Muezzin calling

December 17, 2018

When you dedicate your life to your craft, you naturally develop a routine. A routine is tightly coupled to its environment. Yet, some parts of it do not change. Those core habits are called micro-habits. They have the particularity of being location-independent.

I’m living in Penang this month.

I wake up around 11:00 without an alarm clock. My capsule bed is warm. The air conditioner ran all night long, and if you are not careful, you can catch a cold. Still groggy, I quickly put on a t-shirt, a shorts and go downstairs with my bag. I drink some cold water. It is time to publish what the members of 200 Words a Day wrote the day before.

I get a shower and prep myself. Umbrella in hand, I hurry to get some street food at my favorite coffee shop, Kedai Kopi Seng Thor on Carnarvon street. Dried Wan Tan Mee (dumplings noodles) or Koay Teow Th’ng (fish soup). The waiter already knows my drink of choice— ice lemon tea (Teh O’ Ais). Lunch is served soon after, and I am done by 13:00.

As I am walking toward the coworking space I can hear the call of the Muezzin. It is Zuhr prayer time, and it marks the start of my workday. As I reach Little India the call to prayer is covered by Bollywood hindi songs blasted as loud as possible. I enter @CAT Penang and get in the zone.

I type my 200 words. It takes me one hour at most if I did not figure out the topic beforehand. My 200 words always end up more like 300 or 400 words.

I read what the members wrote, and if I have a relevant comment, I post it. It’s 15:00.

I take two or three tasks from the public Trello and process them. My mandatory tasks for the day are officially done by 16:00. After that, I perform a body scan to see how I feel and figure out what I want to do for the rest of the day.

Sometimes I want to learn new things so I read books, watch movies, listen to podcasts or work on something new. Sometimes I feel like working more on 200. I wish I could have access to a gym but none are close from my hotel. Exercising while I am traveling is one thing I need to optimize. If I feel mentally exhausted, I just go out, have some cider cans, and meet random people in bars. Loneliness is a huge problem when you are a digital nomad. Fortunately I am quite the introvert and barely need to talk to anyone.

One thing I enjoy doing is to take my notebook, go to the Junk Bar near Love Lane, order a beer and brainstorm on some new article or product ideas. At some point I go back to my hotel. By 2 or 3AM I fall asleep.

This is my life these days.