Thursday, July 31, 2008

People : City scenes

I took this photo of a man. I captured this look of him.

I am trying to decipher whether the man's look is :
or content.

What do you think?

Wooden Beetle Bug

Car enthusiast, Momir Bojic is the owner of this cool one of a kind oak wood covered Volkswagen beetle. How interesting that it took him about a year to coat his vehicle with this wood. He lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and drives the car between Celinac and Banja Luka. Interesting masterpiece if I may say so!

Going Away (Party)

For young Australians it is common to go overseas to live for about a year or so. The culture encourages independence at a very young age, and a lot of them by the time they reach the legal age of eighteen would start moving out of their parents’ homes.

Last week a close colleague had a going away party at her nice posh house (looked like a designer home). Her boyfriend has been living in London for 2 years, and has just extended his work contract so they decided it’s time for her to move to London to live together. She invited all her close work mates, including one mature lady who lived on her own with only the company of her beloved dog who ate only the best dog food available. She couldn’t make it though as she had to take her dog to the veterinarian that evening.

At my colleague’s house, we were greeted with so much food, wine and her adorable parents (who even cooked for us!). It was such a nice night spent with colleagues. Too bad she’s leaving. Although of course for her it meant being reunited with her lover. I suppose all is for the best. Nowadays no one really stays put that long in one place. A move would happen to someone sooner or later. There are still a few though, who prefer to live and work in their hometown. I guess I’m not one of them!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

P & O Earlybird Cruise Offer

Okay, for a good hour I got all excited about thinking of going on a cruise. Neither me nor hubby's been on a weekend overnight cruise. P & O Cruise has this earlybird offer, wherein we could do 2 nights Sydney - Brisbane or Vice versa, for about AUD 565 per person, for a 2 night cruise in a Room with Private Balcony, on the Pacific Dawn. This rate includes all meals (a la carte or buffet), and afternoon tea, access to various entertainment and activities.

I opted for this coz the price is reasonably cheap, all inclusive, and the fact that it was just for 2 nights would give us a feel of how cruising is like. For all we know we won't like it. So this won't be too bad, if ever. However, when I had a look at the itinerary, the cruise departed from Brisbane at 8PM on Day 1, and arrived into Sydney on Day 3 at 8AM. That's a bit of a rip off, as it would mean the time we board, settle into our cabin it would be night time! So we won't see the view much. And, we'll only have one full day to appreciate the sights before we arrive after sunrise into Sydney Harbour. Well, come to think of it, seeing Sydney at sunrise or early morning would be quite nice. And, a full day to travel the north NSW coast may be good enough.

Of course am planning on my own again and for all we know hubby won't like this idea. We've talked about it before, but not seriously.

Oh, I remembered I get my travel agent rate, so we won't really be paying the published rate!!! Hmm! I suddenly got excited again! I have til September to think about this. I might ring them up tomorrow to check availability and all. Should you be interested to see what I am talking about, click here to see more information!
P.S. I neeeed this for my job! To make me a better travel agent! Think so?!

Games kids and adults play!

There was a time when boyfriend and I were so into Apple Mac games. We would take turns playing jewel quest 3 for mac, and other times we’d try some new game, but we’d still end up playing jewel quest again later on. He even went to surf the internet to find a good mac blog how obsessed is that? I think once in a while we still get these moments when we act like kids taking turns playing computer games, or sometimes watching while the other plays! It’s probably one of the ways we bond, among the many other childlike activities we do (we used to play Daytona, the car racing arcade game!). He sometimes made me win, which I did not appreciate, because I would have stood a chance in beating him in the game anyway! We all have our own bonding activities with our partners. No matter how silly, playful, lame it may be, it brings us closer. Thank God for moments like these. When we’re old we’d probably either laugh it off, or try playing the computer games again!

Planning a divorce? Read this, and think again.

--I've received this realllly heart melting story. If you are contemplating about cheating on your partner, planning a divorce, or you just feel you need to rekindle your love, read this. It is long, but really nice.---

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that everyday for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Dew about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind... I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other any more. Now, I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank, blah..blah.. blah. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

Are you a bag, shoe or jewelry person?

I probably own about 30 pairs of shoes, more or less ( I think it is more though). I don’t know how it’s come up to that number, although I guess because I have shoes to suit different moods I am in. Just like my bags. I probably have about the same number of bags. They both come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. When I like something, for example shoes, I buy them in different colors of the same design, just to match the different bags as well.

Having said that though, I am not really much of a shopper. But, when I start, I really shop until I drop. Although I realize that I am not the best shopper particularly of baby presents. I find that each child is different and I don’t want to give the usual stuff that the baby may already have. I think a shop selling customized baby gifts would really be helpful during shopping dilemmas like these. Personalized gifts for baby would really be appreciated by the parents (also known as my friend/s) as they would feel that thought was given to choosing the best personalized new baby gifts.

When I was thinking what to buy my goddaughter of course I thought about getting her baby shoes, but then she’d just outgrow them. I ended up just getting her this really nice precious pearl earrings that were small enough to suit her baby ears, but big enough for her to use when she gets older. I really hope that she likes it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sides to a Story

Came across a nice quote this evening, by Robert Evans :

"There are three sides to every story:
Your side, my side, and the truth.
And no one is lying.
Memories shared serve each differently."

So true. Sometimes we are so caught up with our own side of the story, that we forget to think about the other side. Truly there is another side.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The bond between babies and mums

I’ve seen a few of my friends with young babies wear Baby Slings. These slings come in different sizes, colours and designs, and I love them. It not only looks stylish but really, it makes one feel so close to one’s child. It looks so comfortable, both for the mother and the child as well. I guess that’s because the material used is cotton, something really soft and non irritating. If one thinks about it, the sling would have been part of our history. The tribes’ women used to carry their young children in these slings while working. It keeps the baby in place, and at the same time is a bonding experience for mom and child (literally and figuratively speaking). Today I spoke with my mom and she’s asked me the big question: whether I wanted to have a child! I said of course yes, and told her I am planning to have one within the next two years (after wedding). She was quite relieved to hear this. I come from a big family and so they do think that children are blessing, and not just a mouth to feed. I was telling her that I am quite excited and looking forward to the day that I became a mom myself. Perhaps I should fast forward my life and imagine how I would be like as a mom, and how exciting it would be to carry my own baby in a baby sling!

I have a confession to make..

.. Sometimes my memory is too good, I surprise myself!

I don't know when it started. I could have had it in me ever since (as if) but then I would have to say it is not in all areas. I am bad at trying to remember what I wore last week, or what I ate yesterday for breakfast, or that an old good friend had a mole in between her mouth and chin. Ordinarily I don't remember these details. There are a few funny stories about my memory lapse on these instances. I actually told that my friend (with the mole) that she had some dirt on her chin!!! I was embarrassed by this! Another instance I told my colleague she had dirt on her cheek! She said it was a permanent scar/scratch of some sort. I would say it so casually that I just forgot that I HAVE seen them (mole and scar) before!

But with travel, it is quite different. With airport and city codes and computer entries, and geography and maps, capital cities, etc. I have quite a good memory. I also am a bit quite good at memorising telephone numbers, passenger details, etc. I guess it's what is called selective memory?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The air we breathe

My family has tried a couple of air purifier machines at home. In Manila one would think this would work, but I am not sure if it really does. In Sydney, when I moved here, the family I lived with used air purifiers as well. One of the kids had asthma and the parents thought that by turning the machine on at night this would have the child avoid an asthma attack. The question are air cleaners safe really? It really depends on how one is convinced to use them at home, or whether the machines are used properly the way they are meant to be. For me, I think I don’t really mind not having it. I suppose it is all just about preference.

Friday, July 18, 2008

About Ballet Shoes, Tennis Balls, Swim Suits, Piano books, Life lessons and other things

As a young person, I was exposed to different activities that involved honing my then so-called talents. I suppose everyone in my family went through this. It is only my two youngest siblings that got away with doing what they wanted. That’s what I get for being the eldest. The guinea pig of it all. First born over pampering at times. Wanted to expose me to everything. Try this. Try that. Enrol in this and that. I have spent a few summers attending ballet classes. I loved wearing tutus and those pretty pink ballet shoes. I’ve even performed in a real recital at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, commonly known as CCP.

Together with my siblings and cousins, I took piano lessons while doing ballet on the side. It was my mom’s ultimate goal for one of her children to be a pianist. I guess that wasn’t my long term plan. I took up piano lessons again later in my late elementary years but only to give me bad memories of my piano teacher flicking my fingers each time I made a mistake in playing my piece. My piano career ended with a grand recital. I don’t think I’ve touched the piano ever since.

Everyone in my family is a swimmer. Ever since I can remember, the water was introduced as a friend. To be honest I kind of loved this one. I’ve trained in varsity, competed at inter-level games, did even more training. Until I realized for myself I wasn’t really up for the whole competition thing. I swam because I liked it. Not because I had to be the fastest swimmer. That was the end of my early career as a swimmer. I now just enjoy lazing in the beach. Or, dipping in pools when I am on holidays. I plan to teach my kid (when I have them) to swim though.

During my pre-teens I took tennis lessons for two summers (while swimming). I had pent up energy that I guess I had to release at that moment in my life. I found it too unladly-like as my forearms were getting to muscular, I stopped. I had a relapse doing badminton, for a while, until I figured I was just kidding myself. Stuck in an airtight room sweating was not my thing. I probably did this coz I was crushing this badminton player at the country club.

As a young adult in my early university years, I took up guitar and voice lessons (on separate occasions). Again this was short lived. I was trying too hard, and the lessons made me feel obliged to attend. I could not sustain my interest in high notes and twisted fingers trying to make music with guitar strings. I ended up requesting for a refund for the remainder of my music term.

Through it all, I guess I tasted a bit of everything in my youth in terms of activities. I know of people who were never encouraged to get into sports, the arts or music. My parents overwhelmed me with all these opportunities. Until when I finally asked them to enroll me into French class. This tapped my soul. I was inclined to learn about culture, language and travel. This was even strengthened in college, when I had to take Spanish as an elective. Truly I knew I had a calling.

It was a long journey trying to tap what it was I was really interested in. However, no matter what I am thankful that I was able to get the best of everything. It all worked well, and I can now appreciate my parents’ efforts in exposing me to the activities while I was young.

In life, I guess there are things that we have to try at least, for us to know truly whether it is something we would pursue. Once we realize what is and what is not for us, only then can we move on to the next!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Conversation with a Cabbie

I was on my way to the airport, on a freezing, gloomy early morning. I was in a bit of a rush and still half asleep. Cabbie was already wide awake after taking his strong coffee, which I saw him just finish as I approached the Cab stand.

It was meant to be a quick drive to the airport. Usually about 15-20 minutes. It turned out to be 45 minutes. Yup, everyone wanted to take the airport route on that cold day.

Very much into the traffic, cabbie made convo with me. He was Asian as well. For some reason we ended up talking about each other's background (nothing too personal, just basic stuff), where are you from, how long have you been in Sydney, have you been back home, politics back home, etc. Later on, he mentioned that both him and his wife had to work. He said he had 2 kids. He asked if I had any, I said none. It was expensive to have kids. I got an eye opening comment from him. He said kids are not expensive. Money is nothing. He said, children need parents' time. If you have kids, you should be prepared to give them your time. And not leave the children with grandparents or day care centres. Wow. It's only 6AM and this stranger is talking sense already. I suppose I just didn't expect that talk at that time of the day. From a stranger to a stranger. It made me think. True enough it's not all about the money.

We went on talking about China's One child policy, etc. And finally, I got to the airport. It cost me a huge AUD 45 ! But you know what, I said to myself it was worth it. It's one of those conversations you have with a stranger that do make sense. I wish though that it costed me less!!
(Image from :

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Constantly changing themes

A few weeks ago I was just so confused with my web templates and all that. I was so dissatisfied with my previous template that I was up and about for quite a while looking for the perfect one. It was an endless search, and a few times I liked a couple or so designs. I’ve seen a number of really nice wordpress themes on and have settled on something that I like, for now, that is. I suppose it’s just my nature to seek change every once in a while. Who knows in a couple of months I would be searching for new themes again. I’ve realized that since I have a few blogs anyway, I would be able to rotate changing the designs in them, that way I don’t rattle myself up updating each site all at the same time!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Japanese and their Rice

I've read about Japanese and how they come up with art in their rice fields. Isn't it interesting to note that in a seemingly combination of modern and traditional society as Japan, they do know how to create art from something ordinary. I've come across 2 Japanese sites : here and here. They showcase the rice paddies artwork. It is in a town called Inkadate, in the Aomori prefecture. Interesting pieces!

You are what you learn

Everything in this world would either be something one has learned about in Noveau Riche University or some other university of life. Once in a while I think whether I was better off taking my degree in Politics, or pursued Travel early on in my life. Somehow, I still managed to get to where I am, because of perseverance and hard work. Not to mention countless (or endless) sleepless nights reading inches of text books and lecture notes. There were times when me and my other block mates just were hanging on the cliff and waiting to drop out of university. Questioning and trying to make logic out of our reason to continue with our chosen course. Most of us managed to get through after four or five long years of studying. Only one out of four of my university classmates are working in something related to Politics. I guess, really, we all are connected to Politics in some way. If only Politics in the Philippines was stable, then Tourism would be better! There you go. Travel and Politics.

Having said all that memories and Noveau Riche University dramas, I am still a firm believer that everyone who can afford and is able, should get a Noveau Riche University degree of some sort. It is really the about the training and determination that one would need in real life. True, one doesn’t practice square roots and statistics in the real world. However, at the end of it all, life is all about the equation and balance you make of your life’s components.

Friday, July 11, 2008

World Youth Day in Sydney is Happening

Have you ever participated in a World Youth Day event? I have. If you have then you would know and understand the hype that comes with this celebration of World Youth Day in Sydney.

Did you know that until now, Manila still holds the record with 4 million WYD participants... I think Sydney now is just expecting about less than 200,000 delegates.

Nonetheless, living in the city hosting the event, one would feel the spirit coming alive. Well of course there are others who are protesting against this. Not everyone can be all pleased with this imperfect world we live in. Even the olympics, the dalai lama, G8 summit (etc) attracts protesters.

Anyway, I have been seeing a number of people in the streets, train station, malls, coffee shops who are obviously attending WYD (some have huge backpacker bags, uniform jackets with the logo, etc)... Some of them try to find their way around, some are just in awe with the city... One thing common in them is their glow. They have this sort of excitement in them that you can see brewing inside. I feel excited for them too. I am sad I won't be able to participate, but I just think to myself and say I had my chance and my turn in 1995 in Manila. I can say I maximised my experience back then. And so I cherish those memories. Now, I live in the city and just watch the delegates 'move'. In a way I will be with them in spirit. Wishing them the same if not more enriching experience as I had experienced during my first WYD in Manila.

World Youth Day Sydney is from July 15 to July 20, 2008. Activities are held in different venues in and around the city parameters. Activites such as catechism, vigil, masses, stations of the cross, etc.

Fortunately for me, from my office window we would be able to catch a glimpse of the happenings at Barangaroo (which is where the pope will be arriving to, and where the opening mass will be held). I will try to see if I can take photos and share them here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jobs and Being a Nomad

Nomads don't have permanent homes. They never stay put. Well, that's in my words, at least. I may have been one of them in my past life.

This week I saw an ad about Singapore Airlines hiring this particular travel position that I've been wanting. During my younger days I've always wanted to work for an airline. I've tried to enter the industry by going for interviews with a number of airlines (well, about a handful). I was starting out then. No travel industry experience 8 years ago. They did not take me in. I suppose it was not meant to be.

Now, as much as I would love to experience working for an airline (nice real travel benefits!), they are not the most stable employers. A lot of airlines are continuously downsizing. I would need a bit of security and stability.

Talk about irony though, I was talking to hubby recently as well. And was asking him if I was to want to relocate to another city (or country) again, if he would come and follow me AGAIN. He didn't answer me for a second, or two. I guess he felt a bit threatened in a way about the idea of me always wanting to pack my bags and head off to another city. He's seeing the pattern with me moving to different places to live just when I am about to settle in. (Just for my own credit, Though I am proud to say in a span of 8 years I've only been employed in 3 companies so far).

But anyway, talk about wanting a stable career in a stable industry. This doesn't exist I suppose nothing in this world is certain, especially nowadays. But how can I justify wanting a change of environment every 5 or so years? Sooner rather than later we should be starting our family. And we all know that kids need routine and a steady home.

All I can say is one day. One day soon.
PS: I am sure I am not alone in this world who feels this way...

Other tourist markets

Today’s world is teaching different industries to accept differences in race, gender, sexuality and background. This pertains to my industry as well, which is the travel industry. Studying Tourist Behaviour in one of my post graduate Tourism Management classes, I’ve learned a great deal about Gay Friendly Travel. There are hostels, hotels, resorts, tours that particularly cater to the gay and lesbian market. The services they require to be rendered are of equal standard just like any other market (such as solo traveler, or family travel). Just like any other traveler, they are after Gay Travel Deals. There are quite a number of travel deals, packages and stay pay deals available out there. A Gay and Lesbian Destination Planner is available as well, advising on the best season (or months) to travel. Information on city happenings, activities and celebrations are out there as well. Gay and Lesbian travelers would know that Sydney’s Mardi Gras happens around about early March of each year. This is quite an interesting event to attend, whether one intends to participate in the parade, or be an entertained spectator like myself in the past few years. There are other wonderful cities as well such as San Francisco and Toronto which have their own Mardi Gras season. This is something that interests the gay and lesbian leisure travelers as well.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A day in the life of a travel agent

I guess a typical day in a travel agent's life can be quite boring (?!)... Or maybe, it's just mine.

I wake up either 8am or 9am. Depending on what time my shift starts. I jump in the shower half asleep.

I sometimes try to wake up earlier so I can prepare (or grab) a very quick snack to take to work.

This can be a few loaves of bread, my can/s of tuna, ham croissant, or home-stirred iced tea.

I quickly grab my chocolate bar for '3:30-itis' (That time in the afternoon when me and the other girls get restless)

I run to the train station, walking through the park and for one second try to appreciate the birds chirping and the landscape people doing the grass. BUT, it's winter now so I just dash to the station. If I'm lucky the train is immediately there within a minute or two.

I take my 8 minute train ride, sometimes I see a few familiar faces who take the same train at about the same time. I pass by the station which overlooks the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. I barely get to think about anything else, as 8 minutes is just enough to get a seat on the train. Breathe. And then jump off the carriage.

I run to my building, in 5minutes. Bit of a chitchat with the doorman/guard...I clock in, log in, stare onto my PC (I am half awake)... and then take calls, answer emails. Occassionally I get weird emails requesting for more baggage allowance to take a ladder onboard the aircraft (?!what?!), sometimes I get fun calls (oh, my passenger produces for MTV hmmm, interesting, or yep, I saw you won Ms Universe Australia, Congrats.....). Other times an angry client would call from overseas saying they cannot get on the plane and have been bumped off by the airline....BlahBlahBlah... I take a quick lunch break (or sometimes take long lunch with a friend or colleague).. Chat with the other ladies... Attend a few trainings every so often... A few meetings... Etc.

End of my shift. Finally!!.. I put on my coat and my scarf, ready to brave the cold winter night... I quickly remember that I needed a few things from Coles (supermarket), so I grab them and check them out. The lady in the counter is Pinay. A bit of small talk. Nice way to end the day in the city. Only if I hadn't actually lived in the city (I do live in the city)...

OR, other days I have travel industry events to attend to after my shift. I proceed to the hotel. Meet a few suppliers, get brochures/rates/etc. Then have a few drinks, listen to a few speeches. Wait to see if I win any exciting prizes. None. My name is not called. So I just head off....

So, I take the train home.. Read the free newspaper on the way. Actually skim it, as 8 minutes is not enough to read that 14 page hand-out. A friend calls, asking about what options he has if he wants to take a week off from work and travel. I put in a few things I know... End call.

I get off the train... Walk quickly through the park again... In my heels, and my aching armload full of grocery bags + plus my big shoulder bag. I wish it wasn't that cold.. And then it was quite drizzling.. Good thing I live close by..

Home sweet home. I cook up something quick. Have dinner. Shower. Watch a bit of TV. Surf the net for good hotel deals, or some hot destination, answer a few emails. Sit in front of my computer until I don't feel like it, or when the words are all blurry.

Then off to lalala land for this travel agent. Until the next day again. When the cycle starts over again. With a few occassional variety of people contacting me, a few extra things to do, a few extra people to meet. Occassionally I get a few major drama headaches in between.

C'est La Vie.

Sunnies for a holiday?

I don’t know about you, but I have this thing for nice sunglasses. It does not have to be expensive for it to appeal to me. Hubby bought one for himself last year, and I think it’s about time that I look for a new one as well. Something that will suit all my attire should I be going away on a holiday again anytime soon. I’ve read that has got real nice and affordable fashionable sunnies. I would definitely check that out.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What would you do if you were the Richest Man in the world?

Just watched a special feature on BBC Channel on Bill Gates and his empire. It just blew me away. The segment feature Bill Gates and his beginnings, his interests, his young adult life, background and how his interest in computers and technology led him to create the mega company Microsoft. In the interview it was said that Gates made so much money and that if quantified, he’s been earning about $5 million a day, since 1975. That means he is worth more than about $68 billion dollars! I probably won’t even make $5 million in my lifetime, and here he is just doing that overnight! The interviewer mentioned that Bill Gates likes burgers, and that with his earnings, he could give each person on the planet (all 60 billion people) a hamburger (costing say a dollar each), and he would still have about $6 billion left as a change.
The good thing though about Bill Gates, or at least what the interview made me believe, is that he is not a greedy person. Him and his wife, Melinda, have invested and created a foundation in the interest of education, world health and population. Gates has actually invested billions of dollars to funding research on malaria, and is aiming to make an impact on every person’s life by him contributing his earnings for the benefit of the world. Husband and wife Bill and Melinda Gates have decided to give back to the public what they have earned, instead of acquiring properties or giving this to their children as inheritance. Really, one can see that they are quite a well grounded couple.
He's one of those people who looks like all their lives they've just been using their brains. By choice or by not, I think the world needs more people like him. Making good use of his talent and his resources.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Talk about information we know

I am probably one of those people who would need an auto insurance company to work out what exactly I need to cover my car, when I have my own car. I guess, having had my parents work out car stuff made me quite dependent on them regarding this aspect. Now that I don’t have a car yet in Sydney, I am not that knowledgeable yet about these things. But then again, it’s not that I have no interest in it, but I suppose it just really doesn’t apply to me now, just yet. One day maybe.

In life, I suppose, there are times when we sift through information and pick up those that just relate to us at that particular time. For example, when I haven’t had any plans on going to Mauritius, I had no idea about what Mauritius had to offer in terms of tourism. When I was accepted to go on that trip, though, all information about Mauritius interested me. I could relate to news pertaining to weather, tourist attractions in that city. I suppose I would still come across certain information on Mauritius, but not just yet. I am glad though that I did grab the interest sooner rather than later!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Where my thoughts are at the moment

.. I was actually posting old photos from my Darwin trip late last year onto my other blog. Do check them out if you have the time... I went and did the Yellowater Billabong Cruise on Kakadu, and went through small towns, such as Adelaide River. We also had numerous other photos which I shared a few here.

Every once in a while

... I get this lonely feeling that I just want to pack my bags and head back to Manila. Crazy thought... After all the years that I've been working to get my residency here... It's true. I had a conversation once with a stranger on a bus, years ago, when I first got to Sydney. She said she had just got her residency, and she was still feeling empty. I couldn't understand her then. I thought to myself I just couldn't wait for the day I got my residency.

It's been more than 6 months since I got my PR (permanent residency), and I am really really thankful to God for this. But, I now understand the lady on the bus. She had her family back home as well, and so do I. And, life is just not as rich when you are in a foreign land alone. There are days when I see photos of my family (and friends) enjoying a good celebration and I just wish I was there to be with them. No amount of $$$ can buy that dream of wanting to be home. I'm sure anyone in the same boat will agree. It is one thing to pursue career, but another thing to know you are home. C'est La Vie.

Friday, July 04, 2008

It's that tax time of the year again

I received my group certificate from my HR yesterday. Upon receiving my envelope I quickly opened it and was just so appalled with my withheld tax amount. It was a huge one. Huge enough to get a Round The World Business class ticket (speaking in Travel Agents lingo). I know where my tax goes to, but sometimes you'd just wish it wasn't that high. Imagine 30 percent of my salary is TAX! Isn't that SO exciting!! Only if I was getting a big refund amount, but NO, last year and the year before I only got about AUD 200 back. Out of AUD xx,000 I got AUD 200 back. Couldn't believe it. I tried this tax refund calculator.

Anyway, enough of ranting. I should continue onto my weekly things to be "thankful" for..............

  • That I have a job (Hard times and there are people who dont even have a job)

  • That things at work are getting better

  • Coca Cola! I am trying to cut down on this. So, every time I have it, I cherish the moment :D

  • The internet and other modern things that make my life a bit more interesting.

  • Friends (I had lunch with a couple of friends this week and was able to catch up on the phone/YM to those who I couldnt meet up with)

  • Chance to live in a somewhat peaceful country. (it saddens me though everytime I hear or read about political news on Manila)

My Badger Balm

Lately I haven't been able to sleep well, or sleep early. I have found a soothing companion during these restless nights. Badger Balm! :) I'm not sure where it can be bought in Sydney, as it was given to me. But it's helped me fall asleep (better).

The scent reminds me of my first trip to the US, for some reason. The faint smell of chamomile. And for some reason it really calms me, and lulls me to zzzz land.

I was looking whether they had a LoveAche Balm! That probably would be popular. It doesn't have to work. Sometimes it's all in the mind. (A thought ran across me now, what if you saw someone on the train or bus for example, carrying a Badger Balm LoveAche! :X hehe).

I guess we all have our remedies for aches or pains or whatever. Sometimes the mere thought that it 'could' work, actually makes us feel better.

P.S. The balm is really good cause it is not greasy at all!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Love and thoughts on the modern world

Some people go around meeting other people through the internet, using online dating services or even through the new speed dating formula. These kinds of meeting were unheard of a few decades ago, but now, every other person would know someone who’s done speed dating or is currently dating someone they met through a dating service. One good friend from Sydney has tried using the 5 star dating website. She’s told me that she noticed that people who go through those services hope to meet people that share a faith in Christianity, or believe in the same things, have the same background, etc. I couldn’t agree with her more. Since these services usually ask about one’s preferences, they usually eliminate a potential time waster who is not matched up to one’s standard or who does not belong to one’s type. Of course it is never guaranteed, and it is entirely up to your discretion just like in any dating scenario to discern if one is a possible mate. I have never done this type of meeting though. If I was single, I probably would not mind trying this option with a bunch of girls willing to help me build up my online dating resume!

Ever been trapped in the lift?

I have.

Tonight, it was on the news that about 11 people were stuck in the lift, in one of Sydney's Attractions. The people were inside the lift when it suddenly stopped midway between the restaurant and the ground level. It was said on tv that they were stuck for a few hours! Click on this link for a bit of information.

As for me, getting stuck in the lift, well that happened about in the year 2000. I lived in a building where my parent's unit was higher than level 20. The lift just stopped, lights were on though, but there was a sudden halt. It was quite hot inside, good thing it was not packed. Only about 5 persons including me. We got onto the guards on the emergency button. Soon after about 10 minutes the lift was working again. It was the longest 10 minutes ever. So many things ran through my head at that time. It's good I'm not SO claustrophobic. Otherwise I might have hyperventilated. It's good too that everyone in the lift I was with did not panic. Otherwise it would have been an even more unpleasant experience.

Have you ever experienced this?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

First and Last

I was tagged by Val ages ago, for some reason I only got around to doing this now! :) Better late than never!

Participants: 1. Me and Mine 2.Creative In Me 3.Little Peanut 4. Pea in a Pod 5. Sugar Magnolias 6. All Things Me 7. Because Life Is Fun 8. Mind Bubbles 9. Something Purple 10. Stripe at Yellow 11. Vanity Kit 12. Em's Detour 13. Big Eyed Gal 14. The Chronic Shopper 15. Vital Sighs 16. Coriander Dreams

*First real job: Philippine Stock Exchange Employee
*First screen name: I honestly don't remember!!
*First funeral: my uncle's
*First pet: A fluffy white labrador
*First piercing: Ears
*First tattoo: I was never up for a tattoo. But I think I had a sticker one before......
*First credit card: My BPI credit card
*First kiss: ummmm.... a guy in grade school stole a kiss. Kissed me on the cheek!
*First enemy: A girl in pre-school who made fun of my pigtails! We never became friends. ;D

*Last car ride: Took a cab to work the other morning. I was running late....
*Last kiss: Hubby of course.

Pretty sure I'm one of the last ones to do this... So, grab this if you're one of the few who hasnt done this yet....

Things I am thankful for...

... This week.

  • My job, my means of livelihood - no matter how stressful it can be at times, at least I have one.

  • My apartment - not the biggest, or the flashiest, but nonetheless it provides me shelter on winter days and nights

  • Chocolates and Ice Creams - I had quite a few of this this week

  • Quiet nights - Peaceful sound of silence

  • Television - Keeps me company at times

  • Family and Friends in Manila - I am missing them so much

Jamaica dreaming

I remember having to book someone to travel to the Caribbean early this year. Like anyone who’s on a budget, my client wanted options on all inclusive resorts at Negril, Jamaica. I have never been to the Caribbean but I have a couple of good friends who are working for a cruise company based in the Caribbean. They have been asking me to travel to the United States, and then visit them in the Caribbean. They were offering me quite a good bargain to take their cruise on their staff discount! I asked them whether most of their cruise offered adult vacations, as I did not really want to travel around with noisy kids screaming or having tantrums ( I am just being picky and difficult now!). I told my friends I am looking at traveling to America when I get my Aussie passport next year. Hopefully I get to visit them. Just thinking about this makes my mind wander off to warmer weather. Sydney has been so cold the past few days and I am just wanting to be anywhere tropical. Oh well, I can always dream of the sun, and the beach, and some more holiday time away from the big city.

The big 4-0

Turning 40 soon has had me thinking about a few things lately. One, major one is whether to have another baby. Hmm. I guess this is partly n...