Filed under: Uncategorized
A brisk wind
A blue grey day
The sky promises thunder
What! I have no say?
Covered by wasted leaves
No more a wife for keeps
Murder and bustling
The disparate nature
Of our living
Like bees spreading our taste
The impatient road
Of the human load
Told to pack
‘Leave love in the movies’
What is to come
Frees me not from want
Life peals away
The intricate layers of our glow
But I, a fading light, will not end
With a beautiful show
A brave elope
Everything good can mimic
The magic of hope
Even the unknown
Our destinies call
This is Love in the Movies
Is there anyone out there that suffers from idleness and exhaustion that is so complete and consistent that it reduces all your ‘I will be more active and healthy’ plans to pure imagination? I mean, I am quite sure I was not dreaming when, last week, I made a list of ‘To Dos’ for myself, activities ranging from quite important tasks such as finance errands to booking that swimming class! I have the list here in front of me…so no, I was not imagining it. Yet, a week later, I only managed to fulfill 20% of my overall items.
I am quite ashamed to go further to reveal that this is the case, in spite of having just finished ‘ The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People’! For those who have read this wonderful, more lifestyle changing than a self-help manual, you will not understand why I am still an absolute worthless pig to myself!
Aggravated by another deadly and almost fatal condition: pure boredom, I see no difference between my life as a human, waking up, going to work, going to sleep to a cow who wakes up (I am not sure how cows sleep – sorry), eats (which would be the work part?, and then sleeps (okay I still don’t know how cows sleep)…
Perhaps this is a sign that I cannot be of any use to myself in any shape or form. I need an assistant. Damn it, I should have stayed in London, set up a charity for ‘Good for nothing losers’, committee management comprising of self nominated members, and advertise for a volunteer assistant. Charity and volunteering is so praised over there, I am sure I could be quite successful in this venture.
Person Specification for such a role?
Understanding of the issues relating to assisting people who are pathetic
Good practice in monitoring and evaluation of report progress of people who are pathetic
Understanding of needs of people with possible serious mental health problems, without revealing it to them. No one needs to know they are crazy. That’s unnecessary.
At least two years experience working with people who are pathetic or being pathetic
Working within an equal opportunities framework.
Preparing reports to managers, funders and others that there are more and more people who suffer from patheticness. Yes, funding is needed.
No promoting and marketing activities. We do not want to attract more losers due to limited facilities.
Good written communication skills
Good oral communication skills.
Ability to organize workload, otherwise what the hell is the point.
Computer literate would be advantageous
My pathetic condition is not helped by life in the workplace. The Events department I work in is humble in numbers, but key to the revenue generation of the hotel. We are as follows:
– A neurotic Chinese manager, who goes for a medical check every week. Thrives in giving me a heart attack daily, by following up on my follow ups! A 5min gathering ritual follows after our morning briefing between me and my colleague to give each other translation on parts we did not understand.
– Egyptian manager who is so intense by nature, that he looks like he is about to burst into tears every time you look at him, has tantrums about the slightest thing and hides a waterfall of insecurity by relishing at the sight of someone making a mistake. I almost cry looking at him out of laughter and i have almost run out of ‘its my eyes’ excuses.
– A South Korean chick who is, I am quite convinced is Bi-polar or something. She will get genuinely annoyed by the smallest thing, and will be happy the next second.
– An Indonesian lady who has the face of Winnie the Pooh. I am watching her. That ‘How are you today’ look is not going down me with me at all.
– Chinese Malay manager whose spoken English is so incorrect and corrupt, that after talking to her for a few minutes, I almost believe I will be celebrating the coming Chinese New year with red material adorned in my flat.
I feel like I have been alive forever. Any new situation, I am already planning an efficient escape. Impatience……..no care for anything. Whatever it is, I have not had a holiday for so long.
And I am full of hope that Ramadan will be the beginning to re-energize this drown of a life that has the spiritual age of 200 yrs. I mean for crying out loud….why does the day have to be so long?
Filed under: Dubai
It’s been almost 9 months since my last post in October. What have i been doing till now? Where am I? What’s been happening?
I have been a busy body lady…lol
On 9th November 08, I packed up most of my clothes, consolidated my car and mobile phone expenses, booked a ticket from London to Dubai with 500 pounds living expenses. My mother arranged a temporary home I could stay in (distant relatives) until I get settled in Arabian soil. I know of no one else in UAE and it was the first time I am seeing, let alone living with, these distant relatives.
After searching for a job like a freak, thinking of how else I will make ends meet without a job and no real family or friends, on 9th December I was offered a position in a prestigious international company, in its hotel division as a secretary to the MD. They are opening hotels 5 star worldwide (like every hotel company here it seems) and I am based in one of them in Dubai.
I guess 5 months later, I said I wanted to be more than admin. It’s not what I sacrificed all this roughness and loneliness for. It’s not why I left the warmth of my parents for and energy of my brothers and sisters. Couldn’t bare to see me leave, because they felt I ‘belonged’ with them, they tried to find me something in house. After much deliberation, I became an Event officer for the Events and Conferencing department of the hotel. I have been so now since May.
In between job transfers and lonely times, I also moved out of the relatives den 2 months post arrival and moved around flats 4 times in and around Dubai. The horrors of being new and no one to guide you! Anyhow, in August finally moving to company accommodation. Nice modern studio apartment. Finally, it’s ready!!!
What else? So I got a nice car and have been driving to and from work, passing through Sheik Zayed Road every day (The Oxford street of Dubai, except no shops, mainly Corporate offices) Two days ago, I got into a small accident. Stupid man was sleeping whilst driving (that’s what they do here) and wrongly bumped into me from the back of the car. Minor scratches from my side, but his front area was totally ‘demolished’?!!!
So we both drive to the police station in Bur Dubai. We hand our license and all. Then the guy explains what happened via car toy demonstration. The officer had two car toys at his desk, and this still sleepy dude is using the cars to demonstrate how he bumped into me. Then the officer eagerly nods, as if the demonstration brought our experience to life in front of his eyes. Based on this, he gives me a green paper (not screwed) and him a pink paper (screwed). We walk out of there in less than 5 mins and my damages will be paid. Khalas!!!
Very bizarre! I was too wound up to even comment….
I go back to work at the hotel and my boss is like telling everyone what a horrible accident I have been through! American exaggeration mixed with his innocent affection for me.
Setting myself up here has probably been the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.
Sitting her at my desk, looking over The Burj at my window, I am proud of making it alone and doing well. It shows I can depend on my self no matter what.
I am already drugged with the travel pill, and have set my sights on Malaysia as my next conquest, after 2 years of experience here of course. Mom approves, seeing herself in me 20 yrs ago and impressed with how brave I am, but she quietly wishes I had someone to enjoy this with. Qadar is Qadar is what I always tell her….you cannot hold off your hapiness for something that may or may not come in the future!
In the mean time, my adventures in Dubai continue to be weird and lovely.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Yesterday at around 5.30ish I got into a car accident. We were coming back from our regular trip to my younger brother whose locked up in prison. We were in high spirits. He was looking better than the first times we saw him, and was so happy to see us, laughing with us, filling him with all the latest gossip from town. Listening to Quran, we were making dua for him and I was thinking about how much I miss him, how much I want him back home with us. My auntie said that I should drive back but I had doubts about driving a car I never drove before on the high way, I am a fula. We were 20 minutes close to home when the unthinkable happened.
My mom in the front, my auntie in the driver seat and me and another relative at the back. All four of us, laying there and before we know, from no where the police are all over the scene. About a few minutes before this, we were in the high way going on 60, maybe 70 mph. A head of us we saw a car that was not moving, it looked like it stopped or at least slowed all of a sudden. I don’t know which one. We realized it wasn’t going anywhere, my auntie tried to stop and we shouted STOP, but by that that time it was already too late, at that speed, it turns out you don’t just stop. You skate through the road until you crash into something. In our case, the polo in front. A second later, a car behind us crashed into us from the back with the same speed that we crashed into the first. Our car was squashed front and back so that you can only see the middle part.
The first thing I saw was my auntie moving slowly, hurt and trying to untie herself from her seatbelt, but I couldn’t see or hear mom move. I kept shouting erratically, pushing her seat ‘mom, mom, mom’ until my auntie reached for her neck to see if she was breathing, and then she said your mom is okay, she is okay. About five minutes later , mom and auntie were sitting outside in the ground trying to breath, whilst me and my relative were trying to get out of the car, still in shock. Both doors were jammed, and the car was up in smoke. I started to panic and shout to the police who were speaking to the men we crashed into. They were fine. The guy driving behind was fine too. But were weren’t. We got out once they realized we were stuck. So many things happened. I only remember this much.
The ambulance carried my auntie into the bed rest, my mom and the relative tied into a wheelchair of their van. ‘You cant leave me here, please let me go with them, that’s my mom in there’! They reluctantly got a space for me. I realized at that time I was completely fine, and they were not.
At the hospital, I was like a walking maniac. Going from one bed to another, to another, making sure they were not dying on me, I still hadn’t fully acknowledged the pain I was feeling, physically and emotionally. I broke down into tears very briefly on my auntie who was about to go on x-ray to see if she hadn’t fractured her lungs or neck. I took her hand and just started crying. She dismissed me smiling and said ‘im fine’. I think that was her way of being strong for me.
Me and mom had a less emotional convo. I remember saying to her….
‘If anything happened to you, I would go crazy. I don’t know what I would do.’ ‘Hoyo, you have to prepare yourself, someday I will leave you and you have be strong’‘ Well today is not that day.’ ‘ Yes but what are you going to do when..’‘ Mom stop.’ The thought of it was numbing like a black silence. I didn’t want to know. All I cared about was that I got a second chance with her and that’s all mattered.
I came from the hospital in the early hours of this morning with mom. All three are alive, and breathing and walking. Minus breathing problems, and chest aches from the seat belt, their fine. I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt so I felt the impact, bumping into everything front and back. I feel bruised all over, sour. . But that’s about it! Usually people die from things like this, crashes like this, but with the Grace of Allah, we were out of there, unscathed. I didn’t die, they didn’t die. My mom is still with me.
Recently, before the accident, I have been wollowing. I am a wollower. About my short comings as a Muslim and got the feeling that somehow I was not God’s favourite person, with going to mixed weddings now and then, arguing with my sisters etc. That made feel sad and felt like just giving up. What’s the point of it all when I know God is not happy with me. it’s a an idea I had planted in my head and it grew into helplessness and just thinking about punishment, Whilst as Muslims, we should constantly worry about punishment, we should always be hopeful of God’s mercry and kindness. That he is with you whatever you do. I realized that God has not abandoned me. He is always kind to me and this accident is an example of this, where most people die or at least get injured, somehow we all got away fine. This is a sign of how much I was wrong, and a lesson to me and all of us that God’s mercy and kindness is never far away. It never goes away. Listening to the Quran helped us , if were listening to music maybe this whole accident would have turned into something else.
These things make you really question your own mortality. At the age of 25, death, ill health and terrible happenings are far from your radar. You at the top of the world and nothing is going to happen to you……. Well something did happened to me and my mom and auntie and relative. At that time, we were listening because its natural to listen to Quran, you don’t think it’s a big deal! But it helped us to survive. The importance of the Quran really just took on a whole different new meaning for me right now after what happened.
We survived it because of God and that were listening to his words. From now on i will never wollowe. Not now, not ever.
Filed under: London weather
Winter is nigh and I absolutely love it!
It’s the only time where I get to exercise FULLY one of my slightly obsessive personal idiosyncrasies! Pour nice hand cream every five minutes until I am warm enough to sweat but don’t!
I have had this thing ever nice I was a baby…..keeping my hands moist with hand cream all day and all night!
Filed under: Uncategorized
My last day is tomorrow. I am so nervous about it. Ahhhhhhh!
I have had a few very pleasant surprises today.
The first being that my organisation have organised a suprise gift for me for tomorrow! Amazing….ahhhhh.
One of the groups I have worked with over the last year organised a small get together in Denham village today. It’s a very picturesque and absolutely gorgeous countryside villgae in my area. They bought me a big beautiful candle and card signed and commented by the members. Very sweet words.
A few of the members were there to thank me for the work that I have done with and for them. The supervisor of the group is S. and she is a lovely white lady who is a practised nurse who is a very active over 60 years old health professional. Anyway I am going to really Miss S. She is amazing and I never really got emotional about leaving and didn’t really think about it too much, until she sat down with me alone and said how much she was going to miss me. I couldn’t believe it. This was a grown professional who does her thing and so on, and she is going to miss me? Me the 25 year old wacky cant-keep-focus-for too-long gal. We couldn’t have been so different but at work, we jelled so well. I just can’t believe it. She really is going to miss me. I will miss her too but not too much because I said that I was going to keep in touch, so no reason for goodbyes, i.e. visiting the group and coming along to their events.
She is the only one I will see to socialize now that I am leaving. I never thought I could be friends with S outside of work, but now after all this time, it feels a bit impossible not to do so because of the connection we have and the great and funny conversations we enjoy.
I realize that age has really got nothing to do with having a great friendship. It’s actually about connection, understanding and trust. And boy, have me and S. exercised a lot of that through my time with her! Lol
As I was covering for a maternity one year contract, my predecessor came back. We spent two weeks together so that I could get her up to speed about what’s been happening and the future direction of the programme. I gave her a handover report. Just now, before she left she presented to me a gift. I have not seen the woman for a year and she buys me this gorgeous bath tub herbal thing and lovely creams and a card! She wrote on the card ‘thank you for your support and me coming back to a much organised project’! Now that was unexpected! Gosh she must really like me huh? I really like her too.
I guess in a way I underestimate myself and how people think of me, and maybe that’s to do with the fact that I am not overly confident person, or just plain insecure, only sometimes though. But it’s nice! I never thought that I was this appreciated and liked by so many. But in a way, people really don’t express these things anyways until you leave and they realize they won’t be sitting next to you, drinking coffee every morning again. Lol
Heart felt day
Note to self: Must remember to send them thank you card and letters next week.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I vaguely welcomed its coming and now we are already in the middle of it. Like a last year student embarking on a new life whilst bound forever by the fate of where her exam marks will take her, I resigned myself to a whole month of guilt trips, old realizations and self-analysis.
Ramadan has that kind of affect on me. It reminds me of just how short I am falling from the kind of Muslim I want to be, and isn’t it painfully clear. Yes I have set myself a high standard. If I don’t, complacency will secretly set in. I just wish I kept this emotional thread with me throughout the year so I can actually focus on it outside of Ramadan.
And whilst Ramadan keeps me busy with those (what must seem to my angel) pitiful repetitions of disillusionment with my level of Iman, I will also be unemployed in a week, for the first time in 2 years, like since graduation. It’s all happening now!
Last 5 years……
Why is this a milestone? Why is this worth writing about? Well I graduated, and then 2 months later I got a 2 year contract with a charity for which I have been working full time for, and now it has come to an end. From primary all the way to high school, I was driven to and from school by my dad, I spent ALL of my college years as an active Muslim, literally praying Fajr on time, attending as many talks as possible etc ect (and then that changed when I started university – not drastically though I would say). As I got to grips with uni schedules and long hours of community (2hrs going and back), I got less active to not active at all as a Muslim and stayed home bound for 3 years until I finished. I think the commuting really did it for me.
All of this meant that I basically grew up with absolutely no time to socialize, make friends and have FUN. I find that a pretty sad case considering that I am 25 in 3 months – a milestone on its own as well. I am not complaining about this, I guess I am struggling to reconcile with two things right now: one the one hand I grew up too fast as I was raised with the cultural motto by mom that leaving the house on your own means you will become automatically a slut, and on the other hand, socializing now for me, consequently, is like being in a math’s class and I am desperately trying to decipher the Algebra. I am social geek and I have to learn to be proud of it!
But this is what is making me anxious. I will be in a new job soon and will have to learn to be social again. In my current organization, almost everyone is white, middle class- going to the countryside kind of folks. Being social here means having tea and complaining about the weather. London is mutli-cultural but boy did I pick a place to work in. I have spent 2 years smiling at them and receiving weird looks when I am fasting, and listening to their ‘polite and innocent ‘ rantings about why Muslims are so destructive or why are we so strict? So I haven’t t been socializing with them either, just been playing nice and listening in to their conversations about forests and going to farms and villages outside London. I have dealt with that for 2 years…imagine? I think in a way, because of this, I have become even more enclosed and reserved and quiet like them. Not like your typical happy, go lucky Somali gal huh.
Leaving…going….out the door, gone.
I am glad I am leaving. My last day is next Friday! But I can’t help but wonder why I got emotional about it in my tea and cakes leaving party they had organized for me yesterday evening. I looked at them all, looking at me, smiling, laughing, this beautiful open space building I have worked in, my desk. I did a ‘thank you for all your support (and in my head ‘HELL’)’ speech and I almost cried. Despite their covert racist comments and resistance to me, I will miss them dearly. This place has built my confidence, got a really strong English accent out of it (only put it on when I talk to white people though – its weird to talk like that with your own people) and a great CV. And with a track record of drinking so much tea in the last 2 years, well the world is my oyster!
No doubt I will be working in another white dominated organization, unfortunately for me the charity sector is a white sector here in London, and I really love the work and the environment in this sector. You get to help make a difference to people’s lives (and get paid for it on the same scale as public sector jobs), flexible hours and have dull conversations. So it looks like I’m stuck in here for a while to come.
I will be wearing my favourite high heel shoes on Friday to mark the occasion. Leaving here feels like New beginnings. A new era. Another chance to dodge yet another perfectly flowing popular conversation about social housing with ‘Oh my God, he is fine’!
PS: I am developing a ‘not to say list’ in my head as we speak so that’s okay.
PS2: That guy and his mom didn’t make it to my sister’s wedding lol …and I only realized it the next day as I was the official borambor dancer and food distributor for the night so was 2 busy making the biggest fool of myself! Oh I still haven’t finalized plans to travel to Europe as I am awaiting responses for another couple of job applications.