Friday, April 1, 2011

A difficult Start

"Ataraxy" - a state of serene calmness.
(Each day I'll be presenting a word or two here, and attempting to use them in the post)

For my first post of the A-Z April blogging challenge, I didn't want to entitle it "A-Z blogging challenge" or anything else obvious. Too easy. I thought about 'April' and talking about springtime, but there are no distinct seasons in Kuantan apart from 'hot' and 'wet'.

I considered 'Autumn' since that is the season in Australia now, where my sister-in-law and former English student currently reside and study. But it still doesn't have much to do with me.

And so as I wondered how much more difficult it could get, it struck me - "A difficult start."

My wife and I endured a rather difficult start to our married life in Kuantan. We moved here in late May, 2006. My wife was mid-way through her studies and I was facing the bleak prospect of moving to a place I never knew existed, with no job, no channel of earning money. That was really scary.

I worried about a dwindling supply of money which we were living on as a wedding gift from my parents. (I'm beyond grateful for a magnificent set of parents whose monetary offering proved absolutely vital in the early months of our married life. Simply, we wouldn't have been able to survive without it.)

I also worried that I'd never find a job, or a working visa from a stubborn Malaysian immigration. I agonised over paying bills, rent, buying food, (later) a car, paying a taxi to send my wife 32km to university and back every day. I had no friends and no knowledge of the area. At times it felt daunting. Long-term survival did seem an impossibility.

Then our house got robbed. We lost a laptop, camera and cd player. They even took our pot of coins. My ataraxic hopes vanished. Now I trusted no-one. Every single person I saw was viewed as a suspect. It was a horrible state to be in.

A difficult start indeed. . . . .

. . . . . to be continued

What difficulties have you been faced with in life? How did you overcome them?


  1. Is kuantan the one in Malaysia? I used to live in Kuala lumpur until recently, so am curious! Happy A to Z!

  2. Yes, Kuantan is situated on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Thanks for the visit!

  3. That must have been a challenge, but you're still there, so I can't wait to read more about how your situation turned around :) Thank you for visiting my place!

  4. Looks like it has been pretty tough at the beginning - It is always a challenge to settle down in a new country, moreover when it is very different from your own, and to start from scratch a new life.
    Been lucky to start in Ireland as an au pair - Lots of people helped me afterwards to find my way in the new country. Still experiences lots of issues finding a decent flat to live in and after moving 6 times, here we have it!!!

    Looking forward reading more on what happened next.....

  5. That's awful. Even though the things taken could be replaced it must have felt as if your personal space had been violated at a time when you were already troubled. I can't wait to hear how you overcame such a stressful situation.

    I could do with a bit of ataraxy in my life right now... but then so could we all I suppose. (I love that word)

  6. That is a rough start - but obviously it got better!

  7. How challenging those early months must have been. It's good to know you made it. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  8. That is quite a story. Don't know that I could pick up and go to a totally foreign place like that. Certainly an adventure. Good start with a word I've never heard.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  9. Bz, you're welcome, I enjoy visiting your blog!

    Marie, glad you've finally found a 'home'!

    Rosalind, I love that word too :) It's such a horrible situation looking at people you know and wondering whether they robbed your house. Of course, I'm well over it now.

    Alex, it has got much better!

    Mary, we made it out of that tricky start, taking things day by day. Love your blog!

    Arlee, thanks for getting round to my blog! While the start was tough, I now enjoy regular doses of ataraxy from time to time :)

    To all, thanks for your time and interest!

  10. I think you could use Brave for B. I have moved a lot as a military spouse and it has been a challenge. A career, not really. I have worked, but I moved 17x in 27yrs...makes it a bit difficult.
    I have had many challenges, still trying to work through some of them. I look forward to reading more.

  11. Ella, thanks for sharing. That sounds like a terribly difficult life you've had and are having. I hope you'll enjoy my future posts :)

  12. What do you mean, to be continued? That sounds terrible! Well, you must have a good spirit, because I can tell you are upbeat. Can't wait to hear what happens next.


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