Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nostalgic... Again

Where I am at, it’s in the news that New Year Celebrations are postponed.
And I quote in the news:


Whatever…

But where I came from, as of this writing, all of them are busy with the Noche Buena preparations. I called earlier and they say it’s raining, but even so… they are preparing. Then, I know how each of us – who are outside the Philippines – wishes that we are home at this time. But as we say here, “What to do, yani?”

So?

So, we switch to nostalgia…

I remember this jingle that was aired more than ten years ago. Write me a comment if you can recall, because I’ve asked several friends of mine here and they can’t even remember…
Here’s the lyrics (or what I can still remember of it):

Gusto kong magpunta sa buwan, makakausap ang mga stars
Gusto ko rin ang under the sea, makikilala ang mga fish
Pag pupunta ako doon, mami-miss ko sila
Si Mommy at Daddy, Jollibee at Kuya
Kay daming lugar na gusting magpunta
Pero gusto ko sa piling nila.

Are you singing yet? hehehehe... I just love this jingle... the melody, the thought...
Wherever we are, it’s this Pinoy thing that runs into our blood, no matter what… And I am happy with this.

Wherever, whichever…

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shelfari

This is my newest discovery...

Pretty cool...

Interesting...

Got invited by my friend, Reysie...

Add me so we can share books, too...

To sign up, click here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Poem

This Christmas poem is very moving...

Sad, but true...

Maybe we all should realize the true meaning of giving is, after all.

Complicated

One of my colleagues rarely comes to the office since he is mostly out during fieldwork. This morning, he came, and I figured it’s the best time to greet him for the holidays. He's one of the most difficult persons I met here so far, that's why many of our colleagues here at the office usually stay out of his way when he comes, including me. But I figured, since it's Christmas, it would be best to greet him. Here was our conversation.

“Hi, Joseph… how are you?”

“Fine… how are you?”

"Fine,” I said. Then, “Joseph, are you Christian?” I wanted to make sure that my greetings would be appreciated. Besides, it's a normal thing here to ask what's your affiliation.

He said, “Are you Catholic? Because Catholics are not Christians.”

“No, I just want to know if you’re Catholic or not.”

“See, Catholics are different from Christians. Because…”

I interrupted, “Joseph, why are you making it so complicated? I just wanted to greet you a Merry Christmas….”

Slowly, he turned his back and left.

I felt he was embarrassed for what he did. Well, he should be. He is a very argumentative person, always looking for an opportunity to get in to a discussion. It’s probably to boast about his abilities or to bring someone else’s ego down.

But this time, I got him… On both counts… hehehehehe…

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Weekend

Our former room mate Cindy called to say she wanted to come over. Alright! She was just in time for lunch and a movie. Mimi and I wanted to watch a DVD – any DVD – since last week and we couldn’t.

We didn’t have much of a choice though. What we have is only The Notebook (a movie back in 2004), which I wanted to see since I can remember.

It was a happy weekend for me, though. One of the things I miss is watching movies with friends.
The other is our videoke sessions. I remember one trip we had. We went to this river in Pagsanjan where cottages were built along the river. You just rent one cottage and go swim. Then, on the banks you can find sari-sari stores and videoke machines. And off we go singing… “Hulog muna bago pindot….” hehehehehe...
I remember we sang this song on that particular trip, and it has become one of our favorite pieces whenever available… and we have fun singing this. We're not exactly good singers, but what the heck... it's all for the fun...




===================

Since I became satisfied with Multiply, I was cross-blogging to my previous blogs, i.e., Livejournal and Blogger. I couldn’t do this with My Yahoo 360°. But recently, I have been going there to update myself on my friends’ posts and there are a lot of interesting posts. One of them is this entry. I just find it very articulate, very well-said…. Worth reading, too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Really?

Just a quick blog...

I came across with this thing from a co-blogger's post.

And I went: Really....

But wait...

Look what happens if it's my other name:

Clara --
[noun]:

A person who has the ability to be invisible
'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com

And then I go: REALLY!!!!!!!

I WISH.....!

===============

Just one of those songs Reysie and I both like.

Click here to sing along.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Push

Eid.

Holidays.

My friend and I went out two Saturdays ago. To wrap it up, we ran some errands that has been pending for over a week already at that time. We walked. But right now walking is okay since the weather is cold.

I guess I was feeling high that day; probably because a long holiday is on or probably because the walk brought about the energy. Along the streets as we walked, I sang kinda loud... Then my friend looked at me grinning condescendingly. But I went on. No one could hear except her... and then we laughed really hard.

This was the song:


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Almost

But not quite...

I have this long-time dream of being an spectator on a race track. The big dream is to watch F1 racing since I am fond of playing car races on video games - Midnight Club, Gran Turismo, and has played some of the NFS (Need For Speed) series. NFS has become my favorite that I am currently waiting for NFS Undercover. I've played NFS Undgerground several times on PS2, and still playing NFS Carbon (Own The City) intermittently for a year now.

About a week ago, I saw an ad on this favorite newspaper of mine, Emirates Business 24/7, that a series of races would be on from 5 to 6 December. I was apprehensive about this because of all the hooplas like transpo and tickets! Last weekend, while relaxing with my room mates, I was thinking out loud and told them of this and that I dream to see one race. As anticipated, the answer I got from one of my room mates was also pessimistic, considering that thoughts I had, too.

Then, come Sunday.


Ara asked me surprisingly if I wanted to watch car racing. I was enthused by what she said and I thought she was just playing a prank on me; until she showed me the tickets! Complimentary tickets for the full 2 days. Checked out the website here, and got even more excited!!!

Knowing that my greatest obstacle would be the transpo, I told her to give me some time to call some friends to arrange all these, looking forward that I would be coming up with something.

I almost had an answer. But unfortunately, they couldn't make it because the guy who has the car got sick and couldn't give me an answer until today. I wanted to hold on to the ticket until tomorrow but I thought it would be selfish. That it would only end up wasted if we couldn't go anyway.

I am disappointed. I'm in the better-luck-next-time mode.

Ara told me there would be one again next month, and that if she lands with tickets, she'll give me again.

I am just hoping that this next one would be bigger. Like F1s and not SpeedCars.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wisdom

Yesterday was the National Day... one day holiday. But not the go-out-and-stroll day nor laundry day. I planned to finish the book I am reading (will post a review in a few days).

Excerpt:

Seasons had come and gone... But Mariam had hardly cared. She had passed these years in a distant corner of her mind. A dry, barren field, out beyond wish and lament, beyond dream and disillusionment. There the future did not matter. And the past held only this wisdom: that love was a damaging mistake and its accomplice, hope, a treacherous illusion.

How can life be so alienated that these two things, love and hope, becomes a mistake and an illusion?

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Splendid indeed!

===============

One fantastic artist.

One great song.

A rare version.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Movin' On

Aren't we all have been through this?

A baby step, a miracle, whatever....

I like it when she said... "By God’s grace, today I don’t cry because it’s over. I can smile because it happened."

Thanks to Mike for putting this on his blog... I miss the Inquirer terribly! The broadsheet, not the online thing.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ironies

30 October 2008
21:20

Two ironies in two days.

A friend of mine called me early in the morning yesterday (like 4.00 am… the sweetest thing for me though) to ask me how I'm doing here in Dubai. I told her everything's fine and that I am good. So, I asked, too, since it's been months since we talked. She said she had met a minor accident and that she's recovered and would start working again this week. So, that's irony number one.

I've been working out a deal since the middle of this month. Our proposal was declined due to reasons that wasn't disclosed. I just assumed it was the premium. But I got a call this morning reviving the negotiations. Aha! Closing stage! I called the insurance company to verify everything before requiring documents from the client. But, wait… Ugh! They declined… Reason? They're not taking Arabs. Hmmm… Beats me… That's irony number 2, day 2.s

On the news today… wow, it's only 56 days to Christmas. But I forgot that the day after tomorrow is All Saint's Day.

Uh-oh… it's either I'm looking too far back to yesterdays or I am looking too far ahead… LOL…

Anyway, it's a no-badminton weekend...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nemesis

28 October 2008
21:03

Yesterday, two of the most important people in my life dropped me an e-mail and an sms saying they miss me. One is my soul mate back home and the other my former room mate. These two are among those who knows my nemesis, my goofs, my dreams. Hehehehe…

I called my soul mate just to say hi and to request for some EBTG songs - we used to spend some of our dull times listening to under-rated songs that finally made it to the top ten, 1980s bands and one-hit wonders, just to name a few. We also spent quite a number of Sunday afternoons enjoying the serenity of the Caliraya lake over a 2 cans of Coke and Jack and Jack and Jill Tostilla's for her and Leslie's Cheezy for me (our faves).
My former room mate, on the other hand, invited me for adobo dinner. We ate with our bare hands while we talked about what we've been doing since she moved into her new place. It wasn't a long dinner though because I was tired and she had to go out with some other friends.

Her place was like a 15-minute walk from where I live. On my way home, I feel really tired but very complacent. I thought about my friends back home and those that I've made here so far and I know I'll be okay.

These two people are among those few who I know I can call in the middle of the night if I have some goofy stories, spoofs, slips, happiness or gloominess. Them, too, know, that they can call me in these times of their lives.

==========

A beautiful thought to consider:

Take you profession seriously; don't take yourself seriously. You really only matter to a certain degree in the whole circus out there. If you take yourself seriously, you're not going to be able to move forward. You're going to be hampered by always wanting to look in the mirror and see if you have enough tuna oil on your hair or something like that.
· Clint Eastwood
What I've Learned
By Andrew Zuckerman
Reader's Digest, October 2008 issue

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Unfinished

Left alone in our place on a Friday, I wasn't in the mood to see a movie. So I decided to just look at my pictures and came across with this. I once tried scale modeling and finished a Mustang 1968 GT. This is my next project which I left back home.


When I will finish this, I don't know. I just know that I kept it before I left almost a year ago. I'd probably take it back with me when I go home. I know I've been reminscing a lot these days. But it feels good, not sad, for I think this is the best way to know how life has been happy and how it can still become. I have always believed I'll get this done.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

EBTG way

Morning bus.

Shuffling songs.

Slow music.

EBTG has a way of saying hard things can be sang in a cool way.

And I am learning how they do it... hehehehehe.... the easy way...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wave

I happened to chat to one of my wavemates from Convegys. I asked how is each and everyone of them. Being dispersed and transferred to other teams and other accounts, it's still good to know that they are all updated about each others' lives. Everyone is okay and attrition within the wave is low. But the sad thing is that the account that we all belonged to when we started is closing. I have been told that everyone would be absorbed, transferred laterally to another account. I heard from one of them that they already started training and just waiting for the transfer.

Some of them are still with the same account. And they are proud that Bing has made it as a top agent. Top agent meaning having met all the requirements in all aspect, even in soft-selling. My Kudos to you, Bing! Keep up the god work. Another news is that most of them who are still with Sprint are all under PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) which we find unfair even before. This is what makes Sprint one of the hardest, if not the hardest, ever in call center accounts. And I know everyone knows, and everyone will agree with this.... the challenge, the pressure and all.

For mood music, I remember this particular song. We were just hitting the floor after a month of training when suddenly, in the middle of the shift, Bing sought my attention and asked, "Mamu, sino bang kumanta ng Two Princes? This client is saying he won't get an add-a-phone if I can't tell him the singer."

So, I said, "it's the Spin Doctors." I did it quickly since I'm and '80s big fan.

I think she got the subscription... and the commission... hehehehehe...

And so, this is a part of my good old days...

If I Am...

My friend Toni once posted this song on her page and I've been wanting to embed the song ever since. Would you like to be the one singing the song? Or would you like someone singing this song for you? hehehehe... As Gloria Stefan once sang... Cuts Both Ways...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Humor Me...

I was soooo pissed off this morning. Waited for the bus for an hour and a half. Good thing there's one thing that made me laugh...

Seen on a shirt...

"He who laughs last thinks the slowest."

Anyway, I was in the singing mood to cure my pissed-off-mood. I thought of something really, really old. I'm glad that imeem is now unblocked and I can now share my 'mood music' to you guys.

Blue Jeans - Apo Hiking Society

I'm sure a lot of you can relate with this... and I'm sure it brings back a lot of good memories, too...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nostalgic

Well.... it's Thursday!!!!

Tomorrow's badminton day again!!!!

But I can't help feeling nostalgic. Probably brought about by the change of weather...hehehehe... It's getting colder. I always say being here doesn't feel any different at all. But it doesn't mean I don't miss anything about home. I miss everything about home. It's just that it doesn't seem to feel any different anywhere else. You wake up in the morning, go to work, get home and sleep. Anything in between is the fun part though.

Funny thing is... I was at Spinney's yesterday. It's a 24-hour grocery where I buy my breakfast of pancakes and sometimes arabic bread (which I find neat!). So, as part of my morning routine, I went and since I got a little early, browsed at the book section and all. I was on my to the cashier and routinely hummed to the tune that was playing over. Went straight to the cashier singing along... and then I said... Teka... e Filipino song yon ah... and I grinned, almost laughing... I said to myself... "hehehehe, Pinoy pa rin ang madidinig mo.... Long Live OPM!

Here's that song:

Kung Wala Ka - Hale

Happy Weekend Readers!

Influences

I was waiting for a client at an Emarat Petrol Station and as always, I tried to find something to read. I was actually surprised to find Reader's Digest on the shelves! I remember when I was a kid. (Yup, I grew up reading issues as old as me! hehehehe...) So, I quickly paid and found a place to sit. Admittedly, this is the first time I got hold of a it for a few years now. The form and the substance seem to have changed a lot. But I just thought, well, this is a sign of getting old... But honestly, I like the old format, still. Then I stumbled on this word...

Word of the Month

Crowdsourcing - when a group comes together - often online - to create a product, perform a task or solve a problem.

*ripped from Reader's Digest, October 2008

Then I thought... sa Pinas, simpleng bayanihan...

Anyway, a recent experience with a friend reminded me of another childhood influence.... Sesame Street. I vividly remember Big Bird and his (or her? LOL) friend, Mr. Snafolafugus (his imaginary elephant friend: please help me with the spelling!!!!) This is so because I can't remember much of the characters anymore except them..... errrr..... wait... I also remember Ernie and Bert, Oscar the Grouch...

Influences

I was waiting for a client at an Emarat Petrol Station and as always, I tried to find something to read. I was actually surprised to find Reader's Digest on the shelves! I remember when I was a kid. (Yup, I grew up reading issues as old as me! hehehehe...) So, I quickly paid and found a place to sit. Admittedly, this is the first time I got hold of a it for a few years now. The form and the substance seem to have changed a lot. But I just thought, well, this is a sign of getting old... But honestly, I like the old format, still. Then I stumbled on this word...

Word of the Month

Crowdsourcing - when a group comes together - often online - to create a product, perform a task or solve a problem.

*ripped from Reader's Digest, October 2008

Then I thought... sa Pinas, simpleng bayanihan...

Anyway, a recent experience with a friend reminded me of another childhood influence.... Sesame Street. I vividly remember Big Bird and his (or her? LOL) friend, Mr. Snafolafugus (his imaginary elephant friend: please help me with the spelling!!!!) This is so because I can't remember much of the characters anymore except them..... errrr..... wait... I also remember Ernie and Bert, Oscar the Grouch...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Propriety

06 September 2008
22:29

I can't help but take this picture from the X25 bus yesterday on my way to work.

It's sad that a lot of people these days don't have the sense of propriety…

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Wait

It's only Wednesday...

I can't wait til Friday!

Of course, Badminton Friday! I had a good time last Friday. There was more people than there were but everything's good. The people-in-charge are taking it all in order and I got good games with new, different people. Anyway, our group is called the Mirdif Smashers.

Just two more days.... yeehheeeyyy!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Pretty Lady

Once upon a time a big monk and a little monk were traveling together. They came to the bank of a river and found the bridge was damaged. They had to wade across the river. There was a pretty lady who was stuck at the damaged bridge and couldn't cross the river. The big monk offered to carry her across the river on his back. The lady accepted. The little monk was shocked by the move of the big monk. 'How can big brother carry a lady when we are supposed to avoid all intimacy with females?' thought the little monk. But he kept quiet. The big monk carried the lady across the river and the small monk followed unhappily. When they crossed the river, the big monk let the lady down and they parted ways with her.

All along the way for several miles, the little monk was very unhappy with the act of the big monk. He was making up all kinds of accusations about big monk in his head. This got him madder and madder. But he still kept quiet. And the big monk had no inclination to explain his situation. Finally, at a rest point many hours later, the little monk could not stand it any further, he burst out angrily at the big monk. 'How can you claim yourself a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to touch a female, especially when she is very pretty? All your teachings to me make you a big hypocrite. The big monk looked surprised and said, 'I had put down the pretty lady at the river bank many hours ago, how come you are still carrying her along?'

[This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate us and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes they cause us to be bitter or jealous .. But like the little monk, we are not willing to let them go away. We keep on carrying the baggage of the 'pretty lady' with us. We let them keep on coming back to hurt us, make us angry, make us bitter and cause us a lot of agony. Why? Simply because we are not willing to put down or let go of the baggage of the 'pretty lady'. We should let go of the pretty lady immediately after crossing the river, that is after the unpleasant event is over. This will immediately remove all our agonies. There is no need to be further h hurt by the unpleasant event after it is over.]


*story taken from a forwarded e-mail

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Araw at Bituin

It is normal, but not very often, that I see bumper stickers of our Philippine flag here. I feel pride whenever I see one on the streets. I admire those people who do this. It seems to me that they are trying to make it inconspicuous, but small as they are, they still shout a meaning for this gesture.

This morning, I didn't see one. But it reminded me of this Thursday thing. We haven't done it for a while now, so I suddenly remembered. When was the last time I sang it all throughout without missing a word? Nope, not a guilt feeling, but some sort of longing...

So, I took my writing pad and started scribbling every word... But I wasn't satisfied with what I recalled. Hence, I seeked help... And this site helped me find out that though it took me a while (and a few corrections here and there) to write down the whole song, I still have it in my heart. Our Lupang Hinirang... and some more...

I miss chopsuey and okoy...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The O Flame

I may not have seen each of them, those that I've seen, I couldn't recall. But I still think this is the best ever...

One Fine Friday

on the court...
everyone's busy playing...



that's me... hehehehe

Saturday, August 9, 2008

TC

Don't you just hate it when, after the relationship, it's painful that all you can say is just take care?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Culture

19 July 2008
21:04


My client was applying for a Schengen visa and one of the requirements is to have a travel visa. After going thru the process, I was already documenting the policy when the problem occurred. The system wouldn't accept a Family policy if one of the members do not have the same last name. I immediately called the customer service of the insurance company to resolve the issue. The CSR informed me of two options: (1) is to risk applying the policy altering the wife's last name or (2) issue the policy individually (which would cost them more).

I immediately called the client and told him the issue. He was almost enraged and asked me why. So I told him that I couldn't do anything because the system requires the members to have the same last names. He then told me that in their country, it is not required that the wife adopts the husband's last name. I told him I understand since I have dealt with concerns like this on other types of insurance. Then he said, "why are you trying to change my culture?" He was quite irate at this time. Then I said, "Doctor, I am not trying to change your culture. And this isn't about trying to change your culture. It's the system…" I said calmly.
"Then write my last name as my wife's," he interrupted.

I said, "Doctor, I couldn't take that risk because if something happens and you file a claim, things might be complicated and the worse thing that could happen is that you might be denied of the claim."
After murmuring some more things, we both fell silent and I broke, "If you want, doctor, I'll give you the direct number and contact person to the provider and ask them to resolve this issue." We both said our polite goodbyes and hanged up.

At this point, I knew I have lost the client since whatever might happen when he calls direct, he will have the chance to get the policy direct.

I went through my normal tasks and forgot all about it. I accepted the fact that it's not my sale.

Then…

A call was transferred to me after a few hours.

"Yes, doctor…"

"So, tell me what you still need to issue the policy…" was what he said first. Then he asked for the total amount.

And that afternoon, I delivered his family's policy at his clinic.

The truth is, I have high respects for people with high respect on their culture. I admire that they live their lives in these modern, globalized world and trying and keeping their cultures alive. On the other hand, we Filipinos sometimes laugh on ours and we are all guilty - you and me - at one time or the other. But which culture are we really preserving? And I know we all ask these question, too.

After about a few days after this incident, I checked on my friends' posts and found something very related to this although not entirely about it. Sadly, I agree with this post. There are a few of us who lives up to our culture. But how much do we have of our own and how much do we keep?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Here Without You

I used to love this song so much and it's been about a year (or more maybe) since I last heard this song, until last night. I heard it playing on one of those radio stations here. And I just thought I'd post it here for memories' sake.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bus Tales

I have been going home quite irregularly for the past few days due to client calls and some more errands. In the morning as well, I sometimes go not too early but just in time for work. This meant that I haven't seen my bus mates for some time already. But I had to go early this morning since I closed the office late last night and that meant that I have to be here early to open it on time. I saw my bus mates and couldn't believe that this is the first time that they saw my new hair done.

But anyway, it was inevitable not to talk about the tragedy that happened on Sunday here in Dubai which led to the death of 3 Filipinas and one Indian. The story was told here. We all know that roads here are not that safe. Then we realize, after all those qualms about long bus waits, we feel safer riding it now. The RTA management is responsible for all the buses here in Dubai and the drivers are fined and given necessary actions for their misbehaviors.

I now cannot help but wonder... it's not new that some persons have to take the driver's license exam several times (and I think the record was 11 times) and not make it, and accidents happen here frequently.

Anyway, the Dubai Summer Surprises is now on until 22 August. hehehehehe... Sale! Sale! and Sale! everywhere! Errr... How to buy? What to do? I have been seeing a Photo Exhibit will start on 12 August. I'll definitetly check it out and might join if tides are clear! Yeah!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Looking Back

A year ago yesterday, this was how I felt.

And I still feel lonely every now and then. It was too short... I'm still wishing that next time, it should be longer, so that we could spend more time together.

H

08 July 2008
23:25
For HOSPITAL…
HOSPITAL TRIP

Our officemate, Sapan was confined at a hospital near our office about two days now. Since I didn't have time the past two days due to client calls, we figured it's best to go today for she might be discharged tomorrow.
It was somewhere we know so we just walked. It was again humid. I believe it's like 99oF again and this picture below shows it again.


It's a street called Mankhool Road in Bur Dubai, one of the busy communities here in Dubai. The hospital is Al Rafa Hospital and we heard that this is one of the very few hospitals Filipinos here trust. This was taken about 7.30 p.m. The walk was about 35 minutes but surely, we do not mind that since bus wait could be at least 30 minutes.

The rows of trees along the road got my attention but it wasn't captured in this picture and it was supposed to. But at least I have a posing stint… LOL…


Anyway, last Friday, my room mate was a little melancholic about the events that happened one after the other. She felt gloomy that it seems people she loves leave her eventually. Of course we all know that it is inevitable, but I think she's unhappy that they left one after the other in less than a year's time. I told her that it's one of the things that I have learned at my early life here. Someone bluntly told me that if I have to move to another place, do not hesitate to leave the ones you've been attached with for, eventually, you'll be left alone, too.

Then, I looked for an article published by a magazine, THE BUZZ, here about a few months ago. This supported the advise my friend gave me a year ago. But I hope in her case, I hope it made her stronger and let her realize that this is one of the facts of living in Dubai.

BEST FRIENDS FOR NOW
By Claire Davis

Most Dubai friendships have an expiration date (based on the fact that one or both of you is here to save money and head home), that means you can take them for what they are: friendship flings. Like a romantic fling, it’s best not to get too emotionally involved.

What does this environment of ephemeral friendships do to the “friendship monogamist” who has kept the same friends since high school? What happens, then, when we move to a place where our circle of friends ebbs and flows along with the economy?

While it’s not necessarily a bad thing, Dubai encourages a certain amount of superficiality: hair extensions, fake tans and the like are as ubiquitous as the SUV’s we drive. This attitude can seep into our personal lives and many of us discover that instead of our meaningful friendships from home, we are actually experiencing “friendship light.”

This should not be confused with shallowness, however, Justin, a long-term English expat in Dubai, sees it more as self-preservation. “When you see so many people come and go over the years, you just become less interested in making deep connections with people. It’s a bit like being dumped over and over again. Of course, you keep in touch for a while, but it’s not the same.”

Certainly, we can’t blame people for wanting to come here and move on. According to Justin, “Here, you can be someone you can’t be at home. You can afford a flashy car and you can get caught up in it. Eventually, you either go with the flow and become a snob, or get fed up with the snobs and leave because the money just isn’t worth it to you anymore.”

Friendship in Dubai is also a question of the type of people who come here. it seems that most friendships in Dubai are actually made at work, which makes fostering deep connections, unlikely at best. By blurring the lines of professional and personal relationships, we unwittingly set ourselves up for shallow friendships that revolve around light, social occasions. Clearly, the rules in Dubai are quite different than they are in the UK, and the US and elsewhere – while going clubbing with colleagues and certainly your boss is almost unheard of in many places, it seems like the natural order of the day there.

While Justin may seem like a bit of a downer – and it should be mentioned that he, too, is moving on after 10 years here – he does have a point. It seems that the very atmosphere in Dubai is conducive to a “light-hearted” environment. Even when the laws contribute to creating a more substantial sense of permanency – with the real estate market opening up to expatriates – one feels a disconnect and transiency in connection with an almost nomadic existence here. it is hard to set down roots when the sands are constantly shifting and the characters in your life keep walking off the stage; only to be replaced with someone new.

Change is as inevitable as the summer’s torturous heat but similarly, the breadth and depth of the differing cultures we are exposed to in this global melting pot are unique and resplendent. If only for little while, our paths cross with the world’s multitudes and, like passing ships in the night, we touch each other’s lives for that brief moment, opening us up to yet another change on tomorrow’s horizon – and the whole cycle begins again.

Such are the vibrant colors of Dubai’s fabric, one wonders if growing up on the same block and socializing with friends you’ve known since kindergarten can offer that same value and once-in-a-lifetime feeling.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sales Call II

07 July 2008
22:58
The POC asked me to meet him… but he can only meet me from 7pm to 9pm. Thinking that it's still early and not that dark (especially during summers), I agreed since I have an instinct that this is a closer. This is the same client I met yesterday so, same route. Well, it's also probably instinct that told me this would happen because last night before I went to sleep, I made sure that I bring my digicam for a better shot… and I believe it is…



Yes, it was humid. The highest temperature was 102oF as per Yahoo! Reports. This shot was around 6.30 p.m. If you're from another place, you would think it's foggy, but I believe this isn't fog, nor smog. Well, I just don't know what it is.



I wanted to get as close to the Clock Tower as possible without sacrificing the height, so I stayed at the same footbridge yesterday and took what my camera could.


The meeting was done after about an hour. But the bus wait was terrible. I waited for almost two hours. And this is funny, but I can't help but write it.

At some point in your life, have you ever felt that sometimes you can stand the pain but not the itch? You figure out the details because I won't tell. :D And I am sure that one time or another, this happened to some.
Anyway, as usual (for the third or fourth day I think), I dropped by to the caf√© near our house and bought my favorite dinner, shawarma and a can of coke… hehehehe…

I'll have a good night sleep because I am, again, dead tired from work.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sales Call I

06 July 2008
22:39

It was mid-day when I finally went for a sales call. As per instructions, I made it earlier than I thought I would to the place. The landmark is this footbridge and I was to cross to reach their office.


While I was at the top of the footbridge, I couldn't resist not to capture this view even if it was 99oF. That triangle thing at the far end of the street is one of the famous landmarks of Dubai - the Clock Tower. I passed by it everyday to and from work, only on the other end of this street called Maktoum Street, one of Dubai’s major thoroughfares.

There are a lot of things that happened today, I guess I just feel too tired to even try to gather my thoughts, much more to write it down. But one thing I tell you, every negative thing that happened today is charged to experience. My boss even told me so. She told me that this is still part of my training; on the job. She believes that I can't learn things in a day, especially in the industry that we are in. More to this, she also believes that you don't learn everything inside books.

There is such thing as immersion. And I believe that we have to do this to be able to learn the people and its culture - no matter where.
Everyday has been fruitful recently. In all aspects I should say. The rewards don't only come in monetary compensation. For every little thing is a reward in its small ways.
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