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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I was waiting for Shaider to rescue me, but he never came....

On my first morning in Tokyo, I looked out of the window (glass wall is a better way of describing it), and thought this is the best city I have ever been so far. I'd say it was love at first sight.
But like most love at first sight, it didn't last.
God forbid and if I can help it, I dont ever wanna go back, even if it's for free.
Below are the excerpts of incident report I submitted to my boss:
" Friday Oct 3, the customer is aware this will be my last day, so they are trying to schedule everything with me on this day. At 6pm, FC and I finished our meeting.
Still, I stayed on to finish important issues they have. When we were about to call it a day at 8pm, PM asked us to pack up because the Training Room needs to be setup for a function. So we thought we are going back to our rooms. Then she said we need to come down to Purchasing because she needs to “show” me a problem they are encountering with Purchase Order.
So off we went. The PM is not yet at the Purchasing Office and we were waiting. I told her staff that we're going back to our rooms first to put our bags. Then they started protesting and went after us, even to the elevator, saying we are not supposed to leave. We told them we just want to go to the toilet, and put our bags in the room. They insisted we can use the toilet in Purchasing and we can’t go yet.
We insisted to go to our rooms. One staff joined us at the elevator, continuously saying we should not be going anywhere as they are still having problems. This is quite embarrassing as we were like criminals being stopped from leaving, and there were other passengers (not employees) in the elevator.
After 5 minutes, we went back to Purchasing to have a look at the problem. We found that PM had setup a small workspace for us at the Dry Food Storage Room and my colleague (also Filipino) was made to sit on 3 softdrink bottle cases (makeshift chair, because there were not enough chairs). We investigated the problem and tried several options but to no avail. This was happening since morning, but had we been advised earlier, so we could have sought the assistance of support.
Anyway, at 10PM, I told PM that we’ll take a break and have dinner first. To my dismay, she said “No, after you fixed the problem, then you can have dinner”. I was very surprised and could not believe what I have just been told. I insisted we need to have dinner as we were already hungry and it was already late. My colleague talked to her in Japanese saying we could work better after dinner. She replied (in Japanese) “Oh you are hungry, what about my staff? They have not eaten too. So they are not functioning effectively too???”
I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but like a robot we went back to work. Perhaps we just want to finish everything and leave the site.
When we still could not fix the problem, and she began was ordering us around. There was also an instance when she is summoning my colleague (to come) by her finger. I told him not to approach her if she did not address him by his name as she has become abusive already. Severl times, I stood up to tell her “You have to stop treating us this way, or else we will stop working”. She denied she was treating us badly.
Finally at 11pm, we managed to fix the problem. I told her it was fixed and that we were preparing to leave. She said there's one more issue and this got me very frustrated. It’s like she just wants to delay us further.
Admittedly, I know that this error must be solved, and I saw that all her staff were still there waiting for it to be fixed. So I decided to work on it further. However, I told her I wanted to have dinner first. She went mad, and told us again “After you solved the problem, then you can have dinner for 30 minutes!” I told her why she needs to time even our dinner, and that we have been working since morning and this is beyond our contracted time. She argued they were experiencing a problem because of us and we must fix it.
At this point, the Assistant FC arrived and I immediately went to seek her help. I explained to the AFC our predicament, and that PM has not allowed us to have dinner. PM insisted because we have not solved the problem and that she offered to buy us food from the vendo but we refused.
Exhausted and frustrated, I told the PM that she has to stop treating us like slaves, and to stop ordering us around. I explained that we do not mind working on the problem even if it’s late, but please stop treating us like that. The AFC seemed to have no power to decide on the situation. She didn’t do anything nor say anything to us. At this point I felt helpless already, and I just want to solve whatever there is to fix so I can go.
We went to my room to try and call Support (whoever is available) just to advise us what to do. We could not find anyone so we went again to Purchasing. When we got to the Storage Room (our work area), PM gave us 1 small sandwhich and 1 bread (don’t know what it is) and 2 cups of water and told us “Normally this is not allowed, but just for this time, you can eat inside the Storage room”.
That would be our dinner. We felt like we were dogs. We did not eat it.
Finally, we solved the problem at a little before 2AM. However, PM asked me not to go yet as she wanted to discuss the User IDs. I told her it is very late and showed her where to find it in the manual.
She insisted for me to stay, mentioning it is still hours before my flight (Im flying out at 9AM, and bus going to airport leaves at 6AM. She didn’t want me to sleep at all!). I told her I barely have 4 hours. She said “my staff has not gone home yet. “. I had to remind her that I am not her staff, and Im not from Japan. She suggested that I move my flight which I refused. I told her there is only 1 flight for Philippine Airlines, and as if to check if I am telling the truth, she attempted to open the website to check. I got very furious and said that I am leaving. Then she mentioned something discriminatory “Maybe because that is your culture.”
After packing our laptops, she saw we are about to leave so she approached us and said goodbye, shook my hand to say thanks, and then attempted to hug me (I refused) while saying “I just had to do my job”.
I replied “No, it was too much” and walked away. "
Now many would ask me, why I didn't just walk off? Believe me, I wanted to. And I wanted to get physical with her numerous times... but I had to reason out with my inner self as well. My colleague will be left behind for another week and I dont want him to bear the consequences of my actions. Moreover, I wanted to prove what kind of people we are, that we are far better professionals, and that we will finish the job no matter what.
This incident happened to a professional like me, who wears dark suit, high heels and hands out a business card. Imagine the plight of other Filipinos who work in clubs, or as a house helper?
What I have experienced may be an isolated case, and should not give anyone an overall impression on how the Japanese are treating Pinoys. However, this should open our eyes that abuse in the workplace happens in many forms, to anyone, by anyone.
Nobody deserves that kind of treatment. It’s something I wouldn’t wish on anybody. ..not even to ‘her’ who did it to me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I saw the sign..again!

(from KFC in Akihabara)
At least they are consistent...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Going Bananas

I am going to tell you a nice story.

I heard this on an AM show while driving on my way to work. I think it was Aiza Seg...err, I mean Arnold 'Igan' Clavio's show. Of course Im going to narrate it in my own kikay way...

One day, two bananas are having meryenda and were bragging about how sweet they are.
Latundan said, "Despite my size, I am very sweet".

Hindi naman nagpatalo si Lacatan, so he said "I am bigger and even sweeter!".

Narinig ni Saba ang conversation. He felt insecured and sorry for himself. Nag-emote ito. He walked away slowly and did not join the 2 other bananas.

On his way home, nasalubong nya si Brown Sugar who immediately noticed Saba's sadness.
Concerned about Saba, Brown Sugar inquired "Why are you sporting a sad face? What's bothering you?"

"I feel bad. I am fat, short and not sweet", sabi ni Saba.

Brown Sugar melted and told Saba "It does not matter if you are sweet or not, the important thing is how you make others feel special".

Tapos Brown Sugar and Saba hugged each other habang tumutugtog ang kantang Total Eclipse of the Heart.

At eto ang madramang alamat ng Banana Cue.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fish Be With You

When Jason announced to me that he will be joining the Pinoy Anglers' Fishing Competition in Lakeshore, I exclaimed "There is actually a competition for fishing???"

Yep. There is. Why not? It's a sport! Huh?

So on July 12, we were up at 5am and trooped to Mexico, Pampanga to cheer (is it the right term? we're supposed to be quiet so we dont scare the fishes away) for Jason and his friends. I figured if Eone and myself were there, he'd be more inspired to catch those fishy.

Well, I was wrong.

Jason and 3 of his colleagues were all newbies in the competition arena (except for Alex, kinorek ako ni JPN), so it's not that disappointing that none of them won...hindi nga sila nakahuli e. As the famous cliche' goes "Charge it to experience nalang". Yeah, and the charge is quite steep for Php400 joining fee, gasoline and toll fee. Mwehehe.

On the better side, Lakeshore is a good venue to do practice photography, so I took lots of shots (and deleted those that I didn't like). I was pretty amazed as to how good my Sony Cybershot is, I realized perhaps I don't need to get a DSLR. Sabi nga ni Ruby, "wala sa cam yan, nasa photographer yan". Oo nga.

It was also the first time Eone went on a picnic with Jason's officemates, and I was happy she went along with them pretty well. She even attempted to go fishing with Tito Ton, played with Liam and entertained them with her dance numbers. Showbiz! Pwede na!

After this experience, I'm glad they have decided to just stick to Coloong whenever they feel the itch to fish. It's a fish pond so the chances of not catching anything is next to zero. There are also fresh fishes caught from the usual lambat up for grabs at only Php65 a kilo.

No pawis pa.

Friday, July 11, 2008

RSVP 101

The past few years, I have not received an invitation, whether for a birthday, wedding, or christening, without the acronym R.S.V.P followed by a phone number and a name.

RSVP is Répondez s'il vous plaît, a French phrase that translates to "reply, if you please.". It is with this meaning that invitation cards and similar documents are often marked with "R.S.V.P." It is standard practice to reply to an RSVP request whether confirming attendance or declining. (thanks to Wiki *wink)

Having thrown numerous parties in this lifetime, I have been witness to the pitfalls of RSVP (or should I say – the pitfalls of people who ought to know RSVP?)

The Best: You confirmed your attendance, you actually came, and you arrived on time! Wooohooo! Thank you!

The Good: You'd rather be somewhere else other than the party, and you were decent enough to tell the host you are not coming. Clap your hands!

The Bad: You have no plans of going and you don’t care if you leave the host wondering if you will show up or not.

The Ugly: Confirmed you will attend (sure, we will be there :-) with a smiley pa!) and then you don’t show up.

The Foul & Ugly: You said you will attend, you didn't show up, and you didn’t even bother to tell the host you are not coming anymore. No apologies for not making it, not a tinge of regret at all for making someone wait.

Familiar? Common? The usual?

The point I am driving at is that RSVP is not a decoration; it's not to make the invites more appealing or to announce to everyone the host/hostess' phone number. It's there for a purpose. Whether the guest doesn’t know what RSVP means or just plain rude is beyond me. All I am saying is that if one cannot attend the event be kind enough to inform the host.

We are in the 21st century, and technology is super efficient in making RSVPing a ton
easier. It's not like you have to walk 3 kilometers or use an owl to send your "I’m sorry I cannot come". It just takes a few thumbwork to send an sms, a click of a button to send an email. I don’t think that will send anyone huffing and puffing and sweating?

I hope when people get an invitation to a party, they immediately think that the host did not send that out of whim, tables have been reserved, not the entire barangay were invited, and YOU were invited because you are someone special to the host.

Kung El Shaddai prayer meeting ito, keri lang diba? Libre entrance sa Grandstand.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

HBD Little Girl

Two years ago, God sent me a gift.

A song to break the redundant tune of wakeup-work-sleep in my everyday life.
A reason to be happy when everything seems gloomy.
A precious bundle to love without conditions.
A gem to care for beyond reasons.

This is the most perfect, my most wanted gift.

I named this gift Marygwen Hermione.

She taught me that it is possible to sing even when I would rather snore, to scoop milk (and shoot into that bottle) with half of both my eyes closed, to put nappies onto a squirming bum-bum, and to blow air into a giant inflatable playpen.

She is both my laughter and my tears because I often end up crying while laughing when I look, embrace, or even just think of her.

How time flies, Darling Eone. It's been two years since you landed in my arms. You are meant to be mine, my little girl. I love you with all my all.

Happy Birthday!


Friday, July 04, 2008

The Biker in High Heels

This is the reason why I look forward to going home at night

Monday, June 30, 2008

Singapura for Roti Prata

One would think that coming to Singapore during The Great Singapore Sale season would send me all around town looking for the best buy. That was actually my intention, however, my training sessions ran 'til 5pm and I was booked for dinner with different people the whole week.

There is nothing extra-ordinary in this trip. I went to Clarke Quay for the first time (even though I was in Singapore for 4 weeks last year) and watched as people get thrown up in the air by the Sling Shot ride. There was also this bar called Clinic where guests have to sit on a wheelchair and sip drinks through an IV drip.

I also saw again Jeffrey, had dinners and strolled around Orchard Road with him. Roslyn also joined me and Jeff for dinner Friday night before I went to Changi Airport.

The quest for the very much coveted DSLR three hours before my flight was also unremarkable. I failed to buy the cam because I forgot whether Jing wants the D80 or 80D, which turned out to be different models of different brands! (Thanks for not answering my calls while I was in the store to get the cam, you saved me SG$2000, hehehe).

I took the last flight out of Singapore Friday that same week so I can be reunited with my little girl by 4am Saturday. It seems silly, but to me every minute matters when it comes to Eone. Since I was a fool for not staying for the weekend to relax a bit and perhaps do some shopping so, everything was bought on the last minute causing me to almost miss my flight. I was still in Takashimaya at 930 pm and my plane leaves at 12AM. With only 2.5 hours to spare, I had to go back to Hilton, pack my bags, check-out, and get to the airport. Whew!

On the other hand, it was a good decision not to stay for the weekend. I saved myself from the horrific 'excess baggage' fees which I am sure I would incur again had I stayed on. My luggage was already 21 kilos and I have not been on full blast shopping mode yet!

So I have nothing very significant to share about this trip to Singapore, except this video of how to make a Roti Prata (took it from a food kiosk selling roti prata at Food Republic in Wisma Atria). It tastes good, really. Just forget the guy who makes it. Enjoy!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Confessions of a Makeup Junkie

Back in college in the student-with-adam's apple-dominated faculty of engineering, while most female students are fixated with their T-squares, I was putting lipstick, coloring my hair burgundy and strolling in high heels.

I confess, I am an addict.

I'm addicted to makeups, perfumes and other girl stuff. I fantasize about lip shimmers, bronzers and moisturizers. Lotions, creams, bath it, I most likely got one in some of my transparent plastic boxes securely locked inside my closet. Yes, I do lock my facial foam while I leave my jewelry and money on my work desk.

What I have are mostly gifts and pasalubong from balikbayan friends and relatives. Some were given as birthday and Christmas presents. Every occasion, it's the most common 'surprise' that pops up when I unwrap gifts and open boxes. Of course there were a 'few' that I bought from one of my trips abroad (and from Megamall).

Sometimes when I look at my stash, I feel a tinge of guilt knowing that if converted to precious Pesos, all my abubot could easily feed 10 families for a month. I know a lot of women who spend way way too much on clothes and make-ups. It was written a few years ago that Gretchen Barreto's make-up alone costs more than Php 1M. So compared to other women, my makeup spending is just coins in their piggy bank. (Well, artista naman sila, artista ba ako?)

On the contrary, I am not the typical addict who refuses to part ways with any of their 'stuff'. I do give some away; at the spur of the moment when a sister, a cousin, an aunt or a friend sweetly asks... she will more likely get one of my beloved stuff. I do believe that everything on earth is temporary, and since I cannot bring these cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, moisturizers, creams and whatnots with me in the afterlife, I would rather that they are enjoyed by myself and my love ones before the products or us (knock on wood) expire. Like recently when I got this gift from a good friend who visited from Guam, I only got to keep one Burt's Bees lip shimmer - the rest went to my 2 sisters and Ate Maris, my youngest aunt.

It's hard to explain and make one understand why women need all these beauty products. When I say it's not for vanity's sake, no intelligent human being will believe me. Simply put, there are things that only daughters of Eve will ever understand.

That we can never be content with just one set of makeup
That there's got to be three, or two layers of eyeshadow at the very least
That lipstick looks better if topped with a lipgloss
That foundation is sometimes a cake, a gel, a stick or liquid
That dusting powder is for the face and not for the floor
That hair color needs to be retouched every 3 weeks
That shoes and bags should match
That expensive skin care products are called investments (yeah, like mutual funds!)

Oh how I love these excesses and I am soooo wanting to acquire more, but I am not gonna pawn my watch just to get a fresh tube of lip gloss. (Little Sister said only because I love watches too!).

So now you know why I am called Kikay.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Adults Say The Darnest Things

When I was a kid, I lived with my maternal grandma. Being the first and only grandchild then , I was very energetic, bratty (there, I finally admitted) and stubborn. Desperate to make me obey her orders or follow her words, my Lola would come up with all sorts of stories.

All grown-up now and 95% less gullible, I realized it was so foolish of me to believe these eccentric stories; that there are several variations to each and; that children from all walks of life have been told one or more of these tales.

It makes me laugh now because I know we all have, somehow, at one point, been duped!

1. When a child refuses to eat, during the night his soul will get hungry. It will get out of his body and scan through the pots in the kitchen, hoping to find a meal. Once the soul is able to open a pot, he will get in and eat. Then, early in the morning the maid will put back the pot cover thereby effectively trapping the child's soul until it suffocates to death.

2. When you get wounded and you refuse to have it cleaned and treated, all the food you eat will come out of that wound (yes, even your favorite chicken lollipop!)

Or if you scratch the now-healing-so-it-is-itchy-wound, a train will come out of it.
wonder, is it the MRT?).

Another variation is that a priest will come out of the wound. I certainly hope it's not the Pope!

3. The most effective way to prevent a child from swallowing seeds when eating fruits is to
warn him that the seed will grow inside his tummy and leaves will sprout out of his ears.

4. Dont bathe after 3PM (the time of Jesus' death) on Good Friday. I will be as if
you are bathing with the blood of Christ.

5. When there is a drizzle and the sun is shining warm and bright, it means there's a
tikbalang (half horse, half man) being wed to a (not necessarily pretty) human. Children should not go out and play to keep the wedding solemn.

6. The first time a girl gets her period, she should wipe her face with her (bloodied)
panties or else pimples will grow all over her face. Very, very unhygienic! I think this was 'invented' by a man!

7. If you sleep with a wet hair (or right after bathing), you'll be blind when you wake up. (Why can't they just say that if we sleep with a wet hair, the pillow will get wet! LOL)

8. If you skip a meal, your large intestine will eat your small intestines.

So, what fooled you when you were little?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Phuket, lovelier the second time

The first time I went to Phuket, it was my first project with MBT. Back then, I was so focused on the project that I only managed to set foot on Karon Beach and experience the popular powder-like sand of the tourist-infested island only on my 2nd week. It's unusual for someone to be in Phuket for 28 days and go to the beach only once. I didn't even swim. It was good that a colleague, Richard, was with me during the 4-week trip, so sometimes we went shopping and on our last night went to Patong Beach to see the bustling Bangla Road. There were lots and lots of she-men! You wouldn't be able to tell the naturally born with the 'pechay' and one who just bought it.

Now after over two years, I am back for a 5-day retraining project for Millennium Resort Phuket. The hotel is huge; two buildings housing over 400 rooms. The main come-on is
Jungceylon (a shopping mall and entertainment complex) which is right smack in-between the two buildings of the hotel. By the way, the hotel and mall's owner are one and the same. Clever! (and oh so rich)...

Anyway, since I am staying only for a week, I've decided to make the most of it. I'm situated in the middle of everything so I might as well enjoy. In retrospect, it's crazy to compress all the pasyal in one week (strictly after 6pm), when two years ago I have 3 weekends to spend as I please. Plus, back then I have someone to tag along (and take my pictures!).

So immediately after second day of training, I went to see the famous Patong Beach. It's beautiful; the white and super fine sand is amazing. I really regret not buying a DSLR before this trip. Anyway, despite the beauty of this beach, I think the beaches in Philippines are far better. I have never been to Boracay, but from the pictures, I would say it is twice as beautiful. But hats off to Thailand for the huge budget allotted to tourism. It's working wonderfully well for them - tourists are everywhere spending green moolah on hotel, food, booze (and prostitutes, hehehe).

On my walk back to the hotel, I saw Bangla Stadium. And when you see a boxing stadium in Thailand, immediately what comes to your mind is Muay Thai. Knowing Jason loves Muay Thai, I had to tell him right away and feign excitement too (like I saw Brad Pitt) as I speak so he would turn green with envy. How evil! In fairness, for sure he would love to come with me here, but had to stay behind for little Eone.

As to shopping and food, what is here that is not in Manila? Absolutely nothing. So I thought I'd buy absolutely nothing too. Haha. No, I had to get something for my little girl, (at least) to compensate for 6 days of being away from her. Then there's Boots No.7 Soft and Soothe toner for Redjeulle which, ironically, cannot be found in Manila. Why, Rustan's, why?

My only complain about going anywhere in Thailand is the language. Only a handful speaks english, and that's not even good english. It makes training a nightmare! I had to resort to drawing most of the time, and I am NEVER good in drawing. Sometimes, it's like playing charades, no kidding! One instance, a trainee wants to go to the toilet and had to ask to be
excused. She waved her hand, pointed at her groin and said "Teacher, teacher, I pee-pee!". Hilarious!

By the way, if in future anyone plans to go to Phuket, please do not take Bangkok Airways which is supposedly Asia's Boutique Airline. It bounced like a kangaroo when we landed. Made me wonder where they train their pilots as they all seem to have been former jeepney drivers! I heard too that it's quite expensive to fly Bangkok Airways (I didn't pay for my airfare, as usual); they have a passenger lounge which serves buffet food, provides internet and comfortable waiting area for all their passengers. Yes, all, regardless of seat class.

Oh the joys and pains of travelling. More joys than pain, it's true. But for me, who cares about fine white sand and magnificent sunset over a blue-green beach? If Im away from my family, nothing would be truly lovely. I would still prefer to just stay in Manila and do regular office stuff. At the end of the day I'll be with the warm embraces of my Eone, eat adobo and watch soap before I sleep.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

Chocolate Fondue 101

Eto ang Dyosa, nagpapa turo papano mag melt ng chocolate pero di marunong gumamit ng double broiler…at nahihirapan ma-gets ano ang double broiler!

whengkay: gusto mo kumain ng masarap
whengkay: puta magpagod ka
rubyle: wala bang nabibili na tunaw na?
rubyle: all along akala ko ilalagay ko ng bloke bloke yung chocolate sa fondue pan
rubyle: shet. ignorance.
whengkay: wala
whengkay: kpag nga meron buo buo na choc na napahalo
whengkay: nag s-stop ang motor ng fountain
rubyle: inutil ang fountain
whengkay: me fountain ka na
whengkay: choc nalang ang kulang mo
whengkay: bongga na yan
whengkay: madali lang yan
whengkay: gusto mo ilagay mo isang malaking ziplock bag ang chocolate
whengkay: tapos punta ka ng saudi
whengkay: tapos ilagay mo sa gitna ng street sa saudi
whengkay: tunaw ang chocolate
whengkay: tapos ilagay mo sa thermos
whengkay: tapos uwi ka na sa pinas
whengkay: party time!

Buti nalang hindi ako cooking instructor. Hehehe.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I went to Sri Lanka but it's like I've never been there...

10 Top Things I Did, Learned and Saw in Sri Lanka

1. Military men. Dark, heavily armed, and sweaty (and perhaps smelly) on the look for suspicious characters. They gave me long and hard stares probably not because I look like a member of LTTE, but because they have never seen a Filipina before?

2. Held my breath many many times in the elevator, offices, conference rooms, and public restrooms. I learned to how grasp one big breath of air and hold it 'til I reached my 29th floor room. After that, I'd curse for 10 good minutes the daot who sent me here.

3. Replied trillions of times to questions equivalent or similar to "where are you from?". Samples are the typical "Are you from Thailand?" and the stupid "Are you American?". Heller? Look at my nose? Are you blind?

4. Ate local food and smelled funky the same night. No exagg! My hair smelled like a 'kili-kili' in badly need of 'tawas' five hours after eating 2 spoons of Pork in Dark Sri Lankan Curry.

5. Watched the lovely view from my hotel room: a very clean lake at the north side and the beach on the south side. Too bad picture-taking is prohibited, unless you want to give away your camera to the dark, heavily armed, and sweaty military men.

6. Almost fainted after hearing the million-dollar question, "Why do you always take a bath?". Juice ketch, bawal ba?

7. Ate friend chicken bathing in red curry. I was staying at the Hilton and yet, the food seemed all local!

8. Gagged and came very very close to barfing. No explanation needed.

9. The impressive Katunayake Airport. It's not as breathtaking as Changi or Hong Kong International Airport, but it's way better and bigger than NAIA. If our 'leaders' will stop shopping for luxury cars out of the taxpayers money, Philippines will have a chance to having a nice airport too.

10. Learned that every full moon is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. Geez, that's 12 days a year already. Add up the other public holidays they celebrate and it will be close to 30 non-working days. Whew, they are sooo lucky. I should let my bosses know about this...they actually think Philippines has the most number of public holidays (with 12 days, we're not even close to Sri Lanka!)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Saw the SIGN!

Travelling enriches and educates a person in hundreds of ways. What you can learn from reading dozens of books sometimes does not measure up to the amount of knowledge you gain from travelling.

I am lucky to have been gifted a job which allows me to travel to many destinations for free - staying and dining in fancy sometimes 6-star hotels. Surprisingly and ironically, I am not so enjoying it since I am by myself and I miss my family though the trips are only for 3 weeks sometimes 4.

So in the hope of minimizing my homesickness, I try to amuse myself with shopping, strolling and sight-seeing...and spotting signs like this.
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