In the spirit of being brave, I am going to tell you a story.
A story so close to the truth, you’ll be wondering if this is indeed true or not.
In the spirit of being brave, I am going to tell you a story.
A story so close to the truth, you’ll be wondering if this is indeed true or not.
I don’t necessarily like writing about things that I don’t know about, and whilst there have been many reports on Harvey Weinstein’s case, I don’t think I am capable enough on writing a report on my own about the said case. What I can write is my own personal view on the trend (for lack of better word) of sexual harassment within the workplace.
I can’t speak on behalf of all women, but I can and will speak on behalf of my voice.
What constitutes as sexual harassment? Most, if not all, of the people I work with thinks that for an act to be considered as sexual harassment, some sort of sexual act must be performed. So, unless you were raped, surely it is no sexual harassment. But, what if the other party force themselves on you, such as forcibly kissing you, hugging, you, or show up in front of you butt naked? Is that sexual harassment? Some have agreed that it is a form of sexual harassment. But, what about other type of physical contact? Like if your colleague gave you unsolicited massage, caress your face, sent you text and call you ‘babe‘? Is that sexual harassment? This is where people starts to have differing opinions.
I think it still is a form of sexual harassment.
Here you can see a very simple explanation and examples of what is sexual harassment, made by the UN. One of the examples given gave me the assurances that the things I’ve witnessed and experienced myself were indeed a form of sexual harassment.
I am both angry and frustrated. I am angry at why things like that still happens, and I am angry because I let it happened to me and to other people, and I didn’t stop it. I am frustrated at why no one is realising and opening their eyes that sexual harassment is more than just being raped. Any form of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is sexual harassment. I’m frustrated because I know, telling stories of sexual harassment is difficult, be it out of embarrassment (when you shouldn’t be), out of fear of backlash, or knowing that even if you are brave enough to come forward, you know it’s a lost cause because of the notion of “it’s not sexual harassment if you’re not raped”.
This is my post, the first that took me hours to consider whether or not I should publish. I’ll publish it, because I believe that I have a voice that needs to be heard. I’ll publish it, because this is my shout out to all the Harvey Weinsteins of the world. This is my middle finger to those who said sexual harassment is just an excuse prudish women used when other people were only trying to be friendly; well, touchy is not the same as friendly, mate.
Ten days into October and I finally am back with my #RetrospectSeries. Was I lazy? Yep, most definitely. Was I just being forgetful? Quite possibly, since I only have a memory span of a goldfish. Was I busy? Well, if you consider wallowing in self pity is a major activity, yes I am most definitely busy that I didn’t have time to write and post the September #RetrospectSeries.
Remember when I said that August was a blur?
Yeah, well, September was no better. I felt like I was just running around doing loads of stuffs.
I went to Cartagena.
For work, mind you. Was it fun? It was work, what do you expect? Being in Cartagena cemented what I have been suspecting for the last six years, I am not cut up for the job that I have right now, but after investing six in a half years of my life here, the most responsible thing to do would be to stick it through until the end. Sounds like a coward’s reasoning? Maybe.
The search for the perfect apartment has come to an end.
Okay, calling it the perfect apartment is stretching it, but it is as close as I can get. After a long debacle of finding the apartment, it all boils down to top three. The first apartment was a one bed room apartment with a tacky ceiling. And after awhile, I made peace with it and was about to sign the lease, but I was still holding on hope to the second apartment.
The second apartment was a two bedroom apartment. The owner speaks English which bodes well with me, and was very accommodating. Well, that was until they said I had to pay a deposit worth of three months rent of the apartment, and that I was only able to rent the place for only a year! Are you kidding me? I have to pay a three months deposit only to be kicked out by next year and have to go through the whole process of apartment search again? Nay!
During this ordeal, I randomly stumbled upon the third apartment. A one bedroom apartment that was strategically located and the owner was incredibly nice. Fast forward to mid September, I finally have my own apartment.
Filling up your house is not like in The Sims.
After I signed my contract to rent the apartment, I immediately went on a shopping spree to fill up the house. At that moment, I had only have a bed and a sofa bed. No TV, refrigerator, heater, plates, washing machine, etc. It was crazy! It was not fun! It was nothing like decorating your house in The Sims. And to top it all off, I had only a handful of Pesos with me, because half of the pesos was used to pay for my rent.
At the end of the day, however crazy it was, September has come to an end.
And I still haven’t felt like I’m home.
Happy 10th birthday and 7th birthday, respectively. I wish I had more to say, but honestly I don’t. I can tell you that I miss you beyond any words I can say. I’ve been here for fifty days; or one month and 19 days; or seven weeks and one day. Do you know what that means? Seven weeks have passed without us hanging out together. Seven weeks have passed without me calling out to you both for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and some occasional treats here and there. Seven weeks without random photoshoots of you two.
I miss you both so much. I don’t even know if the word miss is sufficient enough to describe how I feel.
I just signed a contract to rent an apartment. It has huge ass window that I know for sure you both will like. I kept on looking at the window thinking how much you would enjoy to just sit in front of it and watch cars passing by; well I can at least picture Elvis doing that, I don’t know about Joplin though, you’ve always been a shy fat cat, aren’t you?
The apartment also has a big bookshelf that I’m pretty sure if the both of you are here with me, you’ll occupy the bookshelf before I add any books on it. And that’s fine, anything to make you both happy.
Happy birthday Elvis and Joplin. Hope you had a great day, and more to come. I’ll send you both some gifts from here. Please don’t ever forget about me, and incredibly sorry for the yearly vaccine, you guys. Well, at least Elvis is free from yearly vaccine next year, tough luck for you though, Joplin. Be strong, healthy, and happy, for we will be reunited sooner than we could have hoped for.
Gosh, turns out finding a place to stay is not easy, isn’t it? I thought it was going to be clickety clack and voila, here’s your new home in Bogota!
So not like that.
I’ve surfed the web trying to find a nice apartment to rent. I’m easy to please, I don’t want much. I just need a nice apartment, preferably one bedroom (as I hate cleaning), clean, safe, and fairly close to work. I did found quite a number of them, but there’s always that deal breaker thing. I’ve been in Bogota for close to two months, I really need to found a place, SOON!
The first apartment was nice, cozy, and in a quiet neighbourhood that I like very much. The rent is affordable and although it has two bedrooms (one bedroom too many for someone who lives alone like me), it wasn’t a deal breaker as I could use the extra room to invite friends to stay over on the weekend. But, see, the apartment is dead far from work. And I mean, proper far. Even on the best of days, it’ll take me 30 minutes to work, imagine during rush hour!! I can’t.
The second apartment was by far my favourite one. It’s affordable, it has one bedroom, but its living area is still big and it has this super nice nook that I already had in mind was going to be my reading nook. It was perfect. Might I say, it was the best I’ve ever seen. Problem is, the landlord ask for a three months deposit!! Get the fuck out! How am I suppose to make money that quickly?? Three months deposit?? Might as well buy the whole apartment, mate.
The third apartment is quite alright. Pretty small but it has two bedrooms (well, technically one, because the other one is used as a working room) and has quite a nice view thanks to its big window. The dealbreaker? The owner wants me to rent the place along with her stuff, which is fine but then the rent became twice the asking price. And when I told her I won’t be renting the place with her stuff, she said she would need two weeks to empty the place, but I need the place by next week and it was non negotiable.
The fourth apartment was also nice. It has two bedrooms, and what I love the most was the vintage looking bathroom. The place is also well lit from the sun, so it was perfect. The owner was very accommodating, they were willing to renovate some areas if I need it be. So, what’s the deal breaker? The place is far from public services, like supermarket, drug store, and the whatnots.
The fifth apartment is by far one of my favourites too. It’s a one bedroom apartment but very well lit, and also very cheap as my friend knew the landlady. The deal breaker? It has this weird ass shape that looks extremely tacky and vintage (not the good ones) design on its ceiling, which are made by drywall (I’m guessing). I asked if that can be taken off, and the landlady said that it was impossible. WHYYYY?? I mean, this place was literally one of the best place I’ve seen. It has a gym and a sauna, all free for its tenants!!! Why must you have those tacky design on your ceiling??
The sixth apartment was alright. I don’t really like it because the building is quite old, but the units that I was seeing was just freshly renovated, so it wasn’t a problem; besides it’s cheap af. Problem is, it has three bedrooms!! What the fuck am I suppose to do with the other two bedrooms? Rent it on Airbnb?? Get real! I don’t like living with strangers, why am I volunteering to take strangers in now?
The seventh apartment was literally next to sixth apartment. It’s a one bedroom apartment. Just freshly renovated too. Quite like it. Problem is, it only has one bathroom, which means guests will be using the same bathroom as me which I’m not very keen about. The second problem is it doesn’t use gas for its stove. I can’t imagine cooking with an electric stove, I’m already imagining my electric bill.
The eight apartment was just the next building to the building where the sixth and seventh in. It’s pretty old, and I mean old (not vintage old, or deliberately designed to look old, it’s just OLD) but I ain’t complaining because it has very nice natural light. Problem is? It wants me to have a guarantor. It’s not like no one is going to to guarantee for me, problem is I’m only here for three years and I don’t know Colombians who would be willing to be my guarantor. When I asked if my office can be my guarantor, the owner said it can’t be an office, it has to be a human being.
That being said, I will be seeing three more apartments tomorrow. Wish me luck!
August was definitely like a blur. I know I’ve used the term ‘blur’ quite a number of times, but I think August fits the bill as being the month that is a blur to me.
..and maybe I did. One day I woke up in the basking sweat of Jakarta. The next time I went to sleep, I woke up to the sunny and intimidating sun of Amsterdam. The next time I went to sleep again, I woke up to the chilly and sunless sky of Bogota. How do you collect the scattering thoughts you have and compile it into one single post when I still can’t comprehend that I am now halfway across the world from all things familiar?
..much like where I was back in the beginning of 2017. I was in Abuja feeling homesick but I am homeless. Cut to August, and I am back to square one. I had missed my home and I am homeless. How am I suppose to pour down what I feel when I am overcome with thoughts of missing my home?
..and whilst it sounded like what a teenage girl would write, it is indeed what I’ve felt for the better part of August. Day in and day out, I’ve passed it with a smile that is so strain that by the end of the day, I feel like I have pulled a muscle on my face. I was smiling when my heart felt so alone and isolated. How do I write about these lonesome feelings, when I have to be strong the next day?
..and indeed I am lost. I questioned everything that had happened, that is happening, and that will happen. Was it everything I had hoped for? Was it everything I had planned for? Who can say for sure?
Three more days, mate. Three more days and I won’t be where I am today. Three long and excruciating days ahead. For months I’ve been dreading the day, and now there seems to be no point about dreading it, for the day shall come.
I have a lot going inside my mind right now, but it seems so hard to put into words. The anger, the sadness, the hollowness, the tears, the laughter, all seems like a blur; you know that it’s there, that it was what brought July came to life but it seems like a daunting task to bring it back to life once more.
and as hard as it is to comprehend, I will most definitely miss them. Three years is a long time and 19,810 km is a huge gap to cross. I hope that the three years and the 19,810 km between us will not change us into a completely different human being. I would like to go back to the same Mum and Dad, brother and sister, aunts and uncle, and even cousins I have yet to enjoy the time spent with them.
and for all the bravado I’ve said about 8,985 km not being a problem, I have to accept that it is indeed far and a six hours time difference is hard to come by. I hope that the love and the commitment we’ve shared for the past six years serves as a strong foundation for what we’ve planned for our present and future.
and for all the tears I refused to shed when I last held the both of them last Sunday, I know that no one can be sure if three years is short enough for me to be able to hold you both again. I hope you stay strong and healthy, for you are my best of friends and that I have had the best time of my life giving my best for you both.
and for all the cold shoulder I seem to be giving them, I just don’t know how to best express how much going away this time around is very hard for me. I hope the best of everything for us, and that in three years time we will be a better version of who we are today and that we could pick up where we’ve left off.
and for all its traffic jam, this was the land where I was born and raised and I will always have that teeny tiny feeling of wanting to always come back here.