I am starting my day slowly, sipping my hot coffee, checking email… nothing new.
I hate surprises. I was caught off-guard with our client’s requirements that I failed to see! Hairs on the back of my forehead started to rise. I knew it, something’s wrong.
My once slow start accelerated to higher gear. Next thing I know, my coffee gone cold, my lips went dry, my stomach got starved. I died, came back to life because I cannot die this time, then died again, then resurrected. I cannot pass out not until I submitted our requirements.
I have to wrap up everything and be ready at 5pm, and I have to do everything in my power to make it happen. So I did what the usual sane people would do: I closed my eyes and ran like crazy 🙂
To cut the story short, I arrived at client’s reception desk at around 5:15pm. Pretending I’m not late, I casually approached a receptionist – lovely lady named wynna (don’t know if I spelled it right). I presented my documents while catching my breath. I was motioned to sit down, take some rest, and recollect my sanity hehe.
The receptionist sings. Being an expert in evesdropping, I listened. In the thinnest of tone, I am able to pick up the ‘Jesus’ in the song. She’s a believer (not belieber, grow up!*wink). I’m in the Middle East for so long, but I can’t get enough of excitement whenever I come across with fellow expat sharing the same faith. We have a cool conversation which is the first time today I’ve got one. I’m so focus with my client’s requirements that I moved heaven and earth to make it happen. And such a relief that I felt having accepted by our client. So prior to that, nothing seems to matter.
I’ve got a short webchat with my loving wife and cute son. I may have lack some things, but when I speak to my wife and son, I could not ask God for more. Except food of course, am starved.
Heading back, I’ve waited for my two colleagues who will join me in the car way back home. The thing is, these two gentlemen are so caught up with their conversations, that they did not include me. Rude, so to speak. I just sit silently, saving my english for rainy days hehe. I casually stare my smartphone, reading Robert Ludlum’s “the bourne.” I have to admit, I enjoyed reading than watching the actual movie, or listening to the two jerks who put me in an awkard situation haha. OP (out of place).
I went home fulfilled. It’s a challenging, tiring day. I can take rest, but can’t go to sleep. I can’t help but thank God for this day. I’ll be forever grateful.
Beneath a cloudy horizon spreads a gulf mena. Once was a scorched desert turned to be a melting pot of oil so rich that it paved way for this region’s development. Dubai, here i come – again.
It’s not so (annoyingly) hot on this season. With 23°c, feels like a tropical country i came from: the Philippines. Equipped with a phone with gps app designed for idiot like me, i confidently grabbed a taxi. Destination: Main office. I’m confident i will get lost somehow.
Now here’s where I’m good at – predicting my misery. I got lost, unsurprisingly, and started to bug our beloved Ms Melody who is exceptionally beautiful and patient to assist me. To cut the story short (and my ordeal), i finally reached our office in time – with an hour allowance for travel time :).
I was received with warm welcome (red carpet with press conference and everything – just kidding). Our team are so polite and eager to hear latest development in Qatar. After catching up with our team, I grabbed a taxi with unwavering confidence that I will be stucked somewhere in the desert. Destination: Abu Dhabi.
The moment I sit on the passenger’s seat, the driver started complaining that he waited for half an hour, that it’s his shift. I’m not a newbie on such excuses and to humor myself, I dropped a bomb: “abu dhabi,my friend.” Believe me, his eyes widened in disbelief and he let go a sigh so deep that i feel sorry for him. Wrong place, wrong time. So we collaborate on how to resolve the situation. Apparently, he’s not making up excuses. We agreed that i will be handed over with his partner (shift) to drive me to Abu Dhabi.
Upon reaching Abu Dhabi, my gorgeous friend (former colleague) Ems chatted me. I’m looking forward meeting this lovely lady. I am about to reply, then my load ran out. It happens to an idiot like me, which I refer to as murphy’s law as an scapegoat :). So i deviated from my route bound to hotel, to Dallma Mall where we will supposed to meet – which she still don’t know because I haven’t sent my reply yet. Poor me. I sought assistance with a saleslady to help me recharge my account. It turned out that i need to input my number (you guessed right, i have no idea what my number is), so i opted out for a voucher. I was instructed to climb on the first floor. I finally able to load, i am awesome!
Being able to contact Ems, I was thrilled to be informed that Imee will join us. Am so excited.
Imee is a food guru. We feasted on juicy salted chicken sprinkled with citrus, matched with ensalada-like fried eggplant as a side dish. The bread is freshly baked. Everything is perfect, minus the rude waiter that Imee has a grudge with (peace, Imee!).
See our snapshots below:
We talked a lot. From work-related to personal life. Joining these intelligent and cheerful beauties left me with my jaw wide open (okay, it’s a bit exagerrated – the jaw thing). It’s a no-nonsense conversation, that I haven’t experience for a long time, that I will treasure. I’ll look forward on future opportunities on sitting with you two – and I will pay this time (that’s a promise).
Arriving on hotel, I tried to show off by paying upfront. I’ll pay it anyway upon checking out. And guess what, I was upgraded to VIP! Talking about God’s tender love.
So here are the perks: a basket of fruits, a wardrobe, slipper and a pouch of toothpaste&toothbrush. I was also offered VIP access to gym and pool. I’m satisfied, but have to request for flat iron. I had a pleasant stay.
Waiting on hotel’s lobby took longer than expected. Perhaps due to traffic congestion. I waited until 8:30am, and started to get worried. Calling our office in abu dhabi, i was informed that the driver arrived and somehow cannot find me. I don’t know how many reception the hotel has, but we missed to see each other somehow. Being smart as I am, i waved for taxi (again). This time I did it first time. Feat!
So the training went well. I am now equipped for slavery 🙂
Before coming back to Doha, I decided to visit our colleague. I met our geophysics guys with Mr. Satar (the Living Legend). Then I headed to Imee. It’s really nice to pay a visit. You know the feeling of being special, receiving a warm welcome.
Then I move to next building. I first met this lovely lady: Jacqueline. Finally, i met her, who i usually communicate thru email exchange. Decided to see some more, I headed upstairs to meet the rest of FSME force. Here comes Imelda. She’s oozing with personality. She extended a courtesy of touring me around. You’ll never believe when I come across with commercial team. No shortage of excitement and joyful acquaintance. I feel blessed upon meeting ruby and yasmine. They’re so cool and (strangely) happy to see me.
Then there’s praveen, ebtisam (i call him sam, for short), youssef, and oh this young indonesian guy maybe.
All in all, I have a great two days holiday. I am looking forward on meeting them once again.
God is so good that He allowed me to meet such individuals. We may not see each other often, and acquaintance is no more deeper than good friends, I’m grateful for the opportunity. This makes me reflect on how God thru the years surround me with beautiful people that I may never have an opportunity to meet but lately. Surely, if I will be in need, they’ll be my friends indeed. I’ll do the same likewise.
Tomorrow is another day in the office, yet will be meaningful to other people we might cross with. I admit, Ms.Yasmine reached for my assistance once. I am about to go home that late afternoon feeling tired and extremely stressed. Instead of grumbling, i took a deep breath and get back to work. Assisting her is the task I am doing routinely. So I forgot about it. When I visited her, she is very happy. What if I grumbled? The feeling will surely be reversed.
Maximus (Russell Crowe, from the movie “Gladiator”) once said “Whatever you do today, echoes in eternity.”
It is okay to do everything diligently. As for me, I’m doing it for the glory of God.
It’s a typical business scene that someone will be leaving. As we greet with courtesy newcomers, so we pat shoulders of those who leave. You can hear remarks such as “good luck in your career,” “we’ll see each other again,” “don’t you dare to come back!” (i like the last comment..hehe..)
I can’t help but wonder that we encounter different people for a reason. It’s not a freak of nature that your boss is there yelling for you. It’s not horrible coincidence that you found yourself rock-bottom. It’s not the tip of magic wand that made you a manager of your department.
Whatever effect people around you may have caused, always remember that they all play vital role in your personal growth. Your character is being developed. Admit it, you are more matured with them. So greet everyone with a smile. They deserve it! You’ll never know when you will part ways so enjoy each other’s company.
This is a typical thursday-night setup. People are gathering around in one room and will talk for hours. Such happy hours are usually accompanied with liquors. And since it’s prohibited here in Qatar and we’re all good boys, we settled in bottles of “Barbican” instead, a non-alcoholic malt.
Companionship like this relieves us from homesickness, worries, and problems we are encountering in a daily basis. Find time to relax, enjoy and talk about everything under the sun.
Before we knew it, it’s about time to rest and have a good night sleep. Tomorrow’s another day. New challenges await for expat soldiers 🙂
I have a goal of shaping down my tummy. Since I’m in Qatar, a land overflows with foods and pastry, I can’t help but to gain some weight. It doesn’t really matter to me because of my slim body built. But seeing myself in a mirror, slim guy with round belly is not attractive :). People in my age (early 30’s) are getting health conscious, cursing their foods that made them so fat before consuming it 🙂
So i commit myself in jogging after work. Initially it’s tiring, my impatience keep bothering me. But progressively, I’m picking up momentum. I observe my breathing, applying rhythmic exercises, trying to keep the pace.
It’s a long way to go, considering that my stamina is not that strong. All my efforts will be paid off with released stress, healthy body and a sound mind.
I have two days off here in Qatar, friday and saturday. Sometimes I went with my officemates, but it’s better be during night time because of scorching heat in the desert. When vanity strikes, I climb in the rooftop of our accommodation and take few photos with my phone.
It’s not exactly a scenery to you 🙂 This is industrial area, we can expect nothing more. Looking at the bright side, here’s where money pours. This is the reason I’m here. The more wasted the land is, the more room for improvement and renovation.
Temperature is rising steadily as day passes by. Wintertime is out of the picture. It will be a nine-month long summer. Dust is everywhere. Since I came here, cold never left me. I have allergies in dust, I guess staying here made it worse. But enough medicine, sufficient rest, (ir)regular exercise did the trick. I’m at the peak of my health! <cough>