Saturday, October 09, 2010

Goodbye Jakarta

All in all, it’s been a good trip. The week concluded an exciting project that my team has seen through from inception to implementation and almost joyous completion.

When my counterparts asked me about future projects, I crafted the answers carefully because all that matters is the continuity of institution to institution ties, and the trust in our brand name and our quality of work that will remain excellent in spite of the different humans.

Yet, so much of our work and warmth with our counterparts are built upon the interpersonal relationships. Is it not clear then, why we won’t be able to go beyond a certain level in terms of establishing strong linkages. It's more than the language. There're certain actions that can always transcend language barriers. We always underestimate face-to-face contact. I’ll miss this.

With the work wrapped up, it was time to go home. Rain sent us off on the journey to the airport. With the traffic jam, a 40-minute journey turned into a 2-hour crawl on the roads. Not surprisingly. We had allocated 3 hours to get to the airport, so there was no panic, just a quiet acceptance of the wait as part of the travel experience.

As the car passed street vendors huddled under umbrellas and make-shift shelters, we really couldn't complain very much about our situation. At least we were dry and comfortable. The rain meant that they would sell fewer items and earn little for the day. What is mere annoyance to us will have a greater impact on the street vendors.

There's always a queer mix of wistfulness at the end of each work trip. I'm glad to be heading home, of course. But I'm not desperate to be home. To me, being in Singapore clearing work in the office is the same as working out of anywhere else. But hell, I'm damn happy to not be bound to clearing the work emails at night. Pulling double shifts can be a tad tiring.

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