Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friendship Is A Tree

While I was searching for nice quotations to post on my Facebook shout-out, I came across quotations about friendship, and I can't help but think about some of my old friends. I don't have a lot of friends, most of my friends are my classmates from high school. I still have communications with some of them, but it's not the same anymore compared during our salad days.

Sometimes I ask myself, Are my friends really are my friends? Or are they what others called fair-weather friends? I must admit something did change when a storm came my way when the sun stopped shining on me for a while, and yes it did hurt. And I made a decision not to see some of them anymore. One thing I hate is being pitied at. I always believe that in friendship, all should be equal regardless of your financial status. Nobody should be higher than the other. You don't make friends just because you want to make them your personal assistant or something, and I don't intend to jump around and ask for his attention no matter how big he is. There's a saying, which I read from somewhere, and I quote, "Don't make him a priority if he only thinks of you as an option". So true.

Years ago, some of my so-called friends did something bad to me, yet I forgave them and tried to understand the reasons why they did it, but although we mended the pieces of our broken friendship, you can not really hide the cracks on it. And friendship is also like a tree, it takes time for it to grow. It needs sunlight, water, and care before it can be a massive towering tree, and without them, the tree will stop growing, and worse the tree will die. That is how fragile a friendship is.

Two of my friends did a terrible thing to me years ago. It was heartbreaking for me when I found out about it. The first one, he neither confessed nor say sorry for what he did, and until now he still claims that he is innocent even though all of the evidence were pointing at him. The other one, a godfather of one of my daughters, confessed and cried before me, and said sorry while we were having a beer, and so I forgave him, who am I not to forgive. But a couple of years ago, prior to my coming to Saudi Arabia in 2006, he seemed indifferent, for whatever reason, I do not know. I don't want to elaborate more about it, as it was so complicated. It was a year ago when I last talked to him, he called me here, and we talked for a few minutes, I can tell he only called me to brag the fact that he's in Australia and that he's found a new job there. I don't hate him, but because I was so disappointed at him, I don't want to see him for a few more years.

For me one of the most important thing in friendship is trust. Once your trust is violated, then it's the end of it. No friendship can survive without it, it would be like a huge, dark rain cloud that brings no rain. I want a friend who I can share my secrets with, and would promise not to tell a soul, a friend who will wait for me at the bottom and ready to catch me when I fall, a friend who would understand my shortcomings for I am not perfect, a friend who will be there, not just in happy times, but also when I'm in trouble, and a friend who respects me as an individual.

I hope my current friends whom I haven't seen for quite some time now would realize how deep the root of the tree is, and don't just cut the massive and towering tree which is yet to bear flowers and fruits.

"Friendship is a tree,
to take shelter from the storm,
to find shade from the blazing sun,
to climb its branches to get a better view,
and to swing from when we're happy."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just For A Laugh: Dear Dr. Ruth

This hand written note which was addressed to Dr. Ruth, and was obviously intended as a joke, was posted by a friend of mine on my Facebook wall. I think it has been around for quite some time now. I find it so hilarious, and I really can't stop laughing when I read it. I love it so much that I have to post it on my blog. Just for a laugh.

Click the note to make it larger!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Today Is My 2nd 'No Smoking' Anniversary!

I can't believe it, after all those years of smoking, look where I am now. Today (January 18, 2009), is my 2nd year of being smoke-free! Do you think I can now call myself the winner in this battle? I think the answer is both Yes and No. Yes, because, quitting smoking is very hard to do, not a lot of people can even get to their 1st or 2nd week at least without lighting a cigarette. No, because it's still a continuing battle, although unlike before, the cravings is kinda milder now. I still do have cravings sometimes.

Right now my problem is second hand smoking. It's inevitable sometimes to come across smokers in the street or in a room full of people, and get to inhale their smoke. My lungs immediately recognize and react to it, so whenever that happens, I feel a little pain, like a vein twitching there inside my chest. I really don't like the smell of cigarette anymore, sometimes I feel like suffocated when I inhaled the smoke.

My goal right now is to be healthy, I mean totally healthy. I want to grow old like 70 or even older without getting sick, and when I say sick, I mean like having a disease that's hard to cure. No, I don't like that. Nobody does!

I hope all of you who are still in the habit, would really do your best to quit, and have a much healthier lifestyle. I said to myself before, that smoking is just a psychological thing, maybe it's true. Just try things that you think would work for you to stop smoking. As it says there in the picture, "There is no right way to quit smoking. Do whatever works for you".

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Yucky Part On Eating Out In Saudi Arabia

Ever since I've seen how these people handled and served their food in these small restaurants, or what the locals called here in Saudi Arabia, "Boofiah", I've really lost interest in eating in some of them. People working in such establishments don't have any idea about hygiene and cleanliness.

Here they serve mostly sandwiches, drinks like sodas and fruit juices in tetra packs, but some also have Shawarma, a rolled sandwich (that looks almost like the Mexican Burrito), or Paratha, a flat, fried dough with different fillings and roasted chicken called Maquina, just like the one in the photo on the left. They are actually quite delicious.

One of the first things I've noticed, was some of the people working in boofiahs do not wear plastic gloves when handling food, they're touching the food with their bare hands. You don't know where those hands came from. Some of the people who cooked the food are even the one who take the money when you pay, the same hand that they used to handle your food.

On one occasion, I bought a paratah in a boofiah near my apartment, I saw the cook kneading the dough on a dirty counter top, I immediately lost my appetite. And just a couple of months ago, in Balad here in Jeddah, when both my friend and I were eating out in a boofiah (which I thought was clean), I really can't believe what I saw, a guy working at the boofiah profusely spraying insecticide exactly where the foods are. I think he was trying to kill more than just the bug. What was he thinking?

There's a lot of illnesses you can get from eating contaminated food, but the most common of all is Salmonellosis or popularly known as Salmonella Food Poisoning and Escherichia coli Infection or E.coli and many others. It's no joke, we are talking about our health here, so you better be careful with what you put in your mouth.

So if you still want to eat from these boofiahs because you don't have any choice, or may be because of some other reasons, I think the best thing to do first, is let others buy ahead of you and then observe, so that you would know if they are handling the food properly.

NOTE: This post does not in any way intend to degrade anyone or any food establishments, especially the boofiahs. There are a lot of very good and clean restaurants around Saudi Arabia to go to, depending on your budget. Food Contamination happens not just in Saudi Arabia, but everywhere. It's just that boofiahs have to make sure that the food they are selling to the public are clean and will not make us consumers sick.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Gift For Myself!

My mind is so empty today, I do not know what to write on my blog. I was just thinking about Christmas and New year, and how it ended so quickly, I mean (snap!), just like that? And I didn't even receive a gift. Hopefully next year.

Last Sunday was Three Kings' Day, and I thought of giving myself a gift. Since I do not have "sounds" here, maybe I'll go to the mall a little bit later and get myself one. Nothing expensive, just a portable radio/CD player or a mini component where I could easily carry around the apartment, and which I could attach my iPod.

I regularly exercise here in the apartment, and we all know how great it is to exercise if there's music. So It'll be great if there's a mini component or something like that.

I'll give you the update later about what I bought, where I bought it and how much the price of it. My budget is 150 - 350 Saudi Rials, I hope I could get something within that price range. See you!


We ended up in Jeddah International Market or popularly known as Sarawat, which is the name of the supermarket inside the mall. There's a lot of electronic shops inside like Sony, Philips, Samsung etc...

I didn't exactly find what I was looking for, most of the portable radio/CD players that I've seen, do not have that "jack thing" for it to connect with my iPod, but I've seen some amazing and huge high tech stuff, but the sad part is that, they also have high tech prices.

I've almost given up until we went inside JVC shop. In there I saw this Compact Component System, for use especially with iPod and iPhone, it has radio tuner and it's portable enough to carry anywhere around and it sounds amazing. It was not exactly what I'm looking for, but I think this is better. It's a little bit over my budget, it's SR.550.00 or around $150.00, but who cares, it's for me. It's not as if I'm buying electronic gadgets every single day. It was fine with me, I bought it. Now I've got a gift, and a blog post. Thank you Pepe!