Friday, November 28, 2014

Life overseas: The lowdown for expats


-Don’t get me started on long-distance relationships.

-Trust… BIG word.

- Know what to unlearn and what to hold on to upon arrival and when you leave “for good”.

-You may be the mayor’s wife’s best friend’s sibling where you came from, but here you’re just an expat who has got to work your ass off … like the governor’s daughter in your department.

-Make sure your family knows how hard you work so they won’t take your remittances for granted. And tell your relatives who think you’re better off to shut the fuck up and just come over so they’ll know that working abroad is less awesome than they think.

-Domestic helpers invest in real estate back home. Professionals have tons of gadgets and credit card loans. This statement is based on lots of true stories.

-Groups of all sorts, overrated as they are, are popular. 

- Racial discrimination. Ethnocentricity. Religious bias. We’re all guilty of those. Move on.

-You are on your own. Your embassy cannot help you any more than you could help yourself.

-Know the rules. Follow them. If you break them, don’t get caught.


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1)      Go home for a vacation and meet Zach Christian- DONE
2)      Finish reading the Purpose Driven Life- DONE
3)      Finish reading the Bible- NOPE (1 Chronicles Chapter 6)
4)      Finish reading the Quran- DONE
5)      Write at least five short stories- 4
6)      Write at least five more songs- 2 (a couple more unfinished)
7)      Finish a novella- NOPE (only dozens of writing ideas)
8)      Finish editing my 2010 memoir- NOPE (for some reason, this could take years)
9)      Send one of my writings to a contest or a publishing company of some sort- NOPE
10)  Have 77 blog posts on SCRIBBLES- 71
11)  Create a new blog- DONE! about this blog
12)  Master writing my name HENCEL LAUREN in Arabic- learn YES, master NOPE
13)  Go to at least three Kuwait tourist destinations- Kuwait Towers only. If you count The Grand Avenues, well, malls don’t count so 1. I’m planning Scientific Center and Grand Mosque before the year ends. Yaaay!
14)  Visit another gulf country- DONE. Dubai UAE with my two besties, Selah and Victoria
15)  Memorize one foreign song- Havatum Em by Sirusho (Armenian) BUT it’s not in my vocal range so don’t make me sing it
16)  Learn a new language- NOPE. I’m a bad… language… person… period.
17)  Get my visa and leave for the US- Hello?! Ever heard of retrogression?
18)  Visit Tatay Asiong (Philippines) and Papa Lino’s (California) graves- Tatay YES, Papa NOT YET
19)  Learn how to swim- a teeny, tiny yes
20)  Go wall climbing once- NOPE. I’m afraid I’m getting a bit frail for these activities.
21)  Start “project” with Mom- maybe this “project” isn’t necessary (pleasant turn of events)
22)  Have my hair grow five inches past the bra line- YES. My hair length today is the longest it’s ever been my whole life.
23)  Invent a recipe I will name after my Mom and siblings- NOPE. I was planning on a recipe named “NiNIKnik na MA-NOK” but can’t decide what to put in it other than the friggin’ chicken.
24)  Have my tummy scar removed surgically- NOPE. Someday…
25)  Meet a famous person- NA-ah!
26)  Buy a pair of high heels and be an expert on walking around in it- Oh. Yeah. Really.
27)  Fix my posture- I’m hopeless.
28)  Fall in love again but… - OMg
29)  Stay single- I wouldn’t put this here if it isn’t highly likely to be the case after 12 months of foreseen nothing.
My year went well, thank you. And thank You God- always. J
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