A Laptop and A Car

Quite some time long ago, when I was still pretty new to working world, I wrote somewhere in one of the forums I joined, about laptop ownership. I started a new thread, and told the forum , or to be exact, spilled what was in my heart or head like this: Does everybody have to own their own laptop, each one of them?

That question was triggered by a remark from a chat friend during a conversation, though I can’t really remember  who was it..  It was little talk about sharing certain files, drawings, pictures, or perhaps music files. I was sooo wanting to have them shared, and my chat friend replied me something like this: “Sure, just meet up and bring your laptop (and we can share the thing)”. A short pause on my side, then I replied back “Ah, I don’t have any laptop”.  I guess there was some awkwardness  there afterwards, because of my words.

As I said, I started a thread in the forum, and I got various responses. Most of them told me not to worry about it, and it’s okay not to having a laptop of your own. In short, it all goes back to my own mindset. Be comfortable of what I am and don’t get bothered to easily. I still live without a laptop, for sure.

Anyway, that’s in the past, and it has been more than a year since it happened. I’ve moved from one work to another, I’ve been through some challenges, lost some and gained some, and here now I sit in a café, ordering my simple food and tea. And I type on a laptop that I’ve been carrying around here and there. One that might be called as a laptop of my own. Well it’s not really mine, actually. It’s my office’s property, but I’ve been using this bit exclusively since the day it arrived, still pretty brand new. This is the second laptop ever lent by office. The first one was bulky and old, I wouldn’t ever want to carry it around because of the weight, and because the battery was not that reliable anymore. It will go to zero in mere 5 minutes. Err 8 to 10 minutes if I set the light really low. This current laptop is much nicer, slimer, and battery still hold up for at least an hour, when it’s wisely used. Quite big because the screen is the wider type. But it’s fine.

To complete the list, I actually have had my very own laptop right before I start my work at current office. Yes, my very first ow, bought with some family financial help. It’s an Apple. Not the most recent model, instead it’s an iBook G4, quite a classic. Still pretty heavy and bulky, compared to this current Windows based laptop I’m using. But it’s so cool and though it’s a second hand material, it’s in very good condition. Smooth.

So there, see what have happened to me as time passed by. From no laptop, I’ve acquired myself an iBook. Then I got laptop from office, first one is a bulky fat one, then replaced by this current slimmer wide screened laptop. Isn’t it cool?

I used to be someone who think “Hey, not everyone owns laptop, and I’m okay with that. Please don’t demand me to own one as well” but now I’ve moved, I’ve upgraded to the level who share the thought of “It’s normal for everybody to have their own laptop, I even use/have two”… a bit sad but true, now I feel like I could forget easily how it felt to feel the way I used to feel.

Now I’m facing more new lifestyles. Several months ago I got myself a Blackberry. I actually lost a  phone prior to the Blackberry so there were some unhappy parts, but that’s another story. My point is, I also upgraded myself from someone who doesn’t need and doesn’t care about Blackberry, into someone addicted to Blackberry. Not that drastically, that’s it.

Another lifestyle, and is actually the most recent one I am experiencing, that would be: Cars. I was told that in America, one can buy car easily, affordably, that it is just common for every family to have a car of their own, or even a car for every personnel. Dad, Mum, the son and the daughter, they may have a car for each of them. And it is believable, when I see American movies, I see that a college student, or even a high school student can get a car as his or her birthday present. I thought it happens only in America. Not here in Indonesia. But well then I guess I have to adjust my mindset. In certain level(s) in Indonesia, I see that now it is normal for everyone to have a car of their own. At least, from the conversation I have with people I work with, in Indonesia, car ownership is getting so common as well.

It’s not an everyday question but every now and then people ask me if I bring a car of my own. Not always as a direct question, it can come in various implies : Where did you park just now, did you find the parking space easily, did you got trapped in the traffic, such a tiring day to drive, it rained so hard  and the car gets dirty again.. sort of things like that. So there it is, another expectation from peers. Expectation of a private own car. Which suggests me various thought.

There are too many cars in this city of Jakarta, and too many motorbikes as well. As much as I would love to have a  car of my own and to drive conveniently on my own to places I’d like, I should be so much aware that there are too many vehicles on the streets and created traffic jam on daily basis. Well, every day and every where people complained, whined, shouted, yelled and cursed about the traffic jam they suffered. And the pollution, and all the stupid drivers on the street. If I ever to have a car of my own, wouldn’t I be one of them, joining the club? Also, I will certainly contribute to the pollution in this city.

Then the numbers. Financially I would admit that I’m not prepared yet to pay for a car. That includes the car itself, then the gasolene, and also the parking tickets and tolls and all the expenses that must be made as a car owner. Yes I want a car but I don’t know how am I going to deal with all the cost. And I guess if I have to be honest, I don’t want to think or prepare myself for them, not yet. And that doesn’t give a positive credit to my want or wish of a car.

From social point of view, I will certainly upgrade myself into another higher level class of citizen. I wonder will it be good.. for me, and for others around me. Will I be happier because of that? Career and work wise, I can make up all the reasons how having a car would help me to work. And also easier access to fun things which might also tempt me a lot. I would be able to eliminate my dependancies to public transport, and the obstacles caused by bad weather or even distances. But there’s no certainty, no assurance whether will I be happy then..

Let me go back to the laptop and the Blackberry case. Trying to remember how happy I thought I would be if I own a private laptop and a Blackberry of my own, in reality, now, yes I enjoy the happiness and benefits from owning them. But yes I also have several other conditions, which could be seen as a price I must pay. When I have to bring my laptop everywhere, I have to bring an extra bag, because a 15” laptop  wouldn’t fit to my girly bag. And because I don’t want to transfer the content of my girly bag to a laptop bag, I need to bring at least two bags. Add another plastic bag if I carry around a spare comfy shoes around.  Honestly, two bags can be so troublesome at times. Imagine three..

Then the Blackberry. I am certainly grateful for all the fun it brings, but it is surely add my budget as well because I have to ensure that I get my Blackberry Internet Service signal all the time. And I also need to carry around my charger, because it’s power drained out so quickly. *Oh darn it, I just remember I left my charger at office, because a friend borrowed it this afternoon. Shucks. *

To conclude, those items; BB and laptop; had added up my happines and satisfaction, but also cost  me extra effort, extra cost, to maintain myself using them in the most optimal way.

This reminds me to a movie I just watched last Saturday : Paper Chase. There are echelons (levels) in life, and when you moved yourself to a higher one, you gotta work harder to stay in that echelon… These all go back to the wise words: No pain, no gain.

As I’ve mentioned above, right now I’m sitting and typing in my (office)laptop in a café somewhere, quite afar from where I live. I’m grateful of this laptop I use at the moment. As for how will I get home later, I will certainly get a taxi. Too late for other type of public transport.

Well, all in all, if you ask me do I want to have a car of my own.. Frankly I would answer yes. It is a want, mind you. Not really sure how will I manage to acquire it with all the expenses needed, and actually I’m not even sure yet to answer if I do really need one, but a yes is an honest answer. Having a car means I have less worries when I go out late like I do now. And for now, such simple happy thought will keep nurturing my want of having a car *grin*

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10 thoughts on “A Laptop and A Car

  1. Hon, if I learnt anything from this life, it is that the measure of a person is not in acquiring possessions, it is in letting them go. Also, it’s not what you got, but what you give.Please forgive me, I don’t mean to sound patronizing or condescending. I’ve been rich, and now I’m in want due to my HIV and son’s autism therapy which costs a lot. But you know what? I’m happier now, albeit with a lot more confusion :). Not because poverty gives me joy, I don’t believe in that religious pep-talk. But because I learn that the ultimate things that matters is those things we can’t buy.So buy whatever you need if you must. Just remember that if you don’t own them, it doesn’t make you a lesser person. Because you certainly possess the finer things in life as you do now. Like love. From me, – among all others. :)

  2. You know, I had been dealing with this problem for over 4 or 5 years. I was that addicted to cellphones and a lot of money has been spent for only that kinda matter. Sometimes I have my own regret for I wasn’t really in need for those pricey replacements. I’m glad that I’m not anymore like that. Likely. :DBut to think it over, I should’ve regretted it too much either cause by now I’ve been much more a techie person because of that. Back then in 2003, I could barely know about screen colors, screen resolutions, display types, camera sensors, applications, computers, and any other tech terms most people know nowadays in this front running world. Only imagining that causes me to be a bit horrified. I can’t imagine how myself would be like if you don’t know all of those things. I might not even meet you. I might not even know Friendster, Facebook, Twitter and meet all of those beautiful people. I might not be the person I am now. Starting from that little experience of my life, as for me, I learned that to know things really well can only happen when you’ve experienced it yourself, even if it costs you a lot of time, efforts and money.You can’t choose to have everything. There are always some prices we must pay to get all the fun and the precious moments of becoming the more of you. But what’s important is, just do what you think you want or need to do. You don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want or don’t need. That way, you never let people to stir your mind into their own mindsets. What’s important is yours.

  3. Oh dear, I hope my comment didn’t offend you.  I really didn’t mean to question you in any way, honest to God. :)You’re right, certain improvements must be paid with money.  There’s no doubt about that.  However, you sum it up brilliantly in the last paragraph of your above comment.. A good post, Nat :) On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 12:20 PM

  4. Dear Fajar, don’t you worry, I’m not offended at all and I do agree with all the points you’ve written up there. Am afraid though, I need time to sort out all the things in my head to express it all and outline all the ideas little by little, what I’ve learnt and what I’ve been grateful of. Through time and experiences, and thanks to Economic class during high school, I realize that there’s a difference between “need” and “want”. And when we fulfill the needs and wants, sometimes we do get happiness, sometimes we don’t. We might get extra burden instead *hehee*.. And yes, if you don’t own them, it doesn’t make you a lesser person. :) We’ll stay grumpy and unhappy when we keep counting all the things we wishes for. But when we count the blessings one by one.. we’ll turn to a happier person. Won’t we? :)Btw I believe you’re praising my friend’s comment up there..I’m getting mixed up a bit here :D :D

  5. Geez Mike.. you come up with great words, just like you always do. Or often do. Hahahaha.. j/k!!You’re right, hadn’t we do all the things we’ve done, you and your gadget dependence , me with the internet, and the forum where we met… we might not knowing each other. I might not be the way I am now :)Kudos to you!!!

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