. It should not be too hard to find a single studio somewhere on the edge of the city - especially since my standards seem pretty low. Have to keep reminding myself that it has got to be a setup (location, transport, amenities, furnishings) that D. will find palatable when she come over for a visit at year-end and moves over eventually sometime next year. No point living a cave and having to move again when the woman comes over..

The mid-term objective remains unchanged:

To establish a stable situation to soothe D.'s eventual transition here.


Blogger lakeside girl said...

Love that quote, brings feelings of hope and a sense of adventure.

Good luck to finding your new home! Sending some well wishes to warm your heart over where you are. <3

September 22, 2005 12:06 AM  
Anonymous tangawizi said...

KoP, will D reach the same physical and philosophical bent as you to let go of attachment and fears of uncertainty and pluck up the courage and roots to move on down to Perth ?

If she's reading this, D, it took over 3 years to evolve the physical and mental ability to make a similar move here. Funnily, a wedding and tea ceremony was the milestone.

September 22, 2005 3:45 PM  
Blogger Venitha said...

Horror of horrors! Work interfering with blogging! I sympathize, as I just returned to work this month after a six month hiatus. I miss the time to blog, but that first paycheck was very nice.

September 22, 2005 10:04 PM  
Blogger Tym said...

Eh, don't knock the double whammy power of the Protestant-Asian work ethic. It comes in handy sometimes!!

Good luck with househunting. Good to know you have mates to room with. Yah lah, company is important! Sometimes you want to closet yourself in your room, other times it's fun to veg in front of the couch with roommates and mock people.

September 23, 2005 9:46 PM  

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