Tag Archives: Play

Can one book change everything?

I while ago I stumbled upon a book in discount store.

The Artist in the Office

It’s short, simple, nothing in this book totally blew my mind (i.e. the ideas were commonsense). It cost me five bucks.

And yet, it changed EVERYTHING.

The author, Summer Pierre, perfectly articulated the desire to leave the routine of 9 to 5 office life and get on with the good stuff.

And then she perfectly articulated why you should keep your office job.

This is the back and forth I have with my walking buddy who is also a writer who also goes to work full-time. We know work is good in so many ways.

* Don’t have to stress about where the money is coming from (especially good for people who hate thinking about money).

* Have a regular routine that keeps you on the straight and narrow.

* Keeps you connected to the humans – no fear of becoming isolated and out of touch with the world.

The best solution we come back to again and again is the part-time solution. I don’t want to completely disconnect from formal work, but I don’t want my office job to be my whole life.

Summer Pierre agrees that my office job doesn’t have to be my whole life! She shows a way that a regular job is a sweet part of the artist’s deal – something to work with instead of something to work against.

Here’s the weird bit – I’ve never, ever, not once in my whole life, every thought of myself as an artist. And yet, this book resonated so strongly (I think it was the pictures) that I wonder whether this might just be the framework for me. An instruction manual for structured play for grown ups maybe.

So thank you very much Summer Pierre, your short book might have changed everything.

Sunday is also a great day for the beach

I spent another lovely day at the beach this weekend. I know I should be posting about the millions of things that happen in between beach trips but it takes more time than I have today to prepare those posts.

I was supposed to go on a boat trip on Sunday. Some of you may recall me writing about these trips here, and they are without fail a really great day. But I woke up on Sunday feeling tired and unwell so I stayed home and Sas cooked me a breakfast burrito.

Fortunately, there were a few other boat trip rejects (illness, work and other things got in the way of their participation), so around midday Simone, Cat, Azeemah and I went to beach, wandered and collected shells.
Later in the afternoon we met Marcus and ate crab with noodles for lunch. So delicious. I forgot to take a photo of the crab but you can see in this photo of Simone the remainders of our feast. We stayed at the beach for a looooong time. It was so great to be out there for the whole day, although I am now quite burnt (but only on the very few bits of skin that see daylight. I was wearing a high-neck, long sleeve shirt and a long skirt).

As you can imagine by looking at the photo below, we were a group of very happy and chill people by the end of the day.
Oh! I almost forgot the greatest moment that happened after this last photo. We went for a swim as the sun went down and the undercurrent was so strong that my legs were pulled from under me and I was dragged out to sea…only to be thrown back to shore a couple of seconds later…and then dragged out again…thrown back to shore. I had no control over this process at all. I don’t really know how I broke the cycle but it wasn’t without effort and getting tangled in my own skirt while doing it. Ahhhh, funny.

Friday night’s the night not to party

It’s Friday night and I should be out of the office but I haven’t posted much this week and I am barely keeping up my posting targets, so I shall post and run.

Many people like going out on Friday after work and letting off steam, but I want nothing more than to go home. I have a feeling that a lot of people feel this way but go out because of pressure from their colleagues/friends. Who else agrees with me?

So, as of today I have 11 weeks until the end of my contract. 11 weeks doesn’t sound like much time, especially considering how fast a single week goes by. Sometimes I think a week is an odd period for us to plan our lives by. I’m all for the two days off in the middle, but you often set aside a week to do something, or expect to have achieved a significant amount between Monday and Friday, but Monday arrives and before you know it, it’s Friday already. Not enough time to have really crossed many tasks off your to do list. I know this seems like an odd statement, and a bit like an old person/unoriginal person thing to say (“oh how time flies”), but if some people can argue that we shouldn’t count by tens* I think we can reconsider the week as well.

Right in the middle of that 11 weeks we have more events planned than for the rest of the year, and they are the kind of events that require more planning than usual. It’s going to be a pretty crazy few weeks.

I haven’t posted a photo in a while, so here are two:

This is a photo taken from my desk. I have a nice view, and it’s especially great at the time of day that this photo was taken. As the goes down there is the call to prayer and everything turns a bit magical. I have gone on about Aceh doing the 6-7pm slot better than anywhere I’ve ever lived, but no research has gone into that claim. In fact, I think the whole world looks pretty good as the sun goes down.

This is a photo of my regular becak driver Rijal and a pineapple tree that made me laugh. It’s tiny and the pineapple is huge. Hilarious no?

*The link I should have given about the Duodecimal system is here. Please follow the other link, it’s the best thing you will ever read on the internet…ever. If you don’t read it you are a heathen

Whiteboard markers or monkeys. You choose.

I was just about to launch into a long reflection on the wonder of a whiteboard marker. Seriously, I had half of it written in my head. The core theme would be the complexity of human society, as reflected by the whiteboard marker in my office. Fortunately the phone rang and I got sidetracked. So no post about a whiteboard marker.

As you know, AYAD friends visited Aceh two weeks ago. We spent most of the weekend on Sabang. Here are some photos of

The little baby monkey I was terrorising by picking up. Look how cute and scared he is! P.S look at my robot arm! I have a claw!

On the ferry the way back from Sabang we sorted out who owed what for accommodation. We were dealing in the millions of Rupiah. Check out the piles of cash. I got to play banker. Fortunately we were in VIP class so it was normal to throw money around. Other people were smoking their money…Check out the pimpin’ couches we got to sit on. It was like we were kicking back in a cigar lounge and going places. Literally! I find this joke funny enough to carry on for a bit longer…We were crossing seas while climbing the social ladder! Oh man, that bombed.

Me and two other AYADs in my backyard. It’s way more fun out there when there are people to play with.

Yes, I was in every photo. A little egocentric perhaps?

1. It’s my blog, so I rule this kingdom.

2. I’m ‘borrowing’ Amy’s photos and it somehow lessens the wrongdoing in my mind if I don’t post photos of people who I (obviously, who has the time?) haven’t cleared it with.

Rock n Roll Sharia style

A few weeks ago there was a concert in Banda Aceh. Two of Indonesia’s biggest bands, Nidji and Peterpan performed at the stadium to a crowd of millions!

But there was a problem. Some of the millions were boys and some of them were girls. Whatever could the authorities do to keep this event free from inappropriate mingling of the sexes?

Put up a fence of course:

Girls on one side, boys on the other please.

But there will always be bad eggs. And they do things like this:

Blatantly ignoring the spirit of the fence, this couple stood next to each other.

But it would only get worse. Next time they should build the fence out of bricks. Surely it was the sight of sexually promiscuous women that led this otherwise good man to behave so poorly:

(to clarify, this is my friend Michael jumping the fence, but he wasn’t the first to do it, and was by no means the last. There were many compromised men in attendance that day).

It seems that no matter how much you try to steer people to the path of righteousness, they are too evil or stupid to know better:

This couple knew that holding hands was wrong, so they covered their heads in shame.

But seriously, many more awesome things happened that day. By the end of the concert there were more boys than girls on the girls’ side of the fence, and there was a lot of evil dancing, girls taking off hijabs, boys taking off shirts, and lots of people getting very silly. This was youth rebellion Aceh style….and all over by evening prayer (6.30pm).