BREATHE & PLAY

It’s no secret that being in the field of education is a trying job. It takes a lot of dedication and passion to surmount the growing frustration of, say, when your students conveniently forget their textbooks or give you blank stares when you throw questions at them. Coupled with irritation, a teacher is faced with a major battle between walking out of the classroom permanently or breathing deeply and drawing from the inner core of her being for strength and wisdom to do the right thing.

Drive and bump like crazy!

Inhaling and exhaling deeply can do the trick in quelling the frustration and irritation most of the time, replacing it with equanimity and rational thinking. But there are times that it just doesn’t do the trick. Breathing and playing, so to speak, is the alternative to bawling and sulking in the corner. So one fine afternoon, after a gruelling schedule of back-to-back classes, running from one building to another, I was off with friends to Mall of Indonesia (commonly known as MOI). We all needed a breather from the stifling routine of home-school- home and MOI was the choice because it was far from the massive traffic jam that normally filled the roads to Jakarta from Bekasi. The plan was simple: grab a bite, chillax and let the worries hang.

Ready your fishing rod to reel in a duck

Indonesia doesn’t have any problem with land size so the malls are quite humongous that they can actually house a mini amusement park. MOI was one such mall, which turned out to be a serendipitous choice. We three stumbled upon a mini amusement park at the lobby floor after dinner, lured by an ice cream stall, which had an ingenious way of selling its ice cream. An ice cream-lover gets a paper palette of five mini cones of different flavours for only Rp15, 000. Next to the stall was a vertical ride that took off like a space rocket and alternated “dropping” and lifting” the passengers for something like three minutes. It was amusing enough hearing the scream of the woman who dared to sit in it and looking at the expression of her companion who seemed on the verge of throwing up.

Ice cream palette by Thumb Thumb Bear

Walking around the little park, the bump car was the chosen ride of the evening followed by a little fishing in a little “pond” for a rubber ducky: fish a ducky, retrieve the paper attached to it and choose your prize. Last game on the itinerary was the balloon water race – aim a water gun at a hole to fill up a balloon until it popped. I was hoping to get on the little horse but it could only hold 20kg.

Ready, aim and wait for the balloon to pop

Malling isn’t entirely the best way to unwind and let go of the pressure of the day. But MOI proved to be an enjoyable playground for frazzled members of the workforce at the spur of the moment. It’s big enough to stroll at leisure and avoid being elbow-to-elbow or face-to-face with anyone. The icing on the cake was the no-hassle hailing of a taxi and the traffic-free ride back to Bekasi from Kelapa Gading.

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