These days it’s not unusual for me to find emails from people that I’ve never met in my in-box. They are not spam messages; these are from people who have found me through the Contact Me button on this blog. I’m always delighted to hear from people who genuinely want to know more about re-locating to Indonesia or who have questions about living in Jakarta for example but I do draw the line about requests for advertising car parts, baby toys or writing reviews for incontinence pads on my blog.
What I do love, is when I receive emails from people who have read the blog and feel able to write to me directly for advice or help. It’s a nice feeling to know that I’m approachable and I genuinely like being able to help people out if I can. Mostly the requests are simple, straightforward things like ‘where is a good place to live’ ‘what are the schools like?’ etc but sometimes they can be a little more complicated. A few weeks ago I had a long missive sent from a woman in Germany who was planning on moving here because she’d fallen in love with an Indonesian man and her family didn’t approve. She seemed to think that I was married to an Indonesian and wanted my advice. If you squint hard enough,and long enough, I can see that my references to Irishman could at a pinch be read as Indoman. Either that or she needs to see an oculist fast. I responded to her long missive with an equally long one back. written sympathetically and gave her my advice. I never heard another peep from her so. either I’ve been demoted from being agony aunt or she’s had a change of heart. Who knows, it really doesn’t matter, the point is that she felt able to write to me and that was nice.
Which leads me on to an email that I received a couple of weeks back from an American TV show. I’ve never had an email from a TV show so I was quite excited about this, ecstatic in fact, ecstatic until I read the line …’ to be on our show you need to be 45 or under’ WHAT!!! I was furious, more than furious in fact I was MAD.
Already I was constructing a livid response in my head to this hideous ageist TV Station. Fancy giving with one hand, then snatching back with the other because I’m the wrong side of 45. Dammit.
I waited till Irishman got home and then read the email out loud to him. Irishman is 11 years older than me; he was bound to be equally upset with this ageist bullshit. But he wasn’t, he was delighted, he urged me to respond immediately to the TV Company and say that I’d be thrilled to be considered for a part in their show.
‘What did she say again Lottie?’ ‘Reach out and connect with you?’ ‘That’s right, you say Thank you for reaching out and connecting with me, I’d be thrilled to be considered for your show, its sounds AWESOME!’
I was so shocked at Irishman’s positive response that I emailed the lady in question back and had him dictate to me what I should say. Within 20 minutes I had an affirmative response back with even two xx’s at the end. It was clear that already the wheels were in motion for fame.
A time and date were set for a skype interview. I didn’t have time for a facelift, nor the time required to shift 2 stone plus the 10lbs extra that they say you look on film, but I did have time to make an appointment to get my roots seen too. I reckoned that if there wasn’t any grey showing that might take at least 10 years off my age. The problem was that about an hour before my trip out to the hairdressers I devoured a huge bowl of edamame beans. It’s been a while since I ate edamame beans and I’d quite forgotten the terrible effect that they have on me. I’m talking flatulence here, not just a fart or two but seriously appalling wind, the sort that has you curled up in agony like labour pains sort of wind. There was no way that I could make the hairdresser appointment, I had to cancel it. I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to touch my toes and drinking ginger tea.
6pm the time set for the skype interview arrived. I dimmed the sitting room lights and rested my laptop on a few books on the desk so that the integral camera was at chin height. Years ago, I remember my mother telling me that women’s necks and hands reveal more about a woman’s age than anything else. I reckoned that if she didn’t see my neck or my hands, I could easily knock another few years off. I could probably do 40 at a pinch.
Earlier on I had emailed my soulsister in California and told her about the TV show contacting me. She sent back an email telling me that she knew and loved the show and that she was really excited for me. Knowing this meant that I had to get it right, the pressure was on.
The skype interview went well. The books didn’t slip and my chin remained perfectly placed at all times. The grey looked quite bonny in a sort of platinum blonde way and I was in good spirits as I was asked all about how we arrived in Indonesia and our journey so far. I was happy to do 4 days filming and had already planned a starvation diet for myself so that I lost the 2 stone that I needed to plus the extra 10lbs that they say you carry when on film. In my head it was all sorted. I just needed a start date that was all.
The following day I received an email. There was no reaching out and connecting this time. It was nice, it was kind, I believe it was sincere but no, I wasn’t needed for the show. Maybe I should write that review for Tena Lady incontinence pads after all.