Saturday, May 9, 2015

East Middle Earth

'It's a dangerous business, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.'

I seem to have been swept off roughly 5500km from where I started!

Greetings from Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Though not that many Emiratis here, mostly Filipinos and Indians.

I arrived at the end of winter, (or spring, I don't know, we only have summer where I come from), so despite it being in the Middle East, it was quite cool.

Now it's summer time, and I'm experiencing summertime madness. Due to the heat mostly.

Apart from the very hot weather and high cost of living, I'd say it's a very nice place to live in.

Very safe. No worries of losing your shoe after prayers.

No worries of getting your Myvi splashed with paint just because it's a Myvi.

Not that they drive Myvis here.

Left-handed driving here in the UAE. Took me awhile to get used to it.

It's 4 hours late compared to Malaysia. And weekends are Friday and Saturday.

Most people are well off, and Syariah law is implemented here, so practically no crime at all here.

I had the idea of learning Arab before I came here, not anymore though.

Everyone speaks English, and like I said, not that many Arabs.

0% tax here, so anyone wanting to escape GST is welcome to migrate.

Although to rent a room is on average 3000 dirhams a month, and food-wise a decent meal for one person costs more than 50 dirhams, so might wanna think things through.

1 dirham is about 90 sen btw.

You won't find any halal-certified stickers on restaurants here. Coz they're all halal. You can just walk in into any Chinese, Indian or whatever restaurant and it's halal.

All meat that comes into the country has been certified halal beforehand, so that's taken care of.

Of course there's no such thing as halal pork. And they do sell non-halal meat at big department stores. But none at restaurants.

And if you walk into a bar and ask for beer, that's probably not.

Although they do have halal beer. Haha.

Food here is meh. Not spicy and not salty. If you're a picky eater, probably want to cook on your own.

But the portions are huge though. I often have leftovers. And I pack them up and eat them later.

Not that many Malaysians here. But they're mostly very friendly. And mostly very rich (compared to me anyways). And most of them are staunch opposition supporters.

They literally took the advice of that minister, "kalau tak suka keluar Malaysia".

Reason for them being richer compared to me is most of them are 10 years older than me, I would say. More experience, hence better pay. You don't see that many young Malaysians here.

To be honest, when they see where I live, they seem somewhat worried whether I can actually afford staying in Abu Dhabi coz of the somewhat old apartment I'm living in.

Rooms here are huge. Mine is 12x14 ft. And I'm not sharing it with anyone. So I don't mind.

Cars here are super cheap. Too bad it's left hand drive, otherwise I'd buy one already.

Using a loan of course.

I take taxis most of the time to get from place to place. Very reliable, everyone uses a meter, no hanky panky going on.

I don't really go out that much, not that many things to see here really.

You see one mall, you've seen them all I say.

Items I would say are somewhat cheaper here. If you're a shopaholic, you'd probably want to come visit. Especially during the summer sale, I hear.

Well, that's it for now. Been wanting to update, but write too long and I suddenly find myself loathing what I just wrote and I end up deleting the whole post. Haha.

Peace.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Yak yak yak

There is this colleague of mine.

The rambunctious type.

(apparently rambunctious is a non-formal North American word, I just found out. Lol.)

Always has to let everyone know what she's thinking / feeling.

The whole office will know if she's happy or she's sad.

She lets people in on her secrets, with a raised voice.

No whispers, no, no. That would be absurd.

She'd be like "Hey Jack, I have to tell you something, but John, you can't listen!"

Yes, this type of person.

A handful, to say the least.

An earful?

Nevermind.

Me being the slightly introverted person that I am, these type of people generally annoy me.

But I've built a tolerance, of sorts.

These are the people that make the workplace interesting, I think.

If everyone was like me, we'd have a somewhat quiet office.

Everyone would pretend to do work, chit chat for a bit, and at the end of the day go home.

Haha. Kidding.

Every now and then though, I do get annoyed and I do respond back.

Sometimes making fun of what she's talking about, sometimes I criticise her way of thinking.

For the most part, she disagrees with what I say.

She sometimes agrees with what I say, but she will stick with what she thinks is right.

Stubborn. A lot like me I suppose.

Wait, scratch that.

I am stubborn, yes, but I tend to process what people say longer rather than dismissing it immediately.

More often than not, I find myself agreeing to what was said to me later on, even though I thought it was a bunch of phooey (yes apparently that's how you spell phooey, I did not know).

Anyways, today I think I may have overstepped my boundaries.

Or maybe, she thought "I'm not gonna take anymore crap from this junior engineer."

Oh, prudent to note, she also has a bit of an ego when it comes to work, if that was not yet apparent.

Just before lunch, she was ranting on and on about her work problems with a senior engineer.

Also good to note, she is NOT a senior, however feels that she already should be one.

How do I know this? Because she told me.

Yeap, just painting a picture here.

Anyways, there she was ranting on and on about her problems, and this senior, who is NOT known for his patience, is perhaps in a very listening mood, and was very attentive to her needs.

Perhaps he understood that sometimes people need to vent, so he obliged.

I, on the other hand, was NOT very understanding.

To be fair, it's not that easy to be understanding when you sit very close to her and hear her whining and moaning almost every day about this problem.

Day after day after day, for a few months now.

So I suppose I cracked.

I stood up, in plain view of both her and the senior, and I imitated what she was doing.

The senior found it amusing, but clearly she did not.

We then proceeded to lunch together, and along the way she was trying to explain to me why she was like that i.e this is an actual problem, not something that I should be trivialising.

I said to her that the stress comes with the position. You wanna be a senior engineer, this is the type of shit you're suppose to deal with. If you want a no-stress position, go be a graduate engineer.

(did not actually use the word 'shit' btw)

She of course disagreed, saying she has done everything she can to solve the problem, or in other words, I'm right and you're wrong, Yasin.

There's not much I can say at this point, plus I can't be sure that I wouldn't react the same way if I were in her shoes, so I kept quiet.

Lunch proceeded with no further discussions on the topic.

However, after work, I received a Whatsapp from her.

"Yasin, I don't like your attitude when you imitated me today. It is not polite and not acceptable for me. I don't need your opinion about how I lead someone and about my situation. I hope I will not see this kind of attitude anymore. I don't need to explain what I did to you also. Next time I will take further step. If you feel disturbed, just tell. Don't make nonsense like that. I think you're right. I need to change just like I was. So I get more respect from people."

Apart from fixing a few spelling and grammar mistakes, that's pretty much verbatim.

My response?

"OK I apologise."

Hmm.

First off, I thought we were friends, equals, that are able to criticise and take criticism from each other.

CLEARLY this message tells me that she thinks she is above me. And I am beneath her.

Which is hurtful.

Of course, if I saw her as someone who is above me in rank, for example the senior she was talking to, I would not have made the joke in the first place.

Because clearly that's disrespectful.

I am aware that I may have overdone it with the imitating, but still if that was she was upset about, I would've totally understood.

In fact, in the elevator on the way to lunch, I told her I normally would not do what I did, I am not doing this just to spite her, it is just my way of conveying the message.

But that is not the case. She is upset because a subordinate is being rude towards her.

Had I known this is how she perceived herself, I would not have been so friendly with her.

To be fair to her, technically speaking, she is one rank above me, i.e I'm an engineer, she is Engineer 1 but it's just a ranking system.

In my office we don't really have that obvious hierarchical society, it's more of a friendly family setting. We show respect where it's due, of course, but interaction-wise, we see each other as equals.

Again, I probably was being very mean, but that's why I apologised.

I didn't bother explaining myself, nor did I felt that I should retaliate.

Of course I was a bit angry, but... I've come to the conclusion that some people have their own egos.

I have things that I take pride in, everyone does.

Everyone has something that they feel people should respect and acknowledge.

You be an introvert long enough, you pick up on these things.

You spot these things on people, and check to see whether you feel the same way or not.

It's the only way you're going to be a better person.

I try to eliminate all sense of entitlement from me. The world doesn't owe me shit.

God owes me nothing.

Which is where I feel bersyukur comes from. But that's a different topic altogether.

On a slightly happier note, I have found another person that can read other people.

Perhaps even better than me.

Our interactions have been somewhat minimal, but somehow he knew that I am inquisitive.

Perhaps he found out from other people whilst talking with them.

Or perhaps he deduced it in the very few instances we were in the same room.

Which is pretty darned impressive if that's the case.

Maybe I was doing a lot of questioning when he was around. Hmm, could be.

But he seemed pretty sure.

The thing about reading people, it only gives you an idea of what the person is like. It may be true, or you may be totally off by a mile.

But he said "Knowing you, you won't accept that kind of explanation."

Which is indicative of him being pretty darn sure. Which is incredible.

I must say that I was shocked, but it was a pleasant surprise.

Must be more careful in exposing my behaviour and attitude nowadays.

For more reasons than one.

As to the original topic, from here on out, I think I will treat her a bit more differently. Probably distance myself a bit, not physically, but socially speaking.

But I won't treat her badly or anything though. I feel that that's never the solution.

Plus it's not as if I don't treat people badly enough already. Lol.

Sigh, curse of an introvert. Always thinking and rethinking about social interactions.

Enough for now.

Peace.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Confession

A close friend of mine is getting married.

I often tell myself if he gets married, that's your signal.

You need to get married.

Shit.

We are a lot alike, we often think the same way, he often can predict what I'm thinking and what I'm feeling, and I'd like to think I am the same when it comes to him.

I used to have this mentality where I still feel like a kid.

Marriage sounds so adult-ish.

But I'm 25 now. Turning 26.

I'm starting to feel more and more like a grown-up. An adult.

I have a stable job as an engineer, I have a car, I pay bills and taxes.

I do adult stuff now.

I play games less. I'm more serious.

When I meet up with friends, I discuss work, politics, family, religion, current events.

Adult topics. Which may sound boring, but I enjoy engaging in intellectual discussions.

Of course I do talk about fun stuff like games, movies, music, etc.

But I'm gravitating away from it, more or less.

It's no secret my parents want me to get married. Haha.

But they've been really cool about it, not pressuring me to do anything.

They know I'm trying, sort of. Lol.

I never thought I'd say this here, but I have been in relationships before.

I've been trying to hide it, but I think I'm grown up enough to discuss it maturely. LOL.

The constant use of LOL is not helping. Old habits die hard.

I suppose I'm not very good at relationships. They never last very long.

I think mostly it's my fault.

But I tell myself sometimes it's just not meant to be.

I've had my fair share of ups and downs.

The ups being very brief. LOL.

At one point I kinda got bored of the whole 'getting to know the person' ritual.

I was in that 'I just wanna get married' phase.

But I realise for me that's just not possible. LOL.

At least I tried it. So now at least I know what I want.

I won't get into the details of things, but suffice it to say that I'm not really a nice person, relationship-wise.

But I think I've grown to be a better person, because of the mistakes I made.

I never meant to hurt anyone's feelings, but I am who I am.

Why am I writing this here? I suppose it's my confession.

I've been very dodgy about this topic when I'm discussing it with the family, and I do not know if my family and relatives still read this blog, but here it is.

This is the truth.

Currently, I do not have a girlfriend.

I've had girlfriends in the past. Note the 's'. Means plural, more than one.

I've had plenty of close girl friends that did not turn out to be my girlfriend in the end.

Mostly because I'm picky. Or because they're picky. Or maybe we just didn't connect on that level.

Or maybe we're just good friends.

I am looking for someone.

I am emotionally ready for a lifetime commitment now.

I am not financially prepared per se, as the cost of a wedding now is ridiculous, but it's on my to-do list.

I hope no one is thinking this, but I'm not gay. LOL.

Although, there was that one time....

JUST KIDDING!

OK. End of confession.

To be honest, writing this down and posting it may not seem like much to you, but it's a huge leap for me.

I'm trembling at the thought of posting this.

But I feel that it's a step in the right direction.

Baby steps.

Enough for now.

Peace.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

the hungry post

hello.

I've disappeared. for quite a bit. but now I've reappeared.

I've been doing loads of things. mostly nothing of import.

Ultimately nothing is really that important.

But it's important that you do it.

Like perhaps, taking a bath. lol.

I was occupied with work. Silly thing to be occupied with.

When you're on your deathbed, you're not going to regret not working enough.

You'll probably regret not doing things you wanted to do.

Which will probably be very confusing for a person that did not know what he wanted to do.

Or perhaps a very calming moment? Not exactly living your life to the fullest, but having no regrets whatsoever.

You can have everything you ever wanted in life, and you'd still want more.

They say life begins at 40. Feels like an eternity away.

Sometimes time moves both too fast and too slow.

Suddenly it's June, almost half of the year is gone. And yet, 40-year old me is 14 years away from now.

Would it be better if time moved faster or slower?

I guess it would depend on how you currently feel.

Time flies when you're having fun, they also say.

When I was studying, I don't think I enjoyed my final exams very much, yet 3 hours just seemed to fly by in an instant.

So I suppose they were wrong. Or maybe partially wrong.

Time also flies when you have a deadline.

I've been doing a lot of flying lately.

Probably not as much as other people, but enough to make me get used to it.

Not as afraid of flying as I was before.

3 countries I've been to this year, so far.

That's as far as it goes, most probably, all my annual leaves are out. Sob.

Went to Saudi Arabia for Umrah, went to Phuket for leisure, and went to Indonesia for spiritual reasons.

Barely ever at my house when it's the weekends.

But whenever I am home, I don't really have much to do.

I'm turning into a loner. And not so much by choice.

I guess it's true when they say the older you get, the less friends you'll have.

Technically, anyways.

I'm sure my friends are out there somewhere, but I just don't really want to go out and find them.

Makes me sound kind of like a jerk, but it's the old age talking.

I'm not going to say no if anyone finds me and wants to hang out, but I prefer to stay in my cave and hibernate.

I've realised something a few days ago.

Whenever a female friend gets married, that will probably be the last I'll see of them.

There is no socially acceptable way for me to ask them and hang out.

Their husbands would mount my head on a wall.

Which is kind of sad. As some were quite close friends.

But that's life.

You learn and realise new things everyday. Part of growing old.

Funny how I'm not that old yet sometimes I feel ancient.

Some would say I have an old soul, but according to Islam, all souls were "created" at the same time, so we know that's not true.

Funny how I say we know. KNOW. When we don't really know.

We just choose to believe what we're told. And that's faith.

I guess that's why there are 3 levels of faith in Islam, at least from what I know.

Or is it degrees of belief? Potayto potahto.

I did some googling as I did not know the English words for it so, they are :-

1- Certainty at the degree of knowledge (ilmal yakin)

2- Certainty at the degree of witnessing (ainul yakin)
3- Absolute certainty (haqqul yakin)

This website I took it from has a great explanation on the differences between the three. I can't vouch for any of their other content, but this one article is legit and explains it quite well.

Let's face it, even if we're all Muslims, we all have different levels of faith. Most of us are skeptics. We question. We wonder.

But society frowns upon Muslims that question, so we keep it to ourselves.

So whenever something that is said in the Quran for example, coincides with what science has proven, we rejoice and tell the whole world!

We say, "HAH! Science has only discovered what the Quran has been saying for ages! Islam is the Truth!"

But in my humble opinion, this is a sign of doubt on our part.

If we truly believed in something, we wouldn't need anything else to corroborate it, we'd just take it as it is.

If we truly believed in Islam we wouldn't need to have science prove it for us. Instead SCIENCE should prove itself to Islam.

We'd probably go check the Quran to verify the findings of our experiment, or something of the sort.

And I feel the way to achieve that level of belief is to immerse yourself with it.

Make Islam a way of life, rather than just a religion.

How can you not believe then? It is a part of you. It's who you are.

Very philosophical.

Happy Ramadhan everyone. May we all get the most from it.

Peace.