Liebster Award #4

Well, well, well… This. Is. Really. Amazing! Thank you so much Abdul for nominating me! Sorry for doing this very late, I’m very busy at work most of the time but here it is! To my readers who haven’t discovered his blog yet, do visit it here. Lots of interesting things to read from there. 🙂

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The Rules:

  1. Create a post thanking the person who nominated you, provide a link to their blog.
  2. Include award graphic.
  3. Answer the questions provided.
  4. Make a new set of ten questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Nominate 5-11 upcoming or recently followed bloggers and share your post with them so they see it.

Abdul’s questions and my answers:

1. Did you ever felt you were just going to die? What was your last wish?

Getting drunk is fun but there was one occasion where I felt like I had alcohol poisoning. I was vomiting for an hour or so in the bathroom, I don’t know, it was painful and crazy, I must’ve called and prayed to all the saints I knew back then to please relieve me from the trouble I’m into. I did feel like I was gonna die then and I’m not so sure what happened after. When I woke up, I was still in the bathroom. 🙂 I don’t remember having any last wish or something at that time except that I’ve been praying to just let the vomiting/pain stop.

2. Have you ever tried eating food sitting on the floor instead of dining table? Does it feel more comfortable to sit on the floor and eat?

Yes, I’ve tried eating sitting on the floor several times before but no, it’s not that comfortable for me. I can do it again but I still prefer eating on a dining table.

3. You receive a call, and the speaker says,” XYZ (The person you hate the most) Just died”, Will you forgive that person or keep holding the anger till the end of your life?

Well, I think, if I ever get to receive a call like that, I’m pretty sure I have long-forgiven that person already. Sure I do hold a grudge for a while but I let it go just the same. Chances are it might make me feel sad hearing the news.

4. You are deeply in love with a person, And he/she call you suddenly out of no-where and says,”I Love You”. What will be your response?

I don’t know, I’d probably be lost for words.

5. While traveling, you forgot your bag in the Bus, Train etc. Everything is in your bag even your mobile phone, what’s the very first thing you are going to do?

Cry. Just kidding! 🙂 Hmmm… I need to stay calm first of all and think of what I have to do next.

6. Kill One and save 1000, and the one to kill is your best friend. What will you do?

Sorry, best friend… yeah, kill one! If one needs to die for a thousand to thrive, then so be it. (I hope my best friend doesn’t get to read this. 😉 )

7. On a vacation, you lost your memory – At what place can i find you?

*(Places you visit regularly)

If not in a library, very likely in a restaurant.

8. The leader OR The follower (The lion Or The lamb)?

Very likely the leader. 🙂

9. A Coffee with a stranger Or Conversation with a known person?

Oh! I’m on the fence here. Hmmm… there are definitely people I’ve known for quite some time now that I would really love to talk to all the time but having coffee with a stranger is very interesting, too, which actually just happened last Friday. 🙂 So at the moment, I’d choose coffee with a stranger.

10. To create your own story (HOW)? OR be someone else story (WHY)?

Definitely create my own story. How? I still have to figure that out! 🙂

Choosing the nominees is always the most difficult part here but today The nominees are:

Paragtak

Soheli

John Snow

Khushi

Maya

Geetadhar

The questions for the nominees are:

1. How did you celebrate Christmas?

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Christmas?

  2. What’s the best thing that happened to you this year?

  3. Your top three goals for the coming year.

5. Would you like to be famous? For what reason?

6. What’s the first thing you notice in people?

7. Name a special place you’ve been to where you’d like to go again.

  1. Which do you prefer, sunrise or sunset?

  2. What’s the worst thing someone has ever done to you?

  3. What’s the best thing that happened to you today?

As always, I can’t wait to read your answers to my questions and get to know you more!

Once again, thank you, Abdul! This is one among my special gifts this Christmas! 🙂

Happy day, homo sapiens!

A Six-Word Story

Thought I’m okay. I thought wrong.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas baubles on a wood texture

I don’t always get to thank my readers for visiting my blog but always know that I’m very thankful and I appreciate everyone of you. May your Christmas sparkle with moments of love and laughter.

A very Merry Christmas, homo sapiens!

Photo credit : <a href=”http://Designed by Freepik” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Christmas Baubles

Quote of the Week

People aren’t always what you want them to be. Sometimes they disappoint you or let you down, but you have to give them a chance first. You can’t just meet someone and expect them to be everything you’re looking for and then be angry when they’re not every hope and aspiration you projected onto them. It’s foolish to believe that someone will be what you imagine them to be. And sometimes, when you give them a chance, they turn out to be better than you imagined. Different, but better.

-Chloe Rattray

A Six-Word Story

Words left unsaid always stay forever.

Spending Christmas Abroad

It’s Christmas time again and it surely is very colorful everywhere back home these days. Christmas trees, lights and decors here and there. Christmas is my favorite holiday. It’s the most joyful time with my family and my closest friends, the warmest feeling of happiness, great food, tons of drinks, gift-giving and so on. But this year, it doesn’t feel like Christmas is just around the corner. I’m not saying Christmas doesn’t mean anything for me anymore. It’s just that, for the first time in years, I just don’t feel the Christmas spirit at all. Oh, my heart is aching to go home.

As an expatriate, spending Christmas away from home can be a difficult time. Celebrating Christmas abroad is very likely not to be like celebrating Christmas at home, specially if you’re in a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Well maybe, many expats, specially those who live with their families here, still feel the holiday mood because some malls put up a Christmas tree or hang some Christmas decors but it’s still just different, of course. And for some, it’s just another ordinary day.

This year will be my ninth Christmas far from home and here’s what it’s like for me:

I go to work on Christmas day.

Christmas is not a Muslim holiday which means it is not celebrated in Islamic countries like Kuwait. I mean, it’s not declared a public holiday even though there are a lot of non-Muslims residing in the country. A day off on Christmas day for Christian workers would be ideal but I’m not sure it’s being practiced here though in the company I work with, I’m usually given a half-day off. There’s not much difference for me anyway since I still have to go to the office just the same and I’d even choose to go overtime and go home later at night once the crowd is gone because even though it’s not a public holiday, people swarm the streets after work, buses are full, taxis are hard to find. Chaotic.

I think of them and miss them.

I do think of my family and friends of course not only during the holidays but when it’s Christmas, the very thought that I’m away from them saddens me a lot. Christmas is that one holiday when everyone has to be home. My mom forgives us not being home on other holidays or special occasions but not Christmas. It was only when I started working here that our family ain’t complete during this time of the year. Sure we can arrange a video chat or something but with the time difference and all, sometimes, it’s also not that easy.

I somehow feel disconnected.

Sure, I get the freedom I’ve always wanted being away from home but it’s still a bit heartbreaking sometimes not being able to go home for Christmas. Putting up the Christmas tree with my brothers with my mom’s voice on the background is something I really miss. Not being able to eat with them for the noche buena, not being able to exchange gifts with them, not being with them is sad. Not being able to hug and kiss them is sadder. Not being able to join them for our family Christmas “rituals” makes me somehow disconnected from them.

I make my own celebration.

Well, I try to. I celebrated with friends like last year. Though I was just invited to a friend’s home, it ended up like I was the one who organized the celebration. It’s a long story but it turned out pretty well. It made us all feel a little less homesick.

I don’t get drunk.

I don’t mean I want to be totally inebriated of course but a few bottles here and there would help bout homesickness during this time of the year. Unfortunately, alcohol import or consumption is strictly against the law in Kuwait. Hotels and restaurants don’t serve alcohol as well. That means, I’m completely sober during Christmas. 🙂

I don’t get to have a lot of Christmas presents.

As I didn’t send as many. Haha! Not that I’m expecting gifts for Christmas but seeing the gifts piling up under the Christmas tree brings me joy. I’m not really good at gifts actually but seeing lots of colorful presents waiting to be opened on Christmas morning is a true delight!

It’s this time of the year that I always realize it’s not the end of the world.

Living abroad alone is a rough time, more so during the holidays but it’s this time of the year that I always realize it’s not the end of the world. I know it’s always up to me, of course, whether to make the most out of the situation or be a Grinch! Though alone, I still want to enjoy this Christmas and never look back at it with regret. Being alone ain’t that bad after all and I’d appreciate solitude and silence in a world that never stops talking.

Now how about you? Have you ever spent Christmas away from home? How’s it like? And how do you plan to celebrate Christmas this year? Feel free to share!

Have a wonderful Christmas, homo sapiens! 🙂

Blindness by José Saramago

fullsizerender-1-19Book #26.

I attempted to read this book four or five times since I received it but hadn’t gotten way past ten pages. It’s not that it’s a difficult read, I just couldn’t get a grip on it. Anyhow, I gave it a shot again last week and I guess the timing’s quite right because I was able to finish it in just a few days.

In a nutshell, Blindness is about a society that collapsed following a worldwide plague of literal blindness. The story begins with a man in his car at a stoplight waiting for the lights to change. Inexplicably, he goes blind. Soon, everyone he goes in contact with go blind. And it follows. So the blindness spreads out all over the nameless place.

All the characters are also nameless. We only get to know them as the doctor, the doctor’s wife, the boy with the squint, the dog of tears, the old man with the black eye patch and so on. This for me adds up to the goodness of the book.

Having had the chance to read The Gospel According to Jesus Christ earlier this year prepared me enough, I guess, to get used to his way of writing. Yes, for me, it needs a bit of getting used to it at first. For one, it’s written in a very dense way, there are no speech marks and no breaks for dialogues, it’s all written in the same lines. I get lost at some points while reading because everyone’s words merge altogether that I have to read it again to make sure I understand who’s saying what. I kind of felt blind, too, in a way as I get lost in the book at times. But I must say that the way the book’s written heightens the enjoyment of reading this book.

The major themes include the presence and lack of morality in a damaged society and the consequences of doing right and wrong. The murder of the leader of the troublemakers in the asylum is one example of making a difficult moral decision in the novel. Prior to this, the doctor’s wife finds out that she actually brought a pair of scissors. She never used it but just hangs it on the wall. She soon made use of it later in the story after the tragic thing that happened to her and the other women in the asylum.

The novel also showed us how fragile a society and how weak/strong humans can be. We see all the characters turn blind (except for one) reduce to animal instinct in order to survive. Señor Saramago blames the authorities for not being able to provide for its people in times of crisis. This is very true and happens almost everywhere nowadays. Furthermore, he tells us that we’re not far from sheer chaos even though we are now living in a modern world that relies mostly on technology.

Blindness is an allegory that people who can see are blind in reality. People don’t see what’s really happening in the world. Blindness is present in the failures of authorities to give what is expected of them. It is present in major issues the world is facing now. People fail to perceive the suffering around them thus resulting to failure of achieving a better community. Towards the end of the story, the characters start to recover their eyesight which strengthens the story’s status as an allegory. This shows that their blindness was just a way of teaching or letting them see and rethink the kind of life they’re living.

This is a very thought-provoking book that will remind every reader to look, or moreover, see everything around us as clearly as we could. Let’s always try our best not to turn a blind eye to the real cruelty/terrors that surround our lives.

Quotable Quotes:

“Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are.”

“I don’t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.”

“When all is said and done, what is clear is that all lives end before their time.”

“Words are like that, they deceive, they pile up, it seems they do not know where to go, and, suddenly, because of two or three or four that suddenly come out, simple in themselves, a personal pronoun, an adverb, an adjective, we have the excitement of seeing them coming irresistibly to the surface through the skin and the eyes and upsetting the composure of our feelings, sometimes the nerves that can not bear it any longer, they put up with a great deal, they put up with everything, it was as if they were wearing armor, we might say.”

“If we cannot live entirely like human beings, at least let us do everything in our power not to live entirely like animals.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

A Six-Word Story

There’s something about coffee, something personal.

Numb

How’d you break a heart

that’s long been broken? Poor heart.

It might just turn numb.

Quote of the Week

You sometimes think you want to disappear, but all you really want is to be found.

-Kid Cudi

Delighted

Delighted to be with books, coffee and you!😊☕️📚

A Six-Word Story

I’ve forgiven myself. Forgive yourself, too.

Thai Day Out

So it was my day off and two of my friends just finished from work and we’re all hungry. One of them really wanted to have rice and soup so we went to the Thai restaurant I frequently go to with my other friends and colleagues.

We had seafood tom yum, chicken satay, tempura and a variety of fried rice. The rice serving seemed too much for me that I wasn’t even able to order my favorite sticky rice with mango anymore. The tempura was quite disappointing though. I don’t think I’d ever order tempura from them again.

Anyhow, it still was a good late lunch (or early dinner) with my friends last Friday.

Do you enjoy Thai food as well? What’s your favorite dish? I’ll be delighted to know! 🙂

Quote of the Week

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Someone Else

He left against her will but told her to wait for him.

She waited and endlessly hoped for him to return.

A couple of years later he asked her to follow him instead.

She hesitated for it’s not easy to give up the life she created for herself.

But she followed him just the same willing to start a new life again.

Soon they were together.

But her happiness and excitement was short-lived.

For in front of her eyes was someone else.

Someone else is the source of his happiness.

Shakey’s Kuwait

I received some very unexpected good news a couple of days ago and so my friend and I decided to meet and have dinner together to discuss about it and catch up with each other’s lives, too.

We decided to go and try Shakey’s Pizza as it has just opened a few weeks/months ago. I have never dined in any Shakey’s restaurant since I came here so I was really excited but wasn’t expecting too much as I always get disappointed when I do.

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So, we tried fried chicken & mojos. The chicken tastes like how I remember it should but the mojos were different and small.

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We divided the pizza in two flavors, mine was hawaiian and belly buster for my friend. It’s a bit different, too from what I’m expecting but still good.

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We also had pasta. My friend tried spaghetti with meatball, as in, MEATBALLLL! It’s pretty funny seeing a huge piece of meatball on top of the spaghetti! 🙂 You’d feel full already just by looking at it!

Anyway, I opted for spicy seafood marinara and it was a winner! That for me was the highlight that night. The serving was a little too much for me but it’s delicious! At a very affordable price.

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All in all, it was a great dinner. I think it’s safe to recommend it! 🙂 The staffs are friendly, as well. I wasn’t really expecting them to be that friendly but surprisingly, they were! So that’s a big plus. Oh except for the one who settled our bill…

Check ’em out, they’re located in Salmiya, just in front of Galleria 2000.

Happy day, homo sapiens!

A Reread: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

downloadBook #25.

By large, endings are sad, aren’t they? Or bittersweet perhaps? It could give us tremendous relief, too, as is the case in The Sense of an Ending.

This little treasure of a book is the story of the unremarkable life of Anthony Webster as he recollects and confronts the past after receiving a solicitor’s letter, the reappearance of an ex-girlfriend and reading a few pages of his old friend’s diary. This is best read in one sitting preferably with a few shots of whisky. 🙂

It has two finely controlled parts: 1) sheer nostalgia and 2) the coming together of memories from years ago as it unfolds different interpretations to clarify the truth. It’s mainly about the unreliability of memory and dealing with the past, remembering events and our understanding of time, with a touch of history, death and loss.

Little by little, the book reveals the secrets hidden in buried memories as Tony tries to remember and face up to the actions of his younger self and live through the mystery of the last forty years. Tony is a very engaging narrator. He definitely kept me reading regardless of him being reliable or not. Though this is already my second reading, I am still perplexed by the ending and just like Tony, “I just don’t get it,” really. I still had to go back to a few pages and reread over and over looking for clues I must have missed to give me a better understanding of the ending and answers to the many hows and whys it left me.

This is a very simple story on the surface but with delicate undertones written in a very interesting way. It is short, deep, thought-provoking, luminous, readable and very re-readable book. No wonder it was awarded the Man Booker Prize. I believe it’s never too late to learn. It’s never too late to learn and understand ourselves and other people. You might not be someone you thought you were yesterday. What we believe about other people then may possibly be different, too. How these things can change overtime as we try to understand people/things based on our memory of them and the history that goes with it is truly something to reflect upon and could very well give us a sense of an ending.

Quotable Quotes:

“Songs do occasionally tell the truth.”

“Sometimes I think the purpose of life is to reconcile us to its eventual loss by wearing us down, by proving, however long it takes, that life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

“The less time there remains in your life, the less you want to waste it.”

“Life isn’t just addition and subtraction. There’s also the accumulation, the multiplication, of loss, of failure.”

“…what you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

Liebster Award #3

Many thanks to Sameera for nominating me for my third Liebster Award! Do check out and enjoy this very young lady’s blog here.

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The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 5-11 blogs/bloggers.
  4. Ask the bloggers 10-11 questions.

Here are Sameera’s questions and my answers:

One thing that you would like to change in your life.

Hmmm, this is difficult. There are some things I’d like to change but I think altering them would also change the rest of my life so I’d rather not. However, I’d like to say that I’d consider being less-friendly if I could.

What would you do if you are about to lose everything in your life?

Now this is even more difficult. Hmmm… well, what should I do? What can I do? I’d probably let it all go at that moment, think about the loss and feel it, then work my ass to retrieve back the things/people I’ve lost that matter and live a better life in order not to lose them again.

Advice you would like to give to me about my poems.

As I always mention, I don’t think I’m in the position to give advice to writers/bloggers but just keep on writing (according to my writer friend), I think you’d learn as you write more.

The person who influenced you the most.

My parents. They’re two very different individuals and I wonder how they’ve managed to stay together for thirty-nine years (and counting) but they instilled in me moral values that helped me learn and grow in every way.

Any adventurous thing you would like to share.

I find it really very adventurous trying every kind of food I see wherever I am and the best food adventure I had was in Hanoi, Vietnam. You’ll never run out of something new for your taste buds. 🙂

Books you would like to read.

There are tons of books I’d like to read and I still have more than 50 unread books on my shelves! Yay!

If you had one last chance to change anything what would it be?

Same answer to the first question.

How you came across writing blog?

I’m not sure I understand this question right but if you meant how I decided to write a blog, well, it was purely out of boredom two years ago…

What inspires you to write?

I usually only get to write when I feel too much. I’m no writer/blogger. It just so happens that some thoughts come into mind and I just write them.

Apart from writing what else you love to do in life.

I love eating, reading, playing tennis and making other people’s lives miserable. Haha! Just kidding about the last one! 😀

The nominees are:

  1. https://eullycornmeetsworld.wordpress.com/
  2. https://nishasharma1896.wordpress.com/
  3. https://tashneevmavee.wordpress.com/
  4. https://wordsinthelight.com/
  5. https://bloggymcblogface446.wordpress.com/
  6. https://myadviceforyourlife.wordpress.com/
  7. https://inamessyworld.wordpress.com/

And my questions are:

  1. What do you do in your free time?
  2. What’s your dream job?
  3. Which do you prefer more, watching TV or reading?
  4. What does your perfect day look like?
  5. How would your friends describe you?
  6. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  7. Recommend a movie. Why do you recommend it?
  8. When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
  9. What’s your favorite time of day?
  10. If you could be anywhere else right now, where would it be?

I can’t think of better questions to ask at the moment but I’m very interested to know your answers.

Once again, thank you, Sameera!

Happy day, homo sapiens! 🙂

Quote of the Week

We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.

-Australian Aboriginal Proverb