That Cold December Night

We were talking and laughing so hard over dinner one cold December night.

It felt like I’ve known you for so long when it was actually the first time we went out.

My mind connected with yours like it never did with other people.

The kind of connection I needed then to bring me back to life.

It never occurred to me that we’d someday meet and spend time together.

Because though we’re under the same sky, we belong in different worlds.

It’s really amazing how someone who was just a stranger to you before,

Would suddenly be someone who’d mean so much to you.

Even until now I’m not sure what we were then.

What I’m sure of is that you made me feel butterflies again.

My heart became alive anew as I found my ability to share what’s in me once more.

It’s nice reminiscing about it,

Reliving every second, every minute of that winter night.

It can’t be real anymore but it’s still something I hold on to.

Two years ago was when I opened myself completely to you.

Sometimes my mind wishes I shouldn’t have.

My heart says otherwise.

Maybe it’s not harmful to hold on to the feelings I felt then.

Because it’s a reminder of how I am still capable to feel something for someone.

I’m not numb after all but in a way scared to experience it again.

Advertisements

Where My Heart Once Was

Last night I was packing,

I saw a picture of yours.

A good one.

A happy one.

Today I looked at it again.

I don’t miss you as much anymore.

But your face will always be

one of the few faces

seared in my mind forever.

I choose to remember

the good memories I have of you.

Tomorrow I may still bleed.

I may still cry.

I may still hope

to spend time with you again.

I may still remember the pain.

But I won’t lose myself again.

I’m reclaiming the void

where my heart once was.

Betrayal

How do you murder friendship, kinship or any kind of relationships the fastest way?

Betrayal.

Betrayal is the fastest relationship killer. It can manifest in different ways, in different forms, in different acts, in different relationships, in different individuals. How people take advantage of other people for their own benefit at the expense of other people’s feelings, I don’t really understand. What’s worse about it is that,

“The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.”

Yes, betrayal never comes from our enemies but from our friends, our colleagues, from people we love, from people who mean something to us, from people we trust. I can attest to that.

We all probably have experienced betrayal at least once in our lives. All of us have our own personal Judas perhaps.  And when it happens, the sting of the betrayal often leaves us appalled, hurt, broken and maybe clueless and unable how to move forward from that point on. On the other hand, the traitors will deny the act and even convince us that we misunderstood them. Moreover, many of these traitors would even justify their acts of betrayal.

Whatever relationship we have with the person who betrayed us, it often leaves us hurt and wounded deeply. We let our guards down whenever we start to be comfortable with people and we often realize it too late. As I grow in my understanding of relationships of any kind, those who love you or adore you at one point, can or will reject you any other day. People see things from different perspectives and we unintentionally disappoint each other sometimes.

Moreover, it hurts to know that you were betrayed because they can gain more from betraying you rather than staying true to you. Why would anyone do that for momentary benefit or comfort? I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that they’ve lost more than they know. They’ve lost more than what they thought they’ve gained.

It’s sad that this had to happen. I probably appear weak to them that they took advantage of it and I won’t be able to trust them once more. I’m in a place where as far as I’m concerned, there’s no point in trying again. Nothing ruins a relationship more than the realization that you can’t trust these people any longer. It’s an irreparable harm but something to learn from.

Surviving a Racist Workplace

For the past month or so, I have been deliberately thinking about getting out. I spend much of my time contemplating about the best way to leave not just the company I’m currently working at but out of Kuwait entirely.

There were a lot of changes that took place at work in the past couple of months and it’s very unfortunate that I have to work with racist superiors. It is very tempting to leave my position but it also puts me at an unfair advantage specially so that it wasn’t me who created an uncongenial workplace to begin with. 

I am the only female employee in my workplace and to disagree with the managers who have control over my job is tough. Having higher-ranked racist managers is even tougher. To be recently excluded from some of the benefits I used to enjoy since I started working here just because I’m not Korean is quite unacceptable, unreasonable and offensive after all these years of working my ass for the company specially the last year or so. 

For most of us, majority of our time is spent in the workplace. And at work, we don’t usually have a choice to go with a group we personally would want to work with. But we have a common goal and for a country and a company like this, we have to work in a very diverse working environment since much of its manpower are of a mixed race whether we like it or not. Personally, this is not a difficult thing to deal with as long as we all are treated fairly. However, working in a racially hostile environment is stressful and affects a person’s well-being. I’ve been working in the same company for the past seven years and racism was never an issue until very recently after all the changes that took place.

I personally find no excuse for people who say racist comments specially in the workplace. I don’t believe I should just swallow hurtful remarks. I take such things personally. I know it’s the other person’s issue and not mine but as I’ve mentioned, I take it very personal but I try to process it as healthily as I could.

I can’t help but speak up when I hear racist comments at work even when it is not directed to me or any other specific person. It is not okay because it makes everyone start thinking it is acceptable. If a comment hurts me, I feel the need to address this to the person who made the comment. It is difficult not to say anything and it may even imply that I agree with them. But speaking up puts my job at risk in return. And I have to consider the person’s authority over my job, too. I should be realistic of the consequences it will cause me but it’s not very easy to just shut up and pretend I don’t hear anything.

Sometimes, I just change the subject. However, this relies of course in the other person’s emotional intelligence. If they pick up the cue that I don’t agree with what they said, then it’s good. At times, they even apologize.

Some days, it’s nice to play dumb at racist jokes. Acting dumb and asking the person what his racist joke means often leaves them not being able to explain why it’s funny. It would need them to suggest a racist stereotype should they want to explain and when this happens, I’d be glad to ask the accuracy of such stereotyping and then it’s easy to pinpoint the racism in his joke.

I’m not sure how much longer I can manage to continue working here. When something’s wrong, it is really difficult to turn a blind eye. Apparently, to confront racism is a long haul. It is a slow process and takes a lot of patience. And mine is running out.

A Corner of My Own

Spiders.

I’m afraid of them.

I see them.

I kill them.

One night,

I turned the lights on.

A big black spider

Scampered in the ceiling.

I walked in slowly

And afraid

As the spider ambled

To the corner.

There it stayed

Away from harm.

And for the first time,

I didn’t want to kill it.

I wanted to be like it.

I wanted to find

I wanted to be

In a corner of my own.

My Sulfur Bath Experience in Tbilisi

I was wandering around Tbilisi in search of a good place to have dinner when I came across several brick, domed rooftops which happens to be sulfur bathhouses.

I came to understand that these bathhouses are an important part of Tbilisi’s history. Tbilisi got its name from the hot springs that run under this district. According to legend, it was these sulfur springs that made King Vakhtang Georgasali to decide to settle there and make it the new capital.

I must admit, visiting one of these sulfur baths in Georgia was the most embarrassing but also one of the most hilarious experience during my recent travel.

There are five sulfur bathhouses left in Abanotubani district, or so I counted, compared to around more than 60 at the peak of its popularity. I wasn’t sure which to choose but someone approached me and invited me to try it. He lead me to what I never thought was a bathhouse. The exterior was elegant as it was inside. It appears totally different from the other bathhouses. I even thought it was a mosque!😅

Processed With Darkroom

You can choose to go for a public bath or a private room. Even though public bathing will cost me a lot cheaper, bathing with strangers still didn’t sound very appealing to me so I opt for the latter and it’s rented by the hour. One of the staffs accompanied me to my room and I was told that I should dip myself in the water for 20 minutes while waiting for the masseuse to arrive. I must say, I am not very fond of any activity that involves water but I was impressed and felt okay when I came inside the big bathing room. There was a changing room, a toilet, a sitting/waiting area, a pool of hot sulfur water (40°C-50°C), a massage slab and shower. I paid for the room, the towels, shower gel, scrub and massage.

Since I booked a private room, I used it naked. The water was literally hot! As I tried to submerge myself, I already felt like drowning. It’s a small tub/pool but I had some difficulty breathing and I felt like the water’s gonna swallow me whole. Good thing the smell of sulfur wasn’t that strong. When I finally managed to fully submerge myself, it felt like the longest 20 minutes of my life!

Then the masseuse came. A stout fifty-ish woman with an austere face. I watched her walk to the waiting area where she suddenly stopped and stripped her clothes except her underwear. She came in front of the pool with her piercing gaze and pointed to the marble slab at the corner of the room. She then filled in a bucket of water. Naked, I went out of the pool and clumsily made my way to her. I smiled and said hello. She didn’t smile nor reply. She just looked at me and pointed where I should stand. It was awkward as hell!  I moved as instructed and when I turned to face her she was already carrying the bucket and threw the water at me! Ice cold water!!! I literally shrieked out of shock and I even felt furious I screamed why did she do that? She started laughing too hard then and asked me, “Good?” Hell, no! But yes, it was, to be quite honest, a few seconds later! She continued laughing her evil witch, sly laugh. I ended up laughing with her instead. I came to know much later that she also doesn’t know English so you can probably imagine how it was for the rest of my time with her there.

She started to scrub my arms while standing then she let me lay down in the marble slab to exfoliate the rest of my body. After the scrub, she filled in a kind of small sack with soapy water and covered me up with it. It’s the second best part of the whole experience, I felt like a baby and my skin felt softer and smoother.

Then came the best part — the massage! The human moment that I finally managed to totally relax! Her hands were so light but were really very good at what they do. I had a full-body massage and it was so totally worth it! After 20 minutes, she doused me again with buckets and buckets of water as she laughs her evil laugh. After feeling content and satisfied (I guess) throwing water at me, she finally stopped and started gathering all her stuffs in the bucket then left laughing.

I took another dip in the hot pool for a few more minutes and ended up laughing to myself. It was a fun experience. I then showered and got dressed and moments later, the phone rang and my time is up.

I left the bathhouse relaxed, happy and satisfied. Once outside, I remembered I was hungry and so I went on looking for a place to dine in. What happened next is another story that will stay in my heart forever but for now, I’ll keep you with the bathhouse experience.

Have a wonderful day, homo sapiens! 🙂

Sometimes I Wish We Never Met

You were smart, cool and sweet. You’re a breath of fresh air. You’re everything any girl would’ve wanted. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d go farther than being friends. But I wanted you in my life. You were my muse. You showed me another positive side of life. Eventually, I trusted you. Then, I loved you.

But what could have happened if we just never met?

Quite certainly, I would’ve saved myself from a tremendous heartache. Did you come in my life to teach me a lesson? If so, I wish you were a lesson I didn’t have to learn. Things weren’t so perfect when you came but I was okay. Still, you were there to cheer me up. Made me look at life from a different view. Said things are going to turn quite well. You offered me wisdom. You helped me become whole again.

Then you broke me just the same.

I’ve been contemplating for a very long time now if you were ever worth the love and time I gave you. Was the joy I felt with you worth this pain? Was it wrong to break my rules for you? Was I so naive to think that I meant something to you? Was it wrong that I trusted you? Or was I a fool for loving you?

If I could turn back time to the night we first kissed and change it all, I will. If only I knew that you’d give me more pain than joy, I would have left it all the way it once were. If only I knew you’d leave me for little mishaps and uncertainties, I shouldn’t have let things went too far.

Perhaps it’s true that everyone we meet in our lives come for a purpose or a reason. None of it is a coincidence. None of it a mistake. It’s been some time now since you did what you did and I’m trying to put them all past me. But some days, it all just comes back, reopens the wound you left me and hurts like hell again.

That is why sometimes, I wish we never met.