Saturday, June 13, 2009

the one with the gym

So, I got up this morning all groggy and heavy headed from last night's attempt to have a peaceful and quiet sleep which I didn't have. Of course, had I, I wouldn't have been bitching the whole day and talking to my mug - literally.

The day was almost over and I was planning on sneaking out earlier than I used to, but I didn't know what freakin' force got me to check on my pigeon hole at our secretary's office. And there it bank statement.

Now, normally when I get my bank statement, I don't usually go ballisitic. But this time... Nagasaki went into pieces atomically speaking. Bombs dropping on my head would usually be when I get my Visa bill and ask myself, "What the hell were you thinking when you got that shirt? It's freakin' orange! You hate orange!"

The bomb on my bank statement was that every month (for 4 months), I got a debit from a gym class. A gym class. I don't go to the gym! I'm cancelling this account immediately. Tomorrow! As I recalled how did I got that gym subscription, turned out I checked on one of those boxes from the bank survey. Can you believe that? I'm so not falling into that survey crap anymore.

On a lighter note, I'm just not the gym kinda guy. Sure, a couple of times I did try to be one but playing basketball and just bristwalking on the corniche seems so much better than having to run your ass off the treadmill and punish yourself with butt clenches. More importantly, its because I stand by I stand by them when they said, "Ang tunay na lalaki ay may tiyan!" and "Bading lang ang ng gygym!" - check out our cool, funny, offensive and loko-lokong shirts...we'll be glad you did...bili na bago pa mapirata!

Friday, June 12, 2009

the one with between now and then

Wants. Needs. Happiness. We suffer because of them. All of it...useless...

It is useles. Life is useless. We spend our life working and laboring, and what do we have to show for it? Generations come and generations go, but the world stays the same. The sun stil rises and it still goes down, going wearily back to where it must start all over again. Every river flows into the sea, but the sea will never be full. The water returns to where the river began and starts the thread of streaming all over again.

Everything leads to weariness. A weariness which words aren't ardent enough to explain. Our eyes can never see enough to be satisfied. What has happened before is bound to happen...again...

No one remembers what has happened in the past, and no one in the days to come will remember what happpens between now and then.

the one with getting back at it

It has been a while now since I last wrote an entry. It is safe to say that work has been eating up most of my time and my creative juices aren't that much of a help either. I could make million reasons and put them up into a list why I wasn't writing for the past two or three months but all of them would just sound lame.

But as of 1:19 am GMT+3 time, that is now, I just got the urge back. Feels good to be back scribbling, typing, hiting the keys... Writing has been one of my greatest passions in life. It has always been there yet I haven't really gotten a hold of it. That was why I included it in my bucket list for the year 2009. And that is why this Weekly Oz blog was created.

The entries to come are still of the same blend. A mix. A mash. Of truths, lies, and realities. I'm just welcoming back myself.

Friday, March 20, 2009

the one with the magi in al fahdli

I trekked on a journey with some of my students somewhere in the middle of the Kingdom and Kuwait. We arrived in Al Fhadli just before sundown.

Amidst the vast sand and the heat of the afternoon sun, I conquered my dessert quest. It was pure euphoria in the making as we stepped down from our trucks. Bench and I looked at each other and said, "This is worth the freakin' wait."

We met a couple of locals who are called Bedouins. With their broken English and our broken Arabic, we perfectly made sense with each other. Abu Mohammed introduced us to a Magi (pronounced as ma-ji). A Magi is a title given to a wise man. Abu Salim was his name. We circled around as Sultan prepared the traditional Arabic coffee served with dates. And Abu Salim started his talk. He ventured on topics of life and existence. The befores and the nows. He spoke straight Arabic which should have been difficult for me to understand but surprisingly, I surprised myself by getting a word or two and then ending up understanding the verse.

As the sit down was getting its way. The wind was getting its share of blowing. Abu Salim stood up and without a single word started his chant. We followed him and there as we crept out of our tent, the camels came from their long walk. It was just a sight to see.

Al Mujana Tent. This was the haven that we took shelter in.

Sultan, preparing the traditional Arabic coffee just before the sit down.

Al Magi. The wisdom of the old and the wise. Abu Salim as he was approaching Abood the camel.

The three wise men with the Mahjudin camels as they were comin back to their stables.

Abu Mohammed feeding them with water.

As the sun drew to a close, the perfect silhouette was cooking up by itself.

And the sun was stabbed by a dagger. Its blood ran down the vastness of the sand.

I went home later that night with an exhausted feet and a fulfilled heart. Nothing is more perfect than the experience I just had.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the one with the husband and wife

This find is probably the best real-time find that I personally have encountered. From the social networking web site that has literally killed friendster, facebook. This is the wall to wall of two of my childhood friends who made it as a couple.


Dear Wife,

Happy Birthday!




Dear Husband,

The greeting is very sweet but there is nothing sweeter than a gift.
I made a list of gifts that would be adequate to give on this special day of mine...

1. Flowers. Specifically tulips or roses. But if you can't remember either of those, any flower will do as I will just be excited to receive something at work that will make my coworkers think I must be a fabulous and deserving Wife. Please try to limit and/or eliminate the amount of fillers, ie: baby's breath (duh)

2. A weekend getaway. Your choice, as long does not involve Gaza, Afghanistan, or Lollywood. However, I doubt we'd be married if the aforementioned destinations excited you in the least.

3. Jewelry. You know what kind I like Husband. And if you don't, maybe you should stick with flowers.

4. Something memorable of our time together. I will be looking forward to the collection of movie stubs, restaurant receipts, and photos you've stored away over the years.


Dear Wife,

I dunno what you're taking in your office (I hope its not drugs), but you are hallucinating.

RAVI tonight? With some delicious spicy Pakistani food, then a stinkiest farting contest at home, after!



Much thanks to Roy and Rose for making this public. It sure cranked up my day, wait...This was yesterday. Real cool. Hope you don't mind me sharing this. And, if its not too much to ask, what's Rose's reply to the latter? =)

Friday, March 13, 2009

the one with the mobile embassy

Mobile Embassy is a cause geared to reach out to the outskirts of the desserts to provide assistance in passport renewals and applications for all the Kabayans here in the mid-east.

I'm glad I got to be part of this cause. Here are some of my shots during that long, tiring but definitely fulfilling weekend.

"Waiting for that magic number to be called by the releasing officer."

"Looks like Manong's looking beyond the horizons."

"Feeding the stomach gods under the heat of the dessert."

"Small talks."

"Tatang Squared - Waiting in line.

"Tired. Exhausted. Hungry. Waiting on the the releases."

"Waiting in vain si ate."

"Sa wakas."

My knack for photography is still a work in a progress.

Friday, February 20, 2009

the one with why you shouldn't date a co-worker

I really do find this piece of mine interesting, not in a writer's selfish point of view but in a reader's point of view. But then again, I write for pleasure. And such is free from any contestation.

The One With Why You Shouldn't Date A Co-worker. Here they are.

1. That sweet look you give to each other. The ones that make your ear tingle a little bit. The ones that make you smile as you step into the elevator to get some copies your boss told you to get so. The ones that make you quickly check on the mirror to see if your gel is working. And yeah, totally not just for women, men as well. Stage 1. The Attraction.

2. This is where your entrepreneurship classes in college has its benefits. You try to bargain yourself. You have her number, but you try not to call her. You see her and then you try to look away. Then when she's not looking, you go back at you're seemingly endless daydreams of you and her. Stage 2. Bargaining.

3. As much as you hate deadlines, there will always be deathlines. And this is where you finally take and make the decision of asking her out. After a few laughs at the lobby, you probably would segway into having a drink with her sometime or a cup of coffee somewhere. Then, you have submitted. Stage 3. Submission.

4. This is the fun part when you date a co-worker. You'll get free snacks from the canteen. Or a cup of coffee early in the morning when you just stepped in the office. Or a hint on what's going to happen at the conference room coz she's been there. I've gotta say, it's like having a secretary at the same time. Real convenient. Stage 4. The Perks.

5. And as all the perks and the great convenience occur, this point emerges. The point where you feel agitated by the events. The coffees just keeps on coming. The snacks are neverending. And the assistance becomes annoying. In short, it all becomes overwhelming. Stage 5. The Tipping Point.

6. And the overwhelming continues. You feel like breaking it off with her but the feeling of "Uhhh, she's just so nice." just keeps you from not doing it. So you say to yourself, "Yeah, this'll workout. Couple more weeks." And by that you thought it'll all go away. And of course, you're wrong. Stage 6. Purgatory.

7. After a month or so in puragatory, it's time. You have all your lines ready for the next date. Of course you're not gonna break up with her at work, so a not so fancy restaurant would probably do justice. You get to your speech mode and you end up saying cliches like, "I need space." or "I need time." Blah blah blah. Stage 7. The Confrontation.

8. All is well after the break up. Work goes normal again for you. Of course you'll see her. If she's decent enough, a couple of hi's and hello's would be really nice. But if she harbors estranged emotions, then goodluck coz you're bound to see her everyday in the office. At gatherings. Birthdays of friends. And the list goes on. Stage 8. The Fall Out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

the one with Raj's Shehzadi

A place where modernity, traditions and religion often have their cruel clashes, is the place where my good friend Raj lives. I've known Raj for quite sometime now. This is his story.

While most of the people around us think that the reason why we left our mother countries is to earn more and for a greener pasteur, Raj didn't have that reason with him. He had a great job back home in Pakistan and great friends and family as well. So, what was the reason for leaving? His Shehzadi. Shehzadi in the native Urdu tongue means 'Princess'. Princess Lily. The mysterious equation of love that Raj found in Lily is the one that neither science nor man can possibly explain.

On one of the nights here in what we happily call our own version of Gitmo, Raj came by my pad, brought some smokes and sat down on the dirty green chair that I have been keeping for special occasions. His lines where, "What does it take to win your greatest love?"

My reply, "Raj, you gotta be fucking kidding me! How the hell should I know...I just lost mine." We laughed so hard until there was that moment of silence. "My family has made their decision. It was final and irrevocable. I can't have Lily." Raj left his home to escape from being served with this reality. Ethnicity, race and social status play a vital role in Raj's home. Of course there are occasional stories of love against all the odds but the thing is it is frowned upon. And the issues of honoring your family more than anyone is a brutal pin in his society.

A couple of days ago, Raj and I shared a cup of coffee and a joint of Cubanos. The usual "What's up man?" and the usual "Same shit. Different day." were uttered. I asked him about how is he holding up with things. "Lily is engaged."

Raj's Shehzadi has gotten engaged over a guy whom her family picked for her. On the night of the engagement, Lily sent Raj a message to please call her. He called. She answered. "The bells are ringing. The smiles are all wide. The best wishes are real. The gifts are extravagant. The groom is a great man. But, my tears are falling for you. It will only be for you."

Raj's silence was deafening. Lily's sob was excruciating. The mystery equation of love has been tried and solved for over a billion times. Only a few have succeeded.

Monday, February 2, 2009

the one with the ads & announcements

The SANDWITCHES: Snapped at Sharq Hotel (Sharq is an Arabic word meaning East) Guess there are witches in the east then.

The Airconditioning is good and the TIRES are almost new. Way to go selling your car dude.

The best thing about Bangladeshi used goods shop is this. One PES is not enough!

Another one from Sharq Hotel. A good way of INFORMING customers ey... Uhh, YFI, UFO has GTG!

It's definitely NEW BRAND.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the one with the slumdog millionaire

Strange was what I called it when I first heard of the title.

Blank was my feeling when I knew that it won the best picture award in recently concluded Golden Globes.

Astonished was my reaction when I knew that it was given a staggering 10 nominations in the Oscar Awards.

Bloody fucking brilliant were the first words that came out of my mouth after watching the film.