We often read this “Experiences, not possessions” to encourage us to invest in meaningful things (experiences) rather than material ones (possessions). My former boss and mentor, Dr Achmad Mediana, used to say that no matter how rich or accomplished a person is, his grave is still of the same size as the next person’s.

I sit in the hospital on this Saturday morning so far from home, hooked to an ECG machine with my partner by my side, and I contemplated this (and life in general).


Everyone of significance in our lives is tied to us by places and incidents, that is to say, our experiences with or of them.

I think children remember the things we do with them rather than the money we spend on them. One of my most precious memories ever is of a young me and my mum walking down the little road in my hometown together, just that, nothing special, just she and I. She made my every day special with the thoughtful little things she did and loving words she said. And each time I walk down this road, I am reminded how loving my mother has always been.


Though it is not exactly romantic, my most profound experiences with my partner is tied to hospitals, namely him by my side thorough my worse times. He has made my worst times bearable. Here’s a photo at the Emergency Department of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital way back in 2015, when I was rushed in. Despite my incredible stress and trauma, he had managed to make me laugh and take my mind off the shit I was going through with his goofiness.


Today, as I was lying in a bed in the cardiac unit strapped to the ECG machine, he asked me cheerily, “Are you enjoying our date, JK?” and played some of our favourite songs from his phone. “Suka lagu ni tak?” He asked in his pidgin Indonesian with that dumb smile on his face. Yes, sayang, I like this song.

We have seen some amazing sunrises and sunsets, woken up in memorable places, and so long as my heart shall beat, it will carry his devotion with gratitude and with much love always though life is not plain sailing for us.  As for possessions, naw, he hadn’t bought me anything expensive or significant, but I am having a lovely time (in a hospital bed!)  🙂

Addendum: went home and found that he had refilled my old bottles with Neals Yard Remedies oils.