If you can keep your head!


Tomorrow afternoon at 4pm precisely, Pedro and I will have been living in Jakarta for exactly 4 weeks. This past month has been a steep learning curve for us both, and we’ve had to learn quickly how to navigate our way through the complexities of setting up home in a distant land. It has also been great fun, extremely difficult and trying at times, exhausting, nerve wracking and relaxing, all rolled into one. We’ve been through a whole gamut of emotions, met a lot of new people, visited a number of places in our new city, travelled to Singapore, and managed to fit in our long awaited honeymoon. It has brought us even closer together, and in ways that we’d never have expected, and confirmed, though we already knew it, that we are indeed true soul mates.

If someone had told me two and half years ago that I was going to meet this extraordinary man, fall in love, travel to Africa and all over Europe with him, start a business with him, marry him, and move to the other side of the world with him, I would never in a million years have believed them.

As far as I was concerned, after my second marriage ended, the last thing on my mind was another relationship. I had other fish to fry, and other plans ahead, and nothing was going to disrupt them. I was content with my fantasy of living on a houseboat and eventually moving to India after my children had left home.  I had romantic visions of living on an Ashram, spending my days meditating and living a wholesome, and spiritual life. When I met Pedro however, all that changed.

Last night Pedro told me that we might be going to a bar with some work colleagues over the coming weekend. Curious as to know where this bar was, I looked it up on the Internet. Anyone who reads my blogs, and who are also Bloggers themselves, will be well familiar with the pre-occupation that we have of checking out other peoples blogs and throwing oneself wholeheartedly into the ‘Blogsphere’. So, having satisified my curiousity about the Bar and it’s whereabouts,

Wedding day

I then noticed that on the right hand side of the page there were also links to other blogs relating to clubs, bars and nightlife in Jakarta. Why, oh why, did the one that immediately catch my eye have to be about adulterous Expats?

Brilliant! If it’s not already bad enough worrying about my children, tropical diseases, running out of Nicorette, getting worms, leaking washing machines, cockroaches, getting run over….

My imagination went into complete overdrive when I read the line ‘90% of married Expat men, cheat on their wives whilst living in Indonesia.’ Imagine!

How would you feel reading something like that? Would you take it with a pinch of salt? Would you pack your bags, head straight for the airport and fly home? Would you tie shackles to your possibly potentially adulterous husbands legs? What would you do?

This is what I did. I made a promise to myself that I would in future try never to read Blogs written by anyone such as this guy whose take on Life, Love and the World is so cynical. What he writes, may be true from his experience, and he is writing from a mans point of view, but I go by my experience. Bertrand Russell wisely wrote – ‘To fear love is to fear life, and those that fear life are already three parts dead’ – I made a cup of coffee, had a shower, and whilst showering, I suddenly remembered Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘IF’. I got dressed quickly, and then went to my computer and got the poem up on the screen. I read it out slowly to myself, and my day improved immediately.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

Mr Kipling

5 Comments

  1. I think you made a wise choice. If you started having an unfounded fear of adultery (and oh how a small, nagging thought can turn into a sharp-clawed monster) then your marriage might begin suffering. Given the life experience you have, I have no doubt you’ve learned to look for signs and to trust your instincts. I’d seek out happy, positive blogs from people who love Indonesia and had great experiences. This is a great new adventure for you, and I’m glad I can get in on it from the beginning. The story of your marriage is so romantic. I feel that we share a kind of kinship, you and I, and we’ve had some similar circumstances (at least from a topical view). Take care and thank you for leaving nice comments on my blog!

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    1. Amberr, what lovely and wise things you’ve said. Thank you! I have to confess you made me cry, but in the nicest possible way! Definite kinship Sister! (you don’t happen to be an Aquarian as well?!!) take care and can’t wait for you next blog. Lottie ;))))

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  2. Hi Dolly knockers,
    When both my boys left for Uni, I gave them a framed copy of Kipling’s “if”, I figured that going out into the wider world they could have no better advice. Both boys still have it.I particularly like this part, and it applies when you are away from home and the people who love and support you.

    “If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!'”

    You will be fine, it’s Jakarta I worry for
    XXXX
    B

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