I GET caught up in work on the laptop until I realize I’m hungry – it’s lunchtime, it’s time for dinner. But for the past two years of this pandemic, I have resisted the urge to download FoodPanda or GrabFood delivery on my phone. When I’m hungry and have no time to cook, I have no choice but to MAKE TIME to cook.
Ngem haha I should just download the damn apps. At least pay laeng, it’s snappy, convenient, and you can go on with your work, disrupted only by the Grab driver messaging you, “Adda ak ditoyen, sir.”
Ngem I refuse to get those apps on my phone. And yet I also know that today, ordering food online is largely seen as a basic survival skill.
Another ngem: I also know that the reason I still carry an eco-bag with me is because I pass through the market, where I can buy my nateng and karne and my necessary foodstuff. I believe that the reason I still have the discipline to do this is because I know I don’t have food delivery apps to rely on.
If I have a housemate or roommate who offers to order food online, I will not refuse. But I live alone, and I have never ordered food online myself.
Yet I have the means to order food online: but I don’t know how, I’m too lazy to learn how, I refuse to learn how. So I keep stopping by the market, and I keep cooking my own meals.
Make no mistake. The willful ignorance is not noble.
Another app I refuse to download on my phone: GrabTaxi. I can’t count the many times I have had to wait for a taxi for hours, sometimes in the rain, sometimes walking along and away from the business districts, and a few times ending up walking home.
Many times I have had to give up waiting for a taxi, ending up in a bar instead, or in a cafe, among the throng in the night market, sitting on a curb and imagining crisis after crisis, in an internet shop writing scheduled emails and drafts for the next essay.
There’s a stupidity in this stubborn refusal. There’s no need to be old-fashioned. JUST DOWNLOAD THE DAMN APPS. Naglaka. So easy. Imagine how the quality of life can be improved with the right apps on your phone.
Yes, I will download the damn apps. And I will become proficient with them. Maybe I will download them tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe a week from now. Maybe by the end of November. Maybe when I’m desperate enough.
In the meantime, I will keep going to the market, and I will keep cooking my meals. And I will keep going to that internet shop where I’ll imagine a new crisis and then write another essay.