We have internet at home now, and have been able to watch some TV although streaming is a bit slow. I am on Facebook every few days but it’s more annoying than useful.
Having good people to work with makes a real difference. We have a good group of teachers here, foreign and Chinese. This makes it a pleasant place to work and it helps to adjust to life outside of work.
Wyatt has gotten so used to wearing sandals and crocs that he tends to drag his feet when he walks. He is improving as the 1.5 km walk to school and then the same home have given me opportunity to encourage the lifting of feet. It has also increased his appetite and endurance. At the start of each walk I hear the familiar shhhh shhhh of sole against pavement. It does give us time together, and is good exercise for me as well.
It’s all digital now, so lack of access or spotty connections can really limit things. Banking also requires the internet. On the plus side a couple of online shopping services have meant getting things for the apartment much easier. A well-equipped Walmart, and a few night markets have also helped. We have most things we need now, and have found places to buy water, beer, groceries and even a burger place nearby.
Christmas decorations have appeared in shops and in advertisements. Christmas is business here, but pales in comparison to the economic, cultural and emotional impact of the Spring Festival(Chinese New Year. We have one day off for Christmas and three weeks for the Spring Festival.
Back home in Indonesia they had a few small tornadoes in our neighbourhood. The twisters tore tiles off a neighbours roof and felled a few trees, but nothing too serious thankfully.
Here in Indonesia, libraries are as rare as safe drivers and clean water. It’s not because people don’t like to read, or because they like to live dangerously at high speeds, or because they love the idea that toxic substances are freely available at the turn of a handle.
When credence is given to the misguided notion that unrestrained capitalism is a benefit to anyone then we will see the demise of education, healthcare, and public safety. When we allow corporate interests to dictate education and to funnel public monies into programs that benefit their bottom line, we allow human decency and dignity to be kicked to the kerb. We allow our future to be stamped with best before dates, and then left to rot on the shelf.
Obviously, greed and shortsightedness are not the intellectual property of the Indonesian archipelago. We see these wonderful expressions of boneheaded stubbornness in every hovel, hamlet and high-speed hub on the planet.
Without independent sources of information, books provided and made available by libraries, we have little chance for the current or the next generation to be intellectually curious, environmentally aware, or woke in any measurable sense.
Common sense, intellectual curiosity, and basic decency may have always been rare and whimsical creatures, but perhaps we shouldn’t willingly turn away as they’re kicked to death. Please don’t take this as a pat on the back if you have libraries. If you’re not using them, if you’re not supporting them, and if everyone does not have access; then they’re no longer libraries. They’ve become warehouses, or even worse they’re mortuaries waiting for the bodies of lost knowledge and hope to be claimed by uncaring relatives.
If you take an ant and trick out its colours so it looks like an orange and black sports car, then you might have an idea what this nasty little bug looks like. To be fair, the Tomcat is excellent at pest control. Where this toxic beetle becomes problematic is when humans are involved. Humans tend to swat, crush and smear insects that crawl on them. The tomcat spreads this toxin without breaking your skin.
The tomcat is also known as the rove beetle. I prefer to call it a nasty little S.O.B.
The tomcat is stealthy, and before you know it it’s on you. You won’t even feel the toxin. An hour or so later, maybe even the next morning you’ll have a welt.
The inflammation may grow, or it may be followed by more welts unless the toxin is washed from your skin, clothing, towels and exposed surfaces.
This morning, I’m on my third round with the TomCat. Unfortunately, like a certain MMA fighter … I don’t think I’m the winner. Unlike said fighter, I won’t have a massive payday in spite of my courage and superb fighting skill. My first exposure was likely from a tomcat hiding in a rain poncho I wore, which resulted in a large welt under my arm. The next one, and the current experience seem to be from tomcats in the house.
I am sharing a few images, for which I apologize.
The effects of the toxin
We’ve used bee oil to reduce the swelling. Similar to Kayu Putih(which is a wood oil) it reduces the swelling and irritation. We are going to try Benadryl this time. I’ll let you know how it works.