Friday, 29 October 2010

some random conversations with my GM...

1. at an exclusive ladies' club, where men are prohibited, for some coordination meeting with their director on a project we're involved in together.
gm: so sorry. due to my presence, you'll need to go in using the back door like some criminal.
me: is that a "beware, men present" sign i see?
gm: yes. i feel like some wild animal now. why don't you start screaming when we're halfway in, and see if i get to spend a nice leisurely afternoon at the police station...
me: =_='''

2. discussing about one of the ladies from the club, who's a socialite in the community here.
me: she's like a star. she comes in, says what she wants to say, and leaves. she didn't even shake hands with anyone!
gm: in my next life, i'm gonna be a lady of leisure too... you born rich, you marry rich and you don't have to do anything. what a life!

3. in the car, on the way to a function.
gm: in my next life, i'm gonna be born rich.
me: and what do you want to do in that life?
gm: nothing. when people ask about my occupation, i'm gonna say "son". my dad's gonna be so rich, i won't need to know how i got all that money.

4. in the car, on the way back from the function. there's a bit of a jam and we were trailing behind a lady driver.
gm: look at that, what is she doing???
me: i think she's talking on the phone.
gm: that's obvious, from all those hand gestures *honk*honk*
me: oh, i think she's applying her makeup now.
gm: look at her car swaying in and out like that... why do women do that? please tell me, why??
me: boss, in your next life, you're gonna be a woman and then you'll understand.
gm: look, we just said that i'm gonna be the son to a rich father in my next life. why are you now saying i'm gonna be a woman who drives like that? you trying to punish me or something?

bits of dubai…


lazy to write long posts, so here are some snippets about this city, in point forms…

1. this has to be the only city with 120 nationals in it. everywhere you turn, you’ll hear a different language being spoken…

2. don’t believe the myth about women having a lower social status in the middle east. i think that rule doesn’t apply here. in fact, i feel women have a higher status than men here! they really take care of the women folk here… a man will be sent to jail or deported in 24 hours if a woman reports him to the police as trying to be funny with her.

3. male chivalry is very much alive here too. my GM opens and holds the door for me when i’m walking with him, other male colleagues wait till all the women have stepped in/out of the lift first before themselves and make sure all the ladies are seated before they take the last chair etc.

4. it’s still weird to see cars driving on the “wrong” side of the road… and out of habit, i’m always walking towards the driver side when i wanna get into the car (which is the passenger side at home!)

5. taxi drivers here are crazy. enough said.

6. it’s the city with all the tallest, biggest, longest, fastest… you get the drift.

7. i don’t know if it’s the industry practice or just my colleagues, but they’re always brushing their teeth!! after breakfast and lunch, you’ll find them diligently brushing away in the washroom sink and then reapplying their makeup. not a good thing when you need some private time in the toilet for some personal erm, business. it’s worse if there are 2 or more of them, coz they tend to chit-chat and take longer to leave the washroom!

8. the uae has the largest carbon footprint in the world! all the buildings are air-conditioned 24hrs a day. even the bus stops are air-conditioned!

9. it being a muslim country, i don’t really notice the mosques around here. even though my colleague has pointed out that there is a mosque every 5km, but due to their structure, we don’t really notice that it’s a mosque! sure, they still have the big dome at the top, but i guess because they’re all air-conditioned, they just look like any other building, unlike in m’sia, where the mosques have a large outdoor compound and open praying area.

10. if you don’t know already, the weekends here are fridays and saturdays, with sundays being the first working day of the week. feels a bit weird, but like they say, when in rome, do like the romans. anyway, public services and most shops are closed on the first half of fridays, due to the friday prayers. even the metro trains will only start running after 2pm on fridays!

ok, that’s about it for now… for photos, please view them in my fb!

moving yet again!!!

well, i’ve been here for more than 2 weeks now, and i’m still staying in the hotel! tonight will be my last night in the hotel, as i’m finally moving to my apartment tomorrow… so yeah, moving yet again!

i just went to see my apartment after work yesterday… well, it was better than i expected. initially, when i told SF the name of the area where the staff accommodation is, her first reaction was, “OMG!” so i was expecting some dilapidated and run-down building… but the building itself was really nice. it’s just that the area it’s in… basically, the whole area where i work and (will) stay is in the old part of dubai. so it’s not like the newer and more posh part of town, where most of the expat community stays. but it’s really near my work place, so i guess it’s ok.

the building where the staff accommodation is looks like a serviced apartment, with 24 hours security. yesterday, i was shown 2 units, both 1-bedroom units. eventually i chose the bigger one, not because of the size, but because it has a balcony. at first i was thinking that i’ll be able to hang my clothes out to dry on the balcony, like in m’sia, but now that i think about it, my clothes may be coated with sand if i do that! :P

the unit comes with a built-in wardrobe, fridge, stove and washing machine. so i’ll just need to get a few pieces of essential furniture to complete the place. but since i’ve just viewed the place yesterday and will be moving in tomorrow, i’ve no time to go furniture shopping yet! but dun worry, the management won’t make me sleep on the floor… there are a few pieces of furniture such as bed, chairs etc that they can loan to me first while i sort out my own furniture, so all is good. just hope they remember to loan me the curtains!

as for the building, other than a few units which are occupied by some families and non-staff, most of the units are occupied by my company’s employees. staff of a lower level has to share their units, 2 to a room, 4 to a unit. thank god i get the whole unit to myself! so anyway, the good thing about staying at the staff accommodation is that you know most of your neighbours (reallly? good thing?) and can get help easily if anything were to go wrong. but on the other hand, you’ll be seeing your colleagues at work AND ALSO when you go home… there goes my social life! :D

anyway, the building has only 4 floors (generally, the buildings in this part of dubai are not very tall, due to the fact that it’s very very near the airport, with landing and taking off planes flying rather low here) and there’s a swimming pool on the roof. but access to the pool is limited. ladies can only swim there 3 days a week, men 3 days a week, and the remaining day is for families (but ladies are allowed too). also, there’s also a gym for ladies ONLY! hahaha… i’ve yet to find out if there’s a gym for men. if not, then the men staying there are quite kesian also, right? :D

other than these facilities, there’s also a unit where they’ve converted into a “common room” for the employees. one part of the unit is where they serve our meals, so we can either eat at the staff canteen before we go home, or eat here at the accommodation. then at another area in the “common room”, there’s a computer room with wi-fi. most of the staff have their own internet line, so generally those using the computer room here are those who’ve just arrived and have yet to buy their own computer/apply for their own line.

ok, so that’s all about my living arrangement so far. will take photo of the apartment to show everyone when i’ve moved in tomorrow.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

my day...

snacks before i go to bed every night: a mug of hot milo, a pack of rice crackers and half a movie!

it's only been a week i'm here and already i've established some sort of schedule on my working days, which goes along some variations like this:
5-6am-ish - wake up. realized it's still too early and go back to sleep
7.00am - alarm goes off. press snooze!
7.10am - wake up. take bath, morning skin care ritual, make-up (yes, i put on make-up to work now!)
8.00am - traipse downstairs for their buffet breakfast at the restaurant. normally will just have 1 slice of wholemeal bread and 1 bun with honeycomb and a cup of coffee, even though breakfast is aed85 (aed1 = rm0.85) per person!
8.25am - walk down to management office to swipe card before going up to my office
8.30am - morning briefing starts
1.00pm - lunch with my colleagues in the staff canteen. normally some rice with chicken/fish/vege dish
2.00pm - back to work
6.00pm-ish - finish work, go downstairs to swipe card and then dinner in the staff canteen. rice with chicken/fish/vege dish again
7.00pm - back to my room. if prearranged with dad to speak on skype, will skype for 1/2 hour or so. if not, will take bath
8.00pm onwards - do my prayers, go online, blog (if any), skype/msn/fb with friends if any, record down the dirty laundry to be sent out (every other day)
9.30pm - usually bored with internet activities by then. start movie
10.00pm - boil water for milo. have rice crackers, thereafter brush teeth and night time skin care ritual
10.30pm - getting sleepy, stop movie halfway (if it's a new movie) or finish up the previous day's movie, climb into bed, attempt to read a bit
before 11.00pm - zzZZzzZzZzzzz....

as you can see, it's kinda boring, in a way. i reckon it'll change as i get more settled down and when i move to my apartment, which will only happen some time next week. but actually, i kinda like this new schedule... i get lotsa sleep and feel very rested in the morning. so will try to make this sleeping early thing a habit, especially after i've moved to my new place. hehe... we'll see how it goes, ya! ;)

Monday, 18 October 2010

people at home are never gonna believe it...

...that i actually wore a dress to work yesterday! :P

but it's still all black...

as we're all required to wear black court shoes, there's not much choice as to the colours of the suit we can wear... but then again, black will make me look slimmer! ;)

Saturday, 16 October 2010

1st official day at work!

this is me, "in uniform".

even though i'm not required to be in the hotel uniform, but being "in uniform" means that you're in your blazer, with the collar pin and your name tag on. normally, we only need to have the collar pin on, but if we're attending official functions or events in and outside of the hotel, then we'll need to have our name tag on as well.

maybe i'm kampung, but this is the first time i see magnets being used for name tags in place of pins. and the magnets are those super powerful kind! this way, we don't have to worry about damaging our expensive suits with the pins... how thoughtful!

anyway, nothing much to do on the first day, as my immediate boss was still away for a seminar. but i did had tea with the gm, who talked to me a bit about the things that will be taking place very soon in the company and my role in them. and then i had lunch with another director with whom i'll be working closely with. so basically my first day was just to get acquainted with my colleagues as well as go through some of the current working files to get a feel of my job here...

as for the food here... well, the staff cafeteria's operators are mostly indians/pakistanis, so the food are something that i'm used to back home. dhal, curry, capati and the likes. but there are also the more "normal" dishes of fish fillet in sour sauce, stir fried mixed vege, black sauce chicken etc. and they always have a variety of rice to choose from, such as jasmine rice, carrot rice, mint rice, etc. of course, there'll always be plain old boring white rice... :P

i've been trying out a lot of different dishes here, but even though i can accept their taste, it seems like my stomach will need some more time to acclimatize. been having stomach upsets since my first day here, tho' not a very serious one. just need to run to the ladies an hour or two after every meal!

another thing that's quite frustrating is that i've not been able to get much sleep here. those who know me will know what a pig i am when it comes to sleep... but here, i've been waking up very early and can't seem to fall back to sleep again! it can't be jet lag, coz it's only a 4 hours difference and as my sleeping patterns back home is always so erratic, i don't think it'll make much difference to my system. for now, i can only guess maybe it's the foreign bed? or maybe coz i'm missing my dao-dao?

hmm, it could really be because of dao-dao ler... i can't remember how many years dao-dao's been sleeping with me, but i just can't find anymore space in my suitcase to fit him in! so in the end, i had to leave him behind to be in N's care... :"(

when will i get you back?

2nd day in dubai...

well, had a good night's sleep from all the tiredness... but woke with puffy eyes still!

anyway, after breakfast at the hotel restaurant, i made my way to the admin office, which was quite a maze! took me a few wrong turns to finally find the hr office...

the 1st half of the morning was dedicated to signing all the important documents, a short briefing about my employment and a short tour of the back office. like i said, it's like a maze down there! i think it'll take me some time to know my way around, coz staff are not supposed to use the main entrance, but to move about using the staircases and "back way".

so far, all my colleagues are very friendly and nice. i felt welcomed right from the beginning! and they're such experts in handling new arrivals, as well as understand our needs and feelings in a foreign country. for this i'm grateful...

oh, and another thing that i'm grateful for is, after a long day at work, i'm able to come back to a nicely made up room with fresh towels and free laundry thrown in! such a nice feeling... how nice it'll be if it's ALWAYS like that! *wishful thinking* :P

Friday, 15 October 2010


i know i mentioned that i've had a long but uneventful flight... but actually it wasn't really THAT uneventful lar. you see, i underestimated the number of boxes that i'd be checking in with my flight, that eventually it came up to 6 boxes and 2 luggages! so that was a lot of excess baggage!! about 80kg in total! luckily i was able to put my "muka kesian" to good use and managed to persuade the thai airways counter guy (the airline i took) to increase the maximum weight per person from 20kg to 30 kg. but that's still 50kg of excess baggage! then he suggested that i hand carry one of my smaller luggages (on top of the 2 i'm already carrying!). ok, no choice, have to hand carry coz even though it's small, it was pretty heavy! in the end, i only had to give up one of the more "unimportant" boxes for the total weight to come up to 60kg. simply perfect! coz with 30kg as the maximum weight allowed, i've only exceeded 30kg, and 30kg is exactly the maximum weight of excess baggage that i'm allocated by the company! oh and by the way, just for the record, excess baggage is charged at RM79/kg from kl to dubai! so the moral of the story is, instead of having to paying for the expensive extra weight, just buy all the stuff in dubai!

hehe... even the counter guy said this is the first time thai airways is checking in so many boxes belonging to only ONE passenger, and with so much excess in weight! i guess i made his day that day! :D

making my lonesome way to the boarding gate... for all the weepy and emo parting photos, go see my facebook!

one thing i'd like to commend about thai airways is that, as the flight was not very full, they were very thoughtful to arrange for lone travelers sit alone. so in my section of the plane, nearly all the rows were occupied by only one person. that way, we can lift up the hand rests and stretch out across 3 seats to get in a more comfortable position. after dinner, you can see the passengers one by one settling down to sleep that way. and we get the use of 3 pillows per row! heck, i even used 2 blankets... the material of which gives us ugly static hair, but it's still worth it! oh, and this is one of the times that i'm glad i'm not a very tall girl, coz i can stretch out fully and still not have my legs dangling out onto the aisle... :P

i managed to catch some sleep on and off that way, and arrived in dubai all groggy and blur at about 9pm. the airport was pretty bz, with long queues at the iris scan and immigration... but after that, everything went pretty smoothly. my dad was very worried as to how i'd be able to handle all those boxes by myself upon arrival, but really, it went better than even i myself expected!

took this pic specially for dad, to show that i managed it alright!

i finally emerged from the airport at about 10.30pm, and was met by the one person welcome committee from my company, mr. w. and boy, once i stepped out from the air-conditioned interiors of the airport, i was hit by the heat right smack in the face! not so much the heat, but i should say the humidity! it's so humid that it's quite suffocating... mr. w very kindly told me to go sit in the taxi, while he saw to my luggages. from the look on his face, i'm guessing his mind went, "wow, that's a LOT of luggage!" but i think he's had enough training in the hospitality industry to comment anything abt it! :P

i found out that i'll be staying in the hotel guest room for the time being, about maybe 10 days, while they prepare my apartment in the staff accommodation. also, the staff accommodation is not within the proximity of the hotel, as opposed to that i thought earlier, and staff staying there get to work via the free shuttle service that runs hourly, 24 hrs a day.

my abode for the next 10 days or so... nice and cozy...

from another angle...

yet another angle... the table with the mirror is where i'm sitting now to type out this post, with their free in-room internet.

wooo... they have booze in the fridge! :P but chargeable, of course...

bathroom is nice too. i love their amenities!

view from my window at 3rd floor... nothing much to look at, actually.

it's been a long day... i asked mr. w what's my schedule like the next day, and he said to just relax, get some rest and then to go see them at the admin office at around 10am after my breakfast. hmm... not very relaxing eh? i was thinking i'd be getting a day off to rest before i go see them! ah well, i guess it's still ok, since i'm already here and it's not that i have other things to do... :)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

mirror blog...

i'm just created a mirror blog, for the benefit of my parents and all my "fans" back home... hehe... i'm reluctant to share this blog, coz this is too personal for public viewing, but at the same time, i wish to write more about my life here for those back home... hence the mirror site.

for those who are already here, don't bother checking the other site, as it'll just be a copy and paste of some of the posts from here. so consider yourselves privileged! :D

ok, if your really must know, the mirror site is here.

greetings from the land of the shimmering sands!

asalamualaikum... ok, just a short and sweet note to let everyone know that i've landed safely on tues night after a long tho' uneventful flight. will put up a proper post soon, i swear!

see the puffy eyes? don't ask...

read also:

Sunday, 10 October 2010

2 days before departure...

as the date for my departure gets nearer, a lot of people are asking me if i'm excited... surely i'd be buzzing with excitement at the prospect of going off to work and stay in another country.

well, i am! but now, more than excitement, i'm actually in a state of near panic! can anyone believe that i've not even packed my luggages yet??? the moving company is only coming to pick up my stuff for sea cargo tomorrow, and i'm only partially done in packing for those! and other than packing for my flight check-in and sea cargo, i still need to pack up the stuff that i wanna move back to bear hill, give away, donate out as well as throw away... i've already moved back most of the stuff i wanted to keep back to bear hill, but there are still some more stuff that i didn't manage to pack before the lorry man came last wed. so will need to do that as well...

and then i still need to pay a visit to the bank to settle some banking stuff that just can't be settled via phone or online banking, as well as cancelling my phone package plan. oh, and i need to pay a visit to my orthopedic to get extra medicine for my knee condition to last me for a year! can all these be one in one day?? haiz... everything so last minute!!

oh how can one girl have so much stuff??? as it is, my parents nearly had a fainting spell when they saw the number of dvd/vcd i brought home... about 10 of those A4 paper boxes!!! well, to be fair, it's a collection that spanned more than 10 years (since uni days), so that's quite ok what... :P

i guess part of the difficulty in all these packing business is the attachment. we get too attached to the stuff we love and its painful when we need to detach ourselves from them. how simple life would be if we can just pack up our essential stuff into just a knapsack and go? of course, i can't do that as i need to empty out my rented apartment... but on the other hand, i think moving is a good way for us to de-clutter our lives. every time we move, we'll reassess the value of our stuff, stuff we keep thinking that we'll need later on. do i really need this piece of ribbon? is this container with its cracked lid really that indispensable? so a lot of stuff gets tossed out, making room for new stuff! hehe...

but from now on, i'd need to refrain myself from buying so much stuff, seeing that i won't be permanent in sandland. and no one knows more than me how tiring moving is!

ok, ending this post here. sorry if all the sentences and paragraphs are a bit jumbled up and don't have any kind of flow to them. i'm quite stressed out now, even though i'm just gadding about at bear hill doing nothing! so stressed that i've been having difficulty sleeping, with all those things that still need to be done kept playing in my head! :(

read also:
1. leaving on a jet plane!