One By One They All Leave

Two weeks ago, a colleague of mine left the island for good. She did not renew her contract with our company and just went back home to China.

We weren’t really very close friends but she’s one of my favorite colleagues. We used to swim and snorkel together. She’s one funny girl. A bit naive too.

Continue reading “One By One They All Leave”

On Being Chased

Yesterday, I’ve read an article called My Body Doesn’t Belong To You, where the author shared her story of being harassed on the road, probably because of her huge cup size. I suddenly remembered how I was teased back in 6th grade because of having very small boobs (something very opposite to the author’s issue). My male classmates would call me names like flat chested or airplane runway. I was so annoyed with them at that time and frustrated with my body specially my boobs for not growing up to the standard size. All my classmates were already wearing bras but I’m still using a ladies’ sando.

Later in life I realized how having small boobs is actually an advantage. Nothing jumps up and down when I run fast, people look into my eyes and not on my boobs when I talk, it’s easy to fit in clothes, I don’t attract any unwanted attention, I don’t get catcalled, I don’t get harassed. But that’s until I started being chased.

My first experience of this Catch Me If You Can game is when I was in Dubai, trying to cross a road. As there was no pedestrian lane, I was waiting for the cars to stop or disappear before I can cross the road. A car stopped in front of me. I thought he stopped because he was waiting for someone so I took several steps towards the rear of the car. He reversed until his front door is in front of me. His window was rolled down. He smiled and he motioned his head in a way that he’s calling me to get into his car. I ran and crossed the road regardless of how many cars were coming my way. I saw him sped up and took the u-turn to chase me. I ran and luckily found a small shop. I went inside. He parked his car outside the shop. I was walking around and around that small shop with only 2 back-to-back shelves trying to buy time. I felt like I was playing hide and seek but on this game, I don’t want to be found. After 15minutes his car was gone. I felt relieved. I waited for 10 more minutes before leaving the shop. As I stepped out of the shop, I saw his car about 10meters away from me. He found another girl to chase.

Once I was walking home from the metro station. I passed by a police car parked in front of a tea shop, the police men were having tea. I feel safe whenever I see them; it means nothing can happen as people in Dubai are scared of the police. But then just a few meters away from the police car, as I was walking I saw a car parked maybe 2 meters away from me. An old local guy was sitting on the driver’s seat, smiling at me with his crooked teeth. I ignored him and pretended that I didn’t see him. I turned left. His car followed me. I walked in a slow pace, took my phone and pretended to call someone. Then he left.

I was waiting for my shuttle service right in front of my office building when an old sports car stopped in front of me. I saw an Arab guy (but not a local), looking at me, and said Car Lift. (In Dubai, car lifts are private cars turned into taxi where people take during rush hour when taxis aren’t available). I said no. He asked in broken English, Where you go? I didn’t say anything and just walked towards the rear end of his car. He left after a few minutes. This scene happened in three consecutive days.

Once I was walking home, I heard someone shouting, Excuse me! Excuse me! I stopped as I thought it was a polite call, maybe I dropped something and someone wants to return it so I turned around. I saw an Indian guy, wearing an office attire, long sleeves and tie, running after me and when he stopped, he asked, Can I be your friend? I said but one word, No! I turned around, walked and took my phone. I glared back at him once more and checked if he was still following me but I was glad that he left.

One night, I was walking with a female friend. The streets were brightly lit up. I saw a car coming towards us, and I told her, this car will surely stop in front of us, as if I am already an expert in these kinds of experiences. She knew my Catch Me If You Can experiences and she can’t believe me as she has never experienced any so far. The car didn’t stop, it passed by us but it took a u-turn and it was behind us in no time. Inside the car was a local guy. He uttered something in Arabic which we didn’t understand. We continued walking and ignored him so he drove away. My friend said, this was my first experience of this kind of harassment but I’m sure he came for you, not for me. If I’m alone I wouldn’t have experienced that.

I thought about it. Maybe it’s not about the boobs anymore and I’m sure it’s not about my outfit. I always dress up modestly and if I’m not wearing office attire, I wear trashy clothes as I hate getting attention. I thought maybe it’s the nationality because some people in Dubai look down to others. So I asked 9 of my Filipina friends if they have experienced any such harassment but none of them did. So I’m the unlucky 1 out of 10 women and it’s not about the boobs, nor the outfit, nor the nationality. It’s about how they look at women in general.

So much for my experiences in Dubai and I’m glad that I moved here and for more than a year of living here in the Maldives, regardless of my cup size, my attire or my nationality, I only get chased by big yellow trigger fish and I definitely prefer that.

I Want to be a Housewife

Today as I browse my facebook feed, I saw a post of a high school classmate about her lumpiang shanghai (spring rolls) with a status that goes along this line, it’s difficult to wrap a lumpia.

She used to be an Accountant in a big fast food chain till she got pregnant. From her pregnancy till date (her daughter must be 8 years old already), she is a stay at home mom / house wife.

Then I thought of my current dream. I want to be a housewife.

You may raise your left eyebrow and read what I have written once again but your eyes aren’t fooling you. You’ve read it right. My current dream is to be a housewife. You may ask, why?

For the longest time, women have been battling for their rights to work and to be leaders of companies, to be on top of the corporate ladder, etc., etc., and here I am,  wanting to leave my hard earned profession to become a housewife.

But my question to myself now is, am I ready to be a housewife? And will I be a good one?

I was raised by a working mom. She’s out the whole day and by the time she comes home she’s already tired. She will choose the easy-to-cook-dishes for dinner. I’ve never heard of dishes such as Morcon and Sisig till I reached college and I’ve never seen her preparing any dish with cooking time that exceeds 20mins. Don’t even ask about home baked cakes or cupcakes. We don’t have an oven but more than that, she never had time.

I always envied my classmates and neighbors who’d get home made delicacies for merienda. For us, if we want to eat something, we have to buy it.

Leaving the food issues aside, I don’t know how my mom managed to do the other chores after a long day. Well, I have a share of chores since I am the eldest. I wash the dishes after our dinner while I would see her ironing our uniforms. I do the laundry, she does the ironing (later on, I started doing the ironing too). She has 4 kids plus my father to take care of too. At that time, I never really thought about how she must feel. Her legs must be sore at night and she must be so sleepy all the time because of her late nights and early mornings. And more than her physical condition, how about the mental and emotional aspect? To work while doing the chores and raising 4 kids and a husband is tough.

I can’t imagine how my mom will be if she is a stay at home mom/wife. Whenever she’s at home, she can’t stop doing things and after a day at home, she’s bored and she would want to go back to work the next day. I’m not sure if I will be the same.

I think of how I will be should I become a housewife. Am I ready to do all the cooking and cleaning stuff instead of reading emails and getting high blood pressure from annoying colleagues? Am I ready to be just receiving money from my husband instead of earning them by myself?

About the cooking thing, see, I am not a good cook. But my husband never complained about my cooking anyway (so far) even though, when we were together in Dubai, I always cooked sauteed (insert item here, ie veggies, pork, etc) in oyster sauce. I think I can learn this once I have time. (LOL, I had 4 years to learn how to cook in college but nothing happened, but that’s why I married a chef. And sometimes I blame my mom and our lifestyle for my non-interest in cooking).

About the cleaning and other stuff, well, I love ironing clothes. I iron even pajamas and sleeping clothes while singing so there shouldn’t be any problem on this part.

And about the earning part, I am a low maintenance person so I think I would be happy with whatever I receive.

I don’t really know how ready I am but somehow I feel excited for that time to come when I can just be at home, trying to bake cakes (and failing and blogging about it), watering plants in a small garden, sewing curtains and skirts and all that homely stuff.

As of now, I can only dream and be excited about it. Till then, I will hang on to where I am now, reading my emails, screaming at annoying colleagues (though I try so hard not to), reading your blogs and writing about my thoughts.

image: maretraiteauxphilippines.blogspot.com

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

The weather here has been crazy over the last few days. One day, it will be dark with heavy rain, the next day it will be perfectly sunny, the next it will be so windy as if a hurricane is about to come then the next day we will wake up to a perfectly sunny morning only to get heavy rains in the afternoon.

Two days ago, I got myself drenched as I ran under heavy rain. I was caught in between running continuously to reach my destination and going back to the sheltered area where I came from. I chose the first as anyway, whatever my choice will be, I’m already wet.

That same afternoon, I got mild fever. Not only because of getting drenched but also because of the back pain that I had for few days already. That kind of weird back pain that makes you flinch when you want to laugh or sneeze and hurts so bad when you yawn.

I seldom get sick as I’m generally a healthy person. Though sometimes, I can’t help but catch colds or cough if the weather is really bad.

Whenever I fall sick, even though physically the feeling is not good, deep inside I have this tiny excitement. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to fall ill. However, sometimes, this could be your only reason to leave the office early and lie down under the comfort of your blanket. This is the time when you get a bit of genuine caring attention.

I remember my childhood days. Whenever I get sick, I have a reason not to eat on my own. My mom would spoon feed me with warm noodle soup. She would put cold towel on my forehead and check my temperature from time to time. These moments are rare and thus, special to me. For being the eldest child, I don’t usually get any attention. I never complained. I just felt happy to get a little bit more.

Two days ago, as I was lying on my bed, touching my own forehead, checking if I’m warmer than the usual, I wished that someone would do that for me. I wished that someone would bring some warm noodles but it never happened, no one came. I had to get up from bed, go to the canteen to get some rice and soup. I had to apply ointments on my back and chest on my own and I had to stick three salonpas  patches (if that’s how it’s called) on my back all by myself.

At that time, I almost cursed being an adult. I wanted to go back to being a child beside my mom. But this is life.

I woke up today to a cloudy morning. However, as of the moment, the sun have come out and I wish it’d continue to be out the whole day. And if not, I’ll be waiting for the sun to come out tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

image: The Odyssey Online

 

4 Things that Made Me So Annoyed Today

I was so busy over the last few days, or weeks, maybe. I don’t know how long I have been having late nights.  Being busy is fine, really. It keeps me up to beat, it makes me sharp.

However, being busy with my job doesn’t mean I will be exempted from annoying people, things and happenings. Busy as it is, I still have time to be annoyed because some things are just annoying (ha ha).

Today I read a blogger’s post about the things that made her happy last week. I like reading her posts as she spreads tons of positivity but I guess her aura hasn’t reached the Indian Ocean. After reading her post, I just got a lot more annoyed because I can’t find anything that made me happy recently.

I don’t want to spread negativity but I just can’t find someone to talk to. I looked at my contact list and friends list but I just can’t seem to find anyone who would probably understand me and  my sentiments so I’d rather talk to myself and the screen, whine and write and post it in this space called blog.

  1. Spoon feeding is an understatement

Some people just don’t know how to read emails. Or they do know but they don’t want to or they don’t want to understand.  The fact that I have sent all the information with all the smallest details via email, I still get several calls from people asking about the same thing that I have written on the email.

I’m speechless.

  1. Like, I have nothing to do

I have been having late nights recently as this is my busiest period of the year. I have prepared myself for this busy season and I’m ok with being busy. However, some people in the Head Office thinks that I am just twiddling my thumbs here waiting for them to send me an email and give me some work to do. And I guess they expect me to shout HURRAH upon receiving a new task. Like, how can you expect me to create a write up for three resorts with a 24 hour deadline? Like, really?

  1. BUT WHY?

A guest wants to speak to someone else’s boss but I was being called to face the guest and I don’t understand this!

  1. How about an ice cream?

I was about to explode here in the office because I felt that I can’t handle the pressure anymore.  I remember a few years ago, whenever I feel so mad, I’d go out and eat ice cream as somehow it has a soothing effect on me so I thought I’ll go to our shop, buy a Magnum and sit on the swing under the tree while eating it.

However, as I was about to get up from my seat, the rain started pouring. I wanted to really cry at that point but my office mate might see me and think that I have gone mad.

 

It feels good to be able to rant. I don’t really have time to waste but I made time to write all these (I have to) because I can’t take it anymore.

I will be back soon with a happier mood. Take care everyone!

The Ants

Let’s ask someone to spray the ants away, said my office mate when I immediately cut him off.

No! I semi-screamed as if he had said something forbidden, unlawful and illegal. As if he wanted to harm the ants and I am the sole protector of all ant-kind. They will go away by themselves, let them be.

He looked at me, his face in a bit of a shock with my reaction to his statement.

I then calmed down and explained to him that the ants are all over our table and are climbing to the ceiling in battalions because its going to rain and that they will be gone even before it rains or maybe after.

He gave me a mocking laugh and asked, what’s the logic on that?

I thought about all those times I’ve seen ant trails on our bathroom wall, on the wall near my bed and everywhere else. I will always tell myself, it will rain once these ant trails are gone. And the accuracy of my predictions are 99% correct.

I remembered the story of The Ant and The Grasshopper and asked myself if this moron of an office mate never heard of this fable.

I explained to him that ants tend to go up to higher places whenever they sense the upcoming rain so as not to drown, and they bring their food as well with them. Though this explanation is clearly an assumption from my side, thinking of what should I do in case I’m an ant and I know that the rain is about to fall. I shall go to higher grounds with my food supply right? A bit of a common sense right? Just like when there is a tsunami warning, we, humans, go to higher grounds to keep ourselves safe.

He said, let’s see if there’s sense in this logic.

Anyway, I told  him to wait and that it will rain soon. This conversation happened on Thursday and it did not rain. Yesterday, I was looking at the sky and it was half sunny, half cloudy and windy and I was half wishing for it to rain so that my predictions can once again come true.

I asked a local if there is any chance of rain. He looked at the sky and said no.

Then last night as I was tucking myself to bed, I heard raindrops falling on the rooftop. It wasn’t so loud initially and I was in doubt. Maybe it was just strong wind. To satisfy myself, I opened the door and saw the wet ground.

Then the rain started pouring hard. I closed the door and listened to the the noise of the roof.

I smiled a victorious smile.

I walked into the office this morning. The ants are gone.

I’m Lazy Today. Don’t Tell My Boss.

I woke up today 10 minutes earlier than the time in which my alarm is bound to disturb my sleeping roommate.

I closed my eyes again and waited for the forthcoming disturbance.

When it finally broke the silence of the dim room, I pressed the ‘x’ button on my phone, shut my eyes again and waited for the next alarm, set after 5 minutes.

Such habit is hard to break and is actually becoming addictive.

The caress of my bed, pillows and blanket makes it difficult for me to leave them even after the sun has risen for quite some time already.

I went to the bathroom and before turning the shower tap, I looked at the mirror and glanced at my abs, if I could call it abs. Maybe tummy is a more suitable term. I was looking for some change on it, I was expecting some, after swimming for 45 minutes daily for the last 45 days, I really need to see some difference.

But it just looks the same as it was yesterday, and the day before, the week before, the month before, just like my life here on the island.

I went for breakfast and ate the usual.

Sitting with my colleagues, we chatted about the usual. We asked just about the same thing, Who’s sexier? Ellen Adarna, Dionne Monsanto or Solen Heussaff? Is there even a point of comparison between these three?

After sipping the last drop of coffee, I went to the office and sat on my desk. There are 60 unread mails on my inbox, and a lot of uncounted read ones with red flag.

I checked my personal mail and saw 200 unread emails on my inbox. Nothing of important business, but posts from you my dear bloggers that I am ought to read.

I have a lot of pending tasks but I didn’t want to even look at my to do’s list. Instead I started typing this and gave myself a little break from the usual routine.

In Case I Don’t Come Back

Today I’ll start a journey.

I’ll follow a road led by my heart; I will go where it takes me.

My journey might take some time, a day or forever and this, I will tell you.

In case I don’t come back, don’t worry. I will be fine and so will you.

My heart will take care of me and in time, I will be flying like an eagle, soaring in the sky, fearless and free.

I might climb mountains and cross vast deserts but don’t worry about me. The journey will be tiring but I know it will be worth it. I know it will be worth every step and every drop of sweat. The scorching heat of the days and the bitter frost of the nights might wear out my poor body but I will go on and move forward.

There’s no going back.

In case I don’t come back, don’t be sad.

Don’t miss me for I will be wherever you are. You will find me in everything you do, everything you see and everything you feel.

You will find me in the depths of your soul, at the back of your mind and in the tiniest veins that supply blood to your heart.

You will find me in every smile and every flower blooming under the morning sky. You will find me in the soft breeze touching your face, kissing you forehead, whispering your name. You will find me in the rain, in every drop that will kiss your cheeks.You will find me in every argument you will lose or win. You’ll find me in every reason, wrong or right. You will find me in every beat of your heart, in every melody, in every song.

My journey might take some time, a day or forever and this, I will tell you.

In case I don’t come back, don’t worry. I will be fine and so will you.

Novel Attempt

I’ve always wanted to write my own novel but, always, after reaching about 10,000 words, or even less, I’d stop. I’d think its too tiring to continue and reach at least 50,000 words to complete the thing.

I visited my NaNoWriMo account and checked my 2014 ‘trial novel’ which only reached 6,000 plus words. I looked at the synopsis and the Excerpts and found myself surprised. I never thought these lines came from my nutshell.

 

“…as of now I can see that the grass is greener on the other side because you need to tend to it. Otherwise it will all just end up becoming brown hays. Well, working abroad is not like picking up gold from the street sides as they all thought.”  – Jeremy

 

Now her tears are forcing themselves to come out, overflowing from the bucket that was suddenly filled with cold rain water after being empty for the longest time.

 

She’d rather starve or even die than break the rules that she has set. Brains over beauty. Pride over money. Dignity over love.

 

“Life can be tough  so you need to survive. Survival comes in different forms and you have to choose your own. If they say we only have two choices, either to sink or to swim, I have created another one and I call it float. Why do you have to face the waves if you can just drift along? If life is that tough, then at least do yourself a favor.” – Rosario

 

So I told myself, hmmm, not that bad. Not at all. 😀