Coincidences

For months, our apartment buildings have been terrorized by package thieves. Plural, because we caught one once. His bold attempt got caught on camera, and security managed to track down the car plate and blocked access. Things went peaceful for some months until new reports of missing parcels pouring in again.

Here’s the thing about the process of receiving package in our apartment building; before the pandemic, it was pretty normal for couriers to go up to the respective units and send their deliveries. When the person is not at home, couriers can just leave the package on the doorstep — and security-wise, most home owners put CCTV on the front door.

When the pandemic hits, a new SOP (one among many others) got implemented across apartments and high-rise estates. All package receivers — be it food delivery, package delivery, anything — should receive their packages at the lobby area. This to ensure minimum movements and reduce contacts.

This is when the problem started. This caused couriers to: 1. Wait for the package receiver to come down to the lobby, causing them losing precious minutes of delivery, and 2. Additional work when the package receiver is not at home. Couriers end up putting the packages on the mail room (an area that actually strictly for mail/letters only) and hoping the package receiver able to receive the package properly.

It was like a gambling. Some folks are lucky enough to be able to get their packages in good conditions. Some, not so. The neighbourhood has been reaching out to the apartment’s building management for security enhancement and possibility of putting CCTV facing the mail room, but it seems like every attempt was futile.

Until this afternoon, at 6 PM. I just came back from our apartment’s garden with Rey when we saw a slight commotion on the lobby area.

I didn’t think too much about it. It was Saturday afternoon, folks usually out and about. Some neighbours can be seen waiting for their food delivery to arrive.

I checked our apartment Telegram group, in case anyone knows what was that about (yes, we are gossip-y like that,) when a new message appeared: “The parcel thief finally got caught!”

The group ✨ exploded ✨

“YOOOOO. THOSE GROUP ON THE LOBBY JUST NOW? IT WAS THE PARCEL THIEF?”

“DID ANYONE GOT THE PIC?”

“PIC OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.”

“CAN SOMEONE KICK THE THIEF FOR ME? PRETTY PLEASE?”

We then found out the police even involved and thanks to them, the building management and the police managed to nab the thief. At that point, we were so confused; how could it be we have the police force ready on our premises? Did anyone file a report, and the police actually took missing parcel cases seriously?

Apparently, the police was in the area for another case. There was a burglary case on a store nearby our building, and the police narrowed down the search and found out the suspect’s car was seen regularly entering and exiting our apartment area.

The police force met with the building management and they were in the middle of checking the CCTV when they realized something is really off on this person who entered the building empty-handed yet he came out with packages. The rest, then, a history.

(Anyway, the police managed to catch the burglars too! 🎉)

Update: I need to update this post by saying the security guards are doing awesome job too! One of the guards noticed the car has been super sus (“he came to the building this morning and again in the afternoon? A courier usually comes once”) and he chased the car around the block, using motoped. He raised the flag as soon as he recognized the police and caught the thief.

Coworking

Working outside the home terrifies me. As soon as I started in Automattic, I found myself attached and depended on my external monitor. I have been enjoying the wide and spacious view of everything that I’m working on — it feels like ”I have the powah”-moment. This is something that I can’t achieve when coworking, so I always feel really hesitant of doing coworking.

Enter Monday. I was working at home as usual, doing my own thing (a.k.a. getting confused with some formulas on Google Sheet) when I felt the floor rumbling followed with a loud noise as if someone is tearing down a brick wall.

And that’s what actually happened. My neighbor is doing home renovation — it just started — and one of the main tasks is Tear Down A Goddamn Wall.

I couldn’t work with the noise. Even noise-canceling headphones can’t handle it. I’m having weekly meetings and I don’t think my colleagues are signing up to join the Home Improvements Orchestra.

Thus, the coworking journey. I looked for options on KL area, and I found one: Regus

I’m interested on Regus because they are worldwide. Meaning that, you can use their service no matter where you are as long as you are the member. I found it really neat because Automattic requires the staffs to travel and having meetups. Regus makes it easier for the team to set coworking space and it would help the team checked the list faster. A bit of disclaimer, this is not a sponsored post. At all. I don’t even remember I ever got sponsored post here (Fenty Beauty, my doors are open here wink wink nudge nudge.) I checked coworking options in KL, and Regus happens to be the one that interests me.

I actually planned to start coworking on March, but the noise getting unbearable so I decided to use their service on the next day. I took the private office daily booking option for Tuesday to see how coworking is all about and how it feels.

My first impression was: Professional. It looks so office-like, and it gives me multiple feelings.

The pro: It feels like office. The whole area gives me this… ”Alright, let’s do this”-mood and I really enjoy the privacy and the quietness. Finally I work with office attire and not my usual /wp-admin shirt with some shorts.

The con: It feels like office. For someone that has been working from home for 3 years, this is quite a jump physically and mentally. My brain keeps going in work mode (because the surroundings looked like office area) and I got seriously tired at the end of the day, plus a headache. Price-wise, Regus falls into the more expensive side. I would definitely recommend Regus if you are looking for setting up virtual office or long-term coworking.

But yeah, the pros outweighs the cons. Definitely much better than listening to someone drilling and hammering walls for hours.

The private office size is 9 metres square and it has a couple of storage drawers, two desks, and two telephone units. For some, it might look so bare and spartan. For me, it’s just enough. The Internet speed is pretty stable too, so I honestly don’t have anything to complain. I did notice 1-2 connection drops when I had 1:1 with my teammate, but not super significant.

As for my issue with external monitor, I’m using my iPad as my second monitor. I’m glad Apple makes the connection is easier (you only need to plug USB-C cable and connect it from the menu bar and call it a day) so I can be a bit at ease. The screen size is still smaller than my usual external monitor, but it’s definitely better than nothing.

Pandemic-wise, that’s also the reason I’m using private office space. I tried minimize contact on public areas and I always eat takeaway lunch on my desk (I feel this is one of the reasons why my brain has trouble in taking a break) and not on the pantry area.

How about you all? Have you tried coworking, or perhaps you are a pro in doing coworking? I’m actually having problems in maintaining my energy (the tiredness and headache at the end of the day is no joke) and I want to know if there are any ways to alleviate it.

Sleep

How do I write this down without incriminating myself, hmmm.

So! Okay. I have been having trouble getting a good night sleep for the past… I don’t know, 2 years? It can be due to sudden itchiness on my legs (somehow I feel something crawling/bug on my legs? I know it sounds creepy, but trust me it’s more annoying than creepy) to tossing and turning the whole night.

With the skin itchiness, fine, I can pop some Nivea moisturizer before bed time and it should relieve a bit.

The sleep quality, however, has been a mess and I couldn’t remember when I had a good night sleep.

Or, I did.

It was when Rey was just born, so 2017. When I had my contraction, the nurse checked my vitals and asked me some questions.

“Is this your first child?”

“No. Second, actually.”

“Oh! How nice! Was your son born here in Malaysia?”

“No. He was born in Jakarta. It was spontaneous birth.” (Meaning, not through C-section operation.)

“I see. So you already familiar with epidural?”

“A— what?”

“… Epidural.”

“Iiiiiiiiiiidon’tthinkIhadepidural. Honey, did I got any epidural when we had Wira?”

Ari shook his head. “Uh, no. We didn’t use anything.”

And yes. The hospital we used at that time is this strict believer of “everything should be natural”-thingy. I will explain to you after several paragraphs why I regretted it.

The nurse looked at me, slight aghast, and commented, “okay, so, we are going to use epidural ya.”

What happened afterwards were a blur. I’m not super sure what happened — I did remember they gave me this liquid laxative that smelled like papaya, then the contractions got more frequent, then the nurse put something on my IV and whoo-wee, holy mother of contractions and I still heard the nurses said, “please wait for the doctor to arrive” and I almost screamed, “YOU TELL THIS KID TO WAIT FOR THE DOCTOR TO ARRIVE.”

Then this is something that burned on my brain: The nurse put some kind of oxygen mask on my face and said, “this is a laughing gas. When you start to feel the pain, you can inhale this gas.”

And oh man what a trip that was. No pain, no chaos, only subdued muted yelling.

And this is why I regret the process when I delivered Wira. Please note, this is my personal opinion and choice. If you enjoy the experience, that’s great. With Wira, I remember the cold operation room, the pain, and the creaks of my bones as I tried to push the baby out. I remembered I was so angry at that time, and my mind kept yelling enough. I found myself really tired and smelly and dirty once the baby was born, and I never hated myself more at that time.

With Rey, I remember my body worked automatically — just like an instinct. It’s like every single cells in my body said, “oop. This kid’s rent here is due and we gotta push her out. On 3! 1, 2…” The body still pushed, yes, but it felt more like a team work of the whole body without the brain braining and questioning everything because the brain went on literal trip at that time.

When Rey was born, I was tired and smelly and dirty.

But I had the best sleep in my adult life.

I heard Ari called me amidst the brain haze, and I wanted to answer but everything was so heavy, and I heard the doctor said, “it’s the morphine. Let her sleep so she feels restful.”

I slept with a sleep that feels like decades and millennia.

I woke up, and thought I must have been sleeping for 2 days. I checked the clock, and I got so surprised I only slept for 2 hours. I showered, changed my clothes, drank warm Milo, and waited for baby Rey feeling restful.

So! The point of this post is definitely not trying to ask where we can get morphine just to help sleeping, but I wonder if there are ways to achieve that kind of sleep. You know, that kind of sleep where you feel like your health bar maxes up and you feel like you can conquer the world as soon as after you done showering in the morning.

I tried sleeping tea, pillow spray, lavender balm, and even melatonin supplement — and I haven’t got any noticeable results.

I’m currently eyeing this weighted blanket — I have it on my checkout cart on my Shopee app — but I’m not super sure if this will actually help or not. I also have tried minimizing my screen time before bed time, but it has been same old tiredness throughout the day.

I guess sleep quality is something of a mystery for all of us. The decrease in my sleep quality happened right at the beginning of the pandemic, so I would chalk it up as pandemic stress.

I’m not sure if my sleeping habit will improve when the pandemic ends (or if it will end after all,) but I feel it’s better to build a good habit for better sleeping habit.

Do you all have the same experiences like I have about sleeping habit, or perhaps you have some tips to share? Feel free to share them here!

A café staff in Senayan, Jakarta

Before joining Automattic, I was a lecturer + staff in my university (my alumni) on our R&D department, specifically, on Case Studies Development.

One time, my manager asked me to have out-of-office meeting/1:1 meeting. It was end of the academic year, and we ramped up our case studies process (contacting the writers, coordinating with the Research Assistants, editing and proof-reading, etc) and the tensions were all-time high. I mentioned “out-of-office” because my manager looked at the chaos on the room and she went “nope” in a heartbeat.

“I need coffee, I need food, and I need to get the hell out of here. You in?”

“Say no more; Imma pack my laptop.”

So we went to this café in a mall next to our university building, and the service staff greeted us outside.

You won’t believe what happened next

The staff looked at us, looked at my manager, looked at me, and suddenly quipped, “mbak gede banget.”

In English, it means, “you are big.”

Okay. Okay. I know what some of you all going to think.

I never seen someone shut their mouth that fast with life force drained out of him.

Now. I wasn’t mad. At all. Even as I remembering it right now, it makes me laughing. It’s just so comical, you know? The quip and the instant regret following it.

At that time, I replied with, “wah, mas seringnya liat yang kurus-kurus ya?” then I walked inside.

In English, “whoa. It seems like you always see the skinny ones?”

I legit had no other intentions when I replied that. I wasn’t mad at all. It was a reflex.

I can’t blame the staff, though. I mean, maybe that’s what happened! The café is on an upscale shopping mall in a lifestyle and business district (it’s in Senayan, South Jakarta,) so the view of good-looking skinny folks are really common.

Then, ta-da, an outlier popping in.

I’m big-bodied, yep. And it got even more so after I got pregnant and birthed Wira. My shoulder is wide, thanks to swimming lessons when I was in the elementary years, and I always been the tallest one in school.

Before you asked; no, I’m terrible at basketball and volleyball. I always opt for individual sport such as athletic (and even that, I’m not super good at it.)

I’m wondering how he is doing today. I hope he’s doing alright.

Cilantro

This might already known: I love cilantro/coriander leaves.

Nothing annoys me more than asking for extra cilantro at the restaurant then they gave sprinkle of it — No. I don’t want a “touch” of cilantro. I want the nation’s stock of cilantro to be put on my plate 🥲

Anyhoo, I got myself cilantro seeds (and tomato!)

I planted them a couple of weeks ago and look who’s here!

I haven’t see any signs on the tomato. Hopefully they are doing well too.

The tomato is on the rounded pot