Thursday, February 26, 2009

there is really nothing to miss

last month, i was almost sulking over the fact that the men's singles would start to kick off on the 22nd of February and i've got no tickets for the Dubai Tennis Championships.

ticket sales started on January 11. and too excited as i was, i started calling out my friends who are federer or rafa fanatics. we were planning to buy the tickets within the week. then just when ronna was about to reserve our slots, the shocking disappointment came. tickets were sold out as of January 13! just two days after it announced the sale!

i thought to myself that i've lost the chance of watching and meeting(duh!) federer LIVE!

the weeks dragged and i was still depressed. then just last week, i've read from Gulfnews that federer has pulled out from the dubai championships and also from the davis cup in US. he's got a back injury from last year that he wasn't able to recover to. i hope he comes back to center court soon.

and rafa skipped dubai, too!

this was not exactly a good news right? but knowing that it could have been a waste if i was able to grab the tickets and federer was a no-show, there is no more reason for me now to sulk.

remember this scene from the australian open 2009? i still feel like crying for roger federer. i just love this man!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a memoir

Angela's Ashes (bookcover)

i met "Angela's Ashes" when i was in college, on my graduating year. it was just sitting there on the corner table at my dear friend Arvy's living room, gathering dust and old days. bookworm as i am, i found myself dusting it off by my hands. it was pure curiosity that i decided to borrow the book. i was almost nonchalant when i got home and took it out from my bag. as i would usually have loads of other unread books on my room, i just stuffed it aside, waiting for its turn along with sidney sheldon books and john grisham's.

but even if i have other books waiting, "Angela's Ashes" is pulling me closer to read it "on priority". so i started reading it one boring afternoon and i was hooked!

i really don't want to make a book review here because there was too much in the author's childhood experiences in Limerick (Ireland). it was both inspiring and absorbing. there were some parts that are funny but ironically miserable. there was too much innocence in Frank's child-like way of narrating his story. you can read the Chapter IV excerpt here.

Angela's Ashes was written by Frank McCourt in 1996. among other awards and good reviews it received, it's got a Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography/Biography in 1997. no doubt that it is a must-read. this book is just the first among the trilogy of his memoir.

"My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married
and where I was born. Instead, they returned to Ireland when I was four, my
brother, Malachy, three, the twins, Oliver and Eugene, barely one, and my
sister, Margaret, dead and gone. When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I
survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood
is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the
miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic
childhood." -Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes)

Note: Frank McCourt is coming in Dubai on Friday, 27 February 2009 to take part in the first Emirates Airlines International Festival of Literature. Tickets here.


i definitely want to go but i'm definitely sure that hubby is not into this kind of thing. it bores him to death!

express lane

everybody in the office are surprised that people from sharjah came early.

office timings start at 9am.

we came at 8am!!!

i was half-asleep already when we took the al wahda road (sharjah) at 7.45am. then before taking the ittihad road, the bus should be taking a right turn going to al khan area. the bus never took the right turn. it went straight up to ittihad road and has never slowed down a bit. my eyes flew open the moment i realized this and at first i can't believe that we were taking the road that is usually heavily congested with vehicles bound to dubai. road-blocks gone, the road was clear and it was like a friday (weekend here)!

The RTA's project that began in 2006, completion is targeted on June 2009.

i think the RTA deserves the thumbs up today for a job well done. their al ittihad road project, even if it's not yet 100% complete, is already working well. from the usual 1 and a half hour trip/traffic, it was down to 15 minutes only!

the downside for me today? i did not have my usual 1-hour sleep time in the bus. even my colleague clara is sleepy already.

Monday, February 23, 2009

quest for the ID

update from yesterday:

i reached sharjah city center at 4pm and got my atm card at emirates bank. then took a cab going to al taawun center.

i was at al taawun mall at 4.30pm and i got lost for finding the EIDA center for about 15 minutes. at the information counter, i was given the token (number slip) and was asked to sit outside waiting for my number to be called out.

it was a long wait. good thing i brought Eclipse to keep me company. after several chapters (and hours), my number (754) flashed into the screen along the counter number (4).

finally! at 6.30pm i was entering counter number 4 and after some typing, i paid 320 dirhams (300 for processing and 20 for empost). the local lady ushered me to an adjoining room where pictures and finger (or rather, palm) scanning is done. it took us 20 minutes before the scanning was completed because my hands have very fine prints and the scanner was having a difficulty tracing them.

i thought there would be another procedure after that but the local lady told me i'm done already and i can go home.


after almost 2 hours of waiting, the whole process just took me 30 minutes.

my colds got worst when i got home. good thing that hubby was kind enough to cook the dinner for me. sinigang na baboy!!! *yummy*

i was not able to take pictures because i was really feeling tired and weak.

please bite me!!!

i sooo love edward cullen (or rob pattinson). i know you do, too!

so i just like to share this pic i saw from gulfnews this morning on their website. it was taken on the Oscars Awards 2009. more pics here and the video clip here.
he's one of the presenters in that event! (dang! i forgot to watch it!)
i soo want him to eat me alive!

*sigh again*

Sunday, February 22, 2009

appointment for the day

it's my appointment today for the emirates ID so i'm leaving work early. it would be an hour (at least!) of commute from our office in sheikh zayed (dubai) to al taawun mall (sharjah). i hope that there will be a bus coming as soon as i leave the office. i don't want to waste time just waiting for the RTA buses.


i am going alone and i hope i can handle it well (the procedures) coz really i am not used to talking with the locals here. it's either i don't understand them or vice versa. and i still do have the jitters when i speak to them. i thought i'm no longer scared of them. well, i guess talking to them is way different than just seeing them.

i really don't have anything against the locals here. i just get intimidated by them. i hope i won't be as scared as i think now.

and i hope that this ID registration will be over soon.

it's already 2.48pm. i'm leaving at 3pm. my appointment will be at 7.50pm.

noticed the time difference between leaving the office and my appointment? you see, traffic in dubai-sharjah road is like chaos and soo unbearable (even on saturdays!). lots of allowance time for traffic.

and by the way, i also need to pick up my atm card at emirates bank at sharjah city centre. i have to do this before i go for the ID. i hope i won't be late.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If only...

1. i am at home, i might be enjoying right now an afternoon siesta with the soft pillows (very inviting!)

2. i have tickets for Dubai Tennis Championships, i can watch Roger Federer playing live!

3. i am size 10, i can have a wide range of clothes to wear *sigh*

4. pinas and dubai is just like pinas and singapore, flying back and forth at home won't be that costly (going home pinas every month won't be a bad idea)

5. money is not a problem, i'll go shopping till i hate shopping *toinks*

6. there is more time available to relax, i would love to enjoy a spa

7. i am a good wife, i will never hate household cleaning (tamad talaga eh, although i cook naman.)

8. hubby is reading this, he'll surely talk to me tonight about number 7 (hehehe) *peace tayo hubby*

9. hubby is lazy, maybe i would love household cleaning (that is yet to be seen)

10. there are 5 days of rest in a week, i will surely gain some weight! (desperately lazy)

11. it's 6pm already, i'd be happy to go home and sit infront of the telly

12. all of the above were true, i won't be writing all these "if onlys"!

--just a wishful thinking here...

Monday, February 16, 2009

why i haven't blogged for 11 months (Part 2)

July 2008
busy with job-hunting in this very strange world. sending our CVs through e-mail and company websites. busy browsing the classifieds and making phone calls to headhunters. and braving the almost 40 degrees hot and humid dubai for walk-ins and scheduled interviews. almost every night before going to bed, hubby and i were doubting our sanity for coming here without secured jobs. then we'll end up either missing pinas or ranting about the bad smell all over the place (outside the flat).

mid-July 2008
got my job as an accountant in a trading company, which actually pays well. i thought i was on my happiest coz i need not worry anymore for jobhunting. but lo and behold, it's like my worst nightmare coming to life for the next 3 months of my dubai adventure! i realized this on my very first day. but i just kept telling myself that i am brave enough to face anything and everything in that company. hubby got the bad vibes, too! and asked me to back out. but then i was too proud to back out. it's one thing i both regret and not (see November 2008).

August 2008
my job was very demanding. actually, the boss is, who is a lebanese but would brag about being americanized just because he studied in the US for college! for everyday, i would need a good enough reason to convince myself that i love my job. i actually love the job but not the boss and the very heightened working environment my boss is imposing around the company. he yells at you, slams the door, throws a pen or a heap of papers, curses you, degrades the filipino people, tells you you're stupid, tells the whole staff that filipinos are stupid but 90% of his staff are filipinos and would not hire any other nationality! duh!!!

on the first week of the month, an indian accountant got fired for a very simple reason: the indian took home the warehouse keys because the office was already closed when he got back from the warehouse. and the one they replaced for him, liza, also a pinay, got fired on the last week of the month just because the poor girl can't take the yelling and the cursing. she was a nervous "cry baby" (as i quote my boss) everytime she sees him. it was pure hell everyday but i could proudly say that i had stormed it. not a single drop of tear.

on a happy note, hubby got a job, too!

September 2008
ramadan it is. happiness it should be because we had shortened work periods. instead of the usual 8.30 to 6.30, we were having 8.30-4.30. yes, i could have been happier but no. it was my worst nightmare! i would be asked by the boss to go to the office by 7am (and i live at sharjah that time!) for morning finance meetings, re: month-end FS, supplier updates, project contracts, bank guarantees, import LCs, forex rates, forward rates, collections, payments, etc. meetings are very time-and-energy-consuming. i'm almost out of my wits everytime. meetings would usually start before lunchtime (around 10 or 11) and would end after 4-5 looonnnggg hours of blabbers and yellings (from the boss, as expected). then he'll be out of the office for some time. and just before the clock strikes at 4.30, the phone will be ringing asking me to stay until he arrives in the office. the moment he comes, he'd make me do this and do that task after task. he would not even bother to ask you if it's okay to stay until the wee hours of the evening! that was at the same time as trying to be as numb as i can be for his really bad temper. even if there's really nothing wrong, you'll get yelled out at your face. the worst time i had was having lunch at 5pm (that was me without breakfast)! i remember calling my friend grace crying over the phone for the cruel boss i have. i pitied myself so much that i couldn't finish my pack lunch. i just cried while grace would try to give me encouraging words that God would not give me something that i can't handle. that kept me up just for that night because the following days were still very vivid to me that just narrating it here makes me go back to my nervous and traumatic days.

mid-September 2008
it was the 15th of the month and supposedly, i should be celebrating my 2nd month in the company. that morning, my boss was having a fit at all the staff. he was mad angry about anything and everything he sees. and even if there's nothing virtually wrong, he would find something to be angry about. he was really mad! an hour before lunch, my boss called for me and wanted me to report about the company's finance thingy. impromptu. i had my confidence though because i know what i'm working on. but then he began asking me about customer orders and supplier orders that the ones got fired were previously handling. i had no idea what he was talking about and he was expecting so much of me. i was not superhuman. and he doesn't care. he damn doesn't care. that stirred my physically, mentally and emotionally tired self. i was on the verge of crying and my voice would crack everytime i answer him back. no one had ever shouted at me like that in my entire life. i still remember him saying "i don't care about your feelings! i only care about my money and my business! in my company, i am god!"

it was too much to bear that those exclamation points are not enough to demonstrate how he almost tear my eardrums.

i was literally trembling and relieved at the same time when he dismissed me. my phone then rang and i was trying very hard to calm myself. the number's not registered on my phone but thought it was my friend's work phone. it was like desperate of me to talk to someone that time. i know my voice croaked at my first "hello". the girl at the other end is not my friend. she's a recruitment assistant in a company i'm not familiar with (i would later find it's a network of advertising companies). she saw my cv at and asks me if i'm still interested for an accounting job. i haven't sent an application to them, i was sure. but i was glad of the opportunity that came knocking at me. she thought i was hesitant to take the job (she's also kabayan) so she just kept convincing me that i should try it out coz the position offered is really nice and that the company would take care of my transfer. in one week i got interviewed by the recruitment manager and by the cfo, then being offered the job with a nice package, and the promise that they would do anything to ease out my transfer to them. thank you Lord!

last week of September 2008
i filed my resignation. my boss was unbelievably calm that night and he was all too kind to humble himself and convince me not to resign. eventually he agreed that i leave the company but only after 5 weeks. too kind words. and too good to be true.

the next days were mad hell again! i don't want to narrate it anymore except for the fact that he held my salary for september!

October 2008
my boss was pressuring me too much that i barely have time to take notice that my period have lapsed. i was delayed for 20 days! i have my weight checked and i just lost 8 pounds from the 88 pounds that i barely have when i first arrived in dubai. i even thought i was pregnant (which made me and hubby so ecstatic!). when my period finally came, i got depressed the more because i knew that the delay was all because of stress! it was the first time i missed my period for more than 10 days!

my work has become a health issue! and that was serious for me.

then even on my last day at work, my boss gave me enough problems to torture me for the rest of 2008!

my visa got cancelled without my last pay (two-months salary!) and i had a 6-month labor ban. that means i cannot take another job within uae unless a freezone company or a government sector would offer me a job!

November 2008
i exited to kish, iran and got my company visit visa the other day. sponsored by the new company that hired me.

on my first day at work, the HR executive toured me around the company and i was warmly welcomed.

in two weeks time, i got my residence visa! up till now, i am really thankful to my company's HR people. they handled my job ban through one of the companies' free zone entities. i just got lucky, i guess. our PRO was right, i just have to relax.

amidst too much cruelty from the past months, God was all along planning a better life for me!

aside from that, i also got bitten by Edward Cullen! i watched Twilight with flatmate Ate Rhoda! we were both in love!

December 2008
i had terrible bed bug bites! they're still haunting me from time to time. and the marks haven't vanished completely. anyone knows a good cream/lotion to lather on???

good news here: i gained back my 88 pounds and more! i'm now 91 pounds! =P i know i'm still on the petite-slim side of the fence but i'm working on it. every one pound i gain is like happiness to me already.

holiday season here, we celebrated with bountiful of pinoy food and sweets and some videoke with our flatmates. it was bittersweet. trying to enjoy the food and the singing while missing our "pinoy pasko".

okay that's it. too much catching up here. it was a very boring story indeed. but for me, it's a part of my "moving on" for 2009.

my previous year had been a mixture of emotions, failures, struggles and luck. i am very thankful that God has opened up opportunities for me, not only to be happy, but also to be strong enough to survive what "has been".

Sunday, February 15, 2009

my dear valentine

yesterday was supposedly a happy and lovely day since it's that time of the year where people, mostly couples, celebrate the grandeur of their love and affection for each other.

my day was very uneventful. hubby left the flat at 7.30am for work, right after my good-morning-happy-valentines kiss from him. i barely uttered my reply. for some moment of my sleepiness, i wonder if i really did reply. i'll have to confirm this to hubby tonight. *silly me*

with the other night not having enough sleep, i surrendered to another slumber and woke up at past 11 already. it's my "first day" of that girl thing of the month and my body from waist down just feels really heavy and cramped. i just had cereals for my lunch because i really don't feel like eating when i'm in this kind of pain. it doesn't make me feel hungry at all.

to keep me company the whole boring day, i played with my psp, read some chapters from eclipse, watched telly and checked my friendster. i received a text message from Mama so i called her up. we missed each other so much that aside from exchanging our valentine greetings, we also talked about beauty products that she is currently using (eventhough she knows how un-vain i am), and made some catching ups with my sis Leslie.

for dinner i have cooked mixed veggies and breaded shrimps. my hunger strike took its toll on me that by 7pm, hubby's still not home and i'm already starving. i waited with patience coz i can't let myself or hubby eat our dinner alone. by 9pm, i'm already ringing his mobile. the culprit must have been the super traffic at dubai-sharjah road! i was right!

the door opened at 9.20pm and there hubby is with some grocery stuffs (or so i thought). i didn't bother to check what he's brought coz really i'm dying already of starvation. but when i followed him on our room, i was surprised with the rose and the chocolates! *sweet*

that was sweet already even with only one rose since hubby is really not the romantic type. but at least he made the effort. that was enough for me.

i felt guilty though for not buying anything for him. but i have cooked him dinner anyways. hehehe. i hope that was enough for him.


on the contrary, my night ended up happy and lovely.

It's never too late

most arab countries, if not all, don't celebrate valentines day. however, due to the number of expats here (westerns & asians), it's very inevitable to see displays of romantic stuffs like valentine cards, flowers, heart balloons and sweets on supermarkets and malls.

it's actually a good sign that this country could allow us to embrace once again one of our traditions as Catholics. some countries are very strict in preserving their own culture that they have restrictions implemented to expats when they observe their traditions and religion. an example of this is in Saudi Arabia where all things RED, which are related to Valentines Day are banned, as they consider this day to be an un-Islamic holiday.

now let's have a look at some countries on how they celebrate Heart's Day!
"In South Korea, women
give chocolate to men on February 14, and men give non-chocolate candy to women
on March 14. On April 14 (Black Day), those who did not receive anything on the
14th of Feb or March go to a Chinese restaurant to eat black noodles and "mourn"
their single life.
"In Slovenia, a proverb
says that "St Valentine brings the keys of roots," so on February 14, plants
and flowers start to grow. Valentine's Day has been celebrated as the day
when the first works in the vineyards and on the fields commence. It is also
said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day.

"In Norfolk (UK), a character
called 'Jack' Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving
sweets and presents for children. Although he was leaving treats, many
children were scared of this mystical person."

Important reminder: it's not what we give or how we celebrate our Valentines that matters, but on making our everyday a Valentines Day.


***you can go in wikipedia to have a look at other countries.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

why i haven't blogged for 11 months (part 1)

Yay! i would certainly need my scratchy memory lane here.

April 2008
me and arci were too busy with the usual audit work on weekdays and juggling our time travelling to and from ortigas on weekends for our
SAP Business One classes. Aside from that, we were preparing for our presentation on the 62nd Annual PICPA Convention (pics here) from 30 April to 3 May. all our days were fully booked the moment we wake up at 6am till we get home tired from practice at 11pm.

May 2008
got an email from eins that our tickets for
dubai are already booked on june, which means a "go signal" for me to file my resignation. i had one month notice period. enough time to turn-over my work to jessie, to shop for clothes (i ! i ) and to get married (very un-planned!). it was a whirlwind civil wedding on the 21st of may.

welcome to married life!

June 2008
me and hubby's birthday month. we boarded our plane (
emirates) at naia on the 27th (hubby's birthday) and arrived at dubai airport "very early morning" of the 28th.

i don't know if it was just me or what but i got really scared when i saw arabs in their white
kanduras at the immigration lane. and not just that, imagine our surprise for the scorching heat of dubai. it was around 35 degrees at 1am!

to be continued...

new blog!

yay! first post for my new blog!

bye for now to my old

though i would still visit it once in a while.

right now, i'm having my blogging instinct back (after 11 months of only bloghopping)!!!