Stressed by the capital incompetence of the person-in-charge of our move to our new abode in Permata Lingkar, which is a few minutes away from the expressway, we decided to relax and look at the brighter side of the situation. While the workers screwed on the shower heads in the bathroom, connected the washing machines to water outlets and did whatever was needed to be done to make the new bungalow – our new residence – livable, we proceeded to plan for our housewarming party.

The menu would boast of Philippine delicacies and saccharine desserts but minus the famed lechon (roasted pig or babi guling as the Indonesians call it). It was also decided that there would be hard drinks – vodka and whiskey – alongside soft drinks and the uniquely Indonesian Aqua in cups. One problem cropped out though. Part of the guest list had people who were devout Seventh Day Adventists devotees and, apparently, like the Muslims, drinking is major taboo (alongside eating seafood and working on Saturday).

“Hey, I was thinking about the hard drinks for the party,” I said.

“Yeah, me too,” she replied.

It seemed that an agreement was reached in reducing something, but further talk on the plans for the party was stalled as the house started resembling a beehive with the workers going about their business in trying to get everything done before darkness set in. Discussion on the party plans was resumed in the evening.

“So, where can we buy vodka and whiskey?” I asked, picking up where we left off that afternoon.

“Wait, I thought we weren’t having hard drinks anymore,” she answered, incredulity coloring her almost high-pitched voice.

“Err, no,” I shot back quizzically. “I thought we were reducing the guest list.”

Then we burst out laughing. We completely understood each other at that moment. We put the blame on the dust, fatigue and annoyance coupled with the great annoyance at the person-in-charge for that funny momentary lapse in clear communication.


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